From May 2001 to October 2003 the urinary tract of 71 rabbits (31 male, 40 female, age ranging from 0,7 to 15 years) was scanned using ultrasound and radiography. Additionally 38 patients of this group received blood chemistry and 19 urine analyses. The urinary tract of all animals was examined sonographically, whereas 59 of these patients were analyzed radiographically as well. This study describes the species variations as well as the physiological and pathological findings, which are illustrated by a number of figures. Noteworthy sonographic findings in all rabbits were hyperechoic densities within the renal pelvis and some echogenic particles within the urinary bladder. This was found in clinically normal animals as well as in patients. Further, the thickness of the urinary bladder wall ranged from 0,05 to 0,36 cm. Rabbits suffering from urinary particles or sediment had significant thicker bladder wall than healthy ones.
Radiographic examinations provided an overview of organ size, location and density. Comparing both imaging techniques, sonography was superior to radiography in visualizing the urinary tract. It allows imaging of parenchymal texture, whereas radiography can only demonstrate density differences. Although gas in the gastrointestinal tract may constrain visualization of some organs, sonography should be used prior to radiography to examine the urinary tract in rabbits.