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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Bunny: walking health problem?
Last Post by Radhika at 10/18/2012 11:45 PM (26 Replies)
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User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 11:46 PM

I'm not really sure where else to put this, so i'll put it in here.

My beloved Binky is worrying me and has been for some time.

When he was younger (and I mean under a year) he would go through periods of time where he would drink a lot, for a few weeks solid, then it would calm down again. He had urine samples done at the vets and a general blood test, nothing ever came up.

About 2 months ago he started this drinking habit again, drinking his full 300ml bottle in 24 hours, sometimes more. Obviously the vet was worried about kidney problems although it is unusual in a rabbit of his age as hes only 1 year 3months.

Hes had another general blood test since which was fine, 

-A blood test on his kidney phosphate levels, they came back slightly elevated but not by much.

-A blood test for e.cuniculi as that can cause kidney problems, that came back negative.

-Another test on his kidney levels and that came back fine this time round

-Then a test on his liver bile acid, which also came back slightly elevated but hardly over normal.

During this time hes had 3 or 4 urine tests to check for infection, no excess protein or blood has ever come up to show he has infection.

Now the vet wants to give him anasthetic so she can do a urine sample directly from his bladder, which means putting a needle in his bladder, ultrasound scan and x-rays to get a better picture of what might be going on or any signs of infection/damage.

It started with him just drinking loads, but its progressed to him being more inactive than usual and his bladder is so full he sometimes doesn't make it to his tray and pees all over the bottom of his cage. He did a huge pee the other day and it was like water.

We are all still wondering if it is behavioural, if hes bored and things might be different if he had more time out of his cage and was bonded with Winnie, they don't get enough time out of their cages really and i feel awful for it. I moved house and i've been struggling to get things rabbit friendly while coping with anxiety, stress, house problems costing me money and now my house mate has lost his job.

I know this is absolutely no excuse for not taking care of the buns like they need me to. They get about 3 hours a day to run around the dining room and kitchen (1 room each). Please don't rant at me thats its not enough, i'm trying my best to improve things for them. I've recently bought a 1meter by 3meter piece of vinyl flooring and wire mesh squares to make a big pen for them. They will eventually have full run of the ground floor of the house, at least while i'm in.

What I want to know is; has anyone else ever seen this rabbit behaviour? And I'm i risk the bonding process taking another month or go ahead with the scans and such. Or try antibiotics without knowing he needs them? I'm very nervous about him being put under (as we all are) especially if he does have any kidney/liver problems. I couldn't bear it if i lost him at this point, I only recently lost a friend and it'd break my heart if Binky passed.

I guess I'm just hoping for a bit of discussion and advice here, I have no other rabbit friends to talk to and although my bun's vet is fantastic its still hard to make decisions.

To top it off Binky currently has conjunctivitis and dry skin. And is almost guaranteed dental problems in the future as his secondary incisors don't sit behind his bottom incisors.

I love my little bunny boy so so much, I know the best option is probably the anaesthetic and scans, etc. I'm just terrified i'll lose him.

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 5:23 AM
Look around and see if there is something he could have eaten, such as an ant poison or something. That would make him very thirsty.

Also, do you have any salt licks available to him? I freaked out once because my first buns was drinking so much and was wetting her cage. The vet told me to take away the salt licks and it stopped. Oops!

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 5:27 AM
BTW, when I say look around... really check everywhere for signs that he may have been there. My buns learned how to open closet doors and chewed on an ant trap once. My vet told me to watch for excessive thirst, to see if he just chewed on the outside or if he got some poison. Thank goodness he didn't get to the poison.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 7:40 AM
Has the vet checked her teeth?

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 8:33 AM
Well there isn't any poison type stuff around, I've never used any. And the only salt lick he has is my nose lol, bunny kisses!

Also yes, he has had several full dental checks for spurs and such. Like I stated the vet noted there will be future problems but not enough to cause him pain right now especially as he's still eating fine. There currently aren't any spurs or anything.

He's presenting quite a mystery to everyone including the vet.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 8:55 AM
Okay, I reread it and saw about the dental at the end. I do know that dental problems can cause rabbits to drink more.

What would the vet be able to discover by needle aspiration. He wouldn't need to be put under anesthesia for an x-ray though or an ultrasound (maybe). I guess those would be questions I would want answered from the vet to help me make a decision.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
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9/28/2012 10:34 AM
I don't think it's behaviorally based. It sounds strictly physical to me, albeit still a mystery.

I understand your reluctance to do this procedure without reassurance. I think you might send a copy of your post to Dr. Dana Krempel, who gives excellent advice and has studied rabbits' medical conditions for years. We often consult her. You could send her an email saying she was mentioned here. (I'm not finding my link to the Ask a Vet site I used to see.) Her website is

BTW, 3 hours is fine, and no one will give you a hard time about it. You obviously are working to make a great home for your bunnies.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline megrat7
Otown, Fl USA
83 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 10:42 AM
I wish I had some good advice- keep looking the answer is out there! =/

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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9/28/2012 2:45 PM
I know rabbits drink a lot-more per body weight than other animals, so I looked up and what I found was 100-600 ml per day or 50-100 ml per kg of body weight. So I don't think the 300ml is excessive. Not making it to the toilet is a worry though.
Rabbits are very clean and I doubt if even the most bored hutch bunny would not make it to the toilet or drink to excess out of boredom, never heard of anything like that. I think you are on the right track when looking at it from a health perspective.

I'm wondering about trying another vet for a second opinion-are there any really experienced rabbit vets in your area you could try-or better yet a specialist? We have vet resources on this site, it's often good to get another opinion, or have test results re-interpreted. All I can really suggest is further testing by a hopefully more experienced rabbit vet, as this is for sure a medical issue and if your vet is stumped it's probably time to try someone else.

Good luck and keep us posted!

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 1:42 AM
Sarita: I think she just wants to be sure its not a UTI causing this and as his regular urine sample havent come back with anything on them she wants to get a sterile sample. Also, i figure its probably easier for them to ultrasound/x-ray while the bun is under anaesthetic? He'll have to have a lot of his fur shaved off for the ultrasound and although hes very well behaved he can get kicky sometimes.

RabbitPam : I'll be sure to give it a go contacting that doctor, i'm glad you think 3 hours is okay for now. I just feel bad as I want them to have longer, y'know?

KokaneeandKahlua: I believe the vets worked out that he should be drinking about 160ml or something, to go with his weight. I've spoken to two vets in the same practice, Isabel (the regular vet) is the more rabbit knowledgeable one. There is an exotics branch in the same vets (they have 4 surgeries), should I maybe try them? I do believe Isabel knows quite a lot about rabbits as i've seen her deal with a few now, she regularly checks his teeth and has provided him with good care so far. Same with my other bun, Winnie. I will definitely look into the vet resources and consider taking him to the exotics branch though!

-Does anyone think I should just try antibiotics in case it is an infection of some sort? Or should I wait and see if we can find out what the problem definitely is?

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 2:18 AM
I just spoke to the vet, she said she doesn't want to try antibiotics at this time as they're not sure if it is an infection and that they wouldn't know what length of time to give him them for so she'd rather wait and be sure that it is an infection. She also said it would be sedation, not anaesthetic. That she can definitely do the ultrasound and x-rays with sedation and that he may need gas anaesthetic for the sterile sample from his bladder. (they want to grow cultures from his urine in an attempt to get more answers about infection)
She said that they put oxygen tubes in rabbit's airways when dealing with anaesthetic and that he'd also be put on a drip to help him (apparently a lot of places don't do this with rabbits where i live). I asked how many rabbits they deal with and she said that she does a lot of operations on rabbits at that surgery, but fewer ultrasounds and thats she is used to doing them more on cats and dogs. She is however the most qualified vet for scanning at Manor vets even taking the exotics branch into consideration. Manor vets are also one of the most rabbit savvy vets in the whole city.

I feel a bit more comfortable about him going through that process now i know he won't necessarily be completely knocked out.

Hes been booked in for Thursday for now, though she said it was fine if i changed my mind or have more questions.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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9/29/2012 1:14 PM
I don't have any idea on what exactly is going on, but please keep us posting on how everything goes.

I also want to say that it sounds like they have adequate playtime. We all cycle through times in our lives when things are harder, but I think you're still doing a good job despite the crazyness.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11069 posts Send Private Message
10/01/2012 3:50 AM
Well, if you feel reassured and thoroughly informed and are OK to go ahead with the procedure than it's good that you have booked an appointment. We urge our members to pursue problems with their vets because most of us haven't encountered many medical situations and you want the experts in the field to do the diagnosing and treatment. It sounds like you are in good hands, or at least they are eager to learn more by studying Binky.

I still suggest, since it's not until later in the week, that you drop Dr. K. an email with the added procedural plan and see if she agrees with it.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
10/01/2012 11:05 PM
Oh yes! Thanks for reminding me, i'll write that email out now!

I forgot to say...the other thing that makes me think this may be behavioural is that he mostly pees outside of his litter tray when it is full. Hes had a few other accidents otherwise, that huge pee he did in the first post i put up..his litter tray was hardly used.
(i change his litter every 24-48 hours as he fills it so quick)

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
10/02/2012 11:17 PM
Awaiting to hear from Doc Dana and a vet at the Exotics branch of my vets just to get her opinion.

I cleaned Binky's tray out on Monday and have been keeping it clean and tidy ever since, checking his toilet activities. Last night it was all clean and i'd replaced his litter completely. Hes peed on the floor of his cage again, maybe its not behavioural.

Could that fact that he knows Winnie is there but hasn't 'met' her properly yet be doing anything to his behaviour like that?

And could it also be the fact i've not been using vinegar to clean up his accidents? I've been using a small animal safe anti-bac spray..maybe hes still smelling his urine and just re-marking?

There are so many whats and ifs, its driving me crazy. I really want to get to the bottom of this for him. And thanks to everyone here, sometimes I don't know what i'd do without this forum.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
11069 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2012 6:06 AM
Well, it is possible that knowing about Winnie is making him mark a bit. No way to be sure except ruling out physical issues.
I think the anti-bac spray may be bothering him, and since it's an easy fix to try the 50/50 water/vinegar cleaning solution instead, I'd say try it on your next cleaning (later today?), Smelling his own urine just a bit is actually a good way to get him to use his litter pan, so if anything, put a tiny bit of soiled litter or a few poos back into the clean pan so he knows for sure that it's his.

Hang in there.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2012 1:51 PM
Well he's still going for the scans and stuff tomorrow. The exotics vet rang me today and she said that Binky's vet, Isobel, has been in contact with her already sharing info and get i feel really great about that. She said that as a specialist she'd have done exactly what Isobel has so far and would also recommend the scans/x-rays etc. She said that even if it is behavioural its best to rule out medical reasons for his behaviour at the same time. She also said she isn't very rational when it comes to treating her own pets so she goes to Isobel when her pets have a problem and that shes an excellent vet.

I will be buying white vinegar as soon as I can, hopefully tomorrow. The only vinegar i have in the house is malt lol. Someone at work also suggested he may need a bigger litter tray as thats what he had to do for his cat. I think this is reasonable as although Binky is a mini-lop he isn't very mini.

Wish Binky and I luck for tomorrow. I hope hes going to be okay, he'll get so much love when he comes home.
maybe i'll get a photo of his bunny-mohawk tomorrow or friday

on the plus side, his eye is looking much better after using the eye drops!

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16322 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2012 3:05 AM
Good luck. Hope all is well.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline jerseygirl
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10/04/2012 3:56 AM
Good luck!

I hope I'm not too late in suggesting this. Would it be possible they do a head X-ray also while he's sedated? I'm not certain with the intubation if this is possible. Just thought you'd be able to get better insight to his dental situation. My rabbit dealing with jaw abscess is a big drinker. Like Sarita, I've heard dental buns do drink a lot too. A way to sooth the mouth.

I'm surprised the vet hasn't opted abx straight off because so many do. It's probably just as well now you are getting this sterile sample done. If on abx that would impact on the result. From what I can tell, your vet sounds pretty savvy. : )
I hope Binky does well under her care.

I'm a little confused by the title of this thread. Does Binky have a walking problem also? Is this why you got him tested for e.c.?
The test for that is not great unfortunately. Regarding ec, I had read that dehydration would trigger symptoms so I do wonder if rabbits self medicate with water sometimes.

p.s. who is your avatar bun? Because he/she is gorgeous! I love love that colour.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline pendrith
41 posts Send Private Message
10/05/2012 2:52 AM
Hello all,
Binky is fine. He had all his scans and such yesterday and is doing well at home now.

The vet said she has never seen a rabbit with so much food in his stomach and abdomen and that he eats amazingly, unfortunately the amount of food he has crammed in him means she wasn't able to see as clearly as she hoped. His kidneys looked fine in the ultrasound, they look healthy and theres no sign of kidney stones or anything. She looked at his liver but could only see either side of it, not the middle due to his stuffed tummy! Lol. She said it looked a little whiter than she normally sees but has also read that thats normal for a rabbit unlike a cat or dog.

She checked his teeth thoroughly while he was under and apparently they're fine, she said she didnt feel the need for a jaw x-ray.
Also..instead of using a needle to get a sterile sample they catheterised him, he was so stuffed of food they didnt want to risk piercing his gut especially as his bladder was almost empty and hardly seeable on the scans, etc.

They wonder if he has an infection or some sort of cystitis that makes him want to empty his bladder all the time, we'll find out about that from the urine cultures.

I'm trying behavioural things at the same time.
I've cleaned his cage from top to bottom with white vinegar/water. Will be getting him a bigger tray as i dont think his is big enough...and i've also moved his water bottle as i had an idea (that rabbits like to eat and poop at the same time..his water bottle was by his tray so maybe he was drinking instead of eating when in his tray.) I've moved the bottle...and y'know what...hes not drinking as much. he knows where his bottle is and has been drinking..but over night has drank 50ml instead of 200ml.

Only time will tell but maybe this simple little thing has solved the issue.

jerseygirl- no he doesnt have a walking problem...that was just my little 'my bunny is a walking health disaster' moment lol. Sorry for the confusing title!
Also, the bunbun in my avatar is none other than Binky himself!
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