Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Polydipsia/polyuria

Synonym(s): Excess thirst/excess urine production

Contributor(s): John Chitty, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Polydipsia is a commonly reported sign in rabbits Decision tree: polydipsia / polyuria.
  • However, it should be confirmed as it is easily confused by:
    • Increased thirst in hot conditions.
    • Leaking drinkers/spilled bowls of water.
    • Playing with drinker.
    • Type of drinker - rabbits will tend to drink more readily from bowls than drinkers, even if used to drinkers.
    • Inability to monitor individual water intake when several rabbits housed together.
    • Physiologic changes - increased drinking in pregnancy and lactation.
    • Type of food fed (different amounts of water in foodstuffs).
  • Polydipsia is defined as drinking >100 ml/kg/day.
  • Polyuria is commonly seen as urine staining/scalding. As such needs to be differentiated from neurological or other causes of urinary incontinence.

Print off the Owner factsheet on Excessive drinking and urination to give to your clients.

Presentation

  • Variable.
  • Polyuria - typically urine staining of ventrum and/or feet; scalding of perineal area Moist dermatitis.
  • Other signs depend on cause.

Diagnosis

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Differential diagnosis

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Clinical pathology

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Tschudin A, Clauss M, Codron D et al (2011) Preference of rabbits for drinking from open dishes versus nipple drinkers. Vet Rec 168 (7), 190 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2007) Radiographic signs of renal disease in rabbits. Vet Rec 160 (23), 787-794 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Oglesbee B L (2011) Blackwells Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Jenkins J R (2006) Clinical Pathology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. BSAVA.
  • Saunders R A & Rees Davies R (2005) Notes on Rabbit Internal Medicine. Blackwell.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2002) Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. Butterworth-Heinemann.


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