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Theodore is peeing outside of his cage.

22 9:48:38

Theodore is 2yrs old. We first got him when he was 4mths. old to bond with another rabbit. That rabbit passed away about a year ago. For a while after Theodore stopped being litter box trained and would go to the bathroom outside his cage. He soon stopped this behavior once we changed his cage and did a little bit of retraining. Theodore has now recently started to pee outside again. He has always been a lethargic kind of bunny so that is not a new occurrence, our other rabbit would race and Theodore wants nothing to do with it, he likes to lay pretty :)  He is hopping as usual so there doesn't seem to be any broken bones. Is there a reason that he would start to do this again? When he goes he doesn't stay by it normally and it is always in a different place but all in the same room??? We are very confused and a little worried so thank you for any help you could offer on this matter.



Hi Hannah
Your Theodore is absolutely beautiful!!

I have some questions for you that will help us narrow down what is going on.

The lethargy and litter box training gone awry are both symptoms of either kidney and/ or bladder issues. This being said it can also be symptomatic of other things. You will help me determine if this is the case by answering a few questions:

Is Theodore drinking more than usual?
Most rabbits will drink about a small size water bottle a day.
Is he urinating often as well in conjunction with matching big puddles?
Is he straining to urinate at all? Watch him closely while on an outing outside the cage. Let him drink as much fluid as necessary until he pees just this once. You can add apple juice or carrot juice at one tablespoon per water bottle/ bowl of water.
Notice if Theodore is pushing down with his abdomen to urinate. Most rabbits should just lift their tails to urinate and slightly stick their butts further back. If you see him doing more than this, or, if the urinate shoots straight out instead of it puddling underneath him, then he may have kidney or bladder stones.
Has Theodore had any GI issues or incidences where he temporarily stops feeding without reason? Rabbits who are in pain will often stop eating, sometimes permanently if the source isn't identified. when rabbits do this, their little systems shut down in sometimes as little as 24 hours, especially for a little bunnies who are more sensitive to such things.

Because this has happened now twice, I wonder if there is more going on then what meets the eye. sometimes rabbits, and cats for that matter, will often choose not to use their litter box if it hurts when they pee. If it does, they sometimes associate the litter box as the culprit for their pain and they will go elsewhere trying to get relief.

Sometimes this can be as simple as a urinary tract infection, or, it can be kidney/ bladder stones and if it is advanced, sometimes kidney/ bladder disease.

Otherwise, has there been any new sources of stress in the house at all or more specifically affecting the rabbit closely or directly. Meaning, if every time I vacuum after the rabbit gets kitty litter everywhere, he might begin to associate fear of the vacuum with using the box and may try to go elsewhere to avoid it. New sources of stress in the room may also cause this, new pets especially. Rabbits who pee and poop around their cages are in fact marking their territory. This behavior is reduced, if problematic, after a spay or neuter and litter habits *should* get better if this is the stressor. New people or new things in the room may also deliver some sort of weird correlation in the rabbits mind to throw them off enough to try to go somewhere 'in peace'. Moving the cage from a previously quiet area to a noisy area would apply also.

What color is his pee and poop? Does it have any blood or mucous in it? Pink urine does not always indicate blood, but I will add a link to help you differentiate.

Let me know if any of these questions apply and maybe it will help us get down to the bottom of Theodore's bad litter habits.