Millennium Post

Precaution is better than cure

Precaution is better than cure
I have had a rabbit for four years now and she is a member of the family. For the last few <g data-gr-id="87">weeks</g> she urinates all the time. She seems to have lost control over her bladder. Is there something wrong?
A loss of bladder tone (normal tension and sensitivity) could be due to an obstruction of the bladder. For example, a partial obstruction may cause the urine to backflow into the bladder and lead to muscle tension and weakness due to bladder distension. <g data-gr-id="91">However</g> urinary incontinence is most common in middle-aged rabbits (3-5 years old). And although it mainly affects the urinary and kidneys systems, the rabbit may also have skin burns and irritation around the genital areas due to urine leakage which you should look at.

In addition to urine scalding on the skin, rabbits with incontinence may dribble small amounts of urine when picked up or in atypical areas (new carpet, new furniture, your lap). The urine is typically cloudy or thick, and beige to brown in colour. The bladder may also markedly increase in size if the underlying disease is not treated promptly, and may even fill most of the abdominal area, giving the rabbit a bloated appearance.

Ask a vet to look at the following causes:
l Damage to the local nerves that control the bladder and valve function
l Spinal cord injuries
l Injuries of the brain that control voluntary urination
l High calcium levels in the blood
l Development or structural disorders in the urinary tract that may cause backflow of urine
l Risk factors include inadequate water intake — which may be due to dirty water bowls, unpalatable water, changing water sources, or inadequate water provision
l Inadequate cleaning of the litter box or cage may cause some rabbits to avoid urinating for abnormally long periods
l Obesity, lack of exercise, and feeding of only alfalfa-based pellet diets
l Adding calcium or vitamin/mineral supplements to the diet
l For neurologic causes – improper restraint, which can lead to injuries
l Injury, paralysis of rear limbs, spinal disease
l Your veterinarian should check the levels of calcium in your rabbit’s urine, and to check for the presence of blood and enzymes in the urine contents. If stones had been found in the kidneys of <g data-gr-id="105">bladder</g>, follow-up exams may be necessary to analyse your rabbit’s response to treatment.
l It is important areas affected by urine scald (e.g., legs, genitals, etc.) are kept clean and dry. Possible complication related to urinary incontinence, include permanent urinary incontinence, urine burns and urinary infection that <g data-gr-id="103">spreads</g> into the bladder. Rabbits with incontinence caused by <g data-gr-id="102">neurologic</g> disease have limited recovery potential.

My rabbit has white grain like things near its anus. Should I be concerned? 
This common and unpleasant condition is caused when flies, attracted to <g data-gr-id="96">faecal</g> material around the rabbit’s rear, lay their eggs inside the rabbit’s anus. The eggs are visible and are about the size of a grain of rice. If left to hatch, the emerging maggots eat away at the surrounding flesh, causing severe discomfort. Untreated, fly strike can be fatal. If you notice any soreness around your rabbit’s bottom, take it to the vet straight away. Prevention is better than cure. Fly strike commonly affects obese and elderly rabbits who cannot groom their backsides. You’ll need to wash your rabbit’s rear end if it can’t wash <g data-gr-id="97">itself</g>. Lack of space is also a contributing factor because active rabbits are more likely to groom themselves regularly

Are dogs susceptible to Botulism? What should I do to ensure he is safe?
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic disease in dogs, related to eating raw meat and dead animals. Typically, symptoms within a few hours to six days after eating spoiled animal meat that is infected with the Clostridium botulinum type C neurotoxin. This neurotoxin causes spreading weakness, starting in the back legs and ascending to the trunk, front legs and neck. Paralysis of all four limbs is the next symptom. Dogs generally are resistant to <g data-gr-id="99">the more</g> severe effects of Clostridium botulinum type C. Mildly affected dogs recover over a period of several days with supportive treatment. However, dogs with difficulties breathing will require intensive care monitoring. In severe cases, paralysis can affect the ability to breath killing the affected animal.

In mild cases, the dog recovers with supportive treatment.  However, if the dog has trouble breathing, more intensive treatment such as supplemental oxygen is necessary. Botulism can be prevented by using proper food storage techniques and making sure they don’t feed on dead animals and carcasses.

My cat’s gums are turning yellow. Is this a sign of gum disease or old age? 
It is probably jaundice and needs immediate attention. This causes a yellow discoloration of the gums and tissues due to a higher concentration of bilirubin, a bile pigment formed as a result of the normal breakdown of hemoglobin present in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is normally found in RBCs and serves the very important function of carrying oxygen to tissues. In cases of increased destruction of RBCs, an excess amount of bilirubin is accumulated in the tissues. Higher concentrations of bilirubin may also be found in cases where normal excretion of bilirubin is blocked due to some disease. All breeds of cats can be affected by jaundice. These are the symptoms : vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever,abdominal pain, loss of appetite, paleness, yellowish discoloration of the skin, change in color of urine and feces (orange colored), increased frequency and volume of urine,  increased thirst) and consumption of water, mental confusion in advanced cases, weight loss, bleeding (especially in cats with advanced liver disease)

The  causes: Diseases, toxins, drugs leading to increased destruction of RBCs, Infections ,collection of large volume of blood inside body cavity, inflammation of liver (hepatitis), tumors , accumulation of excess fat in liver , massive damage to liver tissue (e.g., due to toxins),  interference with secretion of bilirubin due to any disease and condition.

Proper diet, timely administration of medicines, complete rest, and regular monitoring will help your cat throughout the healing process.

Do not give any painkillers, which may prove to be toxic for the liver in this condition. Because the liver is the central organ for metabolism, toxicity may occur in cases of liver impairment. Cats with liver failure need an extremely high level of care at home due to the inherent instability of this condition. These animals may bleed at any time. If you see your pet bleeding, immediately call your veterinarian for help. In addition, advise your veterinarian should the cat’s feces or urine change colour.

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