Dark, dark urine and incontinence

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msmab

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Hello I am new here and while I will introduce myself shortly, I am desperate for any feedback people may have.

We have a year and a half holland lop bunny named Jessica. She is spayed and has been healthy up until seven weeks ago.

I thought she originally had very runny stools. At one point, she quit eating...again, leading me and the vet to believe she may have had stasis. She eventually resumed eating, although the mushy stools didn't resolve.

There is so much to explain, so I will put it in point-form:

-x-rays were performed, which didn't reveal much
-she was held for a day at the vet where they determined that her "stool" was actually very dark urine
-she dribbles urine almost daily
-they ruled out sludge, as her x-rays of her bladder were clear
-a urinary tract infection (UTI) was suspected and antibiotics were started; she seemed to get better while on Novo-Trimel; this resolution only lasted a week
-they switched her to Chlor Palm, believing she may had several strains of bacteria; we just finished two weeks of Chlor Palm, two doses of 2ml a day and she hasn't resolved
-her diet and energy levels haven't changed; some days she's more quiet and eats less and other days she's her usual spunky self, coming running whenever we are in the kitchen (in the hopes of treats)
-her spay surgery was done in the manner typical for rabbits - uterus removed higher up so as not to impact the vestibular area around the vagina
-blood work has not been done, although that is our next step

Has anyone EVER encountered anything like this? The vet clinic we go to is wonderful and well-versed in small pets. The vets have put their heads together, but they are stymied. We have ruled out blockages, spay complications, and a UTI. Her urinalysis results came back clean.

She is constantly messy with dribbling urine. We are bathing her on a daily basis and keeping her skin protected with a vet-approved dermatological spray. My heart is breaking for our sweet girl...
 

squidpop

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I'm sorry your rabbit is having a hard time. I haven't any experience with uti's so really have no advice. I did read that really dark urine can be a sign of dehydration but that really doesn't explain all the other symptoms you are having now. Hope someone else has some insights.
 

squidpop

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The only idea that I have on this is E. cuniculi can cause incontinence and its a common parasite. Did the vet test for EC? Might be worth investigating. Hopefully others will have more ideas.
 

msmab

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Thank you for the replies. Jessica is drinking a lot, so dehydration has been ruled out. I will mention EC to the vet. I did some more research today and I think it's definitely something to look into. It's just tough when our vets are small animal experts and even they are stumped with this.
 

JBun

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Your vet has covered the more common causes of urine dribbling and urinary incontinence. I agree with squidpop that you should have your vet look into the parasite e. cuniculi as a possible cause. It can affect a rabbits kidneys, causing the incontinence issues. Treatment is with the anitparasitic fenbendazole and often meloxicam to reduce inflammation caused by the spores.
http://www.gwexotics.com/wccms-resources/a/5/0/e/77554b90-a660-11e0-a685-0050568626ea.pdf
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Parasitic/Encephalitozoonosis.htm

There is a blood titer to check for e. cuniculi antibodies. It will determine if your rabbit has been exposed to EC, but not necessarily if there is an active infection. But I think at least the blood test for kidney and liver function, is necessary at this point. Your vet could maybe consult with a specialist as well, to help figure out what might be going on.

Another thought is cystitis and inflammation not due to a bacterial infection, in which case the anti inflammatory meloxicam, may be helpful. Or rabbit syphilis can also cause incontinence issues, but often there will be external lesions pointing to this as the cause.
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Miscellaneous/UrinaryIncontinenceRabbit.htm
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Miscellaneous/Cystitis_Ele.htm
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00dis/Bacterial/Treponema_Inf_Rabbits.htm

With the urinalysis, was it just the basic test or was a culture also done?
 
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msmab

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Thank you for the excellent information. I really know nothing about EC so this is helpful. With her urine, they did culture it.
 

msmab

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We're still looking for answers. Her bloodwork showed nothing. EC was ruled out. Our next step is to try hormones, as there is a slight possibility one of her sphincters is acting up because of weird hormone levels. The only other idea that has been floated out there is that she has a defect and her plumbing was never properly hooked up. My heart is breaking. Jessica is so sweet, so spunky, and I hate seeing her messy all the time. :(
 
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