It is obvious that every guinea pig owners want to know what does normal guinea pig urine look like? This can help them detect health issues. But there isn’t a fixed set of observations for the urine. The changes in the shades can be found on a day to day basis. Let us learn more about it.
Your guinea pig is healthy till its pee is clear. It may be thick, cloudy, and white due to the presence of calcium carbonate and ammonium phosphate crystals in the urine. Excess of calcium is not a good sign. Red stains or pinkish color of urine indicates the presence of blood in the urine.
The changes in color are not healthy signs. The consistency of the urine is essential, and one should focus on it.
Guinea pig being able to urinate with ease, and the color is bright is a healthy condition. But there is more to learn about it.
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What does healthy guinea pig pee look like
Diet rich in calcium can cause cloudy urine in the guinea pigs. Cloudy urine should not be ignored. The diet should be changed with the onset of dark urine. The urine will become sludgy and chalky if left unattended.
Urine can be red occasionally due to some changes in diet, so you should not be worried about it. It is often mistaken to be as blood, but that may not be the cause. It may be due to pigmentation from the guinea pig’s bladder.
Guinea pig pee of different colors is not usual. You should not ignore it if it continues for a more extended period. Visit a veterinarian for medical advice.
Regular changes in the color of urine due to changes in the diet are natural.
Guinea pig urine chart
Guinea pig urinates different colors of urine. It may even show changes in colors within a day. It is standard with guinea pigs.
The following chart will help you with different shades of urine:
- Bright Yellow: As the color suggests, your guinea pig is healthy. You need not worry about the health of your pet until it eats and drinks well.
- Milky Yellow: Milky or dark shade in the pee is the early warning sign of calciuria. It is mostly due to a calcium-rich diet. Look for a change in the diet. Switch to timothy hay if the guinea pig has alfalfa hay. Also, opt for a low calcium diet for them.
- Red: Red urine is often mistaken as blood, but it may be due to particular food like dandelion, beetroot, red cabbage, or carrots. It can also be due to pigments from guinea pigs’ bladder. Antibiotic medicines can be the cause of red pigmentation. A sudden drop in temperature during winters can result in red pee. Prolonged red urine is a matter of concern.
- Pink: Pink urine can be due to blood present in the urine. Still, the color suggests that blood is present in traces. The dilution of the blood results in a pink color. It may be caused by eating strawberries or cranberries. Excess calcium in the diet can also be the cause.
- Brown: Brown color pee is not a concern for the guinea pig. Observe that the pee dries uniform brown. Bladder pigments cause it. Deep brown or rusty shades of the pee indicate more of the red urine. Check the diet and fecal wastes. If guinea pigs have constipation, the fecal waste will stick in the gut, and they don’t even vomit. Young guinea pigs more often show brown tinge in the urine.
- Orange: Guinea pig does orange pee when it is dehydrated. Dehydration causes profuse urination, which results in an orange shade. Make sure your guinea is provided with enough fresh water for drinking. Urine may also look orange due to pigmentation.
- White: Clean and transparent urine signifies that your guinea pig is drinking too much water. It is a good habit to drink more water, but an excess of water can cause kidney problems in guinea pigs.
You can use white litter to test the color of the urine. The white litter stains help in the exact identification of the urine color.
It is a better and easier way to determine the color. A regular review of the urine is useful to identify any problem early.
Why does my guinea pigs pee look milky?
Urine having cloudy or milky shades is healthy for guinea pigs up to some extent.
Excess of calcium precipitate and reduced urine content leads to sludge or thick paste. Guinea pig suffering from calciuria releases thick and milky urine. It is dangerous if left untreated.
The kidney does the job of filtering calcium consumed by guinea pigs. Excess of calcium is passed out through urine, which makes the pee look cloudy.
However, calcium is required by guinea pigs for healthy teeth and bones but in a small quantity. Food having a high content of calcium should be avoided.
Excess calcium thickens the urine of guinea pigs. Early signs of it are cloudy or milky urine and chalky residue.
Treat milky pee in guinea pigs
This problem can be treated at home itself by following a few dietary changes, as mentioned below:
- Cheap pellets should not be given to your pet as if are made of alfalfa hay, which has a high content of calcium with low fiber content.
- Remove any alfalfa hay present in the cage of your guinea pig. Alfalfa hay is required mostly by the growing little ones and pregnant guinea pigs. It is not suitable for adult guinea pigs. It is better to use timothy hay for guinea pigs, and it can be fed all through the day.
- Make a note of the fruits and vegetables having a high content of calcium. Avoid spinach, kale, and collards as regular food. These items should not be fed in combinations of two or more.
- Exercise is key to reducing calcium naturally. That enables the kidney to function more efficiently and filter out calcium from the body. Any potential risk of internal damage is also reduced.
The urine will be healthy again, provided that the severity of calciuria is not too high. If the pee is hardened inside the urinary tract, then your guinea pig may suffer from cystitis and bladder stones.
Guinea pigs suffer from severe pain due to cystitis and bladder stones. In some cases, bladder stones can lead to blockage. Immediately consult your vet. A course of antibiotics is usually prescribed to remove the blockage.
Dehydration can also be the reason for sludgy urine.
A Guinea pig will not be able to excrete urine enough if there is a shortage of water in the body.
The Guinea pig should be encouraged to drink more water. Be careful if the guinea pig is suffering from dehydration, as it can be fatal.
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Does my guinea pig have a UTI?
Urinary tract infections are a common health issue in guinea pigs. Both males and females are susceptible to infection.
Guinea pigs have shorter legs that pull the body near to the surface.
The bacteria can directly move inside the urinary tract from the surrounding, causing urinary tract infection.
Guinea pigs above 3 years of age are more likely to be infected.
What causes UTI in guinea pigs?
Bacterial infection in the urinary tract causes UTI. The following reasons can cause it:
- Obesity. Guinea pigs showing less activity and staying in the cage.
- Low-fiber diet. Guinea pigs are at risk of UTI if they eat more pellets as pellets have low fiber content.
- Stress. Any sudden change in the daily schedule or unfriendly environment.
- Excessive calcium or other vitamins. Excess of anything is harmful. So mix up the diet to ensure the proper balance of the nutrients.
- Unsanitary living conditions. Unhygienic living conditions attract bacteria. Make sure you clean the litter tray, and your pet dot not rolls over its wastes.
- An inability to urinate. Any blockage in the urinary tract can lead to UTI.
Signs of urinary tract infection in guinea pigs
The early symptoms of UTI can be the blood in the urine and painful cry while urinating. Few common symptoms are:
- Thickening of the urine.
- Blood in the urine.
- Guinea pigs usually pee at a particular location. Check if they are urinating involuntarily anywhere around.
- Urine always oozes slowly or drop by drop.
- Painful crying and showing distress while urinating.
- Unsuccessful attempts of urination.
The symptoms are similar to those with bladder stones. Your vet will access the problem by urine sample and x-ray.
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How do you treat a UTI in guinea pigs?
Your vet will prescribe an antibiotic course of 2-3 weeks when your pet is diagnosed with UTI.
Maintain a strict diet chart as given by the vet.
Avoid feeding dilated cranberry juice to your pet. It is crucial to go for professional help as any delay in the treatment can be critical.
Read In-depth- How Do You Treat A UTI In Guinea Pigs? (Causes+What To Do)
What does blood in guinea pig urine mean?
We often misunderstand that the red-colored urine has blood in it. Urine having pink shade has blood present in diluted form. Guinea pig doing pink urine is a matter of concern.
Hematuria means blood passing through urine. To be precise, the red blood cells are flowing out with the urine.
That can be a critical situation for your cavy. Instead of wasting any time, you should take the urine sample to your vet.
Blood in the urine can be present due to the following reasons:
- Kidney stones, or any disorder in the kidney.
- Bladder stones, cystitis, or deposition of urine crystals in the bladder.
- High calcium content in the diet.
- Genitals injured.
- Blood clots.
- Disorder in reproductive organs, especially in unspayed female guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs show changes in physical activities before blood flows along with urine.
Observe if your guinea pig has bloated abdomen and injury or swelling around the bladder. These are the symptoms of bladder stones.
The antibiotic course is usually suggested for treatment. The diagnosis will help us to determine the exact cause.
In severe cases, surgery is also done. Blood transfusion is done in rare instances when much blood is lost through urination.
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Why does my guinea pig’s urine smell so bad?
Guinea pig’s urine left for some time starts giving a foul smell. That is because of the bacterial activity on the urine, which produces ammonia.
It can damage the inner lining of nasal passage and cause respiratory infection in your pet if inhaled. The bad smell of urine does not mean that the guinea pig is ill.
The following steps can reduce the foul smell:
- Guinea pigs can be neutered/spayed as they produce less smelling urine.
- Litter trains your guinea pig. Put a litter box at the spot and reward your pet on performance.
- Place hay around the litter box as the guinea pig eats while urinating. Try to restrict the waste at one location.
- The litter tray should be cleaned once daily. The guinea pig won’t if it smells terrible. Remove any urine-stained hay. Hutch need not be cleaned very often but check around the litter box.
- The litter tray can be cleaned with white vinegar. That helps to get rid of the foul smell and also clean the calcium residue. Wash the litter box to remove the traces of white vinegar.
Is guinea pig urine harmful to humans
Guinea pig’s urine is not harmful to humans and is safe to handle. Its smell may be offensive. Still, you need to be careful from a parasite that can be found in the urine.
Encephalitozoon cuniculi or E. cuniculi is the bug found in most rodents’ urine, including guinea pigs. This bug is less prevalent in guinea pigs. The infection is mostly subclinical but can be fatal if the pet is immunocompromised.
The parasite is transmitted through urine. Guinea pig’s immune system can fight this bug. It is thought that once infected, the guinea pig will be the lifelong carrier of the parasite.
Humans with low immunity are more susceptible to be infected from this disease. Children and elderly ones should be careful while handling guinea pig’s urine.
Guinea pig infected with Encephalitozoon cuniculi may appear healthy, but its growth may be compromised. Antibiotics are used for the treatment of the infection. You should be careful while cleaning the cage until the problem exists.
Check the pee of your pet, whether it is clear and fluid. Cloudy or milky urine should be handled carefully. You should once consult your vet, and else it can be painful.
Source: MSD VET MANUAL, Sawneeanimalclinic, Urine sampling, ureteral obstruction in a pet guinea pig, Composition, and characteristics of urinary calculi from guinea pigs, Development of the urinary system in guinea pig females, Cystitis, urolithiasis and cystic calculi in aging guinea pigs.