When you finally bring your guinea pig home, you like all pet owners will set out to research everything you should know about the animal. This way, you can pick any signs of issues early and maximize your fun with a guinea pig.
Ensuring the comfort of the animal is also essential. One element you will focus on in this regard is the provision of adequately-sized hutches placed in locations with plenty of shade and free of distractions.
This hutch should also be cleaned daily because guinea pigs are obsessively clean and often become distressed if you neglect their hygiene.
Other than the steps you take to ensure your guinea pig’s comfort, it needs to remain healthy. One thing that can be a pointer of diseases is the smell and color of your pet’s urine, as well as the frequency of urination. The tidbits below will focus on answering all the questions you might have on guinea pig pee to ease your care of this rodent.
Does Guinea Pig Pee Smell?
Yes, the urine has a distinct smell but is not often foul-smelling. Most guinea pig owners will immediately attribute foul-smelling urine to a poor diet and urinary tract infections. Though these can cause a foul smell, guinea pig pee often smells when you let it stay in the cage for a long time.
This is because of the bacterial activity in it that leads to the production of ammonia. When inhaled, this ammonia can damage your pet’s nasal passage on inhalation and lead to respiratory infections. Below are some steps you can take to reduce the foul smell of your guinea pig’s urine:
- Spay or neuter the animal because this will cause it to produce urine that does not smell much.
- Litter train the animal.
- Clean the litter tray once daily and remove all urine-stained hay in the cage. You can use white vinegar for cleaning the tray to get rid of the foul smell and calcium residue. Wash the tray after this to get rid of vinegar traces.
- Deep clean the cage once weekly.
What Color Is Guinea Pig Pee?
There are different colors for guinea pig urine. Your pet can even have urine color changes within the same day. This is normal. Bright yellow urine is, however, considered a sign of good health in a guinea pig.
Sometimes the bright yellow urine can turn orange when left standing. This might be because of porphyrins in it that are oxidized when left exposed to environmental elements.
Orange urine might, however, also be a sign of dehydration in your guinea pig. In this case, ensure your pet has enough fresh drinking water throughout.
When young, your guinea pig will usually have a brown or orange tint in its urine. This should not concern you since it is normal. Even so, when constipated, fecal waste might stick in a guinea pig’s gut and cause rusty or deep brown shades in its urine.
Is Guinea Pig Pee Toxic To Humans?
No. Guinea pig urine cannot harm humans and can be safely handled. It is only the smell that is offensive sometimes. Nonetheless, be careful when handling the urine because it sometimes contains parasites.
The most common one is E.cuniculi that can affect humans with lowered immunity. Kids and the elderly should also be particularly careful when handling guinea pig urine because of this parasite.
Guinea pigs harboring the parasite might look healthy, but their growth is often compromised. When diagnosed by a vet, antibiotics are administered to clear E.cuniculi.
In rare cases, guinea pig urine has also been shown to contain parasites that cause a viral condition called lymphocytic choriomeningitis, whose symptoms resemble flu.
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee?
In general, guinea pigs pee every fifteen minutes, which translates to about 96 times per day. Nonetheless, remember that the rodents are different, so the frequency of urination will depend on your pet’s lifestyle and diet.
For instance, when your guinea pig consumes a lot of vegetables and fruits with high water content, it will pee more times than normal.
There is nothing much you can do to keep guinea pigs from peeing a lot because this is in their nature, and anyway it is unhealthy to stop the animal from peeing.
Nevertheless, you can ease the cleaning of the pee by putting disposable puppy pads in their cages to absorb the urine.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Spraying Pee?
Though keeping a guinea pig is a delightful experience, some of its behaviors might be strange. One of the strangest is when guinea pigs spray their pee. This is normal behavior for rodents though not very common. The main reasons for spraying pee include:
- As a sign of stress. If the cause of stress is not picked and handled, your guinea pig will often start spraying its urine excessively.
- When the animal is starting to get annoyed such as when another guinea pig is constantly harassing it, even playfully.
- When trying to establish dominance in a cage with multiple guinea pigs.
- To ward off unwanted attention, such as when a male starts sniffing at a female guinea pig but the latter wants it to stop.
While you can tolerate some spraying from your guinea pig, excessive spraying makes it hard to keep its cage and the animals around it clean. As such, take steps to address the manageable reasons for the behavior.
For example, you can get rid of the stressor in the animal’s environment or get enough space in the cage where a guinea pig can retreat when it wants to be left alone.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Pee Milky Yellow?
Though yellow is the normal urine color for guinea pigs, the pee might be clear or cloudy. The cloudiness comes from the calcium compounds in the urine and reduced urine output secondary to dehydration.
When dry, these compounds leave a white powdery substance. Urine clouding is among the warning signs of calciuria, often because of a high calcium diet.
Calcium is essential in your guinea pig’s diet to support healthy bones and teeth. The kidney filters this dietary calcium that is then absorbed into the body.
Even so, in excess, this calcium is passed in the urine hence the milky yellow appearance. Below are a few steps for managing milky pee in your guinea pig if the calciuria is mild.
Consider changing your pet’s diet to timothy hay if you have been using alfalfa hay. The alfalfa hay is mostly needed by young and pregnant guinea pigs since these need calcium to grow. Feeding it to adult guinea pigs leads to excess calcium in their systems.
- Steer clear of cheap pellets since these are often made of alfalfa hay.
- Avoid giving the animal collards, kale and spinach frequently because they have a lot of calcium.
- Exercise the guinea pig so that the kidney works efficiently to filter out calcium. Exercise also reduces the potential of kidney damage.
- Encourage the animal to drink a lot of water.
If pee hardens in your guinea pig’s urinary tract because of severe calciuria, the animal might get bladder stones and cystitis. Consult your vet to handle these conditions.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Pee Red?
Sometimes, red guinea pig pee is a consequence of consuming foods with the pigment because of their anthocyanin and lycopene compounds.
These foods include beets, red cabbage, cranberries, red bell pepper, raspberries, red grapes, watermelons and strawberries. The red urine color caused by these foods resolves in a day or two.
If you notice a clear blood fleck in the red urine or a persistent red color, this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection, cystitis, tumors or bladder stones.
In this case, you will need antibiotics to fix the issues. A few antibiotics also cause red urine discoloration, so consult your vet if your guinea pig is on any medication.
Can You Train A Guinea Pig To Pee In The Litter Box?
Yes. You can train your guinea pig to use a litter box to ease the cleaning of its cage because the waste will be concentrated in one spot.
To do this, place the litter box in one corner of the cage, then reward the guinea pig with a treat each time it pees in the litter box. You can encourage the use of the litter box by placing hay around it so that the animal will feed while urinating.
With your questions answered above, you now know what to expect in a guinea pig’s urine and how best to handle it to keep your pet’s cage from smelling. Other than spot cleaning the litter box and changing the bedding on which your pet has peed, choose the right bedding for the guinea pig.
Aspen bedding controls the strong odor of pee and will thus leave your cage smelling fresh. You can also keep the cage in a well-ventilated room and use an air purifier to get rid of its odor. With the right steps, keeping a guinea pig will not compromise the fresh smell of your home.