Infection in the Bladder or Urinary Tract in Rabbits



Rabbits that have been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection are usually treated as outpatient. Affected rabbits often respond to a combination of antibiotic therapy, increased water consumption, dietary modification, weight loss, and an increase in exercise alone. In more severe cases, such as for rabbits with large amounts of calcium in the bladder, fluid therapy and manual massage to empty bladder will be necessary.


If urine scald is present on the skin or genitals, gentle cleaning, with a zinc oxide plus menthol powder will help to heal the skin. Otherwise, keeping the area around the genitals/urinary tract clean and dry will be amongst the basic care.


Living and Management


Increase your rabbit's activity level and encourage bladder emptying by providing large exercise areas along with plenty of fresh water. Providing multiple sources of fresh water in several locations and flavoring the water with fruit and/or vegetable juices (with no added sugars) may also be helpful. Reduce calcium in diet to discourage formation of calcium stones in the bladder and urinary tract. Encourage oral fluid intake by wetting leafy vegetables, and offer a large selection of fresh, moistened greens such as cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach, collard greens, and good-quality grass hay. Feed timothy and grass hay instead of alfalfa hay and discontinue alfalfa pellets from your rabbit's daily feeding unless your veterinarian instructs otherwise.


Monitor your rabbit's urine output and contact your veterinarian if the symptoms should recur.