Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Urinary incontinence

Contributor(s): Lesa Thompson, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination, with the involuntary passage of urine. 
  • True incontinence in rabbits should be distinguished from polyuria and other conditions that   →    urine scalding of the perineal skin. 
  • Cause: neurological disease, inflammatory disease of the lower urinary tract, partial obstruction due to urolith or other mass, congenital abnormality, hormone-responsive incontinence due to neutering, neoplastic disease of the lower urinary tract. 
  • Signs: urine-soaked perineum, urine scalding of perineal skin, absence of voluntary urination, loss of litter-training.
  • Diagnosis: full neurological examination, urinalysis, ultrasonography, radiography, CT, MRI, hematology, blood biochemistry.
  • Treatment: specific treatment must be directed at the underlying cause of the incontinence.
  • Prognosis: depends on cause; generally moderate/good for non-neurological causes and guarded/poor for neurological causes.

Presenting signs

  • Constant or intermittent dribbling of urine. 
  • This may be difficult to detect due to the proximity of the rabbits perineal area to the ground, and rabbits usually present with urine soaked perineal fur and inflamed perineal skin (urine scald).
  • Other signs that may be seen include abnormal stance, uneaten cecotrophs, a foul smell from the perineum and anorexia.
  • Specific conditions may have other clinical signs.

Age predisposition

  • All ages may be affected depending on cause.

Breed predisposition

  • No known breed predisposition.

Public health considerations

Cost considerations 

Special risks, eg anesthetic

  • Sedation   Sedation   or anesthesia   Anesthesia: overview  may be required for some procedures, eg cystocentesis and imaging.
  • Drug selection should consider the possibility of renal disease associated with the urinary incontinence.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Recent references fromPubMed.
  • Richardson V (2012)Urogenital diseases in rabbits. In Pract34(10), 554-563.

Other sources of information


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