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Thread: Help needed with leaky bunny! Running out of ideas :(

  1. #1
    Warren Scout nap91's Avatar
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    Default Help needed with leaky bunny! Running out of ideas :(

    Hi everyone,
    I recently joined the forum and have been browsing for a while. Finally decided to post as I'm just feeling so fed up!

    I have two house rabbits, both rescues, 3 year old Snowy and 8 month old Phillip. They're currently in the process of being bonded and are both neutered/spayed.
    Here is Phillip:




    Anyway, a few months back, Phillip started drinking a lot more than usual and consequently weeing a lot too. I didn't think too much of it at first as he's always drunk/weed quite a lot since we got him at just over 3 months old. Then he started leaving clear wet urine patches all over the carpet, whenever he stopped or sat down. He was also sneezing quite a bit.

    I took him to the vets, a urine test was done and he was found to have a urine infection. He was treated with a course of Baytril but went into stasis after 5 days, so was taken off the antibiotic. A few days after he'd recovered from the stasis, he was still sneezing and struggling for breath a little so back to the vets. He was put under GA and had lots of X-rays and swabs. He was found to have bacteria in his nose, and also suspected hay fever(!) Because of the suspected reaction to Baytril last time, he was given 10 day course of injectable antibiotics, can't remember the name, and also put on daily Piriton. He's completely recovered from that now, and just has Piriton as and when he needs it. The drinking/weeing had gone back to normal at this point.

    Fast forward another month or so, and he started leaking on the carpet again, as well as drinking/weeing a lot more. Took him back to the vets (not my normal one as this was a bank holiday weekend) and they did another urine test and bacteria was found again. He was put on Baytril for 14 days and given gut meds alongside to prevent stasis. He was fine with no reactions this time, and everything seemed to clear up once more. We also did a 9 day course of Panacur just in case. I cut out high calcium greens, and he was put on bottled water, as our water is very hard.

    A month after that, the symptoms returned. After scouring the internet, I tried giving him pure cranberry juice. Also did a 28 day course of Panacur. This seemed to stop the leaking for a few days but then it came back. Took him to our normal vet - who is fantastic, by the way - and she did another urine test. Results were slightly abnormal so were sent off to the lab for further testing and to make sure he wasn't resistant to any antibiotics. This came back completely clear. Phillip then had a full blood test to rule out kidney problems, diabetes, etc. Again, came back completely normal, and the calcium levels were very low for a rabbit, which showed the diet was working.

    So that takes us to now. The vet said he's a very healthy bunny and perhaps he just has a low grade form of non-bacterial cystitis, so he's now on 0.43ml daily Metacam to see if that helps. That started on Saturday and he stopped leaking...until this evening, when wet patches have appeared on the carpet again.

    I'm tearing my hair out because I just don't know what to do from this point. We're half way through the year in terms of his pet insurance and I've already used up half the allowance! Nevermind the constant trips to the vet and the stress that comes with all that. He's a happy, healthy bunny with a brilliant appetite aside from this, so it just seems so strange.

    Does anyone have any ideas/can offer any help?
    Last edited by nap91; 11-07-2018 at 08:21 PM.

  2. #2

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    I'm sorry Philip is having problems. Did the vet xray his bladder? Did it show any sludge? Leaking urine and recurrent urine infections can be a sign of bladder sludge.
    Lance 31/7/13. Rosie 6/7/15. Cody 22 August 2016. Oliver 30th July 2017. Will never forget you all my angels.

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    Warren Scout nap91's Avatar
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    We've not xrayed his bladder yet as the vet wanted to rule out other things first. She didn't think it was that as she couldn't feel anything in his bladder, his latest sample had no calcium crystals at all and his urine is very clear, basically like water. I worry about him too as he's already been under GA twice this year (neuter and skull X-rays). Seems such a lot for such a young bunny to go through, but of course I will do whatever is needed.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    I'm not sure why you have cut down the dietary calcium if there is no chalky urine. Rabbits need a reliable source of calcium as their teeth continually grow. What did your vet suggest regarding this?

    Otherwise - in the absence of any more specific diagnosis - I would be probably be looking at a longer term course of baytril, panacur and metacam. I would also monitor his weight (eg weekly). Panacur for EC is normally a 28 day course, but some cases need consecutive courses. Metacam will reduce neurological damage caused by the EC parasite (which may also affect the kidneys), as well as provide pain relief eg from a bladder infection. A longer course of Baytril may be needed to clear the UTI. It's a generic solution for chronic undiagnosed rabbit conditions - a sort of see what happens. Things will often improve, or some other symptom develops which gives a different course of treatment. It's also a relatively cheap and easy option if 'something' is wrong but nothing specific is showing up.

    I know you have not had a confirmed case of EC (it is a common parasite in rabbits), but it would be good practice to bleach anything that has had contact with urine as the parasite is excreted in urine - do this on days 21 and 28 of the panacur treatment - it helps to break the lifecycle of the parasite and reduce the risk of re-contamination. If he is normally on carpet, you would have to eg steam clean this. Puppy pads under fleece (or lino on top of the carpet) would be more appropriate to help with hygiene, at least in the short term. It would also be preferable to treat both rabbits with panacur at the same time.

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    My bridge bun Oliver has sludge problems for over 3 years and he had 3 bladder flushes during that time. Buns with sludge can pee clear urine as the sludge cannot get out if there is alot as it lies in the bottom of the bladder. Usually the vet can feel sludge in the bladder but last time my vet said his bladder felt ok and normal levels of sediment when she centrifuged his pee sample. But a short time after that he was still uncomfortable and so we did the flush and she said that was the most sludge he had ever had . So I am not saying he has sludge but just to be aware that it doesn't always show in pee . I hope you find out what is making you little one uncomfortable x
    Lance 31/7/13. Rosie 6/7/15. Cody 22 August 2016. Oliver 30th July 2017. Will never forget you all my angels.

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    Warren Scout nap91's Avatar
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    A low calcium diet was suggested by a couple of vets as both rabbits were getting urine infections, so it was to try and rule out why they were both getting them. It has worked for Snowy and since having a low calcium diet, she hasn't had any UTIs.

    Would it be okay to do another course of Panacur so soon after the last?

    I think I'll be booking another appointment with the vet with a view to go on Baytril, I think.

  7. #7
    Warren Scout nap91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickybunny1 View Post
    My bridge bun Oliver has sludge problems for over 3 years and he had 3 bladder flushes during that time. Buns with sludge can pee clear urine as the sludge cannot get out if there is alot as it lies in the bottom of the bladder. Usually the vet can feel sludge in the bladder but last time my vet said his bladder felt ok and normal levels of sediment when she centrifuged his pee sample. But a short time after that he was still uncomfortable and so we did the flush and she said that was the most sludge he had ever had . So I am not saying he has sludge but just to be aware that it doesn't always show in pee . I hope you find out what is making you little one uncomfortable x
    Okay thank you, I'll definitely enquire about this with the vet when I take him in.
    Just so frustrating as he seems so happy otherwise. I think we are getting somewhere then we take 5 steps backwards.

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    Has the Vet considered the possibility of Diabetes Insipidus ? This is different from Diabetes Mellitus. It is very, very rare in Rabbits but I did have one Rabbit, Jake who was diagnosed with it

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/ar...p/t-78472.html

    Jake was treated with Desmopressin

    https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/desmopressin.html

    Some info about Diabetes Insipidus :

    https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/...147&id=3846170

    https://www.vettimes.co.uk/diagnosis...tes-insipidus/

    Unfortunately you need to subscribe to this site to read the full article here :

    https://www.vetstream.com/treat/lapi...etes-insipidus

    As the condition is so rare I doubt it will be the issue for Phillip, but given my experience with it in Jake I thought I'd mention it.

    I hope your Vet can resolve the mystery, meantime at least Phillip is very well within himself at the moment xx


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

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    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

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    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

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    Warren Scout nap91's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, would that show up in a full blood test? The vet said there was no sign of diabetes but I didn't know there were two types in rabbits!

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    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nap91 View Post
    Thanks for the reply, would that show up in a full blood test? The vet said there was no sign of diabetes but I didn't know there were two types in rabbits!
    Not only in Rabbits, Diabetes Insipidus effects other species/humans too. This link, already posted in my last reply, gives details of how DI is diagnosed

    https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/...147&id=3846170


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

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