Hello, my name is Catherine. I have long loved animals and have had several of my own over the years. Sadly, I saw two of my cats suffer with feline cancer, one of my dogs had arthritis, and, of course, we faced the usual calamities and injuries pets often face. However, I have had to navigate this on a relatively restricted budget, and through the years, I have gotten quite proficient at that. I work at a library and love doing research on pets and veterinary care as well as a range of other topics. I also love to write so decided to put my info in a blog. Please, explore and enjoy!
Just like humans, rabbits can develop kidney failure, and signs of the condition can appear suddenly or develop gradually over time. It's not always possible to identify the cause of kidney failure, but it can develop for a number of reasons, such as the presence of a blood infection, trauma, heart failure, a urinary tract obstruction, aging or underlying diabetes. Any condition that can lead to a build-up of toxins in the kidneys or changes to your rabbit's electrolyte profile can lead to kidney failure, and kidney failure can be fatal if left untreated. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for kidney failure in rabbits:
A common symptom of kidney failure is a drop in urine production, which can occur without changes to your rabbit's drinking habits. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, less frequent stool production, fever and depression, which may present as your rabbit withdrawing from social contact or being irritable. Their kidneys will be tender, and your rabbit may wince in pain when you apply gentle pressure to the kidneys.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Your vet will diagnose kidney failure by taking details of your rabbit's symptoms and conducting a thorough physical exam. Urine and blood samples will be taken to check how the kidneys are functioning and determine if inflammation or an infection is present. Diagnostic imaging, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, will be used to check for kidney swelling and rule out other potential causes of your rabbit's symptoms, such as cysts in the kidneys.
Treatment for kidney failure will depend on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms, but your rabbit will typically need fluid therapy to resolve dehydration and improve urine production. Antibiotics may be required if bacteria have colonised the kidneys while they're compromised, and your vet may recommend changes to your rabbit's diet, such as increasing the amount of fresh greens offered or lowering the protein in their diet to support their kidneys and reduce the amount waste products in the blood. Medication that inhibits glycoprotein may be prescribed to improve kidney function, and if an obstruction is found during diagnosis, surgery may be required.
If your rabbit has any of the symptoms associated with kidney failure, schedule an urgent appointment with your vet to prevent any unnecessary suffering. The sooner your rabbit receives treatment, the more likely they are to respond positively and regain their health. Look for a vet clinic in your area.