Message Number: YG1203 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Edward Lipinski
Date: 2001-03-13 03:14:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Sonic - urine pH/diet

Pam S's detailed measurements of her ferret's urine in terms of pH should
give us pause to consider what the normal range of pH might be for a
specific and healthy ferret on a given diet.

Her measurements (I assume she's using a paper strip pH indicator and
interprets the color after the strip is dipped into the ferret's urine)
range from 5.5 to 8.0 pH.

The pH of pure water is 7.0 and higher numbers indicate a fewer Hydrogen
ions or alkalinity and the lower numbers indicate more Hydrogen ions or
acidity. So the 5.5 pH is acidic urine and 8.0 is alkiline urine.

It seems safe to assume that ferret urine pH is not a constant, even in a
healthy ferret that is eating a specific diet over time. It seems
reasonable to assume that urine sampled in the early AM hours just after
wakeup would vary considerably from the same ferret's urine sampled at
noon, sampled at 1800 hrs and sampled at 2359 hrs. It would be
remarkable if the pH measurements at each of these times would be even
close to each other. But, then again, I don't know.

And that leads to this simple question: What is the normal(?) range of
pH variability over time as indicated above?

Why don't we find out? I suggest we request from the vets monitoring
this list a simple procedure that each of us could follow using pH paper
strips (bot at your local drug store) and measure the urine pH of your
healthiest ferret, all at the same time(s) of day (and night). Further,
after a given period of repeated measurements, say, oh I don't know, how
about 7 days, we then report our measurements to the FHL.

So it would seem to me then we'd know a lot more than we know now. How
about it everybody? Want to dabble in basic science? This should be
most interesting and informative. Pam S. can do it, yes? So can we,

Edward Lipinski
F.E.R.R.E.T.S. NW Foundation, a ferret shelter and husbandry whose owner
is not too proud to ask for help, help, and more help of any kind - even
1,000's of pH measurements, yes?