Why Do Rabbits Have Red Eyes? (Causes + Treatment)

Red eyes in rabbits are not that common. There are different conditions for this unusual eye condition. While some conditions are natural, others are harmful. Red eyes in rabbits are often a result of some medical condition. Find all the information here.

Why do rabbits have red eyes?

Rabbits can have red eyes due to different factors-


Albinism can cause rabbits to develop red eyes. It is often inherited. Albinism causes nutrition in the C locus of the gene, which produces Tyrosinase. This enzyme helps in melanin production. Due to the absence of Tyrosinase, the albino rabbits do not have any melanin. Hence, their eyes do not have any color. Instead, they reflect the color of the blood vessels of its eyes, resulting in red eyes.

Such red eyes are natural and not harmful at all. So, if you have a rabbit with bleached white fur and red eyes, most likely, it is albino. In such cases, no medical attention is needed. They will live just fine.

The following cases of red eyes are harmful to a rabbit. A lot of diseases can cause red eyes in them-

1. Conjunctivitis

Rabbits can also develop red eyes due to conjunctivitis. It will turn red if the conjunctive rabbit is inflamed due to trauma or infection from bacteria or viruses.

2. Dacryocystitis

Dacryocystitis is an infection of the lacrimal sac. It causes the eyes of a rabbit to run red. The lacrimal sac can be infected due to an underlying dental infection. Often dental disease also causes swelling in the eyes and ocular discharges or discharges from the eyes.

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a common cause of red eyes in rabbits. Their eyes can get damaged by irregular intraocular pressure and may turn blood red with a cloudy white cornea. Glaucoma needs immediate attention. It can lead to blindness if the condition is not treated.

4. Corneal ulcer

Rabbits may develop corneal ulcers due to an open sore in the cornea. Since rabbits have sensitive eyes, corneal sores and resulting ulcers are common in them. It can cause frequent red eyes.

5. Keratitis

Injuries or injury-related trauma can cause inflammation in the cornea of a rabbit. It is called keratitis. As a result, a rabbit can develop red eyes.

What symptoms do you need to watch out for?

Rabbits can have normal red eyes if they are albino. But, not all rabbits will have harmless red eyes. Red eyes can be fatal for regular rabbits. Hence, you need to look for the following symptoms-

  • The eyelids are swollen and look droopy.
  • Rabbits have ocular discharge or discharge from their eyes and nose.
  • They are having respiratory tract infections and heavy breathing.
  • Your rabbit looks lethargic and depressed and has lost its appetite.
  • The furs near the eyes and nasal area are coming off.
  • Rabbits have tear stains on their eyes.

Final Words

In general, red eyes are inherited traits in albino rabbits. Bit, rabbits can also develop red eyes due to multiple infections and diseases.

In such cases, you need to visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. The doctor will prescribe topical medicines or even hospitalization according to the pet’s condition. Rabbits can recover from red eyes with proper care and medical attention.

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