"Frank" - Lionhead Rabbit with Bladder Stone
|"Frank" the Lionhead rabbit was presented at the surgery by his owners because he had suddenly stopped eating. A clinical examination by myself failed to reveal anything too obvious so I asked my colleague Agnieszka for a second opinion.|
Rabbits are "prey" animals and are therefore "wired" to avoid giving outward signs or symptoms to any potential onlooking predators. Consequently, I have always found them very difficult to gauge with regard to the seriousness of their condition. Agnieszka on the other hand was employed specifically for her expertise in this area. With the rise of rabbit ownership it has always seemed prudent to invest in others who have specialist skills in this field.
Once Agnieszka had the opportunity of examining "Frank" it soon became clear that she was alerted to the seriousness of his predicament by his subdued demeanour and apparent abdominal pain. She quickly had him admitted and radiographed to identify his problem.
The x-ray showed that he had an enormous stone blocking his urethra between his bladder and his penis. A condition which I have never previously seen in the rabbit. Within a very short time "Frank" was anaethetised, had intravenous fluids and had his stone surgically removed and was recovering in a special incubator.
How this stone managed to make it's way along his urethra defies belief when you consider how small the normal diameter of this pipe should be. Fortunately, for "Frank" he appears to have completely recovered from his ordeal.
Agnieszka has suggested that next time I am concerned about this type of problem in a rabbit I should look for the tears in his eyes!!
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS