Have you ever noticed that your rabbit has yellow paws?
There is usually no reason to worry. However, there may be causes behind it, which you should definitely treat.
In this article we will tell you why your rabbit has yellow paws from time to time and also give you some proven tips on how to get rid of these yellow paws and especially how to avoid them in the future.
Let’s get started right away!
What are the causes behind yellow paws?
The causes that cause yellow paws can be quite different.
It may be that the enclosure flooring is simply staining a little: Since bedding is naturally yellow, your rabbit may get a little color from it. However, this should not be the rule.
However, rust may also form in certain areas of the cage, turning your pet’s paws yellow when touched.
Pollen can also cause your rabbit’s fur and paws to have a yellow tint.
In addition, it is not uncommon for light-colored rabbits to develop a few cream-colored markings over the course of their lives that, at first glance, look like dirt in their fur.
So, it’s possible that your rabbit’s fur has simply developed a different hue on its paws.
In some cases, however, the discoloration can be caused by urine.
Of course, your rabbit won’t pee on itself on purpose, but under certain circumstances it can happen. Young animals in particular tend to sit in place for a while after peeing.
In these situations, urine may soak into the animal’s fur.
Your rabbit may also not be able to keep itself sufficiently clean.
Rabbits with particularly long fur (e.g. Angora rabbits) are at a great disadvantage here compared to their short-haired counterparts.
Under certain circumstances, these urine stains can also be a symptom of various diseases.
But more about that later.
In the next section, we will first address the question of whether yellow paws are a cause for concern.
Is there cause for concern if my rabbit has yellow paws?
That depends entirely on what is causing the yellow paws in your rabbit.
Also, the frequency of occurrence plays a big role.
If the phenomenon of yellow paws occurs only once or every few months, you usually do not have to worry about it.
However, it can be more problematic if the yellow paws occur almost permanently and the cause cannot be explained by the natural coat color.
There are a number of diseases whose symptoms can be yellow paws. All these diseases have one thing in common:
The yellow paws are caused by urine.
The following causes, among others, can cause your rabbit to literally wet its fur from time to time:
A bladder infection is an extremely unpleasant thing.
Not only because your rabbit constantly feels a strong urge to urinate, but also because the inflammation may cause the animal great pain.
Especially rabbits between 3 and 5 years of age are prone to urinary tract infections. In the course of a bladder infection, the constant uncontrolled discharge of urine can lead to so-called urine scalding.
This is the technical term for urine that has dried up between the hind legs and can cause sores there.
- bladder weakness
It is also not uncommon for uncontrolled urine leakage to occur with bladder weakness.
In many cases, your rabbit does not even realize that it is losing urine and therefore does not clean itself up.
By the way, bladder weakness and cystitis are often related – because if you suffer from bladder weakness, you are much more susceptible to cystitis!
- rank fights
Yes, also among rabbits it can come from time to time to smaller and larger disputes, when it comes to clarify the fronts.
Especially when there are several male rabbits that do not have enough space in the enclosure to get out of each other’s way, it can happen that the higher-ranking animal pees on the lower-ranking animal.
- unfavorable conditions
Does your rabbit even have the opportunity to keep its fur clean while peeing?
An unsuitable substrate may mean that your rabbit has no choice but to pee on itself.
Therefore, make sure that the substrate allows for clean and hygienic peeing.
- fly eggs
The smell of dried urine can attract some species of flies and entice them to lay their eggs on your rabbit!
A disgusting notion – or is it?
So be sure to check your pet’s fur regularly and remove any uninvited guests as soon as possible!
Treatment options for yellow paws
If you observe yellow paws on your rabbit, the first step in the right direction is to find out where the yellow paws come from and eliminate this cause. Otherwise, treatment with lasting success is not possible.
If the yellow paws are only caused by dust, fur staining due to rust or paint or other dirt, no treatment is necessary.
Rabbits are extremely clean animals that take care of their hygiene by themselves. So after some time the stains will disappear from the fur by themselves.
The situation is different if urine is the cause of the yellow paws.
Urine scalds, for example, can lead to sticky fur, open wounds and infections.
In addition, your rabbit will smell very strongly of urine after some time – which is anything but pleasant for you, but of course first and foremost for the animal itself!
Your first impulse will now be to simply bathe your rabbit, right?
However, this endeavor should be considered only in case of emergency, as rabbits are not made for bathing in water.
However, there exists a way to allow rabbits to have a so-called “dry bath”.
Tip: Here you can learn how to clean your rabbit properly and species-appropriate.
How to make a dry bath with your rabbit
- stable supine position
In order to bathe your rabbit’s paws, you must of course be able to reach them.
Therefore, it is recommended that you place the rabbit with its back on your lap so that the paws are pointing upwards.
Ideally, your rabbit will be able to lean on your belly with its hind legs so that it can gain a little more security.
- cornstarch powder
Instead of water, take some cornstarch powder and apply it to the urine stained areas.
It is important that you use pure cornstarch powder without any additives.
Massage the powder slowly and carefully into the fur of your pet.
Particularly stubborn urine adhesions can be loosened very carefully with a flea comb, so that the powder can really be absorbed into the fur.
If it is not possible to loosen the adhesions with the flea comb without being really rough, then cut off the affected areas with scissors. 4.
- remove the powder residues
Before you release your rabbit back into the run, you should remove the powder from the fur as best you can. Either brush the powder out of the fur by hand or with the help of the comb. Done!
If all else fails and your rabbit really is full of urine over a large area, the only thing that really helps in these cases is a water bath for cleaning the paws. If possible, though, make sure your rabbit doesn’t get completely wet.
Ways to neutralize the acrid smell of urine
The acrid smell of urine – whether fresh or dried – can be quite persistent. This is true not only of urine that may get caught in the rabbit’s fur, but also of urine that is in the enclosure.
If you have cleared your rabbit of urine, the enclosure may still smell terribly of it.
Therefore, make sure that you choose a very absorbent bedding, which not only reliably absorbs the urine, but also neutralizes the odor as much as possible.
Also, clean the enclosure of the animals regularly: it is recommended to change the bedding about once a week.
Also, avoid offering wooden flooring to your rabbits. Wood absorbs urine and rapidly takes on the odor. Once the wood is soaked in urine, you will not be able to get rid of the odor.
You can also rub easy-to-clean surfaces with a little vinegar from time to time.
Vinegar neutralizes the urine smell almost completely.
However, make sure that the animals do not come into contact with the vinegar and do not let the rabbits touch the treated areas until the vinegar is completely gone.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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