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Old 03-24-2006, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Very strong ammonia smell in urine?

I clean my degus' cage competely out once a week (Sunday). Usually when the week is just about up, it starts to smell but not very badly. It's only Friday and I came in and it smells like someone poured hair dye in the cage. It smells very strongly of ammonia. I haven't changed shavings or anything. There may be a bit more hay in the cage than normal, could this cause it? I'm cleaning their cage out early because it's so strong. Any other possible causes for the change in smells? And does anyone else's cage smell of ammonia when it hasn't been changed in a bit?
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:56 PM
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Mainly it is because of urine, maybe before it never did as much urinating but could be doing it more. My rabbits cage will small like it if not changed. I had to go almost 1 week between a change, b/c no money to get it, and it smelled like ammonia! That is really bad on animals being in there as it will burn skin and lungs.

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Old 03-25-2006, 01:21 PM
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A degu's urine is highly concentrated as in the wild they don't have a ready supply of water so they kinda conserve water and get it from other sources so their urine is concentrated to conserve nutrients. Do you know if they have been drinking more water than usual? As this could be an indication as to the smell as the more they drink the more they will urinate. I don't think the hay will have had any effect as my boys have a constant supply and it has no ill effect. Although it could have caused your boys to maybe drink more. I clean my boys out thoroughly once a month and do a spot clean daily and my boys cages don't smell at all and i have 4 boys in one cage and only at the very end of the month is there a slight odour but its nothing strong and definately not ammonia like. I would check if there has been any increase in water intake for a start? Another thing i have just thought of is the extra hay you gave them might be the cause as nothing smells worse than wet hay especially wet hay caused by urine so i'd check to see if it could be that aswell. Let us know if you figure it out

Kirsty


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Old 03-25-2006, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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I cleaned the cage as soon as I smelled ammonia (it was making MY eyes water) and it smells nice again. I did notice on one day this week, they drank A LOT. It was just that one day, but I guess it would cause more urine When I went to clean the cage, there were more wet spots than usual. I was just alarmed because it was such a strong smell and I've never really noticed any ammonia smell in their cage. I'll keep an eye on their water intake this week and see if the smell happens again. I guess if it keeps happening, I'll just have to do more cleaning 'Cause I don't imagine living in a cloud of ammonia would be too pleasant/healthy for them. I'll try to clean out and replace the extra hay that they don't eat each day(they mostly just throw it all over the cage and it sits there).

Thanks for the help
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