Help RE toilet habits/regression

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Reh

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I am having some trouble these last two weeks! Alfie boy has decided that his litter box isn’t the only place he wants to pee within his hutch and is constantly soaking the surrounding newspaper. He hasn’t stopped using his litter box (I suspect only because the hay is there) and it’s just become exhausting to have replace everything so often and clean it only for him to pee on it an hour or so later!

Is this normal for this age? He’s just shy off four months!

Sidenote, as an added query.. I’ve also noticed him drinking waaaaaaaaaaaay more water (a very noticeable amount) without any diet changes ect.

Any info/advice would be helpful!
 

John Wick

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Two things come to my mind, but other explanations can definitely exist:

1. 4 months is really hitting the puberty stage for rabbits, where you can see hormonal behaviors take flight, like marking one's territory. It is not uncommon for hormonal rabbits to be bad at poop/pee-litterbox habits. This may be a natural consequence of that. Rabbits feel secure in places that smell like them, so while it's frustrating for us owners, it is a natural behavior for rabbits, especially hormonal ones.

2. Increased water intake is going to lead to more urination. If there are no changes in diet, it may be that there is mouth discomfort that your rabbit is trying to soothe via drinking water. As a result, he is peeing more often and potentially uncontrollably. I recall in a previous topic you mention that you worried your rabbit isn't eating enough hay (?) and you also feed him veggies. It's possible that his molars have developed some spurs that are causing him discomfort, since he is not eating enough hay to maintain them. This ultimately needs to come from a vet assessment, though if he is still eating hay as normal, that is a positive sign.
 

JBun

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The peeing, probably hormonal marking like John Wick mentioned. So best way to clear that is getting him neutered asap. But be aware that even though neutering usually helps clear up urine marking, in some instances it may not.

There are things you may be able to do in the meantime like if he is picking specific spots to pee outside the litter box, then put other litter boxes in those spots. You can also cover the floor of the hutch with a smooth surface like a cut of lino/vinyl. Most rabbits don't like peeing on hard surfaces as it will get on their feet. Another option is filling the whole living space with litter boxes, or litter over a water proof flooring, until neutered, then gradually pulling them away one at a time as his litter habits improve.

Then there are also possible health explanations for both problems, such as dental issues like mentioned Kidney issues can cause this, but that would be very unexpected in a rabbit so young. If your rabbit has a UTI, this or dental issues, would be the most likely health problems to cause these symptoms and explain the excessive thirst and incontinence/peeing accidents.

Medirabbit: dental issues



You have a rabbit clinic there, or you can check the other link for a listing of other rabbit vets near you.


 

Reh

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Two things come to my mind, but other explanations can definitely exist:

1. 4 months is really hitting the puberty stage for rabbits, where you can see hormonal behaviors take flight, like marking one's territory. It is not uncommon for hormonal rabbits to be bad at poop/pee-litterbox habits. This may be a natural consequence of that. Rabbits feel secure in places that smell like them, so while it's frustrating for us owners, it is a natural behavior for rabbits, especially hormonal ones.

2. Increased water intake is going to lead to more urination. If there are no changes in diet, it may be that there is mouth discomfort that your rabbit is trying to soothe via drinking water. As a result, he is peeing more often and potentially uncontrollably. I recall in a previous topic you mention that you worried your rabbit isn't eating enough hay (?) and you also feed him veggies. It's possible that his molars have developed some spurs that are causing him discomfort, since he is not eating enough hay to maintain them. This ultimately needs to come from a vet assessment, though if he is still eating hay as normal, that is a positive sign.
To be honest, in relation to the hay, it’s hard to know, he has hours of access to our secured yard for most of the day that he loves and eats at the grass for the most part. So he’s only eating hay when he’s had enough outdoor play and/or when he’s secured at night.

I put most down to hormones given his age, I can’t imagine him having any health concerns and surely his teeth can’t be that overgrown already that iys causing havoc right?

He is a grass/hay and strict dark green veggies diet with capsicum thrown in there sometimes and his treats are generally a carrot the size of a let’s say tea light candle.

The water intake has stunned me because prior too I felt he wasn’t drinking enough water and now I’m refilling the bowl once in the morning and once at night with it essentially being empty by morning.

I am a first time bunny mum so I don’t know if I am overreacting or not either.


The peeing, probably hormonal marking like John Wick mentioned. So best way to clear that is getting him neutered asap. But be aware that even though neutering usually helps clear up urine marking, in some instances it may not.

There are things you may be able to do in the meantime like if he is picking specific spots to pee outside the litter box, then put other litter boxes in those spots. You can also cover the floor of the hutch with a smooth surface like a cut of lino/vinyl. Most rabbits don't like peeing on hard surfaces as it will get on their feet. Another option is filling the whole living space with litter boxes, or litter over a water proof flooring, until neutered, then gradually pulling them away one at a time as his litter habits improve.

Then there are also possible health explanations for both problems, such as dental issues like mentioned Kidney issues can cause this, but that would be very unexpected in a rabbit so young. If your rabbit has a UTI, this or dental issues, would be the most likely health problems to cause these symptoms and explain the excessive thirst and incontinence/peeing accidents.

Medirabbit: dental issues



You have a rabbit clinic there, or you can check the other link for a listing of other rabbit vets near you.


.

Yeah for now I have removed part of the flooring to limit where he is peeing and so that I am not changing his flooring so often but I also kind of liked it there to monitor how much he is peeing (the water intake is explaining this extra amount I am noticing).

I haven’t noticed anything strange in his urine. Its the same colour as always and no strange texture or smell ect.

He is still eating and running around for the most part as normal, but he does seem more “annoyed” and “moody” than normal, but I am assuming this is the typical teenage behaviour expected from a bunny.

I will see how it plays out I guess! Thank you for the links!
 

John Wick

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It doesn't sound like your rabbit is in imminent risk, so I think continuing to monitor is fine.

Re: teeth concerns, rabbit teeth constantly grow, like human finger nails, so it is possible to have dental concerns starting at a relatively young age unfortunately. Not saying this is what your rabbit has, but just an FYI!
 

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