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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.
Hi there! I’m hoping I can get some litter box help with one of my rabbits named Pano. He’s 9 months old and he has been neutered since June. He’s completely bonded to two other rabbits I have. My problem is that he still has accidents nearly everyday. My rabbits live in a big hutch inside during the day while I’m at work. But they have free range of my house when I’m home. He’s nearly perfect during play time and doesn’t really pee outside of his hutch. But when he’s in his hutch he pees right outside of his litter box. I don’t think the walls of the litter box aren’t too high. He hops over them pretty easily. He doesn’t pee there every time he needs to go. Just enough times in a day where it’s getting really annoying to clean up after him.
I clean his accidents with a 50/50 vinegar water solution. I put their hay in a feeder next to the litter box. I also try to wipe up the accidents with a paper towel and put it in the litter box as soon as I can. But I usually don’t see the accidents until I get home from work or in the morning after I wake up. I feel bad for my other rabbits because their paws are getting wet with his pee. They’re probably confused why he keeps peeing outside of the litterbox… :/
Is he just still too young? Or do you think he might have a urinary infection? Any other tips on what I can do?
Thanks in advanced!
I’d get him tested for a urinary infection or EC. I say EC as a disclaimer any time I see someone with this problem because Bombur had similar issues and it turned out to be EC. When he has a flare up he frequently *misses* the box and he’ll often dribble urine everywhere. So if a urinary infection isn’t the cause I’d have your vet test for EC to be safe. IS he drinking a lot?
He does drink a fair amount of water. What is EC? And can it be treated?
EC is E Cuniculi. It can be treated but never cured. It’s a parasite that can infect various systems within a bunny from the brain, stomach, kidneys, and heart. A bunny is usually exposed via the mom at birth if she has it, and a lot of buns are asymptomatic. A bunny that has an active infection could have one flare up or several over the course of their lives. I also highly recommend having your vet pre-treat with Panacur or Oxibendazole for it as the test is expensive and it can yield a false negative. A positive test result usually shows up if the bunny has a very high tier count for the disease.
A&B brings up a good framework of considering whether it is a learning problem or a medical problem. I believe this is valuable.
To speak to the other side, it could be a learning problem. I absolutely adore my Wick, but as much as I do, I will not lie and say he is litter box adherent. I clean up pee accidents daily, and its been a learning process of “why did he pee there” and then “what can I do to make sure it doesn’t happen”? This has led to movement of litter boxes, changing litter box height, adjusting when I clean/how often I clean litter boxes, and what sort of initiatives I may take (i.e. I know he’s about to pee so I just bring him to a litter box before it happens). I’ve read that majority of rabbits pick up litter box training well and will good adherence. I do speak for the minority where it just doesn’t click. Wick knows my preference, and little by little I try to bend him more towards it more often. Patience and persistence.
Sorry BunnyElvis — I accidentally deleted both your responses instead of the one duplicate.
To answer your question “How old is Wick”, Wick is 2 years old. He was neutered when he was 8 months old.
Thanks for the advice! I’m going get a vet check to rule out any medical issues.
He may just be stubborn. Magpie was at first. I put the hay feeder over the litter box and extra hay inside it. When she missed with pee I used a paper towel and soaked it up, then put it in the box. I used Nature’s Miracle door remover to block the smell so she wouldn’t pee there again. For poops: I don’t mind some poops outside the box, but I scoop them all into the litter box in the morning and night. (She does 90% of the poops in the box though.)
Also how big is the box?
Hers is a shoebox actually (plastic) which is 9×12 inches and 6 inches high.
I found out my bunny Bentley hates the feeling of horse pellets and to make it feel more comfortable I put a lot of hay on top. my bunny is only 4 months old and not yet neutered so he’s not 100% litter trained yet. I also found out that even though he can jump 14 inches no problem he can’t seem to jump into the litter box thats only about 9 inches so I had to cut the front to be about 3-4 inches before he was willing to go in. before we cut it he would pee just out side of the litter box or some some other random corner. he also never ate from the hay rack we had for him. he prefers to eat it off the ground so we stuffed a paper toilet roll with hay for the night when he’s in his cage and during the day he free roams the whole room so we just have a hay pile on a hay mat.
So I ended up going to the vet and they ruled out bladder stones, sludge or GI stasis. For now, I decided to not get bloodwork done, so they weren’t able to out EC. But they thought it was highly unlikely he had EC since he was young and wasn’t showing any typical symptoms like head tilt. They also don’t think it’s a urinary tract infection since it’s super rare in male rabbits. They thought the likely reason he’s having accidents is that he’s being out-competed for resources. All three of my rabbits share one litter box that’s pretty big. Even though the litter box fits all of them, since he’s younger and smaller (and lowest in the pecking order), the vet thinks he’s being pushed out of the litterbox thus making accidents once in a while.
I separated him into a different cage during the day with his own litter box and he seems to be using it without accidents so far. So I think the vet might be right. The vet suggested adding more litter boxes.
Hopefully, this thread can help someone else with similar issues. I’ll post if there are any more updates.
Did they do any tests at all? If not, they don’t sounds like a great vet to be honest. .I’m also shocked they didn’t give you antibotics to treat for a UTI to be safe. If he has something and is not being treated, it can cause him pain. A bunny with EC doesn’t have to show typical signs. Bombur’s only sign was urinary symptoms, and I’m glad my vet thought to check rather than just let him suffer and say its because the box he shares with Asriel wasn’t enough. Even if it is competition for resources, I still think its irresponsible of your vet not do to any tests or even give you something to treat to see if it helps
They wanted to do blood and urine tests, but I opted not to. After doing the xrays and the exam my vet bill was already up to $700. To do more bloodwork would cost $275 more and a urine test would be $250. I just simply don’t have the money to do any more tests. Anyways, I brought up how tests for EC can often come up as false positives and was interested in treating him with antibiotics and panacur for safe measure. But my vet said that a possible side effect to panacur treatment is irreversible bone marrow suppression. So she doesn’t want to do the treatment unless she finds reason to believe he’s infected with EC. And if he did test positive for EC, they would want to monitor his bloodwork after the panacur treatment. She insists that this is probably a behavioral issue since he’s still relatively young.
What do you think? Should I get a second opinion? Anyone else have experience with Panacur treatment for urinary problems? Side effects?
As I said previously, yes, I have. Bombur is on Oxibendazole frequently which is much stronger than Panacur. And he’s only on it for urinary symptoms. The only side effect is he gets a bit sluggish if his white blood cell levels decrease. We have his blood tested prior to treatment, halfway through treatment, and again at the end of treatment in case he needs a second round. The drug causes both bone marrow and white blood suppression, and as long as we stop treatment when the blood work comes back with that, then we’ve never had a problem.
To be honest, that’s really high for a vet visit, and yes I definitely think you should get a second opinion. Whether or not he has a UTI or EC or whatever else. With bunnies its a very need to know thing because illnesses affect them a lot differently than other animals. When I had Bombur tested for EC the overall vet visit was $350. We took the EC test and started treatment on antibiotics while we waited for the results. I’m not saying he has one or the other, but I 100% think it’s worth a second opinion. I am a big proponent for testing for EC because Bombur did end up having it (with only urinary symptoms of peeing outside the litter box), and having been on 4 rounds of it since February, it has made a difference. He has chronic EC, so he’ll always be showing symptoms, but I can’t imagine how much worse he would’ve gotten if he hadn’t been diagnosed.
I agree with that is said above. I do want to add that buns become very expensive with a sickness, even minor so I would suggest you looking into pet insurance if you don’t have the regular financial means available to you to spend on vet visits. And the insurance should be bought before any diagnosis are confirmed or they won’t cover you.
I’m gobsmacked at the price you had to pay! Definitely look into getting insurance for them.
I just wanted to comment on your vet’s opinion regarding your bun being pushed out – bonded bunnies can be territorial over litter boxes but not to the extent that they’ll push or bully their mate out of the litter box. I don’t know whether you mean he literally gets pushed out because the other two are bigger and he isn’t big enough to stay put or whether you mean they bully him out? Can you clarify? If he’s being bullied away from the box, that’s something I would work on.
Wick… I hear you and am with you! My gal is genuinely great with her litter box habits. Of course, give her a fresh area of the home that she has not been given daily access to and her unfixed hormones will take lead and she will mark her territory… that’s not her fault… That being said, the areas of her cage (xl dog crate, fleece lined with her litter box and hide house, are a daily mess of where and why has she peed there?!?!? What’s getting me these days is that she is hiking her little tail up to the corner of the dang crate and that now means a pee puddle I have to clean outside the crate that she made from inside it??? Overall, though, she knows to go in her box, and it’s definitely not a dribble issue… I catch her hiking that tail up back onto that corner… and I run rt to stop her! Some buns have a little Sass with their class!
Wow! Find another vet! My exam bill with x-rays was 185. I also disagree with the pecking order theory. I do believe that adding litter boxes will help, but not because of a “pecking order” and rabbits “pushing” eachother out. I think it is as simple as this… Bunny # 1 hops into the litter box because he doesn’t mind seeing in close quarters… bunny #2 hops out because he wants more space to pee. I think your vets analogy applies to dogs not rabbits. That being said… My bunny Guin has poor litter box habits. If I don’t put the hay and pellets far enough from the edge, her big butt hangs over the edge and she pees over the edge. If she has 1 litter box, she pees everywhere. With 3 litter boxes, she only does better.
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