Drinking and also urinating an ext than normal is medically dubbed polydipsia (poly = many; dipsia = drinking) and also polyuria (poly = many; uria = urine). Thirst and also urine manufacturing are a vulnerable balance regulated by interactions in between the mind and the kidneys. Enhanced urination stimulates thirst, as the body’s as whole hydration decreases and stimulates thirst mechanisms in the brain. Periodically the opposite deserve to be true as soon as excess thirst triggers urination, as can be checked out with conditions like diabetes once the human body tries to dilute toxins by drinking much more and the diluted blood then stimulates boosted urination.

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What are the clinical signs?

A rabbit through polyuria and polydipsia will have increased water intake and increased pee output.

The water key might end up being empty more frequently and there might be much more instances of to pee production; the pee might show up lighter in colour and less concentrated, or the rabbit might be partially incontinent.

On median rabbits will certainly drink 50-150 ml/kg/day, therefore a big 5 kg hare will generally drink as much as 750 ml each day, so anything end that might be abnormal. Similarly, common urine production is about 120-130 ml/kg/day, so a large 5 kg rabbit will urinate as much as 650 ml every day, for this reason anything end that might be abnormal.


What causes polyuria/polydipsia?

The causes of polyuria and polydipsia deserve to vary, however can include:

Diabetes or insulinoma (a tumour that the pancreas)Renal (kidney) diseaseHepatic (liver) diseaseDrugs, big quantities of salt chlorideBehavioural problems

Other problems like dehydration can stimulate thirst, yet if the hare is dehydrated it will generally have lessened urine production. Similarly, rabbits deserve to have incontinence from things such as bladder stones or bacter infections, or it could spray in territorial/behavioural display, yet this doesn’t necessarily typical the hare is producing more urine.

Psychogenic polydipsia may cause polyuria. The problem may be behavioural or as result of a physics problem and also can only be understood a reason of polydipsia and polyuria once other reasons have to be ruled out.

Rabbits with dental an illness may try to fill themselves increase on water, if eating is as well painful; the rabbit will certainly drink excessively in an attempt to feeling full, which subsequently will lead to increased urination. These rabbits will shed weight, condition and also appear miserable.

Bored, lonely or stressed rabbits may take comfort in drinking, specifically from water bottles, together rabbits often like come ‘play’ with the ball-bearing in the tip of the bottle, resulting in polydipsia and polyuria.


As there are countless different reasons for polyuria and also polydipsia, your vet will must thoroughly advice the clinical signs and carry out some diagnostic tests to narrow down the root of the problem.

Blood tests and urinalysis space the most common and also will evaluate kidney function, liver role and the visibility of overfill blood glucose, together is generally seen in diabetes. This can usually be done conveniently with a day stay in hospital and results are usually earlier within a couple of days if samples are sent out to an external laboratory.

If bladder/kidney stones room suspected, radiographs or ultrasonography might additionally be required. This usually needs sedation and also a day remain in hospital.


Treatment the polyuria and polydipsia depends on the cause.

For diabetes, it is crucial to law the underlying cause which may encompass weight loss.

For bladder stones, surgery and also a change of diet might be needed.

For kidney and liver disease, the rabbit might need to be admitted to hospital for fluid therapy and supportive care and also further investigations to identify if the condition is reversible.

The living setting of rabbits suffering from psychogenic polydipsia and polyuria will require a thoroughly review, a physics examination should additionally be carry out to determine the cause and best course of treatment.

Each difficulty will have to be addressed individually.


To aid prevent the incidence of disease that deserve to lead to polyuria and also polydipsia, ensure the the hare is happy and also healthy. The atmosphere should it is in safe, secure and also non-stressful. Ensure the housing offers shelter too as room where the rabbit can exercise and also exhibit common behaviour.

The rabbit’s water bowl must be large enough to administer at the very least the everyday water requirement, and water should constantly be clean and fresh.

Food have to be suitable and not contribute to excessive weight or bladder/kidney stones.

Provide environmental enrichment, together as areas to hide, nesting material, toys to beat with, timber for chewing, herbs come browse and also soil to dig in.

Prevent overcrowded real estate that can be stressful and also promote unnecessary spread of disease. This includes reducing the likelihood of territorial aggression by staying clear of housing the hare in close soldier with various other that are un-neutered or of the same sex.

Ensure prevention of condition by having your rabbit seen at the very least once a year by your vet because that an all over check-up and dental examination.

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Provide quick treatment of condition by consulting your vet at the very first sign of any kind of abnormal indicators such as lack of appetite, alters in drinking or urination, alters in task level, hair loss, scratching, excessive grooming, drooling, this grinding, changes in hair coat, faecal soiling, flystrike, limping, among others.