About Albino Rabbits

Written by sarah freeman
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About Albino Rabbits
Albino rabbits can make loving pets. (Steve Baccon/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When an animal doesn't have any colour pigment in its skin, it is called an albino. Any animal that produces melanin can be albino, from whales to snails. Go to a local pet store or animal shelter and you may spot an albino rabbit. These pure-white pets are much like any other rabbit, and require only a small amount of specialised care compared to their coloured counterparts.

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Cause

Albinism is a condition that affect to any animal that traditionally produces melanin, including rabbits. Melanin is an enzyme that dictates the colour of a creature's fur, skin and eyes. Albinos aren't able to produce this enzyme, therefore leaving them without colour pigments. The first sign that a rabbit might be albino is its pure-white fur. However, just because a rabbit is white does not mean it's an albino. To be sure, check the animal's eyes. The lack of brown-black or red-yellow melanin pigmentation will make its eyes appear pink or red.

Impairments

An albino rabbit can be just as good a pet as any other rabbit; however, this type of bunny does have a few impairments. The lack of pigment in its eyes can create poor eyesight and vision problems in the animal. This can make it difficult for albino rabbits to stay out of harm's way. Additionally, their white fur makes them naturally stand out. Albino rabbits are more likely to be picked off by predators when left unprotected in the wild.

Behaviours

Melanin does not affect a rabbit's personality, so it's condition won't directly cause any character differences to set it apart. However, because of albino rabbit's poor eyesight, the animal will sometimes be seen "scanning." When an albino rabbit is "scanning," it will move its head slowly from side to side, as if in a trance. The movement will stop when the animal finds the object it's searching for. Scanning is normal in albino rabbits and no cause for concern.

Special Needs

Albino rabbits do have a few special needs that aren't required by other rabbit types. Because of the lack of pigment in its eyes, the animal is very sensitive to light. Therefore, you shouldn't put your albino rabbit in bright areas. If it's caged outside, ensure it has a shelter to hide in during sunny days. Also, don't leave your albino rabbit unsupervised in open areas outside because it will stand out to predators and may be attacked.

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