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What diet, pellet diet and fruits and vedgies do I feed my bunnies so they dont have too much Calceium in their bladders???

22 11:38:27

Please help me I am desperate! 1000 dollars at my vet and still my bunnies are sick and I am no closer to finding out what the heck it is that is causing it. Jasmine just got fixed at age 2 and got her bladder flushed due to white milky sludge in her urine.(calcium crystals) Jasper Dee has the same problem. It is their diet my vet says, she told me to switch them to Timothy Hay instead of alfalfa (I did 3 months ago)and to pick all the pellets out of their food. I have been doing this with no change at all. I found out food can have many things wrong with it and your bunnies will tell you by scrabbling their dish. They were doing this for a while but I thought they were being sassy and cute.I am scared to even feed them pet rabbit food due to so many things that can be wrong with it. The MILLS Fault! I switched them 3 days ago to Kaytee and get it at a pet store and still pick out the pellets just in case. I also give them bottled water, change it twice a day,they each get half a peeled carrot,A peace of green roman lettace,Half a peeled apple,Leafy salery,Broclie washed well. I am just now trying to introduce cucumbers,sprouts,rassberries,sweet patatoe and melon,mustard leaf, so I dont have to give too much rabbit food. They get 1/4 a day each of dry rabbit food. they turn their noses up at the new goodies(fruit and vedgies) so far but I will keep trying.Is their fruits and vedgies that could cause sludge in urine?I hear too much calceium and fiber can cause this.. i do take away fresh food they don't eat in 30 minutes.They have been in so much pain going pee! She grunts and cries every time. The vet had her on an antie flamitory for almost a month and I know long term use can cause Kidney failer. I keep hearing if I can find the right diet it will stop and they will be ok. The big problem is my vet who I have paid alot of money to wont research and come up with a diet for them. it is so damn frustrating!These are my first pet bunnies and have been with me for 2 years. They have always been healthy to my knowledge untill 3 months ago. I want nothing more than to have my bunny woo's healthy and happy again.When they pee you can see the crystals in it. Although it has lessened since I switched their diets 3 days ago but still happening. If I find the right diet, how long before it clears up?
Thankyou for any advice you can give me on this. I have been so upset and depressed about this. My animals are my best friends and when they hurt so does momma :( They are indoor rabbits, we made a 8 foot cage that stands off the ground with bunkbeds for them, we use baby comforters and sheets and they get washed every night when they come out to play for 5 to 6 hours. We block off the whole living room and the cords and harmful things are all out of reach.
So Besides that food I was giving them that I am convinced was bad, what am I doing wrong? Do you think they will die? God Bless and thankyou again, Michelle Filmer  PS I store food in the freezer and only get one bag at a time now. PSS they picked up ear mites from vet office and we dont have 70 dollars right now to get rid of them, i heard cat ear mite medicane from a pet store? any ideas? Sorry, lol.

Dear Michelle,

Okay, Question #1:  Is this "sludge" in their urine white?  
Question #2:  Is it rather chalky and thin?

If the answers to these two questions is "yes," then your bunnies are not suffering from bladder sludge.  TRUE bladder sludge is (1) the color of curry powder and (2) the thick, heavy consistency of toothpaste.

White calcium salts residues are normal in most rabbit urine, though some rabbits produce more than others.  If your bunnies are producing this light, normal residue, I am not convinced that the problem is sludge.  Rather, it could be a urinary tract infection, or bladder *stones*.  Have diagnostic tests (urine culture and sensitivity for the first, radiographs for the second) been done to rule out these other possibilities?  You can read more here:

Unfortunately, it seems to be turning out that bladder sludge problems are NOT primarily dietary in origin, though the problem can be exacerbated in sensitive rabbits by a high-calcium diet.  Rather, this problem is apparently a genetic, endocrine disorder, and changing the diet of a "sludge bunny" usually has little or no effect on the quantity of sludge.  :(

Palliative measures can help the bunnies void their bladders without pain, however.  My own vet, Dr. Susan Kelleher, has found that a combination of bethanichol and dibenzylene will help strengthen the bladder wall muscles and relax the sphincters, making it easier for the bunny to pass the calcium residues.  I would highly recommend that your vet contact Dr. Kelleher for more information on this treatment.  Her phone is (954) 968-7171.

Subcutaneous fluid therapy and a very low dose of Valium (= diazepam) also can help your bunnies void the sludge, if this is truly sludge.  The extra fluids flush out the sludge, and the Valium relaxes the sphincters to make it less painful.  Also, the valium releases the spasms of the bladder and urethra which can make urination very painful.

Our own Obie was beset by chronic bladder problems until we did a short course of fluids and Valium.  He flushed his bladder, and is now (knock on wood!) pain free for many months!

I would certainly want a culture done on the urine, though, since a bladder infection not only can cause sludge, but can be *caused* by sludge.  They often go hand in hand, and not treating one can result in not curing the other.  Please see:

for more information on culture and sensitivity.

Finally, the ear mite problem is easily treated with Revolution (selamectin) from your vet.  It's topical, lasts for 30 days, and will keep your bunnies comfortable while they battle this bladder problem.  You can read more about this here:

I would NOT use any over-the-counter remedies for mites, as they are almost universally ineffective, and sometimes even dangerous for rabbits.

I hope this helps for starters.  Please write back if you have any other questions.