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Practice Name

Lake Howell Animal Clinic

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Primary Location
856 Lake Howell Road
Maitland, FL 32751
Phone: (407) 628-8000
Fax: (407) 628-8412

Office Hours

DayMorningAfternoon
Monday7:00am6:00pm
Tuesday7:00am6:00pm
Wednesday7:00am1:00pm
Thursday7:00am6:00pm
Friday7:00am6:00pm
Saturday8:00am1:00pm
SundayClosedClosed
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What you need to know about Kidney or Bladder Stones (Urolithiasis) in Rabbits
 

Urolithiasis, also called kidney or bladder stones, is a condition that is often seen in rabbits. The disease most commonly affects the bladder, but can also occur in the urethra, ureter and kidney.

Development of the disease

Rabbits can be afflicted with stones (uroliths) due to the unique way they metabolize calcium. High dietary calcium levels caused by diets high in calcium-rich foods such as alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay, or high calcium vegetables such as kale. collards, chicory or dandelion can contribute to a high calcium content in the blood, a condition called hypercalcemia. Any calcium in the body that exceeds the bodily requirements of the bunny are then excreted almost entirely by the kidney. This can, in turn, lead to high urinary calcium levels (called hypercalcuria). It’s these high urinary calcium levels that can cause bladder sludge or sand and potentially cause stone formation.

Symptoms

While signs of trouble may vary, a sudden loss of litterbox habits, straining to urinate, slow and painful spasmodic (a drop-by-drop) discharge of urine — possibly even with with blood , wetness around the genitals, or a “thick” or “pasty” urine signals problems.  In advanced cases, the bunny may have obvious abdominal pain, a hunched posture and be grinding his or her teeth loudly (called bruxism).  Other signs could include not eating, lethargy and weight loss. Any of these symptoms require a visit to the vet as soon as possible.

Diagnosis

Once at your vet’s office, he or she will ask for a complete history, including information about bunny’s activity level and a review of the diet. It’s very important to give complete information, including what treats are given, so that the vet has a full picture of your bunny’s daily routine. This information will help to determine possible causes and, ultimately, help you to develop a plan of prevention once the bunny has recovered.

Once a complete history is taken, your vet will most likely do a urinalysis and he may draw blood for a blood chemistry. X-rays and/or an ultrasound of the abdominal area (the bladder, kidneys, urethra and ureter)  to look for sand (or sludge) and stones may also help him to confirm a diagnosis.

Treatment

In rabbits with sludge or sand in the bladder, the vet may flush the bladder with a high volume of fluids (or crystalloids) and may place the bunny on antibiotic therapy. If surgery (or cystotomy) is required to remove a stone (called a urolith), a culture and sensitivity test (sometimes called C&S) will be done and antibiotics prescribes. The stone will also be sent out for analysis.

Prevention

Diet: In most cases, dietary modification to reduce calcium levels is required. This will usually involve switching the bunny from alfalfa-based pellets and/or hay to a Timothy hay-based pellet and grass hay such as Timothy, Oat, Orchard, etc. In addition, replacing high calcium vegetables with lower calcium ones will help decrease overall intake.

Exercise:  Increasing exercise can help to prevent a build-up of sludge in the bladder by preventing the sand (calcium crystals) from settling to the bottom of the bladder and allowing it to be excreted with the urine.

Orlando Diaz-Figueroa, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian Specialty)

Veterinary Services

Welcome to Lake Howell Animal Clinic

"Your pet’s health and well-being is our number one concern."

Your Dog, Cat, and Exotics Veterinarian in Maitland, FL
Call us at (407) 628-8000

Veterinary Services:
  • Medical Care

  • Dental Care

  • Orthopedics

  • Surgery

  • Spay/Neuter

  • Critical Care

  • Vaccinations

  • Boarding

  • Diet & Nutrition

  • Referrals

  • Education

Services We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide. Make An Appointment We will do our best to accommodate your busy schedule. Schedule an appointment today! Online Forms Our patient forms are available online so they can be completed in the convenience of your own home or office.

Testimonial

We like the knowledge of both Dr.Diaz and Dr.Perez so much- we moved from another clinic we had been with for ten years. I highly recommend them both.

- Robin L. / Maitland, FL

I can say with much certainty that not many will do what you (Dr.Diaz) did for me. Not many are out there who have so much benevolence in their heart to help out others, particularly in the medical profession. My heart is filled with thankfulness towards you. I would also like to thank your staff which is equally as loving and caring. They showed tremedous sensitivity towards me and dealt with me in kindness.

- Vijai T. / Maitland, FL

Dr Perez has been the vet for my 3 dogs for over 5 years and I can't say enough good things about her care and the well being she has for my pups. Nancy is also very knowledgeable and wonderful. She takes the time needed to answer all my questions and gives me the best course of action when they're ill.

- Janis L. / Orlando, FL

Office Hours

WE ARE CLOSED FROM 12:00PM - 1:30PM ON MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS. DROP OFF AND PICK UP FOR OUR BOARDING FACILITY NO LATER THAN 5:00PM ON MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS AND NO LATER THAN 12:00PM ON WEDNESDAYS AND SATURDAYS.  
DayMorningAfternoon
Monday7:00am6:00pm
Tuesday7:00am6:00pm
Wednesday7:00am1:00pm
Thursday7:00am6:00pm
Friday7:00am6:00pm
Saturday8:00am1:00pm
SundayClosedClosed

Contact

  • (407) 628-8000
  • 856 Lake Howell Road Maitland, FL 32751
  • Get Directions
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