Possible UTI and/or stasis?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

taylor_wt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
14
Location
Washington
Hi everyone, looking for some advice. I have a 3 year old male (neutered) Holland Lop. A couple nights ago (night time is when he’s let out to play and when he gets his food) he wasn’t his usual self - he didn’t jump right out of his cage to play and wasn’t eating his lettuce or pellets right away like he normally does. We’ve dealt with the beginning stages of stasis before a few times and I thought he might just be dealing with a tummy ache - there wasn’t much poop in the litter box and he hadn’t eaten much hay that day. I massaged his belly and let him hang out on the bed with my boyfriend for a few minutes. He ended up peeing on the bed, which was odd because he never pees outside of his litter box, but I didn’t think too much of it because he’s not used to being on the bed so I thought he might just be scared being in somewhat unfamiliar territory. The next morning when I woke up I found that he ended up eating and pooping a normal amount that night so I thought we were in the clear. The following night, everything was normal. Then last night I was very concerned... he was hunched over in his litter box, not interested in food or lettuce (unusual for him). I ended up grabbing him and massaging his belly but he was chattering his teeth which I have read means he’s in pain. While I was massaging his belly, he peed a little. And he kept hunching over. He ended up peeing a little more when I tried grabbing him to put him in his cage too. He sat in his litter box for over an hour and didn’t eat or poop all night. This morning he took some lettuce and did poop a little bit (normal poop as far as I can tell). He also ate a little bit of pellets and took some oxbow papaya vitamins. He is acting much better this morning too - more active and not hunching over like last night.

so, what should I do? It’s sounding like there’s something going on with his urinary system and possibly stomach troubles... not sure if those things go hand in hand. I called our vet but they are booked solid for 2 weeks. I may try to get him in somewhere else or might try and see if I could just speak to his regular doctor and maybe get him some medication. Another thing I should mention is he doesn’t take syringe feeding well at all so syringe feeding critical care is a last resort for me... in order to feed him anything from the syringe (including medicine), I have to wrap him into a “bunny burrito” and he still puts up a fight 😑

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!


his daily diet:
- Unlimited Timothy hay
- 1/8 cup producers pride rabbit pellets
- Most days he’ll get a leaf or 2 of Romaine lettuce
- occasionally if I feel like he’s having tummy troubles, or if he’s shedding really bad I’ll give him 1-2 oxbow papaya tablets
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
10,783
Reaction score
6,272
Location
Utah, , USA
If he does have urinary problems, it sounds like it could be bladder sludge and the pellets would be a likely contributor. Even though you don't feed that much, they're alfalfa based and have higher calcium. I would remove the pellets from the diet for now. Then go ahead and get an appointment booked, so you at least have the possibility of getting in if there is still a problem. And also maybe try and find another vet you could get into immediately in case of emergency. Also I would monitor urine for signs of blood, being thick and creamy or pasty, and dribbling or incontinence.
 

Shmibunny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
46
Reaction score
35
Location
Finland
Sorry to hear your bunny is not well. I've dealt with an UTI many times with my boy rabbit, and another one also had it once or twice. The symptoms and onset can vary from bunny to bunny and case to case, but if it's an UTI, the bunny will likely be making frequent pees outside the litter box, each smaller than the last (because there isn't much to come out), or may sit hunched in a corner with a soaked bum. They may also flop and get up and change position a lot. And likely will stop eating so a stasis may follow. Later, they may make a tiny squeak when peeing or there may be red spots visible in the pee. Microscopic amounts exist in the pee early on, and a dipstick or a lab test will show them. (Dipsticks can be purchased or ordered to have at hand at home, just make sure it tests for "BLO" aka blood.) A UTI is usually easily treated with 7-14 days of antibiotics and my bunnies usually bounced back very fast and started eating as I noticed it fast and they hadn't developed stasis.

The combination of symptoms in a UTI may vary and differ quite a lot from lists you see online, but some should match. In one case my girl was peeing every 10 mins and it looks like a classic UTI, but it turned out *not* to be a UTI, but a small tummy upset because she'd scoffed too many pellets from a shared bowl.

If a bunny isn't eating properly, something is up. Could be an UTI, a tummy issue, or something else. But in most cases it is important to try and feed and water the bunny or they will get a tummy issue. If a bunny eats some lettuce on their own, for example, it probably does not have a gut blockage and feeding should be safe, but it's best if a vet first examines the bunny of course. To keep the tummy going, hydration is as important as food.

If I were you, I would write down for myself when he eats, poops, and pees and how he's behaving so you can keep track of what is happening. He should eat something with fibre every 2-4 hours preferably and have water. Greens don't really give fibre but at least they give water. Critical Care is good. I mix it very runny so it's easier for the bunny to eat. When suspecting a UTI it's important to check pee is coming out. That's a good sign in a way, as then there's no full blockage from a stone which would be an extreme emergency.

Cannot diagnose your bunny remotely or tell you what to do, but maybe some of this may help. Good luck!
 

taylor_wt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
14
Location
Washington
If he does have urinary problems, it sounds like it could be bladder sludge and the pellets would be a likely contributor. Even though you don't feed that much, they're alfalfa based and have higher calcium. I would remove the pellets from the diet for now. Then go ahead and get an appointment booked, so you at least have the possibility of getting in if there is still a problem. And also maybe try and find another vet you could get into immediately in case of emergency. Also I would monitor urine for signs of blood, being thick and creamy or pasty, and dribbling or incontinence.
Thanks for your response! I will take his pellets away for now and I’m working on getting him an appointment soon! It’s hard to figure out what his urine is like because he has pine pellets in his litter box that soak it up so I’m not really sure what it looks like. When he had those couple accidents and I wiped it up with napkins I didn’t notice anything abnormal. I will say it does seem like he has had an increase in urination from the looks of his litter box for at least a week...

Thanks again!
 

taylor_wt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
52
Reaction score
14
Location
Washington
Sorry to hear your bunny is not well. I've dealt with an UTI many times with my boy rabbit, and another one also had it once or twice. The symptoms and onset can vary from bunny to bunny and case to case, but if it's an UTI, the bunny will likely be making frequent pees outside the litter box, each smaller than the last (because there isn't much to come out), or may sit hunched in a corner with a soaked bum. They may also flop and get up and change position a lot. And likely will stop eating so a stasis may follow. Later, they may make a tiny squeak when peeing or there may be red spots visible in the pee. Microscopic amounts exist in the pee early on, and a dipstick or a lab test will show them. (Dipsticks can be purchased or ordered to have at hand at home, just make sure it tests for "BLO" aka blood.) A UTI is usually easily treated with 7-14 days of antibiotics and my bunnies usually bounced back very fast and started eating as I noticed it fast and they hadn't developed stasis.

The combination of symptoms in a UTI may vary and differ quite a lot from lists you see online, but some should match. In one case my girl was peeing every 10 mins and it looks like a classic UTI, but it turned out *not* to be a UTI, but a small tummy upset because she'd scoffed too many pellets from a shared bowl.

If a bunny isn't eating properly, something is up. Could be an UTI, a tummy issue, or something else. But in most cases it is important to try and feed and water the bunny or they will get a tummy issue. If a bunny eats some lettuce on their own, for example, it probably does not have a gut blockage and feeding should be safe, but it's best if a vet first examines the bunny of course. To keep the tummy going, hydration is as important as food.

If I were you, I would write down for myself when he eats, poops, and pees and how he's behaving so you can keep track of what is happening. He should eat something with fibre every 2-4 hours preferably and have water. Greens don't really give fibre but at least they give water. Critical Care is good. I mix it very runny so it's easier for the bunny to eat. When suspecting a UTI it's important to check pee is coming out. That's a good sign in a way, as then there's no full blockage from a stone which would be an extreme emergency.

Cannot diagnose your bunny remotely or tell you what to do, but maybe some of this may help. Good luck!
Thanks so much! This is really helpful! I will try and get him in to the vet as soon as possible.

Pee is definitely coming out so that’s good! The past week or 2 I have noticed he has been soiling his litter box a lot. I didn’t think anything of it until now though... I thought he may just be drinking extra water because it’s been hot.

thanks again!
 
Top