It is a common question for many about why do rabbits have red eyes. To directly answer that, well, red eyes result from what they call “albinism.”
This condition is most common in white rabbits, and there are some highly susceptible breeds. However, there are rare cases that are exceptions.
If you wonder why the color is red, then it’s mainly due to the reflection of the inside of a bunny’s eyes.
This article will have a further elaboration on these characteristics in rabbits and let you learn more interesting facts about them.
Without any more delays, let us begin the discussion!
Why Do Rabbits Have Red Eyes? All You Need To Know About Albino Rabbits
When we talk about albinism, it is much more likely an inherited trait. This condition results in a lack of skin color or hair accompanied by red or pink eyes.
Rabbits with albinism have mutated genes, which results in the deficiency of tyrosinase (an enzyme).
More so, if your bunny lacks tyrosinase, there is nothing responsible for producing melanin or pigment.
Here’s what you should know:
Albino’s red eyes are not due to pigments; remember that bunnies do not have tyrosinase in their body.
But the question is: why is it that their eyes are red?
It is made that way because the iris reflects the light coming from the blood vessel instead of using pigments to add color.
And this one is the most viable reason why do rabbits have red eyes.
Is Special Care Needed For Rabbits With Red Eyes?
The primary care done for typical kinds of rabbits is indeed the same for red-eyed ones.
To further elaborate, the size of the cage, diet meal plan, and exercise should be identical so that your pet can grow into a healthy adult rabbit.
#1. Poor eyesight
I am not telling you that all kinds of albino rabbits have the worst eyesight of all. It is not that horrible, but I tell you, these kids need to scan the environment long before it starts to move.
Let me share a story about my Florida White bunny named Thumper.
It has only been about two months since I got Thumper with me. He is a white rabbit with red eyes (super cute!). I never knew about albinos and that they have slightly lower eyesight than regular bunnies.
So, we were in the garden, and it seemed that Thumper is hesitant about all of his movements. I observed him better, which is when I realized that he is scanning his environment before hopping to the next area!
When it is time for a check-up, I asked the veterinarian, and she told me that it is normal for albino rabbits to do that since their eyesight is poor.
Because in the wild, if you are considered prey and reckless, you will surely end up food for predators.
#2. Sensitive to light
Do you know that these red eyes have high sensitivity to light? Since they don’t have iris, their eyes are attracted to more light.
It is the main reason why bunnies with red eyes tend to feel pain with the direct encounter with sunlight.
As a pet owner, you must have a better understanding of what steps to take.
Make sure that your pet is in an area where it is not too bright for them. Because if you are not considerate enough, your bun will be in significant discomfort.
What Rabbit Breeds Are Prone To Albinism?
Any rabbit can have the possibility to acquire an albino trait. Other bunnies are engineered to have an albino gene in their body.
The breeds which are most susceptible to albinism are:
1. Himalayan rabbits
Himalayans are bunnies with a white body with a black nose, tail, ears, and feet. This breed is an excellent furry companion since they are usually calm and docile.
2. Californian rabbits
Most of the time, this breed is mistaken to be a Himalayan rabbit.
Californian rabbits have almost identical features and temperaments, which makes them comparable to the Himalayans.
However, this breed is also very susceptible to albinism.
3. Angora giant rabbits
An organization in America recognized this breed to be the largest of its kind.
Try to imagine an Angora Giant to be a fluffy cloud, like an albino, and its fur is made of wool (not hair). Truly fascinating!
4. Lionhead rabbits
This rabbit breed has a unique way of growing fur, for it resembles a lion’s mane.
This particular characteristic evolved, which is now an exquisite detail for Lionhead rabbits.
Are Albino Rabbits Rare?
Albino rabbits have a lesser survival rate because due to their unusual white fur predators can easily spot them and rarely survive to pass on their genes.
The majority of the albino rabbits are in captivity and do not have to worry about predation or breeding.
Breeding choices are usually made by the pet rabbit breeders and not by rabbits.
How Can I Ensure That My Rabbits’ Eyes Are Healthy?
You must always check the condition of your rabbit’s eyes, albino, or regular ones because you surely do not want them to have eye issues.
Here are the following things that you must do to ensure the healthy eyes of bunnies:
Step #1. Regularly check eyes
The first thing you have to do is check your bunny’s eyes if there are any suspicious changes.
If you want maximum health for them, you have to make sure that their cages or the area where they usually play is clean of bacteria.
Step #2. Grooming
A rabbit can help its companion because it tends to lick and groom its kind.
The cleaning done around a rabbit’s eye may remove minor discharges that can irritate or cause infection to their eyes.
Step #3. Ensure proper vaccination
Poor eyesight may be due to premature birth, so a vaccination will always be very crucial.
If you notice that your bunny’s eyes are not okay, immediately seek medical help and do not let it get worse.
For the final words, you now have an idea of why do rabbits have red eyes, right?
Since albinism is the leading cause of this characteristic, you must also know the proper care for red-eyed furballs.
Albinos are very sensitive to sunlight since they lack pigmentation. These types find direct and roaring sunlight to be painful and annoying.
Most of the time, these bunnies will seek a shade that will make them more comfortable and away from the bright light.
I certainly do hope that you learned much information about albinism and the red eyes of bunnies. The best thing you should do is be aware of its difference from normal ones and give them healthy foods.
Thank you very much for reading!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.