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Forum DIET & CARE Optimal diet discussion for my bun with CKD

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    • Eleanor
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        Hello!

        Rosa is a 4 yrs old spayed rabbit. When I found her 4 years ago her vet suspected EC and she got the typical 28 day treatment. Fast forward to 3 months ago, I took her to the vet because of hind leg weakness. Her X-rays suggested that one of her kidneys were calcified (and later confirmed with an ultrasound), and the other is slightly enlarged. Bloodwork showed high CREA levels (3.8).

        Since then I’m giving her SQ fluids daily. She’s really good with it and we have a whole routine. She gets lots of treats afterwards – apple slices and carrots, mostly.

        I took her for a CREA check up last week and it went down to 2.2, so I’m happy. But she lost a lot of weight.

        Ideally she should be in the 2 kg (4 lbs) range, but she’s been rapidly losing weight, 6 months ago weighing 1.8 kg, 3 months ago 1.6 kg, and last week 1.4 kg (3 lbs).

        What can I give her to help her gain weight without pressuring her kidney?

        (note: she doesn’t have all of her incisors due to maloclussion)

        Her current diet:

        Timothy Hay (unlimited), which she isn’t crazy for.

        Beaphar Nature – I found these pellets to be the best according to this. She isn’t too fond of them either.

        Greens: cilantro very rarely. most greens give her and my other bun a stomach upset. Should I still incorporate them daily?

        Treats: Very thinly cut apple and carrot slices every day after getting her fluids. Pea flakes every day in the morning and during the SQ fluids.

        Last week I started adding oats and flax to help her gain weight. She LOVES them but I guess it’s too see weight gain.

         

        I’d love any suggestions for her. We’re both determined to make sure her life is the comfiest and longest possible.

         

        Ty in advance and have a great day.


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
        16900 posts Send Private Message

          Have you considered treating for EC again? You mention hind end weakness, but it isn’t clear if this is due to an enlarged kidney or something else. The uncertainty here is that EC can cause kidney problems and some bunnies have more than one EC flare despite treatment in the past.

          That being said, literature says the standard treatment for kidney disease (in general) is IV fluid therapy. I know some people here on BB have tried supplements. There are several out there that contain herbs thought to promote healthy kidney and urinary tract function. Oxbow makes one, but it isn’t the only one. Unfortunately, the Oxbow one comes in the form of “cookies” which may be hard for your bunny to eat.

          For food, I wouldn’t worry terribly about it being the “best” nutrition-wise. Sometimes we just have to go with good enough. Look for something low in calcium and timothy-based. If your bunny will happily eat it, then simply giving them a little extra is oftentimes enough to get them to gain and maintain weight. When my bunny was very elderly, the vet said to let him have as much as he wanted. It helped him keep his weight up during that time.


          • Eleanor
            Participant
            2 posts Send Private Message

              We haven’t gone through another treatment for EC – I have discussed it with the vet, and she said her hind leg weakness is due to arthritis. I give her gabapentin when she is reluctant to move and it helps. Her hind leg weakness is almost gone by now!

              I do have Panacur though, just in case…  😀

              Thank you for your thorough response! I will let her eat as much pellets as she wants and see how it goes. :mrgreen:

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        Forum DIET & CARE Optimal diet discussion for my bun with CKD