Renal disease is one of the common diseases among rabbits. With changes in diets and lifestyles, the outbreak of kidney problems is high. According to veterinarians, older rabbits are prone to kidney failures, and younger ones cope with them. This led me to the question – how long can a rabbit live with kidney failure?
A rabbit at the start level of kidney failure can undergo early intervention to live up to 8 years, while an acute kidney failure can shorten the lifespan to half. A kidney transplant can extend the lifespan by a couple of years.
As rabbit owners, we need to know symptoms, prevention, and other methods to protect rabbits from kidney failure.
Kidney failure in rabbits
Rabbits can suffer from kidney failure due to one or more causes – urinary tract infection, trauma, stroke, diarrhea, inability to eat, tender kidneys, and heart complications. Rabbits with kidney failure need sufficient rest and minimum physical movements to reduce the pain.
Most vets recommend the consumption of greens and fresh water to cope with renal failure. However, fluid balance is the primary intervention to treat problems in kidneys. When a rabbit has renal failure, their kidneys are no longer able to remove excess water and salt from their body. This can cause the rabbit to become dehydrated and have an electrolyte imbalance.
Dehydration is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately. The first step is to give the rabbit fluid therapy, either under the skin or intravenously. This will help to rehydrate the rabbit and correct the electrolyte imbalance.
Once the rabbit is stabilized, your vet will likely recommend a special diet for renal failure. This diet will be low in salt and high in fiber to help make sure the rabbit is getting enough water and not overloading their kidneys.
Research states that chronic renal failure occurs with metastatic calcification. When the calcium metabolism reduces, other triggering factors worsen tissues and increase trauma.
Taking a blood test helps in finding the presence of thyroidism and other imbalances affecting the function of kidneys.
Can a rabbit survive kidney failure?
A young rabbit can survive kidney failure, but older rabbits find it hard to cope with sudden physiological changes. Their recovery rates are low and this can affect their lifespans.
If a rabbit is in the early stages of kidney failure, there are treatments that can help extend their life. However, if a rabbit is in the later stages of kidney failure, their chances of survival are much lower. A kidney transplant may extend a rabbit’s life by a few years.
In general, the prognosis for rabbits with kidney failure is not good. However, there are some cases where rabbits have made a full recovery and have gone on to live happy and healthy lives. If your rabbit has been diagnosed with kidney failure, it is important to work closely with your veterinarian to provide the best possible care for your furry friend.
The life expectancy of a rabbit with untreated kidney failure is approximately 3-6 months. With early intervention and proper treatment, the life expectancy of a rabbit with kidney failure can be extended to 2-8 years.
A kidney transplant may be an option for some rabbits with kidney failure. A successful kidney transplant can extend a rabbit’s life by 2-3 years.
The best thing you can do for your rabbit is to provide them with the best possible care. This includes a nutritious diet, plenty of water, and regular check-ups with your veterinarian. With proper care, your rabbit can live a long and happy life.
What are the symptoms of kidney failure in rabbits?
The main symptom of kidney failure in rabbits is decreased urination caused by dehydration. Other symptoms include depression, poor appetite, lack of stool, painful kidneys, diarrhea, fever, and seizures.
These symptoms can be caused by a variety of conditions, so it is important to consult with a veterinarian if you think your rabbit may be suffering from kidney failure. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.
Kidney failure in rabbits is often progressive and can lead to death if left untreated.
Creatinine levels in rabbits
The ideal creatinine range in rabbits is 51.38-154.35 µmol/l. When there is creatinine lag, it means the presence of kidney failure.
Sometimes, creatinine can observe a mild elevation and this disrupts the urine flow for rabbits with kidney failure. Some rabbits also experience an elevation in blood urea nitrogen which can block the urethra and contain mucous plugs.
Aetiology is usually conducted to find out the degree of kidney function, and there are three sections – intrinsic, prerenal, and postrenal.
A pH test is also conducted for rabbits with severe problems in passing urine. With the help of urine reagent strips, the pH value is recorded. It usually falls in the range of 7.6-8.8. However, rabbits with kidney failure suffer from changes in pH which are unhealthy for them.
Can you reverse kidney failure in rabbits?
Reversing kidney failure in rabbits is not possible, but the damage can be controlled with proper diet and early treatment. As kidneys lack regenerative powers, reversal is never feasible.
Kidneys become inefficient as soon as the decline begins. As a result, rabbits suffer from anemia, high blood pressure, and decreased appetite. These are just some of the symptoms that are experienced by rabbits with kidney failure.
The best course of action is to seek medical attention as soon as possible and put the rabbit on a special diet that will help to control the damage. It is also important to monitor the rabbit’s fluid intake and make sure that it is getting enough to drink.
How do I know if my rabbit has kidney problems?
There are a few signs that may indicate that your rabbit has kidney problems. These include increased thirst, decreased urination, and appetite. Your rabbit may also display signs of lethargy and weakness.
Kidney problems do not develop overnight in rabbits. As you observe for a week, you may have to take to a vet when there are predominant signs.
Research highlights that oxidative stress is also one of the signs to confirm the development of chronic renal failure. When antioxidants do not activate sufficiently, it can result in vascular, cardio, and renal diseases in rabbits. All these are a result of faulty cell metabolism.
Is kidney failure painful in rabbits?
Acute kidney failure is painful for rabbits as they suffer from severe depression, dehydration, and have extremely low appetites. Older rabbits suffer the most due to severe pain caused by the overall lifestyle.
Perhaps, kidney failure is painful because the body is not able to function properly without a working kidney. Also, toxins begin to build up in the blood, which can cause pain. Severely affected rabbits will often cry out or scream due to the immense pain they are enduring. If your rabbit is showing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help immediately, as this condition can be fatal.
Chronic kidney failure is less painful for young rabbits as they gradually adjust to the loss of kidney function. However, they may experience some weight loss and muscle wasting due to decreased appetite and malnutrition. Additionally, they may suffer from dehydration and anemia.
How do you prevent kidney failure in rabbits?
The perfect way to prevent kidney failure in rabbits is to offer a diet low in calcium, rich in fiber, and minerals. This can be done by feeding them hay, fresh vegetables, and a small number of pellets. It is also important to make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
Further, preventing kidney failure in rabbits may also include:
- Avoiding sudden changes in diet
- Providing adequate exercise
- Keeping them at a healthy weight
- Minimizing stress
- Providing a clean and comfortable environment
- Regular vet check-ups to ensure they are healthy
Frequently asked questions
Can a rabbit live with one kidney?
Rabbits can survive with one kidney as long as it does not begin declining further. Several rabbits are born with one kidney and can lead a normal life.
Perhaps, surviving with one kidney shouldn’t be a problem as long as it does not get prone to new diseases. Otherwise, it can worsen. Jonathan Wood Veterinary Surgeons also second the point about surviving with one kidney.
How many kidneys do rabbits have?
Rabbits have two kidneys, and these work to eliminate toxins via the urinary bladder.
Bishops Stortford Vets highlight that kidneys filter toxins and send them out of the body through excretion. However, these kidneys also remain vulnerable to several health consequences.
Giving the right food and providing the right amount of exercise to rabbits allow them to live their lives to the fullest. When you change diets or have uncleaned environments, they become prone to one or more diseases.
Renal problems start with urinary tract infections and progress to kidney failures. So, better to stay cautious of your rabbit’s move.