Topics

Bladder stone


Brenda B Delaney
 

Has anyone had a rabbit with a bladder stone? My vet diagnosed via X-ray that my Frodo, 8 year old Holland Lop, has one. She is doing blood tests to see if it’s because of kidney malfunction. We’ll know Monday. If that’s the case, he can’t have surgery to remove the stone and we have to give subcutaneous fluids daily until the stone obstructs and we put him down. :(  That sounds traumatic to me. Im hoping the bloodwork comes back ok, maybe the stone is a result of his history of high blood calcium the past year or two. 

My 2 bunnies have been sick a bunch the past 3 months. I don’t think I’ll ever get another pet after they’re gone. Just feeling so discouraged. 

-Brenda


conejolover
 

Im so sorry about your bunny! I have had several bunnies with stones, they have all had surgery. One bunny, a tiny dutch got another stone every year for 4 years straight. Bunnies cant filter calcium very well so it builds up and forms stones. You also have to look out for blockages which are very dangerous. 


On Sat, May 30, 2020, 7:47 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has anyone had a rabbit with a bladder stone? My vet diagnosed via X-ray that my Frodo, 8 year old Holland Lop, has one. She is doing blood tests to see if it’s because of kidney malfunction. We’ll know Monday. If that’s the case, he can’t have surgery to remove the stone and we have to give subcutaneous fluids daily until the stone obstructs and we put him down. :(  That sounds traumatic to me. Im hoping the bloodwork comes back ok, maybe the stone is a result of his history of high blood calcium the past year or two. 

My 2 bunnies have been sick a bunch the past 3 months. I don’t think I’ll ever get another pet after they’re gone. Just feeling so discouraged. 

-Brenda


David L. Fisher
 

Hi Brenda -

I had a Rex that had a bladder stone as big as his eye, and he was dribbling and very close to having it kill him (the surgeon said it was a good thing I brought him in when I did, because the stone was about to start blocking his urethra).  His surgery went fine and he recovered fully, but he DID need surgery.  I don't recall if we did a blood test first, so I don't know about the relationship with kidney malfunction.

In my experiences, bladder stones/sludge were a result of either too much calcium in the diet or not enough elimination of it through the urine.

I hope the blood tests come back okay and you can get surgery for your bun.

Dave

p.s. Please don't get discouraged - you're a great bunny parent and they need you.  I know at times it feels like we're doing something wrong, and of course we're supposed to outlive our pets so we have to carry that loss with us, and it can be trying.  I hate to see heartbreak or discouragement take another person from the bunny community.


On 5/30/2020 7:47 PM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:
Has anyone had a rabbit with a bladder stone? My vet diagnosed via X-ray that my Frodo, 8 year old Holland Lop, has one. She is doing blood tests to see if it’s because of kidney malfunction. We’ll know Monday. If that’s the case, he can’t have surgery to remove the stone and we have to give subcutaneous fluids daily until the stone obstructs and we put him down. :(  That sounds traumatic to me. Im hoping the bloodwork comes back ok, maybe the stone is a result of his history of high blood calcium the past year or two. 

My 2 bunnies have been sick a bunch the past 3 months. I don’t think I’ll ever get another pet after they’re gone. Just feeling so discouraged. 

-Brenda


Meg Brown
 



Hi Brenda
     I’m very sorry to hear of Frodo’s troubles.

     I have had one bunny with bladder stones, my Charlie, who I adopted 20 years ago.   
      He stopped eating at age 7 and, though I was skilled in home care for GI issues by this time, he wasn’t readily responding.

     X-rays revealed 2 large stones.  Bloodwork came back showing high BUN and creatinine levels.

    My vet, who is a renowned surgeon and bunny-savvy vet, was not comfortable recommending surgery for Charlie.   I can’t remember why and I didn’t know enough then to ask the medical questions that I would now.

    My vet recommended that we take Charlie to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
     It is a 3.5 hr drive but I wanted to have their input, in order to make an informed decision.

Both doctors at Cornell agreed that surgery was not recommended, partly because of Charlie’s age.

    The outcome was that Charlie was given 1.5 ml of injectable Baytril once a day for 14 days, (in fluids, so as not to create a sterile abscess, which can happen if Baytril is injected without diluting)
  In addition, he received 60ml of Sub-Q fluids twice a day.

This 14- protocol was prescribed immediately. After the 3rd day, Charlie’s appetite and behavior were completely back to normal.

Three months later, he again stopped eating.  Bloodwork indicated a rise in his BUN and creatinine.

    The Baytril (enrofloxicin), and fluids protocol was nun again.
     Within 2 days, he was 100% back...

    This cycle went on for 1.5 years.  Charlie even bonded with a lovely Dutch gal named Lola, which made him so happy as he wanted desperately to bond with Buster in his early years, but she didn’t want a husbun.

   After 1.5 year, Charlie died peacefully, Lola by his side.

      He is my only bun who has had stones.

    Two of my other buns had sludge, so I’m pretty familiar with the care and treatment of that condition, which also includes fluids.  

     Right now, I have a 12-year old guy who can’t urinate on his own at all.
      He’s had x-rays, an ultrasound, bloodwork, a catheter up his penis checking for a blockage. (ultrasound-guided under isofluorine)
     Nothing obvious.

So I express his bladder 3x a day (and give him 60ml of fluids a day as his urine seems too concentrated otherwise)  Then he dives into his food and hay and hangs out in his room with his bunny or kitty friend.

   My point is that sometimes the best we can do is palliative care.  

Love our bunnies, do what is necessary to offer physical comfort and help them to live happy lives.

    As they age, we adjust along with them to their changing bodies.  It’s often bittersweet to see them riddled with arthritis, (for instance), but when we can manage it and offer a quality of life that brings them joy, it becomes a sacred partnership.

    As long as a bunny of mine is not in pain, they die peacefully at home.   
This has been the case for over 30 bunnies in the past 21 years.
    My quadriplegic bunny, Buttercup, passed at home a week ago at 12 years old, her giant kitty, Cowboy, looking over her.
      
    Please trust that you’re doing a wonderful job taking care of Frodo and your other bunny.  Bunnies have delicate systems, inside and out.    We never know if we’ll be together for 2 years or 14 years.

     Bunny people understand, need and help one another.   I love what David wrote about our community needing you.
      I hope you always have animals in your life.  Any bunny or other animal will be blessed to feel your love and compassion.
      Sincerely,
         Meg
     



On May 30, 2020, at 8:15 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:




p.s. Please don't get discouraged - you're a great bunny parent and they need you.  I know at times it feels like we're doing something wrong, and of course we're supposed to outlive our pets so we have to carry that loss with us, and it can be trying.  I hate to see heartbreak or discouragement take another person from the bunny community.


On 5/30/2020 7:47 PM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:
Has anyone had a rabbit with a bladder stone? My vet diagnosed via X-ray that my Frodo, 8 year old Holland Lop, has one. She is doing blood tests to see if it’s because of kidney malfunction. We’ll know Monday. If that’s the case, he can’t have surgery to remove the stone and we have to give subcutaneous fluids daily until the stone obstructs and we put him down. :(  That sounds traumatic to me. Im hoping the bloodwork comes back ok, maybe the stone is a result of his history of high blood calcium the past year or two. 

My 2 bunnies have been sick a bunch the past 3 months. I don’t think I’ll ever get another pet after they’re gone. Just feeling so discouraged. 

-Brenda


Brenda B Delaney
 



Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


David L. Fisher
 

Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Brenda B Delaney
 

Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Chris Norlund
 

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Dave W
 

Our late bunny Henry (mini-rex) had problems with bladder stones a few years before he passed. He had surgery at our local rabbit exotic vet and a stone was removed. However, about 3 months later more stones were detected. Being short funds for a second major exotic surgery we elected to have his second surgery done by our local extremely skilled all animal (large & small) vet. The night before his second surgery he probably passed the smaller of the stones and I was convinced he was going to die when he was passing it as he was in a great deal of distress. Our second vet's surgery was successful. It is possible that a small additional stone was missed during the first surgery. Both surgeries removed a stone in excess of 1/4" in diameter. Henry lived a happy life for several years after the second surgery with no recurrence of stones. We did take very aggressive preventative measures to avoid future stones. The most aggressive was providing sub-cu fluids at least twice a week. He was given a liquid potassium citrate (urine acidified) solution supplement. We switched his drinking water to distilled water (we have very hard tap water here in central Texas). We cut his pellet intake and switched it to a lower calcium timothy rabbit pellet from the slightly higher calcium brand of rabbit pellet we had been feeding him. We also carefully avoided higher calcium greens for his salads. He made it to 10 yoa before he unrelatedly lost his rear leg control and we had him PTS based on a quality of life decision. I still miss him, he was a great guy.

Dave

Virus-free. www.avast.com

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020 at 11:10 PM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Brenda B Delaney
 


I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 





On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Nona Cleland
 

I also had a bun with bladder stones. Very respected and knowledgeable bunny vets have told me that some buns seem to have a genetic predisposition to developing them. IOW, diet may not have much to do with it.

I want to wish you the very best luck if you decide to have the surgery.
----------

On June 2, 2020, at 3:13 PM, "Brenda B Delaney via groups.io" <bennettbs@...> wrote:

>
>
>
>
>I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
>
>Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
>
>2nd cut Timothy hay, 
>
>a digestive supplement tablet, 
>
>probiotics, 
>
>a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
>
> a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
>
>and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)
>
>I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 
>
>—Brenda 
>
>On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
>
>Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
>
>Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
>
>That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 
>
>So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.
>
>Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 
>
>Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 
>
>Chris
>
>On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs@...> wrote:
>
>Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
>
> David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 
>
>Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 
>
>-Brenda
>
>On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:
>
>
>
>Hi Brenda -
>
>I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.
>
>As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).
>
>The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.
>
>As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.
>
>Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.
>
>Dave
>
>On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:
>
>
>
>Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 
>
>Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)
>
>He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 
>
>We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 
>
>So.. surgery or no surgery. ��
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Brenda and Frodo and Balin 
>
>-Brenda
> >


paulette
 

Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a65f/538684ddb67f370f8c3770a02ded0922ea53.pd
I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs@...> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Kinenchen
 

Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda


Chris Norlund
 

Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda



--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
.........
Like us on Facebook:


 Member of House Rabbit Society   www.rabbit.org
The  best resource on the internet for helpful and accurate information about caring for and living with companion rabbits.

** To unsubscribe or be removed from monthly Bunny Day-Spa emails, reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in  subject line, or in the email message.***


Kinenchen
 

The D3 question is a little complicated, but I used to teach med students cellular nutrition while I was working on my first PhD so you're in luck! Until recently, there were a few brands of pellets that didn't add D3 to their pellets. In 2009 Finnish study (https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/diet-is-a-main-source-of-vitamin-d-in-finnish-pet-rabbits-iorycto)  and another work out of Illinois in 2014 highlighted the importance of the nutrient for rabbits kept indoors and in hutches (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409103407.htm)  After these studies came out, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Kaytee and a couple of others started adding D3 to their pellets. Right now I think Sherwood Forest is the only holdout and has some interesting excuses for not supplementing their pellets - last I checked they indicated they didn't add D3 because it's sourced from fish and they want their product to be vegan. D3 is available from vegan sources; I take a lichen-sourced D3 supplement myself. I do understand their concern. Since rabbits don't eat just pellets, the AAFCO doesn't regulate the nutritional content or ingredients of rabbit chow the way they do cat and dog food, so there's no accepted standard. We're left with the recommendations of researchers and veterinarians.

When I talk with other researchers they go by the data, but veterinarians incorporate prevailing wisdom and anecdotes in their recommendations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since particularly with rabbits, most drug uses in rabbits are off label, but we're talking about nutrition and not pharma. It's nearly impossible to find an animal nutritionist who specializes in rabbits and I have not yet reviewed a veterinary curriculum that required a comprehensive course in diet and nutrition. This is why I'm not surprised when I occasionally meet veterinarians who recommend against D3 as a supplement citing the risk of tissue calcification. There isn't much research on tissue calcification in rabbits and it's exceedingly rare in practice. In humans, tissue calcification with or without D3 overdose ALWAYS occurs in the presence of another metabolic disorder. I understand the logic of depriving rabbits of this essential nutrient, but the wisdom doesn't bear out in the research. There is no research that supports the idea that D3 causes tissue calcification by itself, but depriving rabbits of the nutrient does cause disease.

The metabolic and nutritional side is just as complex, but the key is sunshine. Plants require UV light to generate vitamin D2, so sun cured hay is rich in D2; increasingly often, hay is machine dried and machine dried hay doesn't contain much D2 . I'm going to assume everyone is feeding their bunnies sun-cured hay, but it's worth checking with your hay provider. D2 is the precursor to D3 and in order for a rabbit's body to convert D2 to D3, rabbits need UVB radiation. Frances Harcourt-Brown noted in her 2006 article on calcium metabolism that window glass blocks most UVB light, to highlight that indoor bunnies and hutch bunnies can't convert D2 from hay. Molly Varga elaborated on this in her textbook of rabbit medicine and recommended that rabbits be supplemented with D3. Now that the threat of RHD is looming, more of us are keeping our bunnies indoor full time and feeding machine dried hay (which is less likely to be contaminated with the virus that causes RHD because it doesn't dry lying on the ground), making it that much more important that bunnies have a dietary source of D3.

Your experience that lifestyle can also contribute to sludge and stones is consistent with mine. My experience is that a sedentary lifestyle and rich diet can perturb homeostasis and lead to other problems. For example, a rabbit who is getting a rich diet to the point that they're overproducing cecals might be getting too much protein in their diet. A diet with an abundance of protein-rich cecals would stress the kidneys and could lead to other problems like sludge and stones.

Does this answer your questions?

I've had long conversations with Luci Moore on this topic. I'll ask her if I can share her thoughts on the matter. Would that interest you? 


Christie Taylor



On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 9:37 AM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda



--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
.........
Like us on Facebook:


 Member of House Rabbit Society   www.rabbit.org
The  best resource on the internet for helpful and accurate information about caring for and living with companion rabbits.

** To unsubscribe or be removed from monthly Bunny Day-Spa emails, reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in  subject line, or in the email message.***


Nancy Ainsworth
 

I would very much like to hear Luci Moore's thoughts. Thank you for this enlightening conversation!
Nancy 


-----Original Message-----
From: Kinenchen <graemhoek@...>
To: Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...>
Cc: main@etherbun.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jun 6, 2020 11:32 am
Subject: Re: [Etherbun Main] Bladder stone

The D3 question is a little complicated, but I used to teach med students cellular nutrition while I was working on my first PhD so you're in luck! Until recently, there were a few brands of pellets that didn't add D3 to their pellets. In 2009 Finnish study (https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/diet-is-a-main-source-of-vitamin-d-in-finnish-pet-rabbits-iorycto)  and another work out of Illinois in 2014 highlighted the importance of the nutrient for rabbits kept indoors and in hutches (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409103407.htm)  After these studies came out, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Kaytee and a couple of others started adding D3 to their pellets. Right now I think Sherwood Forest is the only holdout and has some interesting excuses for not supplementing their pellets - last I checked they indicated they didn't add D3 because it's sourced from fish and they want their product to be vegan. D3 is available from vegan sources; I take a lichen-sourced D3 supplement myself. I do understand their concern. Since rabbits don't eat just pellets, the AAFCO doesn't regulate the nutritional content or ingredients of rabbit chow the way they do cat and dog food, so there's no accepted standard. We're left with the recommendations of researchers and veterinarians.

When I talk with other researchers they go by the data, but veterinarians incorporate prevailing wisdom and anecdotes in their recommendations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since particularly with rabbits, most drug uses in rabbits are off label, but we're talking about nutrition and not pharma. It's nearly impossible to find an animal nutritionist who specializes in rabbits and I have not yet reviewed a veterinary curriculum that required a comprehensive course in diet and nutrition. This is why I'm not surprised when I occasionally meet veterinarians who recommend against D3 as a supplement citing the risk of tissue calcification. There isn't much research on tissue calcification in rabbits and it's exceedingly rare in practice. In humans, tissue calcification with or without D3 overdose ALWAYS occurs in the presence of another metabolic disorder. I understand the logic of depriving rabbits of this essential nutrient, but the wisdom doesn't bear out in the research. There is no research that supports the idea that D3 causes tissue calcification by itself, but depriving rabbits of the nutrient does cause disease.

The metabolic and nutritional side is just as complex, but the key is sunshine. Plants require UV light to generate vitamin D2, so sun cured hay is rich in D2; increasingly often, hay is machine dried and machine dried hay doesn't contain much D2 . I'm going to assume everyone is feeding their bunnies sun-cured hay, but it's worth checking with your hay provider. D2 is the precursor to D3 and in order for a rabbit's body to convert D2 to D3, rabbits need UVB radiation. Frances Harcourt-Brown noted in her 2006 article on calcium metabolism that window glass blocks most UVB light, to highlight that indoor bunnies and hutch bunnies can't convert D2 from hay. Molly Varga elaborated on this in her textbook of rabbit medicine and recommended that rabbits be supplemented with D3. Now that the threat of RHD is looming, more of us are keeping our bunnies indoor full time and feeding machine dried hay (which is less likely to be contaminated with the virus that causes RHD because it doesn't dry lying on the ground), making it that much more important that bunnies have a dietary source of D3.

Your experience that lifestyle can also contribute to sludge and stones is consistent with mine. My experience is that a sedentary lifestyle and rich diet can perturb homeostasis and lead to other problems. For example, a rabbit who is getting a rich diet to the point that they're overproducing cecals might be getting too much protein in their diet. A diet with an abundance of protein-rich cecals would stress the kidneys and could lead to other problems like sludge and stones.

Does this answer your questions?

I've had long conversations with Luci Moore on this topic. I'll ask her if I can share her thoughts on the matter. Would that interest you? 


Christie Taylor



On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 9:37 AM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:


Hi Brenda -
I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.
As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).
The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.
As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.
Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.
Dave


On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:

Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 

Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)

He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 

We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 

So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨

Sincerely,
Brenda and Frodo and Balin 



-Brenda


--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
.........
Like us on Facebook:


 Member of House Rabbit Society   www.rabbit.org
The  best resource on the internet for helpful and accurate information about caring for and living with companion rabbits.

** To unsubscribe or be removed from monthly Bunny Day-Spa emails, reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in  subject line, or in the email message.***


Kinenchen
 

In reviewing her sheet, I'm reminded of the drugs we often give rabbits that deplete their natural stores of vitamin D3. It's a lot to think about! 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wicbvH-F7D3y4bQ1K8WTPVHfXhZYEhq-/view?usp=sharing

Christie Taylor



On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 12:19 PM <jtawired@...> wrote:
I would very much like to hear Luci Moore's thoughts. Thank you for this enlightening conversation!
Nancy 


-----Original Message-----
From: Kinenchen <graemhoek@...>
To: Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...>
Cc: main@etherbun.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jun 6, 2020 11:32 am
Subject: Re: [Etherbun Main] Bladder stone

The D3 question is a little complicated, but I used to teach med students cellular nutrition while I was working on my first PhD so you're in luck! Until recently, there were a few brands of pellets that didn't add D3 to their pellets. In 2009 Finnish study (https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/diet-is-a-main-source-of-vitamin-d-in-finnish-pet-rabbits-iorycto)  and another work out of Illinois in 2014 highlighted the importance of the nutrient for rabbits kept indoors and in hutches (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409103407.htm)  After these studies came out, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Kaytee and a couple of others started adding D3 to their pellets. Right now I think Sherwood Forest is the only holdout and has some interesting excuses for not supplementing their pellets - last I checked they indicated they didn't add D3 because it's sourced from fish and they want their product to be vegan. D3 is available from vegan sources; I take a lichen-sourced D3 supplement myself. I do understand their concern. Since rabbits don't eat just pellets, the AAFCO doesn't regulate the nutritional content or ingredients of rabbit chow the way they do cat and dog food, so there's no accepted standard. We're left with the recommendations of researchers and veterinarians.

When I talk with other researchers they go by the data, but veterinarians incorporate prevailing wisdom and anecdotes in their recommendations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since particularly with rabbits, most drug uses in rabbits are off label, but we're talking about nutrition and not pharma. It's nearly impossible to find an animal nutritionist who specializes in rabbits and I have not yet reviewed a veterinary curriculum that required a comprehensive course in diet and nutrition. This is why I'm not surprised when I occasionally meet veterinarians who recommend against D3 as a supplement citing the risk of tissue calcification. There isn't much research on tissue calcification in rabbits and it's exceedingly rare in practice. In humans, tissue calcification with or without D3 overdose ALWAYS occurs in the presence of another metabolic disorder. I understand the logic of depriving rabbits of this essential nutrient, but the wisdom doesn't bear out in the research. There is no research that supports the idea that D3 causes tissue calcification by itself, but depriving rabbits of the nutrient does cause disease.

The metabolic and nutritional side is just as complex, but the key is sunshine. Plants require UV light to generate vitamin D2, so sun cured hay is rich in D2; increasingly often, hay is machine dried and machine dried hay doesn't contain much D2 . I'm going to assume everyone is feeding their bunnies sun-cured hay, but it's worth checking with your hay provider. D2 is the precursor to D3 and in order for a rabbit's body to convert D2 to D3, rabbits need UVB radiation. Frances Harcourt-Brown noted in her 2006 article on calcium metabolism that window glass blocks most UVB light, to highlight that indoor bunnies and hutch bunnies can't convert D2 from hay. Molly Varga elaborated on this in her textbook of rabbit medicine and recommended that rabbits be supplemented with D3. Now that the threat of RHD is looming, more of us are keeping our bunnies indoor full time and feeding machine dried hay (which is less likely to be contaminated with the virus that causes RHD because it doesn't dry lying on the ground), making it that much more important that bunnies have a dietary source of D3.

Your experience that lifestyle can also contribute to sludge and stones is consistent with mine. My experience is that a sedentary lifestyle and rich diet can perturb homeostasis and lead to other problems. For example, a rabbit who is getting a rich diet to the point that they're overproducing cecals might be getting too much protein in their diet. A diet with an abundance of protein-rich cecals would stress the kidneys and could lead to other problems like sludge and stones.

Does this answer your questions?

I've had long conversations with Luci Moore on this topic. I'll ask her if I can share her thoughts on the matter. Would that interest you? 


Christie Taylor



On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 9:37 AM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:


Hi Brenda -
I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.
As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).
The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.
As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.
Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.
Dave


On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:

Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 

Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)

He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 

We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 

So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨

Sincerely,
Brenda and Frodo and Balin 



-Brenda


--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
.........
Like us on Facebook:


 Member of House Rabbit Society   www.rabbit.org
The  best resource on the internet for helpful and accurate information about caring for and living with companion rabbits.

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paulette
 

Hi Christie,
I have the second edition of Molly Varga's "Textbook of Rabbit Medicine" and I don't recall, nor am I seeing any recommendation of supplementing with Vitamin D. Are you getting this information from her 1st edition? I'm curious, in what context is she recommending supplementing with vitamin D? Do you know what I mean? 
There is one statement in her book suggesting vitamin D and calcium therapy, but it's reference is to bone fractures ( by Wood 1978 ).

Kind regards,
 
Paulette


On Saturday, June 6, 2020, 11:33:12 AM EDT, Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:


The D3 question is a little complicated, but I used to teach med students cellular nutrition while I was working on my first PhD so you're in luck! Until recently, there were a few brands of pellets that didn't add D3 to their pellets. In 2009 Finnish study (https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/diet-is-a-main-source-of-vitamin-d-in-finnish-pet-rabbits-iorycto)  and another work out of Illinois in 2014 highlighted the importance of the nutrient for rabbits kept indoors and in hutches (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409103407.htm)  After these studies came out, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Kaytee and a couple of others started adding D3 to their pellets. Right now I think Sherwood Forest is the only holdout and has some interesting excuses for not supplementing their pellets - last I checked they indicated they didn't add D3 because it's sourced from fish and they want their product to be vegan. D3 is available from vegan sources; I take a lichen-sourced D3 supplement myself. I do understand their concern. Since rabbits don't eat just pellets, the AAFCO doesn't regulate the nutritional content or ingredients of rabbit chow the way they do cat and dog food, so there's no accepted standard. We're left with the recommendations of researchers and veterinarians.

When I talk with other researchers they go by the data, but veterinarians incorporate prevailing wisdom and anecdotes in their recommendations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since particularly with rabbits, most drug uses in rabbits are off label, but we're talking about nutrition and not pharma. It's nearly impossible to find an animal nutritionist who specializes in rabbits and I have not yet reviewed a veterinary curriculum that required a comprehensive course in diet and nutrition. This is why I'm not surprised when I occasionally meet veterinarians who recommend against D3 as a supplement citing the risk of tissue calcification. There isn't much research on tissue calcification in rabbits and it's exceedingly rare in practice. In humans, tissue calcification with or without D3 overdose ALWAYS occurs in the presence of another metabolic disorder. I understand the logic of depriving rabbits of this essential nutrient, but the wisdom doesn't bear out in the research. There is no research that supports the idea that D3 causes tissue calcification by itself, but depriving rabbits of the nutrient does cause disease.

The metabolic and nutritional side is just as complex, but the key is sunshine. Plants require UV light to generate vitamin D2, so sun cured hay is rich in D2; increasingly often, hay is machine dried and machine dried hay doesn't contain much D2 . I'm going to assume everyone is feeding their bunnies sun-cured hay, but it's worth checking with your hay provider. D2 is the precursor to D3 and in order for a rabbit's body to convert D2 to D3, rabbits need UVB radiation. Frances Harcourt-Brown noted in her 2006 article on calcium metabolism that window glass blocks most UVB light, to highlight that indoor bunnies and hutch bunnies can't convert D2 from hay. Molly Varga elaborated on this in her textbook of rabbit medicine and recommended that rabbits be supplemented with D3. Now that the threat of RHD is looming, more of us are keeping our bunnies indoor full time and feeding machine dried hay (which is less likely to be contaminated with the virus that causes RHD because it doesn't dry lying on the ground), making it that much more important that bunnies have a dietary source of D3.

Your experience that lifestyle can also contribute to sludge and stones is consistent with mine. My experience is that a sedentary lifestyle and rich diet can perturb homeostasis and lead to other problems. For example, a rabbit who is getting a rich diet to the point that they're overproducing cecals might be getting too much protein in their diet. A diet with an abundance of protein-rich cecals would stress the kidneys and could lead to other problems like sludge and stones.

Does this answer your questions?

I've had long conversations with Luci Moore on this topic. I'll ask her if I can share her thoughts on the matter. Would that interest you? 


Christie Taylor



On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 9:37 AM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda



--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
.........
Like us on Facebook:


 Member of House Rabbit Society   www.rabbit.org
The  best resource on the internet for helpful and accurate information about caring for and living with companion rabbits.

** To unsubscribe or be removed from monthly Bunny Day-Spa emails, reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in  subject line, or in the email message.***


Kinenchen
 

I'm looking at the section starting page 36 in her 2nd edition. She explains the importance of adequate D3 and the pitfalls of deficiency in this section, explains that the D2 content of hay is aleatory and then says "A level of 800-1200IU/kg is recommended for pet rabbits" toward the end of the section on page 38. She does talk about how sunshine is preferable and I agree with her that sunshine has many positive benefits, but it's not a substitute for adequate nutrition and it neglects that window glass blocks the component of light that allows rabbits to synthesize their own vitamin D3. Window glass does not block UVA light, interestingly, so it's possible that your indoor rabbit can get a sun burn and still be D3 deficient. 

I thought Dr. Moore's explanation for supplementing feed was a little more comprehensive and directed, but it's based in the same research as Dr. Varga's while taking into account the 2019 Finnish study which came out after Varga's second edition.

Christie Taylor



On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 7:00 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I have the second edition of Molly Varga's "Textbook of Rabbit Medicine" and I don't recall, nor am I seeing any recommendation of supplementing with Vitamin D. Are you getting this information from her 1st edition? I'm curious, in what context is she recommending supplementing with vitamin D? Do you know what I mean? 
There is one statement in her book suggesting vitamin D and calcium therapy, but it's reference is to bone fractures ( by Wood 1978 ).

Kind regards,
 
Paulette


On Saturday, June 6, 2020, 11:33:12 AM EDT, Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:


The D3 question is a little complicated, but I used to teach med students cellular nutrition while I was working on my first PhD so you're in luck! Until recently, there were a few brands of pellets that didn't add D3 to their pellets. In 2009 Finnish study (https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/diet-is-a-main-source-of-vitamin-d-in-finnish-pet-rabbits-iorycto)  and another work out of Illinois in 2014 highlighted the importance of the nutrient for rabbits kept indoors and in hutches (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140409103407.htm)  After these studies came out, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Kaytee and a couple of others started adding D3 to their pellets. Right now I think Sherwood Forest is the only holdout and has some interesting excuses for not supplementing their pellets - last I checked they indicated they didn't add D3 because it's sourced from fish and they want their product to be vegan. D3 is available from vegan sources; I take a lichen-sourced D3 supplement myself. I do understand their concern. Since rabbits don't eat just pellets, the AAFCO doesn't regulate the nutritional content or ingredients of rabbit chow the way they do cat and dog food, so there's no accepted standard. We're left with the recommendations of researchers and veterinarians.

When I talk with other researchers they go by the data, but veterinarians incorporate prevailing wisdom and anecdotes in their recommendations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since particularly with rabbits, most drug uses in rabbits are off label, but we're talking about nutrition and not pharma. It's nearly impossible to find an animal nutritionist who specializes in rabbits and I have not yet reviewed a veterinary curriculum that required a comprehensive course in diet and nutrition. This is why I'm not surprised when I occasionally meet veterinarians who recommend against D3 as a supplement citing the risk of tissue calcification. There isn't much research on tissue calcification in rabbits and it's exceedingly rare in practice. In humans, tissue calcification with or without D3 overdose ALWAYS occurs in the presence of another metabolic disorder. I understand the logic of depriving rabbits of this essential nutrient, but the wisdom doesn't bear out in the research. There is no research that supports the idea that D3 causes tissue calcification by itself, but depriving rabbits of the nutrient does cause disease.

The metabolic and nutritional side is just as complex, but the key is sunshine. Plants require UV light to generate vitamin D2, so sun cured hay is rich in D2; increasingly often, hay is machine dried and machine dried hay doesn't contain much D2 . I'm going to assume everyone is feeding their bunnies sun-cured hay, but it's worth checking with your hay provider. D2 is the precursor to D3 and in order for a rabbit's body to convert D2 to D3, rabbits need UVB radiation. Frances Harcourt-Brown noted in her 2006 article on calcium metabolism that window glass blocks most UVB light, to highlight that indoor bunnies and hutch bunnies can't convert D2 from hay. Molly Varga elaborated on this in her textbook of rabbit medicine and recommended that rabbits be supplemented with D3. Now that the threat of RHD is looming, more of us are keeping our bunnies indoor full time and feeding machine dried hay (which is less likely to be contaminated with the virus that causes RHD because it doesn't dry lying on the ground), making it that much more important that bunnies have a dietary source of D3.

Your experience that lifestyle can also contribute to sludge and stones is consistent with mine. My experience is that a sedentary lifestyle and rich diet can perturb homeostasis and lead to other problems. For example, a rabbit who is getting a rich diet to the point that they're overproducing cecals might be getting too much protein in their diet. A diet with an abundance of protein-rich cecals would stress the kidneys and could lead to other problems like sludge and stones.

Does this answer your questions?

I've had long conversations with Luci Moore on this topic. I'll ask her if I can share her thoughts on the matter. Would that interest you? 


Christie Taylor



On Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 9:37 AM Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:
Hi Christie,
I had a question regarding D3 and sludge rabbits.  I've been under the assumption that rabbits getting their D3 supplements in their pellets + from their sun-dried timothy should be more than adequate for a normal rabbit's needs.  Do you have any evidence or resources that offer insight into how a sludge-producing rabbit's needs might be different?  Perhaps needing more D3, along with more other trace minerals?  (And also understanding that this would be in case of a  metabolic problem, and not diet-related from over-feeding kale, parsley, chard, dandelions....etc  AND drinking adequate water.)   I've been wondering for some time if my indoor rabbits get enough D3 from their diets, for some time.  I know that nearly ALL of my over 9yrs rabbits have had moderate to severe arthritis into their later years.  And we've had our share of sludge buns too.

Also-- the 'water' reminded me to  mention to people that other 'lifestyle' things that could contribute to sludge--- inadequate water intake, inadequate movement--- too sedentary lifestyle (fat and lazy rabbit syndrome--perhaps too many treats?!),  and the need for exposure to a little sunshine if possible to help round-out the Vit D levels.  Many of the rabbits I've had contact with who had sludge, I noticed quite a few were in very small cages --which could limit their amount of exercise and movement.  I'm sure it was combined with other factors, but their lack of being able to hop about daily may affect their ability to fully empty their bladder, leaving behind sediment that can turn to sludge. I've definitely seen it  often in my older or disabled rabbits, who aren't able to move about enough or normally. Keeping their bladders flushed adequately can be problematic if ignored.

Thanks,
Chris

On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:41 PM Kinenchen <graemhoek@...> wrote:
Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little. 

Christie 


On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:56 PM paulette via groups.io <rahfly=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brenda,

I'm curious, is your veterinarian aware of the Sherwood Forest pellet formula you're feeding Frodo?
If your rabbit is having issues with calcium, he should not be consuming any Alfalfa pellets or hay. 
Not only my opinion... but here are few very good articles... 

Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits
https://rabbit.org/health/urolith.html

I hope this helps..and wishing Frodo well..
Paulette









On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, 03:13:35 PM EDT, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:



I cant figure out where the high blood calcium is coming from.  The vet says it happens sometimes in older rabbits.  
Frodos diet consists of  reverse osmosis water , 
2nd cut Timothy hay, 
a digestive supplement tablet, 
probiotics, 
a rare treat of a small amount of parsley or cilantro or dandelion greens or lettuce (greens give him gas and GI Stasis)
 a Timothy/alfalfa balanced pellet with chelated minerals and no fillers or soy or grains from Sherwood Pet Health ( 1.2% calcium,see attached photo), 
and ¼ capsule of a supplement which I just discontinued with kale and Brussels sprouts in it (see attached photo)

I’m leaning on doing the surgery because he seems very grumpy lately and he’s not eating much unless I mix banana with his pellets and mush them up (he LOVES banana) . Then at the same time I’ll try to adjust his diet if needed and try to reduce the blood calcium and keep the urine ph close to neutral so the stones don’t come back. 

—Brenda 

image1.jpeg



On Jun 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM, Chris Norlund <norlund.chris@...> wrote:

Bladder stones are painful.  The longest they are im ther bladder-- the more irritation and scar tissue will develop.  This affects the ability to control urination. 
Stones don't happen overnight-- they take months to develop, and generally start off as sludge that sits there for long periods of time. They are also VERY dense and solid.  Changing the pH to dissolve it now would have to be extreme and too strong for the body to tolerate. You might be able to reduce future ones or stop the growth of this one, but only surgical removal or laser lithotrypsy  are the only certain options at this point. You also have to be careful to not remove too much calcium from the diet, or it will force the body to take more calcium from the bones to make more stones and sludge.
That is where calcium in the blood usually comes from, UNLESS the diet is extremely high in calcium or oxalates. Think about that for a minute. 

So at this point diet changes may affect future sludge or stones, but not able to dissolve existing large bladder stones.

Comfort measures should be the main focus, if you are not able to remove the stone .   Your rabbit is probably very uncomfortable and it will affect his urination, outside of the box. 

Best wishes for your poor bunny. Ive dealt with a few sludge and stone situations over the years, and management is prevention, removal,  or palliative care. Not a lot of gray area in between, unfortunately. 

Chris

On Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:24 PM Brenda B Delaney via groups.io <bennettbs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Anybody hear of dissolving a bladder stone?
 David Sherwood, of Sherwood Pet Health food and supplements, thinks we may be able to dissolve the stone by lowering the pH of Frodo’s urine a little by eliminating the few greens he gets a day (2-3 lettuce leaves or a few cilantro or parsley pieces). His urine now has a pH of 8, which isn’t sludge or stone causing. But when Frodo had a bad GI stasis attack in mid April, we gave him a lot more greens because that got his appetite going, and that’s when the pH may have gotten high enough to cause a stone. 

Frodo has lost weight and is still healthy but lost enough muscle mass In his hind legs that he has trouble hopping into the bigger litterbox. So I had to get a lower one. That might be why he’s peeing Right outside the litterbox. Or his bladder is bothering him. I don’t know why his appetite is still off though. 



-Brenda

On Jun 1, 2020, at 5:37 PM, David L. Fisher <dlf@...> wrote:



Hi Brenda -

I would say get the surgery - it sounds like Frodo is feeling uncomfortable, which is why he is peeing outside the litterbox - he's complaining about it.

As for his age, I also had a Holland Lop (Flopsy, RIP) and he was also the victim of severe neglect for 7+ years before he was rescued, and then he needed 4 surgical procedures before he could be adopted (including a neuter).

The surgery is to get into the bladder through an incision in the stomach/abdomen.  Noffy's incision was about an inch long, maybe a little more, and he as up and about quickly (he was a bit groggy when he got home, but the next day he seemed back to normal - except that he was so happy to have the stone gone that he camped out by the water bowl and just drank and peed right there.

As far as I know, oxalates are a concern for kidney stones, not bladder stones (which are calcium) - but I could be wrong.  Also, you want to be careful not to remove ALL calcium from his diet, or his body might get what it needs from the skeleton, thus weakening it.

Hope this helps, and I hope Frodo feels back to normal really soon.

Dave



On 6/1/2020 10:17 AM, Brenda B Delaney via groups.io wrote:


Frodo’s blood tests came back, his liver enzymes and calcium are a bit high but in range to do surgery. Only real concern is his age, he just turned 8 so he’s getting up there. We Have to decide if its bothering him enough to risk surgery. But it’s the only way to remove it, you can’t reduce bladder stones in a rabbit apparently, and eventually it causes blockage and euthanasia. 


Anyone know how the surgery is done? Cut through bladder wall? (The vet had an emergency and had to cut short our call)


He started peeing outside his litterbox the past 2 weeks, and he’s had 2 episodes of GI stasis since March. He’s eating on his own now, but not as much as usual and losing weight and he’s grumpy. So maybe the stone is causing discomfort. 


We dont know why he got this stone.so I’m scared it will come right back if we do the surgery.  His blood calcium has been high for the last year. My holistic vet has a supplement that can help remove excess calcium from the blood, maybe we’ll try that to try to prevent recurrence. She gave me a supplement to support his eyes (he had cataract surgery on one eye last year), and that had cruciferous veggies in it, so maybe that is also raising the calcium. She calculated how much to give that is within the dietary (oxalate) limits for rabbits, but maybe Frodo is more sensitive. 


So.. surgery or no surgery. 😨


Sincerely,

Brenda and Frodo and Balin 




-Brenda



--

 
Chris Norlund,
House Rabbit Educator 
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Brenda B Delaney
 

Are you giving Frodo a supplement for vitamins D3 and A? Rabbits need both nutrients for proper calcium metabolism - rabbits absorb calcium from their food, retain enough for maintenance of body functions and excrete the rest. If he's deficient of D3, his body might be retaining more calcium to try and correct the imbalance caused by an inability to fix calcium to his bones and teeth. You might see improvement in Frodo's blood calcium levels once he can mineralize calcium transported by his blood to store it in his bones and teeth and he can't do that without vitamin D3. Does that make sense? 

If you're really in love with Sherwood's pellets, you can supplement him with D3 and A or you can switch to a pellet that includes those 2 nutrients. Just be really careful if you decide to supplement him yourself - as with most things, too much can be as bad as too little.