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Old 11-01-2019, 04:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
Ria
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Default Darker looking urine

Okay so on the 23rd October when I went to clean her wheel and pick out litter, I saw that on the white litter where her urine ALWAYS goes it looked like the white tissue had been dyed yellow!

Then the next day 24th October when I checked earlier than normal, I saw it looked a little better but still looked very dark yellow.
So this night I wondered if maybe its a uti, but I only ever hear about them having blood so I dont know.

The next day 25th October, I looked again in the morning rather than the evening when I normally get the chance to- Now I was going to call the vet this day because the other two days by the time I looked it was too late but this day it wouldn't be. But when I looked the urine seemed to be back to normal colour not very see able.
So then that evening - with a fair bit of ease- I got her to wee and put it into a clear container - so from information I found on the urine, it was fine - no blood, not cloudy and it wasnt like super dark looking in there.

So I left calling the vet because I wasnt going to be able to get the exotict vet anyway, and I just kept an eye on it.

Then the 29th October it looked a bit darker again. But I was really busy so sorta had no time to sort it - feel bad but I cant do anything about it.

Then the 30th I looked and it looked almost as bad as the 23rd but just a tad lighter!

And then this morning (just now) I checked it again, and its a while lot lighter and basically normal again!
I was going to call the vet when they open this morning but now I'm not sure if it looks normal again.

There has been no blood any days. I have pictures of the first 3 days but didnt think about the other days incase that helps - just ask because I dont want add them if they arent needed!

So apart from the night of the 24th where it looked like she drank a lot more, nothing else has changed. Her eating is the same (I weigh it so I know this is right) and her activity the same, she always ranges but its always somewhere between 30 mins (the lowest) and 1 hour (the longest) on her wheel - I have a odometer! And then the camera shows another 30 mins - 40 mins (mostly 35 mins) around her viv and playing with toys

I dont really know what to do. It just seems very odd that it keeps changing.
I dont want to take her to the vet if I dont have to - for her sake nothing to do with not wanting to pay, its just I dont want give her the stress of the vets if its not needed. I also have a feeling the exotic vet isnt there still so not sure if I'd have to find another one or if the small mammal vet will be okay!

I don't really know what to do, she's 1 year and half and this is the only health concern I've had in her whole life.
And although I helped with my friends already sick hedgehog, health issues especially urine ones are totally new to me!

I mean it seems weird it keeps going back to normal. That's why I can't tell if its something to worry about or not.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I forgot the 30th, when I checked it that day the urine was very dark like the 29th.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay so today it looks normal still.
I really dont understand why it keeps changing.

My plan is the next time (if it happens again) it comes out looking like the litter has been dyed yellow, I'm going to get her urine into something clear again to see what it looks like.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So basically I'm coming to a loss here.

I literally just want to know if its something thats normal and happens and nothing to worry about
Or if its something thats wrong and really does need a vet.

I've asked in two places. I've asked people who have 15+ years of experience and everyone is just ignoring me and its become really frustrating now.

I get that people may not know. But seriously surely someone would surely be able to say "no its 100% not normal" because I know with other mammals urine can change colour randomly, so maybe its the same but maybe its an issue because its never happened before. Idk!

And I really dont want to stress her with going to the vet if theres actually nothing wrong and its a normal thing that can happen!
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not at all experienced in this area with hedgehogs, so take what I say with a grain of salt but-

Urine that is bright (or even darker) is often a sign of dehydration. You also mentioned that she appeared to drink more one evening, so I would suspect (keyword haha; suspect) that she's likely dehydrated. Particularly if shes a hedgehog fed kibble. Maybe try incorporating more wet food into her diet to see if that helps?

I know Holly was on the heavier side for a while; I dont think it would hurt either to maybe pick up some Keto-diastix strips. You can usually pick them up for relatively cheap at a pharmacy, or amazon even. Theyre for humans, but work for animal samples. Basically; they test for the presence of ketones in urine, which would be found in a diabetic animal. Animals who are diabetic are often very dehydrated, and their urine will be concentrated (and often sweet-smelling) as a result. She could simply be dehydrated from diet alone, but we also cant rule out a possible underlying medical issue as being the cause either. You need to have a clean sample to get an accurate reading; so like keeping her in a plastic storage tub with no bedding until she goes to the toilet. The fresher the sample, the better.

^ Like I said, i am by no means experienced in this area with hedgehogs. But i have over a decade of experience in dealing with rescue dwarf hamsters who have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, so thought that at least some input would be better than you having none. Such a sudden change in her urine colour is definitely not something that I would personally consider normal, and prolonged dehydration can lead to kidney damage - so I certainly do not believe that this is something we should overlook.

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Old 11-02-2019, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I mean it could be possible, at this point its worth checking!
I was also going to use one the urine infection strips which says it gives signs of urine infections, cysts and kidney issue - worth checking as I have some

If either of them show up anything then obviously I'll go to the vet and get her tested through them to just to check with them!
But if nothing shows then I'll still be at a loss of what the heck it is causing this.

Some advice - however possible or bad it could be at this point is better than being ignored when I really need help. I dont want to over look I want to solve it, but I also dont want unnecessary stress vet visits if there is nothing wrong (plus my exotic vet still back and I'm not sure how much I trust the small mammal vet so very hesitant as I dont know of any other vets near me that know about hogs!)

Her diet is very biscuit based anymore.
She actually eats anything from 3g-8g
I add a little water to that once a week.
She has 5-7g meat and veg once a week, just 5-7g meat with flaxseed oil once a week, 6-8g egg once a week (sometimes adding flaxseed oil depending how her skin looks) and then 10g wet food every other week and 14 insects a day.
This is helping keep her weight stay stable and healthy and its not really very biscuit based like it was when I first got her.
Last night she also drank a bit more water than before but as much as that one night I mentioned.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's just so many factors that can cause urine to change colour, and sometimes they harmless changes that can just be attributed to a certain food ate that day - but sometimes they can be more serious, and indicating of a serious underlying medical problem. It's really just going to be a matter of running through multiple options to find out whats the cause.

I know you said her urine was darker than normal; would you say it was bright yellow, or darker? Since you mentioned you supplement with flax oil, that contains plentiful B vitamins which can cause bright yellow urine (from excess B vitamins being excreted). Eggs are also a great source of B vitamins, and combine the two together you have a B vitamin party. Have you noticed any correlation with whats shes eating vs the colour or her urine at all?

If its darker, and more leaning towards orange, one possible reason is that she's dehydrated. And again, it could be as simple as just making her diet more wet based (even though its not even heavily kibble to begin with; some hogs fair worse on even a small amount of kibble than others) or it could be more serious like diabetes.
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is the one from the 23rd - first time.

I only mixed the flaxseed oil with the egg once on the 20th, her urine was still normal. I try to keep it a bit away from the egg normally!

I make a note of a lot of most things except I forgot to note the days I added the water to the biscuit!
I've just been looking for a pattern and found nothing!

So being found the 23rd it would have been the urine from the 22nd
So I'll start from the 22nd

22nd She only had biscuit she ate 7g and her normal 14 insects - urine darker (seen on the 23rd)

23rd She had lamb, veg and biscuit she ate 6g Lamb&Veg, 4g Biscuit so a total 10g. And normal 14 insects. Urine was a bit lighter than the first day (seen on the 24th)

24th She had just biscuit she ate 5g and her normal 14 insects. Her urine was back to normal (seen on the 25th)

25th She had turkey and biscuit, she ate 7g turkey, 6g biscuit, oh and flaxseed oil on the turkey (5 days apart from the last one and egg that was planned) her urine was normal and this is the day she drank more water than normal. Oh and ofcourse her normal 14 insects

26th was just biscuit again, she ate 7g, plus her normal 14 insects. Urine was normal

27th was again just biscuit, she ate 8g and her normal 14 insects. Urine was normal

28th again just biscuit, she ate 5g, her normal 14 insects. Urine was normal (seen on 29th)

29th she had chicken, veg and biscuit, she ate 5g chicken&veg, 6g biscuit so total 11g. Normal 14 insects. Urine was a bit lighter than 28th but still not normal (seen on 30th)

30th she had duck and biscuit, she ate 5g duck with flaxseed oil on duck, 5g biscuit so total 10g, her normal 14 insects, urine same as 29th (seen on 31st)

31st was just biscuit she ate 7g, normal 14 insects, urine normal

1st again just biscuit, she ate 7g, normal 14 insects, urine normal

This is with all my notes written on the day as I saw it. From when it first happened to seeing her urine today.

I can't really see a patter with diet myself, but might be missing something.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I dont see any correlation with diet and urine colour at all, so thats likely one option we can rule off the list. I think your best bet would be the testing strips - i mean if anything, at least they'll give you some peace of mind. If they come back normal, and the fluctuation still continues (and due to the fact that its a recent change and not otherwise normal for her), a vet visit cant hurt. If shes a food motivated hog, some snacks can make the visit less stressful. Coco has been in and out of the vets for the last couple weeks after a cancer diagnosis, and once i had snacks and her favoruite blanket I was golden. She's usually super huffy with strangers, but the bribes certainly helped!
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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True hopefully the vet will be be back by
the time I get the strips and tested.
They will prob re do the urine test but that wouldn't really be an issue because second tests are always good haha.

I'm glad its not just me that's found no pattern with it so theres nothing with diet.

She's not big on eating outside her cage so treats may not work with her but I'll take some and try anyway.
And the blanket will work with any blanket I've slept with to get my scent on.

I'm sorta worried that the exotic vet still isnt back. So may need to look for another one that knows about hogs - which isnt easy where I live cause hedgehogs arent very known in the area I live but are further out! But I cant see why a small mammal vet wont work if I have a rough idea to help them.

I'm going to test her urine while it looks normal, and then when its that darker and it looks like some dyed the litter yellow. To see if theres anything either time.

Might start looking for another vet incase I need it to. Just incase my normal one isnt back soon. I dont want to wait too long haha.
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