A little over a year ago, it was discovered that I have Bladder Sludge. One contributing factor is that I don’t drink enough water ~ and another MAY be that my bladder sphincter muscle isn’t strong enough to completely empty my bladder.
Because it is extremely stressful for me to be handled and “messed with”, my mom and our vet agreed to try to manage it with additional very wet veggies, rather than routinely administering sub-q fluids. Another rabbit-vet, who also incorporates some Eastern medicine into his treatments, suggested that we add the contents of a Cranberry Extract capsule to my daily diet. Last week, the results of this regime were evaluated ~ and major changes made as a result. The following is an account of what was found and what we are doing now ~~~~~
I expect you’ve long heard the expression that “things come in threes”. Turns out the “three” this time was me needing to go to the vet ~ following Zippity and Leo.
Anyway ~ off we went on Wednesday. As you all know, there are unavoidable indignities which are just normally visited upon us when making such a visit, and this visit was no exception. What I didn’t know was that the indignity was going to get considerably worse.
First I got a bit of gas (a brief WHEE!! before being zonked) ~ and got x-rayed. Even though sludge hadn’t been palpated, there actually was a considerable amount in my bladder. This time the humans, in their ‘wisdom’, decided that it would be a ‘good’ idea to flush my little bladder.
In case you have never had the opportunity to experience this, they insert a catheter through our privates and then shoot water into the bladder. Now that’s just backwards!!! Then they push on the bladder to shoot that water back out ~ and this routine gets repeated until the water comes back out clear. Thankfully, I was still knocked out while all this was happening ~ and I got a pain shot afterwards for the discomfort it caused. Lastly, I got a big dose of sub-q fluids and we could head for home.
A further indignity is that my veggie ration has been drastically reduced because I’ve gained weight under the “extra wet veggies” strategy to deal with the sludge. Wait a minute, Doc ~ gaining weight from eating veggies? Yep, says he ~ it’s still extra calories going into a quite small body. As my buddy Wascal is famous for saying ~ SHEESH!!!
Yet another change is that my Cranberry Extract (which I really liked) has been removed from my diet. While it might have helped preclude infection accompanying the sludge, it’s high Vitamin C content may have contributed to the sludge!
At home, mom began trying all sorts of ways of safely flavoring water to encourage me to drink lots more. In true Bunny Master fashion, I have shunned all such efforts, necessitating that she continue trying to find the magic ingredient. Bunnies rule!
Unfortunately, my mastery backfired! Because I wasn’t drinking, that dastardly hoomin plunked me in the carrier again and took me back to the vet for more fluids! Granted, she did warn me ~ but ~ I know that she hates doing a bunch of running around ~ and has had more than her fill of that lately ~ so I didn’t take her seriously.
Not only did that mean another trip to the vet ~ that dang doc told mom about how to help get any crystals/sludge out of my bladder. This involves “messing with me” ~ which I hate. The technique is to pick me up and hold me vertically ~ putting gravity to work and positioning my bladder directly over my pelvis. Then she is supposed to gently push down, which will put a bit of pressure on the bladder and expel any crystals that have been just sitting on the bottom. Oh ~ and the “best” time to do this is when I’m urinating! Oh puhleeezzzze!
One thing has worked in my favor ~ the urinalysis showed that my kidneys are still concentrating my urine properly, and there were no signs of infection or cast (sloughing of the kidney lining).
Aside from the above described messing with me, I have a reprieve for a month or so. At that time, however, she is going to drag me back down the hill to the vet and have another x-ray taken of my bladder. If the sludge is back, then it appears that periodic sub-q fluids will be necessary.
In case sub-q fluid administration becomes part of my routine, the doc is investigating a catheter which can be implanted and provides a port so it isn’t necessary stick me with a needle several times a week for the rest of my life ~ especially since I have every intention of becoming a very senior bunizen.
Mom’s challenge ~ can she find something that is safe, and not sugary, to flavor water that appeals to me and which I agree to drink more copiously!
She’s already researching the calorie count and nutrition information of lots of veggies in an attempt to find the best ones for me, given my dietary restrictions.
Guess the important thing ~ from a bunneh standpoint ~ is that our mission of keeping the hoomin slave focused on US, continues unabated. BUNNIES RULE!