Know How to treat wet tail and urine scalding in rabbits? Wet tail and hindquarters may indicate some urinary organ-related problems in rabbits. A rabbit’s wet tail and hindquarters exhibit that the bunny faces difficulty urinating. Many rabbit owners don’t understand why their rabbit’s have wet tails? This article will talk about how to treat wet tail and urine scalding in rabbits?
The wet tail of a rabbit is a sign that the rabbit is urinating on its skin that can cause urine scalding. Firstly you need to understand that urine scalding is a symptom, not a disease in itself and can be very dangerous for your rabbit. So let’s discuss what causes wet tails in rabbits, why the wet tail is so dangerous, how to clean urine scald, etc.
What is urine scalding?
Urine scald in rabbits is also known as hutch burn. This condition in rabbits develops when their urine is soaked in their furs. A healthy rabbit urinates in a particular position to prevent urinating on themselves. The poor fellow will face urinating problems when a rabbit is ill and doesn’t have energy. Urine scalding indicates that something is wrong with the rabbit. There are many reasons associated with urine scalding but remember that it’s a sign of danger, and you should consult your vet about it.
It would be best to get your rabbit to examination and see what’s wrong with your rabbit. The primary reasons responsible for urine scalding is inefficiency to move and urinary tract infection. The smell of rabbits urine is very strong, but if there’s a strong smell of ammonia in rabbits’ urine, it denotes illness and needs dietary changes. Urine scald can cause loss of fur and skin soreness in rabbits, and loss of furs will expose rabbits’ skin to infection. Your rabbit may develop flystrike that can be life-threatening for your rabbit.
What is a wet tail?
The urethra of a rabbit is located at its hindquarters; when a rabbit experiences trouble in eliminating the urine, it will sink into their fur, causing a wet tail in rabbits. The rabbit’s hind legs will also get damp along with the tail due to dribbling down urine, causing yellow stains in furs. Due to urine, the rabbit’s coat will become smelly, and a wet tail can cause redness in the skin and many other issues.
Wet tail is not a problem in itself; it’s a symptom of a bigger problem. Many rabbit owners ignore the wet tail of their rabbit and wash their bunny when they urinate. But this is not the solution; damp tail is an alarm that your rabbit has some problem in urinary organs, and ignorance can have dangerous implications. Washing your bunny is not sufficient; you should consult a vet and inform them about the time your rabbit is likely to have this problem.
What causes wet tails in Rabbits?
Plenty of reasons are responsible for rabbit’s wet tail and urine scalding; some of them are as follows:-
- Neutering complications
- Urinary tract infection
- Encephalitozoon Cuniculi
The other reason that causes urine scalding includes the unhygienic living conditions of rabbits. An untrained rabbit will always litter at random places, making the place unclean. So it is always recommended that you should litter train your bunny. Don’t forget to change the urine-stained and dirty hay. It will help if you change the hay of the rabbit’s hutch at least once a day. To prevent dirt inside the rabbit’s hutch, it would be best if you used a litter tray for your rabbit. And you should regularly clean the litter tray of your bunny.
Wild rabbits don’t get overweight because they do enough physical stimulation. Wild rabbits strive for food, shelter, and escape from predators that provide them with enough stimulation. But pet rabbits live a luxurious life; neither they have to strive for food and shelter, nor do they have the threat of predators. Obese rabbits have flaps and folds of skin that get in the way when rabbits urinate, and the dribbling urine can collect in these skin folds.
In the case of obese rabbits, they need to reduce their excess weight. Being the owner, you should regulate the diet of your bunny. To lose weight, you need to minimize the intake of pellets and veggies and increase the consumption of timothy hay. Timothy hay is low in calories, so substituting pellets and veggies with timothy hay will help regulate rabbits’ calorie intake. This calorie-deficit diet should be equipped with lots of exercises to achieve weight loss.
Injury can affect the flexibility of your rabbit, so if your rabbit has a past injury, that may be why the poor fellow cannot urinate properly. Rabbits suffering from splayed legs also struggle in urinating correctly. There is no solution for splayed legs, but if the reason is injury or pain caused by injury, the vet can help you with this problem. If your rabbit has paralysis or loss of motor function, you should consider bandaging the leg because constant urine scalding at the same place can be very painful and invite a lot of diseases.
By wrapping the bandage around the skin, you will protect the rabbit’s skin from getting in contact with urine. However, you have to be very careful about hygiene while using a bandage. Not changing bandages for a long time can cause many health problems and skin-related diseases.
Rabbits urinate in a particular position to avoid wet tails so that their urine sprays back away from their tails. Rabbits suffering from arthritis don’t have body flexibility, which is why they cannot spread their legs out to prevent wet tails. The best solution to this problem is a hind legs message that will help lose the muscles, thus making the joint and muscle movement easier.
With the help of the message, rabbits will be able to stretch their legs apart and urinate correctly. And for relieving your bunny from pain and discomfort caused by arthritis, you should consult your vet and stick to the prescription. Direct contact of urine on the skin will lead to scalding, but if they can stretch their legs out of urine’s way, it will prevent scalding.
Neutering a male rabbit should be done very carefully as it is a very delicate process. In some cases, the urethra of a neutered rabbit becomes exceptionally tight similar to a small tube. Due to neutering complications, the size of a rabbit’s urethra constricts to size of an eye of a needle.
Neutering complications leads to difficulty in urination, due to which the urine dribbles slowly instead of a stream. The urine trickles down the hind legs of a bunny, and Neutering complications may also cause swollen genitals of rabbits. Your rabbit’s vet can quickly help you by stretching your rabbits’ urethral opening.
Urinary tract infection
If your bunny has pain and discomfort while urinating, it means that your rabbit has crystals in its urethra. And because of the crystals, the urine will dribble and seep out and roll down. Middle-aged bunnies are more prone to urinary tract infections, and if your bunny is stressed, you should calm bunny.
Provide a balanced diet to your bunny and keep their living area hygienic by cleaning their hutch regularly. Monitor and regulate your rabbit’s diet as UTIs is caused by excessive calcium consumption by the rabbit.
- Symptoms of Urinary tract infection include: –
- Blood in urine
- Constant and small urination outside the litter tray
- Pain and discomfort while urinating
- Discoloured urine
- Brown urine
If your bunny has urine scalding and wet tails, then you should observe and look for the above-given symptoms. Urinary tract infection can be painful and traumatizing for your rabbit, so you should consult the vet and get along with the prescribed treatment.
Your rabbit can get infected with E. Cuniculi by inhaling or licking the spores of this parasite. E. Cuniculi is a parasite found in rabbits that can lead to complications around the brain and spine. Reactions of E. Cuniculi are severe and life-threatening, and only 6% of rabbits can react to this parasite. The parasite may lead to a condition of paralysis where your rabbit won’t be able to feel the legs.
If your rabbit is suffering from E. Cuniculi, the poor fellow will drag the legs and won’t be able to urinate in the correct position. You should consult your rabbit’s vet; she may prescribe you some anti-inflammatory and steroids depending on the rabbit’s situation. Untreated E. Cuniculi can lead to a significant loss for your rabbit.
Signs and symptoms of the wet tail in Rabbits
The rabbit’s tail should never be wet. Wet tails are not a usual or healthy condition for your rabbit. There are many signs of the wet tail in rabbits; some of them include: –
- Appetite loss
- Redness on skin
- Urine stains on the rabbit’s hind legs
- Bald patches and loss of fur around rabbit’s back legs.
- Whimpering, squealing and other vocalizations of pain while urinating
- Open wounds down rear the legs
- A strong smell of ammonia in your rabbit’s urine
In case you notice any of the symptoms in your rabbit, you need to take immediate action and consult to vet. It would help to inform the symptoms and duration your rabbit is likely to have those symptoms. Never try any remedy or treatment for removing urine scalds without getting approval from your vet.
How to treat wet tails in Rabbits?
Firstly you need to find the underlying cause behind your rabbits’ wet tail. For getting the cause of wet tails in your rabbits, you should consult your vet and move ahead with the treatment prescribed by the vet. The vet may suggest some tests to find the root cause of urine scalding in your rabbit.
The vet may prescribe some antibiotics or other medication depending on the reason for the disease. The test report will determine the further treatment and medication given to your bunny so stick to the prescription given by the vet.
If the cause of urine scalding is urinary tract infection and obesity, you need to make considerable changes in your rabbit’s diet. Try to substitute pellets with timothy hay and increase the fibrous content in your rabbit’s diet to improve digestion and bladder control. In case of obesity, you should put your rabbit on a calorie-deficit diet. You will be able to tackle the problem of urine scalding by making small changes in your rabbit’s lifestyle.
Homecare for wet tails in Rabbits
If your rabbit has sore skin or redness, it would be best to ask for some medicine from your vet to relieve your rabbit. Every rabbit shows different symptoms and needs different medication, so never try any medicine or ointment on your bunny without the vet’s approval. The vet will prescribe you some medicine to heal your rabbit’s skin and prevent further infection.
However, it’s a temporary relief; for a permanent solution of wet tails and urine scalding, you need to find the root cause of the problem. Try to keep your bunny living area hygienic and infection-free. Check whether your rabbit’s hutch is according to the size of your bunny because rabbits may get exposed to their urine in a small hutch.
If your rabbits’ hutch is small in size, you should consider getting a big hutch for your rabbit. Place a litter tray inside your bunny’s hutch. It would be best if you litter train your rabbit. Make some dietary changes after consulting to vet.
What will be the effects if you ignore urine scalds?
Certain situations will make you helpless. In case of paralysis or splayed legs, you cannot help your rabbit. If your rabbit is suffering from paralysis, then all you can do to help your rabbit is adopt some lifestyle changes to prevent or lessen the effect of wet tails. Wet tails and urine scald is not a problem in itself; it’s an alarm of some more significant issue in your rabbit.
Cleaning urine scalds or washing your rabbit’s wet tail will not work; you need to consult your vet and find the underlying cause. The wet tail of rabbits is a symptom of some bigger problem in rabbits’ urinary organs, and ignorance can worsen the situation. Constant urine scald can lead to soreness, loss of furs, skin infection and many more problems. Ignorance of urine scald can develop flystrike that can be life-threatening for your rabbit. So one should never ignore the issue of urine scald in their pet.
What causes flystrike, and what are the effects of flystrike?
Flystrike means that your rabbit is eaten alive inside out. The strong scent of urine and faeces coming from the furs of your rabbit causes flystrike to roam around your rabbit, which leads to flystrike. The only way to prevent flystrike is to ensure cleanliness around your rabbit. You should clean your rabbit’s hutch regularly and ensure that it’s infection-free.
Constant urine scalding will also lead to open sores in the skin. The flies lay eggs on those open sores of skin. Within some time, the fly eggs will hatch as maggots. Maggots rely on dead flesh for survival, so firstly, they will start eating the necrotic skin, and within some time, the maggots will attack healthy skin.
How to prevent flystrike and what to do if your rabbit has flystrike?
If your rabbit has open sores, the poor fellow is prone to flystrike. Keep your rabbit’s hutch flies free, and in case if you notice any flies around your rabbit’s hutch, then you should immediately clean your bunny’s hutch. Disinfect your rabbit’s hutch immediately and inspect your rabbit’s skin.
If you find flystrike in rabbit’s skin, take the poor fellow to the vet as washing rabbit’s skin will not help in such circumstances. The maggots on the open sores of skin are best removed with the help of tweezers by an experienced vet. After removing the maggots, the rabbit will require cleaning the rabbit’s wounds, and then the vet will bandage them. Once the procedure is complete, you can take your rabbit home. The only thing you need to be careful about is hygiene around rabbits and the vet’s prescription.
How to prevent wet tails in Rabbits?
It’s hard to prevent wet tails, and urine scalds in rabbits as they are symptoms of another disease. But all you can do is take precautions to avoid urine scald or flystrike. To prevent wet tails and urine scald in your rabbit, you need to develop some good habits in your rabbit, and they are as follows: –
Litter train your Rabbit
If you want to ensure cleanliness in your rabbit’s hutch and don’t want a dirty mess around the house, then you should definitely litter train your rabbit. By litter training your rabbit, you will eliminate the urine and faeces of rabbits in one place, and this way, your rabbit will not develop urine scalds.
Get a litter tray for your rabbit and teach him that it’s the correct place for urinating and defecating. A litter tray will also reduce your cleanliness work and help keep the hutch clean.
Keeping your bunny groomed will help in preventing urine scalds and wet tails. If you constantly groom your rabbit this way, you will be able to detect the early signs of wet tails and urine scald and prevent flystrike. Rabbits are excellent groomers and can clean themselves by self-grooming, but they always need assistance, and grooming is the bonding time between you and the rabbit.
Keeping the surrounding of your Rabbit clean
Keeping the rabbit’s hutch and surrounding clean can ensure that your rabbit doesn’t get exposed to clean areas. Ensure to keep your rabbits living space disinfected and clean to keep your rabbit healthy and prevent urine scalds. The least your rabbit will contact with its urine and faeces least are the chances of getting urine scalds and flystrike.
Hutch according to the size of your Rabbit
Rabbits grow very fast, so you should check whether your rabbit’s hutch is according to its size and requirement. Living in a small hutch increases the chances of a wet tail. So if your bunny’s hutch is small, then it’s time to upgrade the hutch of the little fellow.
Comfortable bedding for bunny
Create soft and comfortable bedding in your rabbit’s hutch. Many rabbits prefer sleeping in their litter tray as it is very soft, and sleeping on a litter tray makes the bunny more prone to urine scalding and wet tail.
A healthy and balanced diet with physical stimulation
To prevent urine scald and wet tails, prefer giving your rabbit a balanced and healthy diet. A balanced diet should ensure that nothing is extra in the rabbit’s diet. Excessive calcium can lead to crystals in the urine, so regulating and giving a balanced diet is very important for the well being of your rabbits’ urinary organs.
Many rabbits suffer from wet tails due to obesity. So to keep your bunny healthy and prevent obesity, you should provide enough physical stimulation to your rabbit. If your rabbit is obese, keeping your rabbit on a calorie-deficit diet and exercises is essential.
Observe your bunny keenly
It would be best if you closely observe your rabbit’s habits and behavioural changes in your rabbit. Spend more time with your rabbit and scrutinize your rabbit while grooming. If you notice something unusual, you should consult the vet and inform them about the symptoms.
Regular vet check-ups and consultations
You should do a full-body check-up of your rabbit at least once a year. If you ever feel anything unusual and fishy in rabbits’ behaviour, consult the vet and never use a remedy or medicine without getting your vet’s approval.
Urine scalding and wet tail of rabbits is not a big problem, but ignorance can make it fatal for your rabbit. Rabbits need a lot of grooming, and if you sense the strong smell of ammonia in them, it exhibits that you are not grooming them properly or need more grooming. The wet tail of a rabbit is a symptom of a big disease, so further ignorance of the sign can even lead to the death of the bunny. Never ignore a rabbit’s wet trail, as it can be an early alarm of some big disease.
How to treat wet tail and urine scalding in Rabbits?
There are mainly two ways of cleaning urine scalds from your rabbit’s body. you can clean the urine scalds either by dry method or bathing method; we will discuss both the methods one by one: –
Before using any of the given methods on your rabbit, kindly consult your rabbit’s vet and only use them on your rabbit once the vet approves them.
- Firstly calm your rabbit and make sure that your rabbit is comfortable with you.
- Now take some dry cornstarch and gently rub it on the damp legs of your rabbit. Remember that your rabbit may have sore or red skin, so try to be as gentle as possible.
- Urine scald is very irritating and painful for rabbits, so your bunny will try to resist and protest against your touch.
- Try to make your bunny calm and make them comfortable until the cornstarch sinks into their fur.
- After a couple of minutes, brush and groom your rabbit when the cornstarch will absorb the dampness.
Some urine scalds are very stubborn and don’t remove by the dry method, so for that, you need to bathe your rabbit. Rabbits don’t like bathing, and bathing more than once a week can panic them.
- Fill a tub, sink or basin with three inches of lukewarm water. Rabbits have delicate skin and can burn quickly, ensuring that the water is not so hot.
- Take a rabbit shampoo that matches the Ph level of their body.
- Carefully and gently hold your rabbit and support its hindquarters.
- Expose them to water gently, and remember that don’t place your bunny lower than your hind legs in the water.
- Take some shampoo into the scaled furs of rabbits and wash it off. Do not massage the furs as they can be painful due to sore and red skin.
- Empty the process and refill it.
- Wash your bunny with clean lukewarm water. Once the scalds are clean, take the rabbit out and dry the bunny.
- Measure your rabbit’s body temperature; if it’s between 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, the rabbit is okay. If your rabbit is cold, give some additional heat.
Remember that urine scald is just a symptom, so get into the root cause of the problem; you need to consult the vet. Ignorance can make the situation worse.
Words of caution
I want to give you a piece of advice, that you should never trust any internet remedy or should not give any random medicine (you see on youtube or the internet) to your bunny. Every medicine has complications, so it would be best to consult your vet before using any ointment or giving medicine to your rabbit. Many medicines can have severe side effects, or if your rabbit is already on some other medication, the two medicines may react. So it’s always safe to consult the vet before using something on your rabbit.
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