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What is Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract?

Many cases of cystitis can be easily corrected by current treatment methods. In cases where blockages are involved, more invasive methods, such as surgery, may need to be performed. In rare cases, such infections can be a signal of a more serious condition, such as cancer, bladder or renal disease.

Cystitis, or an infection of the bladder and urinary tract, is a very common occurrence in rabbits. Inflammation of the bladder and the urinary tract is usually caused by bacteria, and can lead to mild to severe discomfort for your rabbit.

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Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

Symptoms of Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits

Symptoms of a bladder or urinary tract infection include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Decreased urination
  • Painful urination
  • Straining to urinate, or a hunched posture while urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Brown or beige colored urine
  • Thick or cloudy urine
  • Cries or grunts when urinating, being handled or moving
  • Changes in litter box behavior
  • Urine staining
  • Urine scald, or red irritated skin where there is prolonged urine contact
  • Bladder sludge or stones
  • Loss of fur near genitals or hindquarters
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Pain
  • Wet tail

Symptoms of renal disease can include:

  • Dehydration
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Urine odor coming from mouth
  • Increased water consumption
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Causes of Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits

The cause of a UTI or bladder infection in your rabbit could be:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Bladder sludge or stones
  • Too much calcium
  • Urinary tract blockage
  • Urinary tract inflammation
  • Abnormal urinary tract that can predispose a rabbit to infections
  • Trauma
  • Endocrine problem, causing increased formation of stones
  • Cancer
  • Renal disease or failure
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Diagnosis of Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits

After a regular exam, if a UTI or bladder infection is suspected, a urinalysis is often performed. This may be accompanied by a microscopic examination, and a cystocentesis, wherein a needle is inserted into the bladder to extract a sterile sample for testing. Testing of this sample can confirm what kind of bacteria is infecting your rabbit, and lead your veterinarian to the appropriate antibiotics to prescribe.

There are cases in which the bacteria is fastidious anaerobic, or bacteria that dies when exposed to oxygen, causing the test to be negative. Your veterinarian may be able to further diagnose the condition by examining your rabbit’s urine under a microscope to look for any blood cells present.

In cases where stones, blockages or other more severe issues are suspected, X-rays, urine cultures, and blood tests will be performed. Stones should be able to be detected on X-rays. Bladder disease can be confirmed with a urine culture, blood work, and a complete blood count.If the case is indeed severe, often veterinarians will check to see if the kidneys are affected, and to what extent.

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Treatment of Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits

Treatment for the infection will correspond to the underlying cause. For a bacterial cause, antibiotics will be prescribed, with any supportive therapy needed, such as fluid therapy. If a blockage is to blame, treatment can include the surgical removal of stones. Antibiotics are prescribed, and fluids are given if needed. Stones need to be removed, or they will continue to grow in size, inflaming the bladder and urinary tract. Your veterinarian will discuss a proper diet to discourage the stones from reoccurring. 

Sludge may require fluid therapy and antibiotics, and your rabbit may need his bladder manually expressed to remove the sludge. Pain medication may be prescribed for pain and to control spasms. Liquid magnesium has been used to treat chronic sludge. In the case of kidney disease, treatment involves treating the underlying cause, be that bacterial or protozoan infection, stones and sludge, or tumors. Your veterinarian will discuss a treatment plan on a case by case basis once the full extent of the condition is known. In most cases, pain medication is often prescribed. Death is rare, but can occur in cases of bladder rupture, renal disease, or an inability to urinate.

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Recovery of Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits

If surgery was performed to remove stones or obstructions, your rabbit may need 1-2 days of hospitalization for pain management and fluid therapy as needed after surgery.

Continued antibiotic treatment at home is generally prescribed, up to several weeks for severe cases of infection. Diet changes may also be recommended. A repeated urine culture may also be recommended to ensure the infection is eradicated, or future veterinary visits to check for stones may be scheduled.

If UTIs are common for your rabbit, prevent reocurrences by having fresh, clean water readily available, feeding your rabbit a diet high in moisture, regularly cleaning your rabbit’s elimination area, and exercising your rabbit regularly to promote healthy urination.

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Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

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Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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holland lop bunny

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Ten Months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Change In Litter Habits

My bunny has been neutered for almost two months now and he has not had an issue with peeing anywhere other than his litter box, until now of course. Just yesterday I was giving him an apple slice on my bed and then I noticed he had peed on my bed, he didn’t even seem to notice. Then today, he was laying down but not flopped, and I was petting him and then when he got up I noticed there was a clear area where he had peed, it looked semi dry and it was very cloudy yellow looking. He has been drinking a lot of water as of lately and peeing a lot. Other than that he doesn’t show any other symptom

Feb. 23, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

Some cloudiness can be normal in rabbit urine but excess thirst and peeing is not. Kidney disease and diabetes are possible, though less likely at this age and without other symptoms such as weight loss or a reduced appetite. We should analyse the urine and a blood test or bladder scab may be performed if needed. Once we have a diagnosis, we will start the most appropriate treatment which may be anti inflammatories or antibiotics.

Feb. 23, 2021

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Holland lop

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Three Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Painful Urination

She has blood in her lee and it’s like a white/yellow

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 18, 2020

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Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Compare plans
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