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Rabbit urine started smelling really bad

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Satrevino

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Hey guys,
Recently my 1 year and 2 months old holland lop doe has started having urine that smells bad, really bad. I used to change her litter box every three days, but it could easily last a week without smelling. Now, the litter box has started smelling like ammonia within the first 24 hours. There has been no drastic change in her diet or behavior, so I don't know what it could be. Is it her maturing? Would spaying her help lessen the odor? Any help or recommendations would be great!
 

Apollo’s Slave

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What litter are you using? Rabbit urine can stink sometimes. Getting them fixed should help I think, but it could be the way the litter box is set up.
 

Satrevino

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I am using pelleted bedding used for horse stalls. I’ve had the litter box set up the same way for a year now, but it just now started smelling.
 

JBun

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Diet can sometimes play a role in an increased ammonia smell. What is your rabbits exact diet(type of pellets, hay, any other foods)?

I would also be looking at signs of a possible UTI when abnormal urinary changes occur. Any dribbling of urine, straining to urinate, urine soaked bottom, dark brown colored urine, spots of blood in the urine, thick creamy or pasty urine, lack of appetite? Any increase in the amount of water she is drinking and increased urination?
 

Satrevino

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She gets unlimited SPS Timothy Hay, about 10 small alfalfa pellets and 1 cup fresh greens every other day, alternating. I’ll give her sunflower seeds and homemade banana and apple balls as treats, never more than 1tbs per day.

She is acting like her normal self and I haven’t noticed any of the things you listed above about her urine or an increase in water intake.
 

JBun

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Have you changed to a different brand of pelleted bedding? Is the hay a really soft leafy rich green hay(like 3rd cut)? Is it much warmer in your house or in her area than it used to be?

I'm just trying to hit on all what might be the usual causes of increased urine smell. The usual causes would be hormones as they mature and hit adulthood, putting another rabbit next to an unaltered rabbit(particularly a male), a bedding that isn't very absorbable to help control the smell, not cleaning often enough with the bedding getting too saturated, a diet too high in protein, a urinary tract infection, change of temperature to a warmer one.
 

Satrevino

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I feed her 2nd cut and no, I haven’t changed the pellet brand. It’s beginning to be winter here, so the temperature has actually gone down. Thanks for all of your help so far!
 

JBun

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It's not seeming like a dietary, hormonal, health, or temperature problem. Is your bun digging around in the pellets at all or are they getting churned up? Do you top it with hay?

The odor is controlled best if the urine settles to the bottom of the pelleted bedding that is at least 1-1.5 inches deep, and is absorbed and under a layer of dry or minimally saturated bedding. If you can see darkened wet bedding, that is usually when it starts to smell. When the bedding gets churned up and the wet layer underneath comes to the top, that releases the smell. Topping with hay can also help control the odor by helping keep the bedding from getting churned up and also trapping the smell under the hay.
 

Satrevino

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My rabbit doesn’t dig at all in her litter box. I will try adding some more bedding and hay on top. Thank you so much!
 

HalaBuns

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Do you scrub the litter box with a scourer when you clean it? I use pee pads and litter, but some days it still needs washing out. I had it recently where their litter box smelled really quickly despite changing it daily. I had been wiping it with a cloth and soapy water, but not scrubbing it. I think some of the urine got into little scratches in the plastic and it was that that was kicking up, because the cloth wasn’t getting it out properly. Once I started scrubbing it instead, things improved.
 

WendyHodgins

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Hey guys,
Recently my 1 year and 2 months old holland lop doe has started having urine that smells bad, really bad. I used to change her litter box every three days, but it could easily last a week without smelling. Now, the litter box has started smelling like ammonia within the first 24 hours. There has been no drastic change in her diet or behavior, so I don't know what it could be. Is it her maturing? Would spaying her help lessen the odor? Any help or recommendations would be great!
Is she drinking enough water?
 

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