Re: low calcium veg for bladder stone bunny
I don't have an informed opinion as to the cause of sludge/stones, but, if it's at all helpful, I can attest that pumpkin (canned, not "filling", just pumpkin, organic, nothing added) is an effective way to increase a bun's water and fiber intake. (Thanks again, Marie, for this tip that you gave me a couple of years ago - it's really made a difference to my boy!) I mix a tsp. of pumpkin (hint: I freeze it in silicone ice cube trays and just pop out what's needed for a few days and keep that in the fridge) with a bunch of water, twice a day, for my boy - and he licks, and licks, and licks it all up. I'm not sure how the calcium content compares to some of the high-calcium veggies - the can says 29mg per half cup (which is 2% of our RDA).
Throwing it out there - because, as we all know, sometimes we have to try Plan A, B, C....Z to find something that works for each bundividual.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> on behalf of Emprins <emprins@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 22, 2020 7:37 PM
To: Main <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Graemhoek <graemhoek@...>
Cc: Main <email@example.com>; Bramblebunny <bramblebunny@...>
Subject: Re: [Etherbun Main] low calcium veg for bladder stone bunny
It's my understanding that bladder sludge is now considered to be an issue of exercise and water intake. The current thinking is that calcium gets shaken up in the bladder through exercise and that this allows it to dissolve and be excreted without an issue. Stones are created out of those deposits that aren't dissolved and excreted. This is also seen as the reason older bunnies are much more prone to sludge- they often move around much less than their younger counterparts.
Is your buddy a lazy boy or a spastic zoom bunny? Has he been getting the space he needs to get his exercise in? How does he get his water (bowl or bottle?) and how much water does he drink? Making sure veggies are soaking wet when you serve them is a great way to increase water uptake and help him excrete more calcium. Bonus: our buns always have to groom in the middle of eating to keep their mouths from getting too wet! Adorable!
This is still just the current theory so take it with a grain of salt. They've had a hard time pinning down the cause of bladder sludge, although I will say that a lot of bunny people have said that cutting back on calcium rich veggies doesn't help much. Our vet suggests trying to rotate out calcium rich veggies but like you said, a lot of bunny favorites are high in calcium and Vets, like doctors, are not always up to date on the newest thinking/research, so we don't worry too much about limiting calcium. We find that quality of life is much higher with a wide array of veggies, but we have young free roaming bunnies with no history of bladder sludge so your milage may vary in terms of how cautious you want to be.
Sending my best to you and your mini rex boy! Bunny health issues can be stressful, scary, and expensive, so I hope you and your little bud have been recovering well. Your love for him is clear and I hope you can find the right lifestyle tweaks to keep him sludge-free!