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Old 08-27-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
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my bunns have always had horrible litter-box habits inside their cage but have NEVER peed outside it... until about 5 days ago. since then, they've been peeing outside the cage an average of once a day (one time on two days, then twice in a day, then none on the fourth day, then once today)... always in different spots along the outside of their pen. I don't know if it's one or both doing it :S (holland lop is just over 13 wks, lionhead is just over 12 wks).

at first I thought it could be because I tried cutting puppy pee pads to fit the litterbox to encourage them to use it more, but I stopped doing that after the second day and the peeing outside the cage has continued. they're peeing a LOT in the litterbox and in the adjacent corner of the cage that they always turn into a pee corner, it's always just one or two spots outside the cage.

is this an early warning sign of hormones kicking in or is it something to be concerned about or a new bad habit that I need to break them of?

also, I dunno if it's related, but my holland lop seems to be drinking excessively - she will literally sit there for minutes at a time lapping away at the water bottle and does this pretty often (way more often than the lionhead)... which seems a little odd since she's a good veggie eater whereas Nala just nibbles here and there (I always leave the veggies damp). I know it's Gaz drinking 80-85% of the time when I hear the water bottle because I've sat there and watched her drink for minutes and because even when I'm not looking, I can hear the difference - Nala *always* gets all aggressive with the water bottle and nips at the metal like "gimmeh waterz!", lol. she seems to be drinking a good bit more than she used to and drinks probably at least 3-4x as much as Nala does.



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Old 08-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
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Could be hormones or just a brat. We have a couple of litter pans inside of apple boxes with holes in both ends. That seems to work fairly well.



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Old 08-28-2012, 03:52 AM   #3
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Bugsy will not pee outside of his litter box, unless he's in a spraying kind of mood (gagg). Oreo on the other hand is a HOT MESS when it comes to litter box habits. She would pee in every corner of my house if I let her!

Your buns are still young, I know young buns can be hard headed. Maybe they just need more training?

My Oreo is a water hogger. I had a water bottle before the spay in her cage and she would sit there for minutes at a time drinking water, her and that bottle had a strong bond LOL. After the spay I put a bowl in so it would be easier for her and she loves it. She sits and drinks and drinks. She has always been a water lover and I leave my veggies soaking too. Bugsy gets his water from his veggies and doesnt drink too too much. I think it depends on the bun.
Have you noticed her straining when she's going pee? That would be a reason for concern.

Good luck!

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Old 08-29-2012, 07:12 AM   #4
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they almost never pee in front of me... there was one time I tried putting their dig box in the cage and the first thing Gaz did was get inside and pee in it, though >.> (it's back to being an outdoor toy now because they started using it as an extension of their litterbox and I had to dump all the dirt/poop out in the garden and re-fill it.)

what baffles me a bit is that from the time they were 7-8 weeks until 11 1/2-12 1/2, they NEVER peed outside their cage and then suddenly it was a daily thing. it started before I expanded their run area (has only happened once since then), so I can't blame it on having too much space to remember to go back to the cage to pee. their imperfect habits at this age are hardly surprising, but I wasn't expecting them to get worse instead of better when they were supposed to be another month away from getting hormonal.

as for the water drinking, I would guesstimate that Gaz is drinking at LEAST 4-5 ounces a day vs nala drinking maybe 2 oz, not counting water in/on veggies (which Gaz eats a lot more of). it might actually be a bit more - the secondary water bottle is 32 oz and they drink mostly out of the 8 oz one in the cage, so it's harder to see how much is actually disappearing out of the bigger bottle. Gaz weighs 26.5 oz and Nala weighs 32 oz (just went out and weighed them) - drinking nearly 1/5 of her weight in water daily seems like a lot, but if that's within "normal" range, I'll quit being paranoid

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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I am now 90% sure that the bunny drinking so much (who is also one week older) is the one peeing outside the cage. Nala (the younger one) has been hanging out on the third floor of the condo non-stop for days and there was never any pee up there.

then today, she helped me teach Gaz how to get up there (I put gaz up there then moved her down the levels one at a time to show her the way down... then nala went down while Gaz watched, looked at her and went back up!). Gaz is now climbing up there all on her own and hanging out on the third floor with Nala... and suddenly there was pee on my beautiful purple coroplast!

with the peeing outside the cage once a day combined with all that drinking, is it possible she has a UTI or something? should I take her in for another check-up just in case?

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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When they are young they can forget their litter training as quickly as they learned it. I don't consider a bun truly and permanantly litter trained until they are fixed.

That being said, I caught a UTI early for Sophie because she peed outside of her box, which is out of character for her. It's up to you if you want to have a urnialisis done.

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Old 08-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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well, they were SO good for over a month... but 13 weeks seems early for hormones to be kicking in and making her forgetful. I dunno, it's hard to tell the difference between paranoia and good sense when you know for a fact that you're paranoid ><

well, better safe than sorry... I called the vet and they said I can bring her in any time before 10 am tomorrow and leave her for the day for a urinalysis (I'm not too keen on having to be away from them all day, but oh well ) and they said Nala can tag along since they've got a baby-bond going. I might see if I can sit in the waiting room with a book for a couple hours, lol... would be good to be able to take them home before it gets too hot, anyway, so I'll probably just show up when they open and see how things go.

I wiped up the pee pretty quickly, but when I read up on the link on the sticky about urinary problems, I saw something about white crystals or w/e in fresh urine and I think I remember part of the puddle having some white. they're on alfalfa hay 'cause of their age and they've been eating a lot of carrot tops, among other veggies (plus Gaz has a tendency to eat a lot of Nala's share of the veggies - the only thing I'm very careful about making sure they each only eat THEIR portion of is fruit)... so it's not out of the question that she could be one of those calcium-sensitive bunns and might be getting too much of it. if that's the case, the sooner I find out, the better!

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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well, the bunns are sitting at the vet where they're waiting for them to pee. my house seems so big and lonely with the bunny pen empty . I sent a couple little toys with them and asked for Nala to have their willow branch ball to chew on/play with so she doesn't get too restless being caged up - she's a hyper little bunn and is used to having free roam of the pen. they have to be apart (right beside each other) until they've peed, but then they can be together again.

I found out the urinalysis is < $30, much cheaper than I'd expected. I asked them to run one on both bunnies just to be on the safe side, since I'm only 90% sure it's Gaz that's peeing outside the cage. the vet tech who checked us in ooh'd and ahh'd over them and commented that she was going to have a fun morning with them around

I also brought in the ingredient info on sherwood food that came with the free sample to get my vet's opinion on it

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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good news is their urinalyses came back clean - no infections, no calcium sensitivities, etc. I also asked about preventative meds for flystrike (which I'm paranoid about 'cause I had it happen to a bunny when I was a little kid after the bunn got a tiny cut on his shoulder) and he assured me that as long as they're clean/in good health then there's pretty much no risk when they're playing in the yard and he didn't see the need for meds.

bad news is it probably IS hormones making them pee outside of the cage... and when I asked whether he thought they would be big enough in about a month (16.5-17.5 weeks) or thought I should wait until closer to five months (he said he spays at 4-5 mos on our first check-up about 3 weeks ago), he said he thought I should wait ><

so the bunns are in great health... but I've got another two months of floor-peeing to contend with



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