Yesterday morning, I noticed a white blotch on top of a pile of wet litter in the rabbit’s box. On further investigation, I realized it must be bladder sludge. It was almost as thick as toothpaste. There wasn’t a lot of it, and there was plenty of normal urine too, but I was concerned.
I saw more sludge later that night (although more fluid, less paste-like). This morning there’s a good amount of normal urine in there, and no sludge. /relief But I’ve come to realize this is not a one-off,* and if there’s more sludge in there I think we should get it out, so I’ve made an appointment with the vet for this afternoon.
(I might also mention that in all other visible respects — drinking, eating, pooping, mood, activity levels, appearance — Thomas is a-ok.)
Here’s what I’ve been doing: When I found the sludge, I wrote to EtherBun, where someone directed me to this web page: “Bladder Sludge in Rabbits” (HRN). Then I looked at these web pages: “Normal Urine and ‘Sludge’ in Rabbits” (MediRabbit), and “Bladder Stones and Bladder Sludge in Rabbits” (HRS). Since then I’ve been trying to encourage water drinking (I replaced all his hay sources and his water, super-soaked his greens, and gave him a bowl of juice-water — 1:9 pure apple juice:water), and exercise (I got out the tunnel he likes to play in, and threw some toys around the room; and I’ve just generally been trying to give him attention — I let him out at five this morning, so he could run around for his peak hours, etc).
* I’ve seen white blotches on the litter before, dry and hard, and I knew it was calcium in his urine, but I didn’t think of sludge because it was without substance — I mean, the litter (Carefresh) was dyed and stiffened, but there was nothing caked on or anything, nothing solid (as is depicted in the MediRabbit page mentioned above). So, I thought the calcium was coming out as a bit of grit clouding otherwise normal urine. Something like that is not necessarily a bad sign; it’s the normal way for a rabbit to get rid of extra calcium. However, when the urine becomes thick (sludge), or stones develop (calculi), or anything that could obstruct or inflame the urinary passages happens, this is a problem. And I realize now, the colour on his litter is too white, too concentrated, to be from just a bit of grit clouding the urine.
Okay, so I love this rabbit, he’s a good fella and deep down I’m happy to care for him. But why do bunnies have such bad timing? I’m about to start exams and really have other things to do than go the vet’s (like, for example, go to classes). With our last bun, it was always a long weekend or something ridiculous like New Year’s Eve. Yo!