At the end of last year, I bought a new pet house rabbit. Said to be around a year old by the pet shop in Bangkok I bought her from, I soon realized by a cursory look at her teeth and how she slowly moves around she’s more than likely five or six years old at best. She’s also an incontinent rabbit, and that alone began to cause huge problems for me. Until I remembered incontinence pads for people. Since I started to use them, she’s been no trouble at all.
What Causes Rabbit Incontinence?
Some rabbits have problems when they urinate because they have a medical issue. Either they can’t lift up their tail, so it tends to drag in their urine, or they have problems standing to urinate due to old age or other medical problems. In other cases, they can’t control their urge to urinate at all due to bladder problems, so urination occurs involuntary.
In the case of my pet house rabbit, her problem is she has never been trained to use a litter box. So, when I put the usual litter tray in her pen, she wouldn’t even jump into it but instead would prefer to urinate exactly where she stood. And then…..sit in it.
Problems That Can Be Caused by Rabbit Incontinence
There are two major health problems that can be caused by rabbit incontinence.
The first is something called ‘sore hocks,’ and what that usually means is your rabbit will end up with much of the fur on the bottoms of her feet falling off, usually due to her standing in her own urine. When this happens, it can be excruciatingly painful for your rabbit, as fur is what protects them from the hardness of the ground. In extreme cases, sores begin to form on the bottom of your rabbit’s feet and the pain gets even worse. This is what happened to my rabbit.
In the second case, skin burns around the rabbit’s genitals occur and the fur will fall off in that area as well.
See Your Vet Before Treating Rabbit Incontinence with Human Incontinence Pads
Of course, before you decide to treat your incontinent rabbit with anything at all, you should take him to a vet to make sure there are no underlying health causes that are making him incontinent. If not, and it’s something like my rabbit who has simply never been litter trained and now seems too old to learn (although I’m still trying), the use of human incontinence pads can rapidly solve the problem.
How to Use Incontinence Pads with Rabbits
Here’s how I use them with my incontinent house rabbit and they really have been a godsend.
The incontinence pads for people I use are 40 x 70 centimeters in size. When I first began to use them, I was simply laying a full pad down on the floor in her pen where she normally lies and keeping an eye on how fast it was urinated on. When the pad became wet with too much urine and wasn’t soaking it up anymore, I would remove the pad and change it for a clean one. What this meant was I was going through at least two pads a day or 14 a week — which soon began to cost a little more than I’d bargained for.
At this point, I also realized I didn’t actually need to use an entire human incontinence pad every time as they are quite large, so she was usually urinating on only half of it and ignoring the other. That’s when I began to cut the pads in half and use just half a pad at once.
I now had enough pads that I could easily change them three times a day instead of two. Even cleaner for my rabbit, yet less expensive for me as, instead of 60 or more pads a month, I was using just over 40.
Incontinence pads for people are cheaper than similar ones made specifically for animals and are also usually larger. They do, however, do exactly the same job. In fact, they soak up urine so fast, since I started using them the fur on the bottom of my rabbit’s feet has now grown back and she’s had no health issues at all since.
On top of that, she loves getting her clean pad several times a day, and that makes me happy as well.
You can buy incontinence pads for people at just about every supermarket. Why not try them for your incontinent rabbit? You will love the ease of cleaning up copious amounts of rabbit urine, and your rabbit will enjoy feeling comfortable once again.