Gastrointestinal and Urinary Illnesses

One of the most common health conditions seen in rabbits (and guinea pigs) is “Lazy Gut” or hairball impaction. Lazy gut can lead to dramatic health complications. Contrary to common beliefs, the ingestion of the rabbits’ hair while grooming is not the cause of this condition but rather the result. A healthy rabbit (and guinea pig) should be able to digest its hair without any impaction. A combination of the following contributing factors can create the perfect condition for a “Lazy gut” – which can then be challenged with a hairball that will not pass through the Gastrointestinal tract, causing impaction which, if left untreated, can lead to gut stasis, a life threatening situation.

What are the contributing factors that can lead to hairball impaction?

What are the signs and symptoms of Gastrointestinal Stasis?

Urinary Illnesses

Bladder and kidney disease can cause discomfort, pain and can be life-threatening. Bladder and kidney disease is often caused by an excess of calcium in the diet that deposits in the bladder – commonly referred to as “sludge or sand”. Litter training your rabbit may help you recognize the symptoms associated with urinary illnesses such a bacterial infections (sludge or sand) of the urinary tract in time to seek medical advice. The inconsistent use of the litter box could indicate a problem. If your bunny is not litter trained, then pay attention to the soiling in its cage. If it’s in small quantities randomly throughout the enclosure, then this could also be of concern.

What are some of the more common symptoms of urinary illnesses?

What are the contributing factors leading to bacterial infections of the urinary tract?

How can you help prevent gastrointestinal and urinary illnesses in your rabbit?