Why Do Rabbits Have Red Eyes? (Answered)

It can be interesting to look into a rabbit’s eyes and notice something different.

Some rabbits will have red eyes.

You will often wonder what the reason is for rabbits having red eyes. Is there a genetic predisposition that causes this to occur or is there some other reason?

So, why do rabbits have red eyes?

Rabbits can have red eyes due to a condition called albinism (no melanin). However, this symptom can also be caused by corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis, or uveitis.

Albinism is a genetic condition and it’s something that will lead to other issues. It’s important to be aware of this when observing rabbits.

Do all white rabbits have red eyes?

No, not all white rabbits have red eyes, However, red eyes caused by albinism will always occur in white rabbits. This is due to the condition also causing the fur to become white.

Here is more on red eyes in rabbits and the various conditions that can cause it to occur.

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Causes Of Red Eye Rabbits

1. Albinism

Let’s begin with the most common reason for red eyes in rabbits.

Albinism refers to a genetic condition where the animal is not going to have melanin or pigmentation. This causes specific elements to be white or clear.

Why do white rabbits have red eyes?

White rabbits have red eyes due to albinism. This is what causes their fur to be white while their eyes become red. The reason the eyes are red in rabbits is due to the lack of color in them. This allows you to see through the eyes and see the blood vessels behind them.

Some rabbit breeds are bred to have red eyes.

The Florida white rabbits are known to have red eyes and it is seen with all of them. This is not the case with other white rabbits but it is something that’s quite common.

why do rabbits have red eyes

2. Corneal Ulcers

Now, it’s time to look at medical conditions that cause red eyes in rabbits.

It’s possible the rabbit has a corneal ulcer.

This is going to draw blood to the area, which means it is going to turn red. It is important to notice this because it might only be in one eye and it’s going to change the eye color over time.

For the most part, the rabbit’s eye color is going to be different throughout its life until the corneal ulcer develops. At that point, you are going to notice the change in eye color and it will become important to get it diagnosed.

Focus on this when it comes to understanding the rabbit’s eye color and getting things right when treating it.

3. Uveitis

If the rabbit’s eyes are red around, this means it might be suffering from a condition called uveitis.

What is uveitis in rabbits?

This is a condition that is caused by trauma and/or infection to the uveal tract in the eye. This causes blood to move toward the eye, which then causes it to look bloodshot.

For example, with white rabbits, you will assume it is albinism. However, if you have a black rabbit with red eyes suddenly, this is a sign they might be dealing with uveitis.

It does not have to be like this but it’s something you are going to want to prep for by going to the vet as soon as possible.

4. Conjunctivitis

This is a condition in rabbits where the conjunctiva in the rabbit’s eye is going to be affected. This causes it to turn “pink,” which is also known as pink eye.

From afar, you are going to see it as a red-eyed rabbit.

When it comes to this type of eye condition in a rabbit, you will want to take a look at the other symptoms it might be dealing with. Those symptoms are going to let you know a lot about how the rabbit is doing.

For example, does the rabbit have a swollen eye? Is it tearing up a lot?

These are signs the rabbit has conjunctivitis. It’s best to go to the vet when this is the case.

Final Thoughts

Why do rabbits have red eyes?

Rabbits can have red eyes due to albinism and this is most common in white rabbits. This is what causes the fur to be white. However, additional medical reasons include conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, or uveitis depending on the rabbit’s health. It’s best to seek a vet’s opinion before treating the condition.

This will help treat the rabbit’s red eyes if it is not a genetic condition. Only a vet will tell you what the answer is and how to treat it properly.

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