BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Urinary incontinence, long term
Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 9/02/2012 6:56 AM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline Jane
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8/25/2012 12:02 PM

Hi all,

I'm turning to you because I don't know where else to go now. My rabbit Kaori, one of three, may be the oldest (or not) and biggest and is the alpha. She is superfriendly. I've had her for three years and she's of unknown age. She is a Palomino. She started having a wet tail about two months ago, not poop incontinence, but urinary. She goes where ever she wants to, but usually in a few faithful spots. Sometimes she has had an accident since the advent of this problem, like a sudden gush of pee when I pick her up. 

The vet found no stones with an ultrasound and put her on antibiotics. I took to also cleaning her bottom and treated a minor infection of her glands - not even sure if it was an infection, it may have been the last traces of one. But now, one month later, there is no sign of infection in her nether regions, but she still has such a wet bum that the fur on her tail matted and fell off, and the fur around her bum also thinned out so you see her skin. No irritation, but when there has been, I put Polysporin on it. 

Her spirits are great, as is her appetite; the only other co-symptom is that she no longer will climb the stairs, as she falls off them more easily than she used to. So when it's time to go upstairs or outside she needs a pick-me-up. She is not acting disabled in any other way; she can get onto a chair and do her usual exploring. She can climb up the outside steps and she can climb down all steps. 

I would really like for her comfort and her tail to not have this wet bottom all the time. Plus, it would help a little bit with the cleaning, though I have a non-wet-tail rabbit that pees wherever she wants to, regardless.

Has anyone gone through this before? Please advise.

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
8/25/2012 12:14 PM
I have gone through the same thing with my first buns. We tried for 5 months to figure it out with our vet and couldn't. Mine was about 5/6 years old (adopted at unknown age). Has your buns been fixed? In addition to antibiotics, we tried pain meds, to make sure it wasn't issues with her back/legs. We also x-rayed her back to check for issues (we did that a little too late to do anything).

I used a dry rabbit shampoo to help. I used the wet one when I had to, but she hated baths.

Just from my experience, I would recommend really making sure the diet is spot on, to prevent GI Stasis from forming from possibly being stressed from being sick.

User is Offline Sarita
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8/25/2012 12:49 PM
Did he find any arthritis? It sounds like a possibility to me with a larger older rabbits. Arthritis is fairly prevalent in rabbits and cause cause this type of behavior due to not being able to posture correctly when she urinates. The fact that she is no longer to climb stairs and the other things you mention make me seem to think this is the problem.

User is Offline bunnyfriend
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8/25/2012 7:33 PM
Hi, I'm sorry your bunny is having this happen to her. Would it be possible to try something like putting news paper on the ground with litter on it or some kind of tray that she could easily hop into to go to the bathroom? You could try putting something like that in the areas that she normally goes in. It might be a little messier than a normal litter box would be but maybe it could help a little.

I wonder if she is having problems lifting her tail, does she still seem to have control over it? Most rabbits from my experience lift their tails up when they pee. That might go along with what Sarita said about the arthritis.

RIP Tigger          RIP Wilbur           RIP Totoro

User is Offline Jane
3 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2012 4:03 PM
How might I be able to test her tail lifting or what should I watch with her posture? I put her in the litter box when I see that there's pee on the floor - and she also jumps in the litter box with the other two when I get the hay out. I have wondered about her age and if she is slowing down. Has anyone noticed if Palomino rabbits go white in the face with age, just as old dogs go white in the face with age? If this is age or arthritis, I suppose I will have to resign us to the present state of affairs. I am hoping that the situation will slowly return to what it was before.

She gets hay in the AM along with veggies, veggies almost upon demand, esp. if she comes upstairs to the kitchen, and she also gets yummy lawn munchings. The last thing when they go to their cage at bedtime is a 1/4 cup each of pellets. When she first started with the incontinence, she also got a few dried papaya cubes each day. Not anymore, since stopping the medication.

FWIW, she is soooo easy to flip over onto her back and trance, I do it several times a day. I can also run her bum under the tap and then dry her off easily.

ETA: OK I just tranced her and clipped her nails and examined her legs and tail. Her tail is responsive, but her right rear leg is atrophied compared to her left one; it's the one more affected by hair loss from the wet tail. I gave her some physio by putting her through a few thigh-initiated leg extensions. Has anyone done physio on a rabbit before? Should I put her in a harness and take her for walks, to make sure she's getting enough exercise? She is a bit lazy compared to the others who run around all the time (especially the youngest), but she also constantly meerkats. I think I'm going to take her for walks, at least until she refuses. 

User is Offline MimzMum
Southwest Oregon
8087 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2012 5:06 PM
Rabbits do not really do well in harnesses and can spook easily in one and cause themselves great injury. I would see this as risking an already fragile or compromised rear leg system.

I would ask your vet about the possibility of arthritis as Sarita mentioned, and see if a pain reliever could be prescribed. You may see a change surprisingly quickly.

Healing vibes for your bun. I also have an older Palomino mix bun who is getting a little creaky and incontinent in her old age. The Palomino was originally bred for meat so their bodies may not be as capable of handling the difficulties of their golden years. But a little extra TLC can certainly help them to enjoy this time of life for as long as possible.

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1260 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 11:12 AM
My Jessica has had some significant incontinence issues over the past few months.  She tends to piddle (very small amt, even for a bunny) all the time.  She has also urinated on both myself & my husband, which our little lady NEVER did.  She has a hx of sludge, but vet says no signs and no UTI infection.  He believes it is due to age (approx 8yo).  Her legs & tail are good.  She uses her litter box as well, for the real peep & poop.  We've been keeping her trimmed down there, so that we can monitor skin irritation more easily.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi

User is Offline Jane
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8/30/2012 4:37 PM
She has been drying out! Finally. She's got the beginnings of fluff coming back to her tail, though it will take some time and maybe some brushing to get the dreads off the rest of her bottom. There have been fewer accidents this week, a lot fewer actually, and I've been putting her hind leg through extensions a couple of times a day. She has climbed the stairs to the main floor both yesterday and today, yesterday she went exploring around the front yard and sidewalk, and today she spent a lot of time hanging out on the patio with me. She's definitely a happy/happier rabbit. Thank you for your help.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
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8/31/2012 6:41 PM
Great!! If it's possible, puppy pee pads work fantastic as a cage/condo liner, they absorb so your bunnies bum does not

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
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9/02/2012 4:57 AM
Kudos for finding something that is helping her Jane. I really hope this gentle therapy continues to assist. I wonder what it is that has caused the impairment of that leg?

Arthritis certainly a possibility. It also reminds me of bunnies that develop hind end paralysis due to e. Cuniculi.
Things to keep in mind in case there's a relapse. Hoping there won't be!
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/02/2012 6:56 AM
I'm glad to hear things have improved.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Urinary incontinence, long term