Bladder Sludge - Low Calcium Diet Recommendations??

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Helen Thomas

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My 6yr old mini-lop has been having on-going issues with bladder sludge which started in lasted Nov. At that time I took out all high calcium greens ie spinich & kale from his diet and replaced with grass and weeds with approx 6 pellets every other day. He's been fine up until last week when I came home to find him underneath the bed where he had passed sludge & blood. After a trip to the vets, his urine sample tested negative for cancer cells (yay!) but confirmed he had a highly inflammed bladder with some sludge. They released him on a mixture of Metacam, antibiotics & painkillers with a catheter in his ear for us to administer 20ml of fluid every 2 hrs for the entire Easter weekend. He is now a lot better and was back at the vet yesterday for a check up and back again in 2 weeks for check up and likely a scan.
I am now really paranoid about what I'm feeding him, he was eating quite a bit of narrow and broadleaf plantain which I have just found out today is also high in calcium. Does anyone else have a bun with similar bladder/sludge issues and can recommend what I should be feeding him. He is on a mix of meadow/timothy hay and also Oxbow urinary support. I really don't want to see him go through all this again, any suggestions will be most appreciated!
 

Jill D

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Had the same with one of my rabbits. Some pellets contain mint which is high in c. Other than that
I avoid cabbage, kale, very little broccoli etc
 

Jill D

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Carrots, banana, melon, raisins, wild food ( though don't what that'd be in US) grapes, apple and I think parsnips ok
 

JBun

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You do want to limit calcium, but you also have to be careful to make sure your rabbit is getting enough calcium to maintain the proper nutrition. Though I know it's a hard balance to make when trying to combat sludge build up.


Some other things you can do that can help prevent sludge build up, are having boxes and shelves that your rabbit can hop up and down from can help keep the bladder contents churned up so they don't settle in the bladder and form sludge. And finding other ways to keep your bun active. Sedentary buns seem to be most at risk.

Good hydration is also very important in keeping the bladder flushed out. You could ask your vet about administering sub q fluids on a regular basis to help keep the bladder flushed. It's something the vet can teach you to do, like what you've been doing with the IV fluids from home.

Another thing you could look into that may possibly be beneficial, is adding supplements like cranberry to your rabbits diet. This link has some info on calcium build up and possible supplementation that may help.

Medirabbit: bladder sludge and stones
(contains graphic medical related photos)
 
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