Message Number: FHL12898 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Ulrike Stanley
Date: 2011-02-21 14:28:25 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Urine pH
To: FHL <>

I've just been to the vets with Kobi again because he is still peeing in his
sleep although he has no problems peeing when he is awake. For example if I
feed him and put him back into the cage, he will go to sleep and pee in his
sleep. If I feed him and let him have a run, he will go the the toilet
within a few minutes and empty his bladder without any problems. My vet
palpated his bladder and it feels normal and does not cause Kobi pain. She
expressed some urine and tested it and it had blood and protein in it and
the pH was 5. Last time the pH was 5.5 and I'm wondering whether the pH does
fluctuate or whether it's likely that his urine is too acidic. If so, how
bad is a pH of 5? I have read the normal pH is 6 so is 5 still okay or is it
"dangerously" acidic?

Kobi has just been on Clavamox for about 4 weeks and at first the urine
cleared up. Usually when he peed on his bed, you could see brown(ish) urine
stains which I thought were from the blood in the urine. On Clavamox this
didn't happen anymore but the effect didn't last long and the blood came
back as the urine test showed. Kobi is now being started on Baytril. He does
have adrenal disease and had a Suprelorin implant in December and has been
on Finasteride for about a month.


[YES, there IS such a thing as too acidic a pH for

Urine which is either extreme can cause things
to precipitate out and crystalize.

When urine is that acidic the individual may be
prone to getting cystine uroliths (stones) and
stones or sludge could account for the problems
you are seeing.

Unfortunately, this type of debris, whether in
sludge form or stone form can cause a complete
urinary blockage and can become fatal.

We have had two who had cystine uroliths and
both controlled well with a reduced protein diet
with no more than 35% protein in the diet.
Some ferrets have actually needed medication
for this type of urolith. Ferrets who are prone
to cystine uroliths can not deal with FOUR of the
amino acids well. They are called the "COLA Group"
because their names are cystines, ornithine, lysine,
and arginine. Too much of any of them causes
the cystine to precipitate out of urine in ferrets with
the related acidic urine. This is a lifelong condition.

Keep in mind that the difficulty urinating can also
cause other problems. One of ours had to survive
bilateral hydronephrosis, for example.

You can find more on this in the FHL Archives and
in an article by Dr. Murray in the Ferrets Magazine
website. I will try to make time to look things up
and then post.

When we had to monitor urine with our two we
were never supposed to let their pH get as low
as the pH you are encountering A diet lower in
protein will bring up the pH into safer levels.

-- Moderator (SDC)]


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