Our elderly( 9yrs 4mths) entire male rabbit is displaying the following symptoms: not drinking enough water, strong smelling urine, sometimes not passing much urine, thick cream coloured discharge from front passage,on recent occasion, during personal cleaning of his genital area, which has to be carried out daily. His cage is cleaned out x2 daily. Diet fresh Excel hay, Russell Rabbit muesli + small amount spring greens, 2 slices apple, 2x yoghurt drop, 1x grape. C pro biotic powder in drinking water every other day.
Type of Animal: Rabbit
Age: 9 years 4 months
Helping him to drink water from water bottle, he also has extra water available from water bowl. Wet his vegetables. keep him clean x1 daily and his hutch clean x2 daily. Comes out of hutch x2 daily. He is an indoor rabbit.
Thank you for your question.I am sorry to hear your wee distinguished gentleman is having these issues. In this instance, I would be concerned that this cream discharge being passed from the penis may be a sign of infection, which could be precipitating because of his depressed drinking and changes (odor, concentration, volume) of his urine.In regards XXXXX XXXXX urine changes, we do need to consider conditions of the urinary tract and kidneys. Therefore, we need to rule out urinary tract infection, bladder sludge, and bladder stones. All of these can manifest as change in urine production and can also cause them to appear to have urinary incontinence and dribbling (which can make him appear even more unkempt then he might actually be).In regards XXXXX XXXXX which of these might be playing a role in your wee one, it would be worth discussing sending a urine sample to the lab with your vet. Ideally, this should be a fresh sample collected in a sterile manner (ie. vet can take an ultrasounded guided sample) and tested for culture/sensitivity (this will determine if bacterial infection is to blame) and for analysis. Analysis of the urine will allow you to rule out an overproduction of crystals that could be causing urine sludge (and give us a hint if there are a lot of crystals that we might have a bunny with stones. Though the way to diagnose stones in rabbits is via xray). As well, at the same time the urine can be checked for glucose, which if present will tell us if your rabbit has diabetes.Alternatively, you can also consider collecting a urine sample. I appreciate that this can be a little challenge, but often spending overnight with an empty litter pan in a non-carpeted room can help facilitate collection of a sample. (Either if he uses the litter box or by donation on the floor). The urine sample can be submitted to the vet for analysis and while this can't be cultured at the lab, they can determine if there are bacteria and white blood cells present (signs of infection), and rule out other issues like crystals (which can be a hint of possible stones or bladder sludge) or poor urine concentration (which would suggest kidney issues). Depending on the findings, if infection is confirmed, then he may need a course of antibiotics prescribed. If there is significant sludge, then an xray may be indicated to make sure there aren't bladder stones present.As well, you have mentioned that he doesn't appear to be drinking enough. You have the right idea with the assistance and the bowl. That said, measuring the water he drinks (via measuring what you have offered and what is left), you can get an idea of how poorly his drinking has been. The average water intake for a bunny tends to be approximately 50-150mls per kilogram of body weight. So, do consider measuring his water intake for a few days to see if this is truly abnormally low. If you find that he isn't meeting this requirement, then water is important but you also offer him pediatric electrolyte solution or diluted Gatorade (diluted 50% with water). Rabbits do tend to like the fruity flavored ones and this could help you get more fluid into him.So, do monitor his water intake and supplemented as I have mentioned. As well, collect a urine sample but also plan to follow up with your vet. These urinary signs need to be addressed in their own right and this likely secondary penile discharge will likely require antibiotics to clear.
If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking here (http://www.rabbit.org/vets/vets.html).
I hope this information is helpful. Please do let me know if you have any further questions. If you have no further questions, feedback is always appreciated.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your very helpful advice and information. Could you please tell me how a vet would get a urine sample from our rabbit, as we cannot get one ourselves, with thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
You are very welcome.If you cannot obtain a urine sample (it is a challenge with these wee ones), then the vet can either hospitalize him overnight to collect one the 'natural way' or if he does have a full bladder on examination (and is an amenable rabbit), the vet can take a urine sample via cystocentesis (where a needle is used to extract urine from the bladder).So, even if you are struggling the vet will be able to lend a hand.All the best,Dr.B.
General practice veterinary surgeon with a special interest in cats & fish.