Taking care of rabbits is challenging for every owner, from planning their diet to their overall health and wellness.
However, there are some signs your rabbit is telling you that you should be aware of, especially regarding their health. Such as observing the quality of their bodily excretions. While rabbit poop is the most common excretion that is easier to identify and examine, you must also observe its pee.
The color and smell of your pet’s pee can tell you something about the glimpse of what is happening in their body. To understand more about this, you must first know the urine color your rabbit will excrete.
According to the Greendale Veterinary Diagnostic report, rabbits are herbivore animals, so healthy urine consists of a high percentage of alkaline content, which is turbid and has a pH of 8-9.
Although it can change and vary depending on the mineral deposits and their nutritional intake from food and water, it normally should range between 1.004 and 1.036.
The healthy average should be around 1.015. It’s also typical to see some traces of protein and glucose in the urine. As mentioned earlier, the urine should range from yellow to orange and brown to red. But then again, this also affects your pet’s diet and hydration status. Moreover, medication can also affect the color of urine.
Rabbit Urine Color
Like any other animal species, the usual color of your rabbit pee is yellow. Although you should not be content that your rabbit pee has a shade of yellow because sometimes they can still have some underlying disease. Remember that rabbit urine constantly changes.
Several factors affect their urine colorization, including:
Other shades of yellow pee:
Bright yellow pee
A rabbit that has bright yellow urine means that they have healthy body function. This kind of pee color is common for them. If you ensure that your rabbit is hydrated and eating properly, you should not worry, even if they continue to excrete bright yellow urine.
Milky yellow pee
If your rabbit produces milky yellow urine, you should change its diet as soon as possible. One of the meanings behind this is they have high calcium in their blood level.
If your rabbit eats a lot of alfalfa hay, switch its diet to timothy hay or meadow hay. When your pet has spinach or lettuce in their diet, kindly stop giving it to them because these are very high in calcium.
You can also ask your local veterinarian about nutritious food that you can fodder your pet to improve their urine color.
Orange and Red Pee
An orange or red pee is quite common, even for healthy rabbits. You don’t have to worry that your rabbit is peeing blood because it can be explained easily.
One explanation is that your pet’s bladder releases bright pigments such as red and orange. This is due to their lifestyle and their daily meal intake. Eating plants with bright pigments can cause them to urinate a reddish color.
Another is the medication intake of your pet, such as antibiotics, also contributes to changes in urine colorization.
Although this might be common for some rabbits, you need to ensure that the pee is not blood because, occasionally, it can happen to some rabbits.
Hematuria is the condition where there’s blood present in the urine. For your rabbit to be diagnosed with this kind of condition, you must take them to the doctor and give a urine example to find red blood cells in their pee.
Usually, hematuria can occur due to kidney stones or kidney malfunction. It can also be due to bladder stones or the crystallization of urine in the urinary bladder.
For your peace of mind, you can ask your local veterinarian about the status of their urine activity to get tested for possible underlying diseases.
An animal can have a unique color in their urine, especially with the food that they are eating. That is why greenish color can occur in your rabbit urine activity when you feed them lots of greens. Oxford dictionary describes this kind of urine discoloration as pigmenturia.
For example, beta-carotene food is rich in pigmentation, which gives a veggie bright color to their skin and flesh. When you include carrots, broccoli, spinach, or potatoes in their diet, it’s normal for your rabbit to have urine discoloration.
Dark leafy vegetables can also affect their urine color since they are broken down in their gastrointestinal system. After the food is broken down, it will form by-products, which are then excreted.
Rabbit Urine Smell
Commonly, your rabbit pet does not have a smelly body. Their poop is also odorless. Almost all odor you can smell from them is from their urine.
Rabbit urine has a distinct ammonia smell, especially after they urinate. Urine coming from a male rabbit has a stronger scent compared to females.
Also, one of the facts about the urinating activity of rabbits is that they use the smell of it to mark their territory.
However, it would help if you were careful about ammonia exposure. Studies state that increased ammonia levels inside their homes or enclosed spaces can directly affect humans. And rabbit owners are more susceptible to this.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines state that 50 ppm is permitted for ammonia for no more than eight hours of daily exposure. You and your pet can be affected directly if there is increased exposure.
Here are some of the tips for removing the ammonia smell from your rabbit urine:
Use vinegar and water.
Vinegar is a natural way to remove the ammonia smell from your rabbit urine. Unlike commercial urine cleaning products, this method will not risk you and your rabbit from chemical exposure.
You can use this method by preparing a spray bottle and directly disinfecting the area where your pet usually pees. You can easily locate the area with an ammonia smell because it has a distinct stingy smell.
Remember to remove your rabbit’s bedding so you can spray it with vinegar to sanitize it because they might also be peeing in their sleeping area.
Once you ensure that you spray all the corners of your rabbit’s cage and litter box, Leave it for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm or fresh water to remove the excess smell from vinegar.
You may also dilute the vinegar with water. Use a cup of vinegar in one bucket of water to scrub the area clean. Let the mixture stay in the area, and then rinse this with running water. Repeat the procedure if you still spot any smell. You may also use this solution to clean all the other areas where your pet stays.
Use baking soda
Another product that you can use to remove the stingy smell of ammonia from your rabbit urine is Baking soda. It has been proven in some studies that this product is a great deodorizer since it has strong odor-fighting properties.
When using this, you must have a cup of baking soda and sprinkle it all over the rabbit cage and bedding. Pour a generous amount, especially in the area where the urine ammonia smell is stronger. Then leave it for at least an hour, depending on how smelly the rabbit cage is. If unsatisfied, you can repeat the process until the smell disappears.
Aside from using baking soda alone, you may create a paste by adding water to the product’s powder. You can apply this paste on the stain or pee mark where you smell ammonia. Let the paste remain in the area for at least an hour. Remove the paste with paper towels or tissue and wash the area with plain water and soap.
Pet Odor Remover Products
Odor Remover products are made specifically to disinfect and remove the stingy smell from your rabbit’s urine and stool. However, you should be careful in choosing the right product. There are many options, but some products may contain chemical toxins that can harm your pet upon exposure.
Choose a naturally made pet odor remover to ensure you are not risking their health. Using pet odor is easier because you have to spray it where your rabbit usually urinates and let the product do its work to fight bacteria and chemicals that cause the ammonia smell.
Common Reasons That Affect Rabbits’ Urine
Diabetes or high levels of sugar in your rabbit’s diet
If your rabbit diet consists of a high intake of sugar content, there is a chance that it will also affect their urine pee because it will excrete more sugar than the natural composition.
The pee of your rabbit may also smell like popcorn or sweet because of the glucose. But you should not be fooled by the smell because this is a health risk for your rabbit. Although diagnosing diabetes in rabbits rarely happens, it can affect their lifestyle and other body functions.
After all, eating food with high-level sugar is not suitable for your rabbit’s digestion. Instead of focusing on their diet rich in glucose content, you should give the rabbit types of food high in fiber. The rest should be a good balance between vegetables and pellets.
Poor Rabbit Diet Plan
A good plan for your rabbit’s everyday meals will significantly affect their overall health and wellness. That is because different types of food can change how your rabbit’s pee smells and color.
For example, if you let your bunny fodder in spinach or broccoli daily, you will notice that their pee can turn green because these veggies are high in beta-carotene, which gives pigment to foods.
Now, to plan a good diet for your pet, you need to be aware of the type of food that suits your rabbit’s digestion because there are instances that other rabbits can eat without having a problem, but it can affect your rabbit.
Moreover, some rabbit owners’ common mistake is not properly transitioning food to their pets. When introducing a new food, you don’t just give them pieces of it because it might upset their stomach.
For a week, gradually give your rabbit pieces of fruits or veggies and increase them daily for your rabbit to adjust to the nutrient value of the food.
Dehydration significantly affects your rabbit’s urine since pee is mainly composed of water. That is why having unlimited drinking water for your rabbit is important because it improves the function of their urinary activity.
However, if your rabbit suffers from dehydration, it will produce excess waste chemicals to urinate. Hence, its content and texture will affect your rabbit pee because it will have more chemical components than water.
The excess waste chemicals will cause the pee to have a stronger smell due to the lower water levels.
As a pet owner, you should know that dehydration is serious, not just because it affects urine. If they are diagnosed with this illness, it can lead to other health concerns and is even fatal if the rabbit is not given treatment immediately.
But you don’t need to worry if you ensure that your rabbit gets enough water and nutrients. Dehydration will unlikely happen to them.
Try to replace its water from time to time to keep it fresh to decrease the chance of water-borne diseases arising from dirty and contaminated drinking water.
Pregnancy also contributed to the changes in the urine smell of your rabbit. According to one study, rabbit urine commonly changes, especially during the gestation period. That is because changes in chemical and hormonal structure occur in the rabbit’s body.
Also, their pee will sometimes smell sweet, like popcorn, after mating with a male rabbit.
However, if the rabbit is not pregnant and still has a distinct smell, it might suffer from an infection in its bladder. On this occasion, schedule a visit to your pet’s doctor to get a urinary test for possible infection.
Key Takeaways for Rabbit Pee
- The color and texture of rabbit pee significantly affect their overall health and wellness.
- Rabbit pee is made of alkaline content with a pH of 8-9. Moreover, you can also see traces of protein, glucose, and other minerals depending on what your rabbit is eating and drinking.
- Hematuria is a condition where there is a presence of blood in your rabbit’s urine.
- There are several colors of urine that your rabbit can produce. Such as Yellow, Orange, Red, and Green Pee. And it can vary depending on your pet’s situation, such as their hydration, diet, surroundings, and stress level.
- Yellow Pee is the healthy and common color of rabbit urine. However, you should worry if it’s milky yellow because it can mean their body has excess calcium that affects their urine color.
- Orange and Red pee is not that alarming for some rabbits. Sometimes rabbits’ pee can have this color because their bladder releases bright pigment. Or they eat plants or foods rich in beta-carotene, a compound that makes the skin bright, like broccoli and carrot.
- Green Pee is a rare urine color but can happen to your rabbit, especially if their diet comprises grasses and green veggies.
- Urine coming from a male rabbit has a stronger scent compared to females. It has a strong smell of ammonia. You can remove the smell using vinegar, baking soda, or a pet odor remover product.
- Common reasons that can affect the color and smell of your rabbit’s pee are they might be diagnosed with diabetes, have a poor diet plan, are dehydrated, or your rabbit might be pregnant.
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