Archive for February, 2009

Bladder and Urinary problems

Dear Rabbit Owners

Sorry for the late email. I have had no Internet connection for a week.

A week ago I planted 3 basil plants. One in a big pot and the other two in the herb garden where my previous basil plant thrived, until the monkeys up-rooted it. I noticed that the 2 plants in the herb garden would get new leaves, but then by the end of the day there was not a leaf in sight. On the other hand the plant in the pot, was green and growing rapidly. I couldn’t understand this and even asked my husband if he could work out what was eating the two plants. Then it dawned on me. Theses two plants were right at the entrance of Marge’s sleeping place. She has different places in the garden where she sleeps, but lately has chosen to sleep in the shrubs near the herb garden. Looks like I am going to have to grow all my herbs in pots.

Today I want to talk about urinary problems in the pet rabbit.

Bladder and Urinary problems

Sometimes a bladder problem can go un-noticed, but usually there are some very noticeable symptoms. Firstly you will notice that your rabbit who always had impeccable litterbox habits is not always making it to the toilet in time and when he is in his litterbox he is seen straining to pass a few drops of urine. Sometimes the fur around the tail area will be wet and matted from frequent urinating or there will even be blood in the urine. This is not to be confused with red urine which is usually caused from eating carrots and other red or orange vegetables. Rabbit’s urine varies in colour from clear yellow to brown to bright red. This is normal, but when the urine becomes thick, white and sludgy your rabbit needs a visit to the vet. Unfortunately rabbits do not metabolise calcium very well and unabsorbed calcium is excreted through the kidneys into the bladder. This is why it is so important for rabbits to get plenty of exercise and water to flush out the kidneys. Vegetables with a high water content will also help, as well as a low calcium pellet.

Urinary infections can be treated with Baytril which is a safe anti-biotic for rabbits. Your veterinarian will prescribe this. More disappointing problems are bladder stones and crystals. Large stones may need to be surgically removed, and it is advisable to ration or eliminate pellets entirely from your rabbits diet thereafter to help reduce the calcium intake. Routine checkups should be done via ultrasound or x-ray, making sure that no more stones are formed.

I am sure a lot of you have noticed that the Bunny Chow price has increased. We are in the process of trying to find a new place to pellet Bunny Chow for us as we are having to pay very high transport costs. Hopefully we will be using a company much closer to us, to cut down costs.

Until next time

Take care




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