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7 Surprising Facts About (White) Rabbits With Red Eyes

Rabbits With Red Eyes

White rabbits are so cute and fluffy…

But when a white bunny has red eyes…

It makes you wonder why some come that way.

Well, I have the expert answers right here.

Continue reading to find out:

  • Interesting legends about rabbits with red eyes.
  • Questions and surprising answers about albino rabbits.
  • 3 real reasons some rabbits have red eyes and others don’t.
  • The genetic difference between white rabbits and colored ones.
  • And so much more…

#1: Why do some rabbits have red eyes?

Some rabbits have red eyes because they have albinism. Albino rabbits have a genetic trait that affects the pigment in their eyes. Without these pigments, the blood vessels behind a rabbit’s irises show through, making them look red. Other rabbits can also have eye infections that cause eye redness.

#2: Why do white rabbits have red eyes?

The answer is simply hiding in a rabbit’s DNA. 

The genetic code that causes red eyes in rabbits is recessive. It’s a type of gene whose effects can be hidden by a more dominant one. 

So if a rabbit inherits 1 copy of the code from each parent, the rabbit will be albino.

Cool, right? 

However, if a rabbit inherits 2 normal copies of the gene…

The rabbit will have normal coloration.

Moreover, rabbits are born blind. And they don’t open their eyes until they’re about 2 weeks old. 

By that time, their eyes usually change from blue to brown. Those are the most common eye color in rabbits.

But sometimes…

A rabbit can be born with genetic mutations. This can cause their eyes to stay blue or turn red. 

And this genetic condition is called albinism

“What’s that?”

It’s a rare inherited trait that results in the absence of pigmentation in the skin, eyes, and fur. 

And albino rabbits generally have red eyes. 

This is due to the lack of pigment in their skin, which causes blood vessels to be more visible.

Now, if you have a rabbit that has albinism

There’s no need to worry. 

Albinism is a harmless condition that doesn’t cause pain to your furry companion.  

However, since they lack pigments in their eyes, they can be more sensitive to sunlight.

So if you see a white rabbit with red, burning eyes running around…

There’s a chance they were born that way.

“Why are some rabbits albino, and others aren’t?”

Albino rabbits are often born to two non-albino parents.

So it’s not necessarily a trait that parent bunnies pass from generation to generation.

It’s just a fluke of nature if you ask me.

#3: Do all white rabbits have red eyes?

Not all white rabbits have red eyes. Some have blue.

“Why do the colors vary?”

They vary because albino rabbits don’t have pigment in their eyes.

And when the light hits them, their iris reflects light from their blood vessels.

As a result, they appear red and sometimes pink…

All in all, it’ll depend on the number of pigments that are present.

However, red isn’t the only eye color of an albino rabbit.

There’s always the rarest color, which is blue.

“So, what makes them blue?”

Good question. 

You see, based on studies, melanin pigment exists in 3 forms. They are:

  • Eumelanin.
  • Pheomelanin.
  • Neuromelanin.

Now, eumelanin is responsible for the brown coloration in skin, fur, and eyes.

On the other hand, pheomelanin causes yellow to red coloration.

And lastly, neuromelanin appears black to dark brown.

So, some albino rabbits come with blue eyes because the pigments in their eyes are smaller in diameter.

While common rabbits have brown eyes because their eye pigments are larger.

“So, what’s the difference between red-eyed albino and blue-eyed ones?”

Red-eyed albinos have no pigments in their eyes at all.

As mentioned above, blue-eyed ones have melanin but in a much smaller size.

“So basically, the pigments in blue-eyed rabbits are diluted, right?

That’s correct.

My rabbit isn’t white, but their eyes are red.

According to VetHelpDirect, if your rabbit has red, inflamed eyes, they could be suffering from conjunctivitis

This happens when the protective membrane of the eyes’ surface called conjunctiva gets irritated.

That said, here are the symptoms of conjunctivitis:

  • Squinting.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Eye rubbing or pawing.
  • Discharge from the eyes.
  • Crustiness around the eyes.

Warning: If your rabbit shows any of these symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Furthermore, conjunctivitis can be painful if left untreated.

“Then, what causes conjunctivitis in rabbits?”

There are a few different things that can cause conjunctivitis in rabbits, including:

  • Viruses.
  • Bacteria.
  • Allergies.
  • Eye trauma.
  • Foreign objects in the eyes.

And the vet can best determine what’s causing your rabbit’s conjunctivitis. With that, they can prescribe the appropriate treatment for your furry companion.

#4: Are rabbits with red eyes evil?

While rabbits with red eyes are often associated with evil and darkness…

Their fluffy demeanor and cute noses really say otherwise.

The only difference they have from ordinary rabbits is the genetic condition called albinism

And as I mentioned above, it causes their eyes to appear red.

“So why do people think rabbits with red eyes are evil?”

Well, there are a few reasons.

For one, Nordic legends and beliefs tend to associate rabbits with witches and witchcraft.

“Why is that?”

Because it’s said that witches used to disguise themselves as rabbits. And when they did, they perform mischievous deeds.

But don’t worry…

Rabbits these days are more likely to be found hopping around the park…

Rather than flying on broomsticks.

Another reason people might think rabbits with red eyes are evil is that…

In many cultures, red is usually associated with evil and danger.

However, rabbits with red eyes aren’t evil…

In fact, they’re just like any other rabbits.

#5: Are white rabbits with red eyes dangerous?

Rabbits, in general, are one of the least dangerous animals. 

And regardless of their eye color…

They’re still the cutest animals on the planet.

Sure, they might stare at you but…

They’re shy creatures that are gentle and timid.

So if you see one, don’t be afraid. 

Approach them with caution, though, as they may run away.

“But how?”

An anxious rabbit can be quite fidgety.

So make sure to follow these steps when trying to approach them:

  1. Show them your hand gently.
  2. Stay low, so they don’t get startled.
  3. Let the bunny know you’re coming.
  4. Sit down and let them come to you.
  5. Make sure they’re comfortable before you start petting them.

Once your bunny gets comfortable, petting them will be much easier moving forward.

Reading recommendation: 17 Biggest Pros And Cons Of Rabbits As Pets

#6: Why do albino rabbits have red eyes?

Albino rabbits have red eyes because of the mutation in the TYR gene.

“What’s that?”

This gene produces melanin, which gives color to the fur, skin, and eyes.

TYR gene provides instructions for making enzymes called tyrosinase.

And tyrosinase is the enzyme involved in the production of melanin. The latter is responsible for the colors of the skin, eyes, and fur.

According to research, when there’s a mutation in this gene, it can lead to albinism. 

And while this condition is the primary cause of red eyes in rabbits…

There could also be other reasons for their occurrence. Those are:

#1: Eye irritation

Albino Rabbits Have Red Eyes Due To Irritation

So, let’s consider the fact that…

Rabbits’ eyes are placed on both sides of the head.

However, this size and unique positioning can sometimes pose a problem.

You see, having large eyes means that they are more prone to getting debris and foreign objects stuck to them.

And most times, these materials can cause eye irritation.

And can even lead to infection.

“OMG! What should I do when this happens?”

Don’t worry…

The good thing is it can easily be resolved.

You can follow these steps once you notice that your bunny has debris stuck in their eyes:

  1. Once the debris is spotted, bring them to a place with natural light.
  2. Rinse the object with sterile water or saline solution.
  3. Use a cotton swab when water is not available.
  4. Make sure that the object is fully removed.

Warning: Make sure not to point a flashlight directly into their eyes as they are very sensitive to strong lights and may cause even more damage.

#2: Eye diseases

Is your fur baby hiding away?

Eat lesser, lethargic, and weak?

Have you noticed how their eyes are partially closed, and they squint a lot?

These are symptoms of eye disease.

“My baby is showing these signs. What should I do?”

Once you spot these signs, bring them to a vet right away. With that, the doctor can properly diagnose what your bunny is experiencing.

Warning: Eye diseases in rabbits are quite discomforting. So early detection and diagnosis are crucial for your fur baby’s health.

#3: Exposure to certain chemicals

We know bunnies can be quite messy with their home.

Poop here…

Urine there…

And food scraps everywhere.

As a bunny parent, your main goal is to keep our babies clean and healthy.

And what do you do to ensure their hygiene?

Clean, of course…

And sometimes, household cleaning agents can pose a threat to our bunnies.

As per BluePearlVet, these cleaners can be toxic to rabbits:

  • Bleach.
  • Ammonia.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • Phenols (found in aerosols).

“What will happen if these come into contact with my bunny?”

According to Dr. Alex Blutinger of Blue Pearl Vet:

“If these products meet pets’ skin, eyes, paw pads, or if they are licked or swallowed, they can result in corrosive wounds, chemical blistering, rashes, and severe burns.” 

Such makes you ask:

“What should I do when my bunny accidentally gets into contact with these?”

When these household cleaners accidentally get into your baby’s skin and fur, you can try to rinse the area with warm water using an animal-safe shampoo.

Warning: If you suspect that your rabbit inhaled or licked these chemicals, call your vet immediately. Not doing so can result in severe damage to your bunny’s health.

Here’s a detailed video on how to properly wash your fur babies.

#7: How long do rabbits with red eyes live? (Albino rabbit lifespan)

The answer isn’t as straightforward as one might hope…

You see, while there are health risks associated with albinism

There’s no definitive answer to whether albinos live shorter.

According to WebMD, most domesticated rabbits can live as long as 12 years longer than wild bunnies.

But most rabbits will likely live longer with proper care and attention.

“Do albino rabbits have different care needs than non-albino rabbits?”

Albino rabbits have the exact care needs as any other rabbit. 

But as I mentioned above, they’re more prone to skin cancer and sunburn.

And I know watching these babies hop around the yard under the sunlight is a sight to behold.

But, as fur parents, minimizing their exposure to the sun should be our top priority.

“Do albino rabbits have different dietary needs than non-albino rabbits?

Albino rabbits don’t have different dietary needs than non-albino rabbits. 

They still should have a diet that consists primarily of hay, fresh vegetables, and small amounts of pellets.

Essentially, giving them foods that are high in sugar should be avoided. 

That’s because doing so can lead to health problems.

“Do albino rabbits have different exercise needs than non-albino rabbits?”

Albino rabbits have the exact exercise needs as non-albino rabbits.

They still need plenty of space to run around. Plus, they should have access to a rabbit-safe exercise area or rabbit-proofed room in the house.

That said, having a bunny necessitates rabbit-proofing. 

This includes preventing damage to your property.

I mean, it would be bad if your bunny chewed on your favorite shoes, right?

So, a rabbit-proofed house is vital to you and your fur baby.