Rabbit Urine Safety (When You Should Avoid It) | bunny's advice (2023)

Rabbits produce a lot of poop, which can surprise a new owner (up to 200 poops in a single day!). Rabbit urine can also cause dirt, can come in a variety of different colors, and have a strong odor that often leads us to question the health of our rabbits.

Pet owners often neglect their own health, after all, we often clean our pets and are sometimes exposed to their droppings. A friend recently asked me if rabbit urine is dangerous to humans. I didn't know the answer, so I decided to do some research. This is what I discovered.

Rabbit urine can be harmful to humans as it may contain spores of a harmful microorganism known as Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Although infections are rare in healthy people, this disease is zoonotic and can be transmitted by immunocompromised people, such as those with HIV.

Is it safe to have rabbit urine around?

Urine leaves the body sterile and is not a problem for most pet owners unless they are exposed to the bacteria for a period of time. However, zoonotic diseases such as the E-cuniculi organism mentioned above, which can be present in the urine of an infected animal, pose a risk to those with long-term illnesses (whose nature or treatment has in some way compromised the effectiveness of that individual). Immune system).

Like people with HIV, those on long-term steroids and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are more susceptible to this infection and should see their doctor if they are pet owners.

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While it does not pose a threat to the majority of the population, there are other common concerns that everyone, regardless of their medical history, should be aware of. I'll talk about them below and also tell you some simple things you can do to prevent them from becoming a problem.

Allergic Reactions to Rabbit Urine

Another health concern related to rabbit urine is that it can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Having owned several rabbits and never had a problem, I was surprised to find that rabbit urine allergy was really a thing.

I found numerous sources, including a Washington State University publication that described various allergens that have been associated with rabbits.

These are found in the rabbit's saliva, fur (result of cleaning with saliva),Urine, dander and dust. The report was primarily concerned with staff who work in close proximity to animal research subjects, but this could also apply to us owners who also have physical contact with our rabbits on a daily basis.

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Rabbit-related allergic reactions includeallergic rhinitis,conjunctivitis,Pruritus (itching),Asma, micontact dermatitis(Links to Wikipedia).

The report also described some symptoms of an allergic reaction, including a runny and stuffy nose, conjunctivitis, watery and itchy eyes, reddening of the skin, a rash or hives, and lower respiratory tract symptoms (coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath). . . .

you can read thisdetailed report here(opens in a new tab).

Dealing with a rabbit allergy

While an allergic reaction to rabbit urine is possible, it is difficult to identify as a definitive cause. Much more common is an allergen-associated reaction in rabbit saliva to a glycoprotein called Ory c 1 (lipocalin) 17–18 kDa. This is also present in the rabbit's fur, as the rabbit uses its saliva to clean itself.

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Another allergy associated with owning rabbits (although often attributed to the pet) is not the rabbit's fault. This is due to an allergy to hay (rabbits' staple food) and its dust particles.

Dust from hay (and straw) can cause a condition called "farmer's lung." Similar to the deadly mesothelioma (a form of lung cancer caused by asbestos and its fibers), this is a very serious condition that can cause lung problems, scarring that makes breathing difficult, and can even be fatal if left untreated.

It can be difficult to discover that you or a family member may be allergic to a pet in your home, especially when you, as the pet's primary caregiver, are the one with the problem.

If you have an allergy to rabbits, you naturally feel more anxious around the pet. Reducing handling is an option, but it also makes it difficult to bond and stay with the animal.

Unfortunately, if no one else in your household is able or willing to take on the responsibility of continuing to care for the rabbits, adoption may be the only solution.

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Alternatively, if another member of your family is having problems, you can try to solve the problem yourself. after these steps

  1. Change your brand of hay. As mentioned above, hay or hay dust can often be the source of the problem and it doesn't have to be a rabbit problem. Try switching to a "dust pulling" brand of hay and see if that helps.
  2. Perform frequent cleaning of litter boxes/bins. This action reduces the accumulation of bacteria and the risks associated with allergens present in the urine.
  3. If possible, keep the person away from the rabbit. Minimizing subject contact with the rabbit will reduce the likelihood of an attack.
  4. Keep a supply of over-the-counter antihistamines on hand to relieve allergy symptoms should they arise.

These simple steps may be enough to allow you to provide for your pet while keeping your family members happy!

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ammonia in rabbit urine

Rabbits are herbivores and their urine normally has an alkaline pH of 8-9 and is often cloudy with mineral deposits such as calcium. They produce large amounts of urine every day with volumes between 20 ml and 350 ml per kg of body size (the average is around 130 ml per kg).

If a rabbit's diet contains a little more protein than it should, the rabbit may excrete extra nitrogen in the urine. The bacteria then convert that nitrogen into ammonia to feed themselves.

The amount of waste a rabbit produces means that even with regular cleaning, urine can build up very quickly. If cleaning is missed for a week or two, ammonia can become a health hazard, especially in small barns or poorly ventilated spaces.

Rabbits exposed to ammonia can develop pneumonia, making them more susceptible to respiratory infections such as Pasteurella multocida and pneumonia.

Rabbit keepers exposed to ammonia may also experience eye, nose and throat irritation, but relatively short exposure times generally do us little harm.

Identify and reduce ammonia.

Once you learn to recognize the smell of ammonia, you can do something about it. Ammonia has a distinctive odor, some describe it as a chemical cleaner, others describe the smell of rotten fish. What impresses me most about the smell of ammonia is the stinging it causes in the nostrils.

Either way, if you notice a strong smell of ammonia in your rabbit's house, it's probably time to adjust the diet (reduce protein) and increase the frequency of cleaning.

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As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the rabbit house, the less you'll need to clean it, but even in the largest pens (we used playhouses), the bathroom areas need daily cleaning, removing droppings and cleaning with an antibacterial spray. safe for rabbits .

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In smaller areas like stables, we recommend daily cleaning, especially in warmer climates where bacteria can build up quickly.

If you have basic DIY skills, you might also consider ventilating the barn (or playhouse, in my case) using vents.

Should I stay away from rabbits during pregnancy?

A significant risk identified in pregnant women is the risk of toxoplasmosis. This infection is caused by a protozoan parasite that can be transmitted by most mammals, including rabbits.

The infection can be transmitted through contact with cat feces and poses a significant risk to unborn babies.

Fortunately, cats are the only species capable of transmitting the disease while alive, and rabbit feces are not a source of infection. Although pregnant women are advised to avoid touching litter boxes, rabbit litter boxes pose little to no danger, although good hygiene practices should be followed.

To involve

Their need to ingest large amounts of plant matter means that the average rabbit can produce around 200 pellets a day, as well as copious amounts of urine.

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Of course, this amount of waste can quickly accumulate and become a health concern. Fortunately, most of us know the importance of good hygiene, and as long as a good cleaning schedule is followed, most owners will have no problem being around rabbits, their droppings, or urine.

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Worms and Germsblog.com





Other reading

Can the ammonia in your rabbit's urine cause nausea?aufzucht-kaninchen.com

rabbit urinecoelhosonline.net

The smell of ammonia and its effects on your rabbitbarbibrownsbunnies.com


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