Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Urolithiasis

Synonym(s): Bladder stones, bladder sand, urethral stones

Contributor(s): John Chitty, Virginia Garner-Richardson, Sharon Redrobe

Introduction

  • Calculi may be found in the bladder, kidney, ureter   Ureterotomy: ureterolithiasis  , urethra or kidney although they occur most commonly in the bladder.
  • The formation of calculi may occur as a result of several factors including diet, anatomy and (rarely) infection.
  • Rabbits have an unusual calcium metabolism. Most mammals have a urinary fractional excretion of 2% whereas rabbits may have 45-60%.
  • The level of dietary calcium is directly related to the amount of calcium excreted into the urine. It is not unusual therefore to detect calcium carbonate crystals in rabbit urine.
  • Uroliths are usually of calcium carbonate and readily visible on radiography.

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Presentation

  • Hematuria.

If blood present, direct cytology may be useful in looking for bacteria, WBC, casts, etc although calcium crystals may get in the way. Ultrasonography can be used to look at bladder, kidneys, cystocentesis to check for post-cystic bleeding as rabbits have a number of glandular structures surrounding the pelvic urethra, genital tract bleeding (uterine adenocarcinoma, testicular infection/neoplasia depending on sex).

  • Dysuria.
  • Vocalization on urination.
  • Urine scald.
  • Frequent urination, incontinence.
Acute
  • Collapse.
  • Anuria.
  • Dysuria.
  • Enlarged abdomen.

History

  • Stranguria.

Incidence

Morbidity
  • Low: approximately 10%.
  • May be clinically silent and detected opportunistically on radiography.
Mortality
  • Rare unless associated with inability to urinate, bladder rupture or renal disease.

Cause

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Richardson V (2012) Urogenital diseases in rabbits. In Pract 34 (10), 554-563 Link Opens in New Tab.
  • Coke R (2002) Surgical removal of a urolith from a rabbit's distal urethra. Vet Med 97 (7), 514-518 VetMedResource.
  • White R N (2001) Management of calcium ureterolithiasis in a French lop rabbit. JSAP 42 (12), 595-598 PubMed.
  • Hillyer E V (1994) Pet rabbits. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 24 (1), 25-65 PubMed.
  • Kamphues J (1991) Calcium metabolism of rabbits as an etiological factor for urolithiasis. J Nutr 121 (11 Suppl), S95-96 PubMed.
  • Leck G (1988) Removing a calculus from the urinary bladder of a rabbit. Vet Med 83 (1), 64-65 VetMedResource.
  • Garibaldi B A, Fox J G, Otto G et al (1987) Haematuria in rabbits. Lab Animal Sci 37 (6), 769-72 PubMed.
  • Rockar R A, Hillyer E V & Quesenberry K E Urolithiasis in the rabbit. A review of seven clinical cases. JAAHA.


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