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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Concerned about kidney problems

My 7 year old dwarf, Snow, has been urinating a lot more often for the last couple of months. I had a physical exam done on him last month, and the vet felt around the kidney area and told me if he was having kidney problems, (like stones), she would be able to feel them, and she felt nothing wrong with his kidneys. I'm thinking of having blood work done, but she told me he doesn't have anything wrong with his kidneys, and that as a rabbit gets older, the kidneys automatically don't work as well as they used to, it doesn't necessarily mean renal failure. She said that renal failure and diabetes in rabbits is rare, but obviously it still happens.

To be honest, I don't know what excessive urination would be considered. He urinates about once every 1 and a half to 2 hours or so. I know this because I have him out for 1 and a half to 2 hours at a time, and he urinates once during that time. Before he would urinate sometimes when I had him out, but he seemed to hold it in most of the time. Now he urinates everytime he's out. I have not noticed any change in his drinking habits. If anything, he's actually drinking less than usual. His urine is a normal yellow color, but I'm concerned about how watery it is, and that's why I'm concerned about renal failure. Could it be that his kidneys are just aging and that's why his urine is watery? He eats very well, he's energetic, and there's no difference in him other than more frequent and watery urination. He is a little on the chubby side. Maybe there's more pressure on the bladder or something. Anyway, please tell me what you think. Has anyone here ever had a rabbit with kidney problems?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:18 PM
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We've had several rabbits over the years with kidney issues, but they were always confirmed with bloodwork.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Do you know why they develop kidney problems? How do you treat it?

I don't really think this is Snow's problem, but I can't help worrying about it. I worry that my cat will develop kidney issues as well, even though he shows no sign of it. I'm just plain and simple a worrier.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 08:15 PM
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A lot of it is genetic, though it can be affected by diet and other issues. If he's eating a healthy diet, it's probably a genetic issue.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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What are some other signs to look out for other than excessive drinking and urination? I heard a bunny with CRF usually stops eating. My guy is still eating normally.

Do you think that lettuce could make the urine more diluted? I give him lots of lettuce in the morning, and during the morning and early afternoon is when he pees the most. Maybe he can't hold it in like he used to, which is a good thing because I wouldn't want him to hold it in if he has to go.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 08:22 AM
 
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I give my girls lettuce alot. The vet told me it has no nutritional value to them at all as it's mostly water so maybe the lettuce IS making Snow pee more. He also said it wouldn't hurt them so long as they're getting a good diet otherwise and they don't have too much (apparently it can give them the runs). I'm sure it's nothing to worry about but I do understand your concern.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 08:26 AM
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That's only true of iceburg lettuce, which shouldn't be fed to bunnies. Romaine, green leaf, red leaf, endive, escarole, bibb lettuce, etc, does have quite a bit of nutritional value! Too many veggies can cause gastrointestinal upset, but if they're introduced properly that's rarely a problem.

Our foster bunnies get 3-5 cups of veggies per day (depending on size).

Hikari, usually they won't stop eating unless the kidney problems are severe. When they're less serious you have less serious symptoms like excessive drinking and urination. Our cat has CRF and he started by throwing up very often. That was 7 years ago and he's on a renal diet now and is still fine.

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"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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I give my boy a big handful of romaine lettuce everyday, and he loves it! He's always waiting for it. I have tried to give him other veggies, but they always gave him runs. He seems fine with just the lettuce, pellets, and unlimited Timothy hay, with the occasional baby carrot. I have noticed he's getting pretty fat, so I think I'll hold off on the carrots for a while, and give him less lettuce so he'll eat more hay.

My cat started throwing up with excessive urination and drinking, and my vet thought it was kidney failure. But we found out his kidneys are fine, it was diabetes. I think diabetes is really rare in rabbits, though. Snow's not drinking all that much, and the frequent peeing thing seems to be on and off. Like for the past few months he would pee a lot for a couple of days, or weeks, then it would stop. Like right now, he's back to urinating less. Maybe it's just a thing with him, but I do understand I need to get him to lose some weight to prevent problems with kidneys and such.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 12:17 PM
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If he's overweight, don't cut out the veggies, cut out pellets. Pellets should be the smallest part of the diet, but they are the easiest to overfeed and cause them to gain weight.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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I won't cut out the pellets completely for now, but I will start giving him less. I just think I need to get him to run around more. Everytime he's out, he prefers to hop under a chair and just sit there!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 12:28 PM
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I wouldn't cut them back completely unless he was morbidly obese, but they should be the smallest part of his diet. They're pretty yummy, though, so a lot of rabbits will eat them instead of hay.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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That's true, he would eat them instead of hay if he could. I give him a small amount of pellets which wouldn't be enough to fill him, so he would have to eat hay when he gets hungry and the pellets are gone.
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