Health Update

To pick up where I left off (re. sludge):

I ended up taking nine days to reintroduce pellets into Tom’s diet. Now he’s at a steady 2 Tbsp pellets and 60g salad daily. We delay on his pellets until he’s made a good dent in his veg, to maximize water intake (we serve them sopping). I keep an eye on his urine and when there’s not much or when I see sludge, I spike his water with juice.

Yep, you read right: there’s been more sludge.

Never as much as the day I first noticed it. Only a couple of drops at a time, usually (as in figure 1 below, where the sludge is dried); at most (as in figure 2, where the sludge is wet), it’s still not a heck of a lot. And it’s not every day, not even close. And he’s continued to pee normally (when I said “when there’s not much [urine]” above, I meant comparatively speaking; there’s never been so little as to suggest a problem). And he’s otherwise perfectly normal and healthy.

Two photos of urine sludge; figure 1, two pieces of Carefresh litter with dried white dots on them; figure 2, five wet pieces of litter and two fecal pellets smeared with creamy off-white substance

I haven’t made any progress on the calcium/oxalate/veg issue. As I understand it, I should be less concerned about calcium-high veg than oxalate-high veg. But data about oxalate content in veggies is not easy to hammer down…

To summarize: life continues.

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Vacuum Action

I thought I had it figured out.

We bought a new water bottle and I read on the packaging the line about “always fill up to the top” and “bottles work by vacuum action.” I didn’t realise that before! So I took our old water bottle (which I like better than the new one, because it’s glass instead of plastic), and filled it to the top and followed the instructions (“press the control ball and let water trickle out until vacuum develops” — although, no water trickled out to begin with), and fitted it once more to his cage. He didn’t touch it overnight, but this morning I saw him using it and Hooray, no spilling!

But then, what do I find? An almost empty bottle and a soaked carpet runner.

Is it really defective? Am I doing something wrong? Why didn’t this happen with the last bottle?

Here we go again, drying out the carpet. This time I’m putting a blanket underneath the cage so Chancellor isn’t stuck with hardwood. And I guess I’ll try the new water bottle this time. /sigh

Water, Water, Everywhere

Yesterday morning we awoke to find the water bottle empty.

Woah, what!? I know rabbits drink a lot of water (between 50 and 150mL of water daily per 2lbs of body weight), but still. Chance is about 3lbs (my guess), and I serve his greens sopping wet and he has a water bowl that he uses, too, and it’s not hot in his room, so I’d expect him to drink about 75 from his water bottle per day — definitely no more than 200mL. And his water bottle has a 340mL capacity. Goodness! Diabetes? Kidney disease? I feel around on the carpet runner flooring and there isn’t any wetness. I look in his litter box and sure, he’s used it, but not enough to warrant all that water consumption. What is up!?

Later that day, we come home from Happy Hour and the bottle is empty again. He’d pushed his blanket under the bottle earlier that day, so I pick it up — it’s utterly drenched. So, this time I feel under the carpet instead of on top and, yes indeed, it’s drenched too. I guess it’s designed to wick wetness away from the surface or something (it’s that indoor/outdoor stuff).

I’m happy Chance isn’t sick but not so happy about the water bottle. Darn ancient technologies, when will we get it right? (The ball bearing, I mean.) This was a Super Pets glass bottle but, in all fairness, it’s the second one we’ve had and we had no problems with the first.

So, Chance had to live on hardwood for the night while the carpet dried out. I think he stayed up on the top floor all night, poor guy — there was some poop up there, for the first time ever, and in the morning he still had some food left over from dinner. (Disclaimer: Chancellor can walk on hardwood and does so every day, so it’s not like I did this in spite of some phobia. But, you know, it’s not that comfy for a bun.)

So, he’s back to just using the bowl for now until I get a new bottle (or, ideally, a replacement bottom). Bah! I like giving both options.