Squirrel urine becomes red mostly from a severe bladder infection or in some cases kidney infection. Along with the color change, there will also be a strong pungent smell in case of an infection. Immediately a urinalysis test of the urine sample needs to be done at the nearby vet.
In this article, we will cover the following topics in detail:
- Firstly we will look into the natural urine color of squirrels.
- Next, we will go through the possible reasons why squirrel urine may turn red.
- When the urine color change can be a matter of serious urgency.
- What are the possible diagnostic and treatment methods the vet may consider to treat the squirrel…
Let’s do a deep dive into this topic…
What color is squirrel urine?
Squirrel urine is dependent a lot on the kind of diet they have. If they are on a normal plant and nut diet they will have colorless urine which will be clear and may have a little yellow tint in it.
However, if they end up consuming loads of leafy veggies then the urine can turn darker in color.
The reason why the squirrel’s urine can be red
The most common reason for red urine passage in squirrels is urine or bladder infection. Such infection can occur due to living under poor hygiene conditions or feeding on food items of contaminated nature.
A weakened immune system owing to other health problems can also lead to frequent urine infections.
The kind of food squirrels eats also affects their urine color. For example, if they had a lot of acorns and leafy veggies like Kale, the day before, their urine color can come out as orangish or reddish. This is because of the presence of excess amounts of tannin in these food items.
Also, it can occur as a side effect of other medications, the squirrel is consuming. If you are feeding them other supplementary food items like vitamin and mineral add-ons along with their food, it can occur also because of that.
Another reason they can have reddish-colored urine is when they are suffering from hypercalciuria, which is a condition where an excess amount of calcium is present in their blood and it further can lead to kidney stone formation.
Excessive calcium build-up in the body can be very problematic for the squirrels and happens quite commonly when they are either regularly consuming food items with high calcium in them or if they are consuming other calcium supplementary add-ons to fulfill their calcium requirements.
Symptoms and signs of red-colored colored urine) in squirrels
- Frequent red-colored urine
- Frequent urination or incapability of holding in the urine for a definite time.
- The squirrel may give out signs of agony during urination. It can make painful noises or can attain irregular postures during urination.
- The urine has an unpleasant smell.
- The squirrel may show signs of lethargy and fatigue. They may even stop eating or moving around.
How to know if it is something serious or not?
Well, it is important to observe the squirrel in a better way to decide whether you should visit the vet right now or you should wait.
If the squirrel apart from having red-colored urine is acting strangely (acting lazy and not eating food or water), you should contact the vet and take him or her there for a checkup. Also, other things you need to observe are:
- Whether the urine was odorless or had some smell.
- If the squirrel is sufficiently hydrated and peeing at regular intervals.
- The urine was clear or concentrated in nature.
- If the squirrel was exerting extra pressure or showing discomfort while initiating or during the time of peeing is an important thing to note as well.
If there was no extreme smell coming from the urine, it was clear like every other day and if the squirrel is showing no other signs of trouble and acting the usual way, you can give it some time to observe more and to see if it gets resolved on its own.
So if things don’t improve much even after a day or if you are not entirely sure of what is happening with the squirrel in the first place, give the vet a visit. When in doubt always give the doc a call.
Diagnostic Procedures and Treatment Options
Firstly the doctors will do a proper physical examination of the squirrel to check for signs of injury or trauma. They may also check the health of the lower body organs by palpating the bladder.
The doctors will need to perform a urinalysis test on the urine sample to determine whether there is blood in the urine. If there is blood then they will then try to find what’s the reason behind it.
If there is any kind of infection it will be detected in the urine culture test. Squirrels are quite prone to urine infections and hence if that’s the case then they will get okay after an antibiotic course. They will look for the presence of bacteria, blood, crystals, or any other kind of irregular items.
Along with urine tests if the doctors suspect something more serious or even for a routine checkup they may intend to do X-rays or ultrasound tests of the squirrel bladder or kidney region.
This is vital to detect the presence of stones and tumors.
Blood tests are something that doctors will do mandatorily whenever any animal is brought under serious conditions. It will help them to give an overall health idea of the squirrel.
The treatment methods will depend on the diagnosis. If the problem is a urine infection then they will suggest courses of antibiotics or anti-fungal medicines. Bladder issues or stones may need medication as well as dietary changes and may even need surgeries. Accidental injuries may need immediate surgery.
Understanding the squirrel’s urine color and deciphering its possible reasons is the most important step a human can take as an animal lover as observing this may end up saving the life of a squirrel. Professional advice is of utmost importance in this matter so whenever you find yourself in doubt about the health of a squirrel it is best to either contact the local wildlife department so that they can take the animal for a checkup in the vet.
If you have any further queries let me know in the comments.
(The information shared here is not expert advice and should be taken as just an opinion. If you find your squirrel producing red-colored urine, you should give the vet a visit, get a doc to quickly check on your squirrel, and let the urine sample get tested for the best diagnosis).