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Mouse With Urinary Trouble

Why isn’t this mouse urinating?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: July 25, 2012, 9 a.m. EDT

Q: I think my baby mouse is sick. She has not been urinating for the last 48 hours, and this happened twice. Also, three days ago her pee was a very hot orange color. I'm so very worried about my baby.

A: When any animal does not produce urine, it is a cause for worry. This usually occurs for two reasons. First, if an animal becomes very dehydrated, it may produce very little urine while it remains depleted of water. A mouse may become dehydrated due to something as simple as the water bottle not working or not being filled. Or a mouse may become dehydrated because it is sick and is not drinking water. The second reason animals do not produce urine is due to kidney disease. In some stages of kidney disease, the response is to stop producing urine.

In either instance, dehydration or kidney disease, the lack of urine is a significantly bad sign. Urine helps the body regulate water and electrolytes. Urine also helps the body remove harmful waste products. When urine is not produced, the body becomes metabolically unbalanced, which can lead to very serious disease and further organ dysfunction leading to death in a number of days.

Finally, sometimes the animal is producing urine but a blockage in the urethra prevents it from urinating. This could be another reason why your mouse cannot urinate. If this is the case, it is an emergency that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

See all of Dr. Rosenthal's Critter Q&A articles>>

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