Merseyside, England United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 18, 2011 -- Lunch and Learn veterinary webinars. You provide the lunch we will provide the learn in conjunction with Molly Varga and Supreme Petfoods- makers of premium rabbit diets.
Molly Varga runs an exotic veterinary service at Cheshire Pet Medical Centre and is a diplomate holder of zoo medicine. In our first" lunch and learn" veterinary webinar, Molly will be looking at urinary disease in the rabbit.
Here are some notes for those who will not be able to attend.
This veterinary webinar from The Webinar Vet will happen on Thursday 12 May between 1-2 pm.
Please register for this veterinary CPD at http://www.thewebinarvet.com/supreme-rabbit
Use the code utr to make this veterinary webinar complimentary courtesy of Supreme Petfoods and The Webinar Vet- veterinary education made easy!
Urolithiasis in Rabbits
Rabbits have a very unusual calcium metabolism. In cats and dogs, calcium absorption is regulated at gut level, and is adjusted according to the body's requirements. Any excess dietary calcium passes through and is excreted in the faeces. However, in rabbits, calcium absorption appears to be less well regulated, and indeed appears to be proportional to dietary calcium levels, irrespective of requirements. Excess absorbed calcium is therefore excreted through the urinary tract, often resulting in urine high in calcium precipitate. Sludge in the bladder can result in discomfort and disease in predisposed animals.
Pre-disposing Factors for Urolithiasis
1. Unusual calcium metabolism
2. High dietary calcium levels
3. Urine pH and solubility of Ca salts
4. Obesity, limited exercise
8. Low water intake
Early Indicators of Disorder / Disease
1. Behavioural changes - depression, tooth grinding (pain), reluctance to be handled
2. Appetite - reduced or anorectic
3. Posture - tucked / tensed up appearance in the abdominal region due to pain, arched back, squatting
4. Urine - dysuria, polyuria, and perineal staining / irritation, haematuria (differentiate between plant porphyrins or uterine conditions), observed to mound???
7. Animal vocalising - piercing, harrowing squeak whilst urinating
Nutritional Management and Prevention
Although nutrition is not the sole factor responsible for pre-disposing an animal to bladder stones, it certainly can be critical in alleviating the symptoms and preventing recurrence of the condition.
1. Assess rabbit's diet:
- Types and quantities of foods given
- Total level of calcium
- Forms of calcium and proportion of total
- Calcium:phosphorus ratio
2. Consider the digestibility and availability of the calcium in the ingredients:
- Digestibility varies - calcium carbonate is ~81%, di-calcium phosphate ~55%, calcium oxalate, found in most leafy green foods is ~49% digestible.
- Availability varies - oxalate (oxalic acid) and phytate (phytic acid), constituents within fibre can reduce the availability of calcium, as can certain types of fibre (e.g. bran).
3. Promote diuresis using fresh vegetables, but introduce gradually. Make certain all vegetables are fed wet to increase water intake.
4. Avoid vegetables like as kale, spinach, savoy cabbage, greens, watercress and other dark leafy greens that are exceptionally high in calcium and can exacerbate the condition.
5.Reduce the quantity of dry diet being fed if there are any uncertainties over calcium levels, or introduce a specialist low calcium diet
Please feel free to contact Wendy on wendy @thewebinarvet.com if you have any questions or are struggling to register for any of the vet cpd
Please also consider our membership scheme if you are thinking of attending a couple of veterinary webinars as this represents better value and also gives you access to all previous webinar recordings.
Anthony Chadwick BVScCertVD MRCVS
The Webinar Vet