Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Abstract: Management of calcium ureterolithiasis in a French lop rabbit


Urolithiasis in the rabbit is considered to occur as a result of several factors including diet, anatomy and infection. The rabbit also possesses an unusual calcium metabolism. Fed on a diet containing excessive calcium, the intestinal calcium absorption is not reduced and the resultant elevation in serum calcium concentration leads to an associated increase in urinary excretion of calcium. The production of thick, creamy urine high in calcium carbonate leads to an increased potential for production of uroliths. This case report investigates calcium ureterolithiasis in a French lop rabbit and discusses its treatment.

In this case (a 19-month entire male French lop), the clinical signs associated with ureterolithiasis were non-specific and it was not until radiographs were taken of the rabbit's abdomen that a urinary tract condition was confirmed. Management included the surgical removal and analysis of the urolith. Dietary changes to reduce the calcium intake were undertaken with caution as the level of calcium required for maintenance has not been determined in the rabbit (dietary calcium deficiency may lead to osteomalacia). Food materials low in calcium were introduced and serum calcium concentrations regularly monitored to ensure that lower calcium levels were being achieved and also to monitor for the potential development of hypocalcemia.

A second urolith was discovered in the other ureter three months after the initial surgery and the rabbit underwent surgery a second time. Long-term maintenance of the serum calcium concentration within the normal range was achieved.

Further Reading


Refereed papers
  • White R N (2001)Management of calcium ureterolithiasis in a French lop rabbit. JSAP42, 595-598.