One minute, life seems normal with your gerbil running on its wheel. You notice a bead or two of blood on its rear after your pet urinates.
There are various reasons why a gerbil could be peeing blood. It is important to take your gerbil to the vet as soon as possible when you notice this because some of the underlying causes are life-threatening.
In this article, you will learn more about the reasons why a gerbil pees blood, how this is treated and how to prevent it.
Here’s Why Your Gerbil Is Peeing Blood
Typically, when a gerbil is peeing blood, it is because of a urinary tract infection, growth of tumors or cancer in the urinary tract, and kidney failure.
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Causes of Blood in Gerbil Urine
The reasons why there may be blood in a gerbil’s urine include:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Gerbils frequently develop urinary tract infections. Bacteria are the common cause of infection, which multiply and infect the kidney or bladder.
The symptoms of a UTI in a gerbil include an arched back, walking with the rear end facing upwards, with a stiff-legged walk.
The urine produced is notably bloody, cloudy, and with an odor.
A poor-quality diet is a major contributor to the development of urinary tract infections.
This is because a poor diet causes the production of alkaline urine which does not inhibit bacteria growth in the urinary tract which leads to an infection due to the multiplication of the bacteria.
Gerbil Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is common in aged gerbils. Kidney failure occurs when the kidney’s filters called glomeruli stop functioning because of inflammation or injury, a condition referred to as glomerulonephritis.
When this happens, the kidney stops filtering and removing waste and extra fluid from a gerbil’s body.
This results in several symptoms indicating kidney failure, including bloody urine or a gerbil with pink pee, frequent urination, weakness, high body temperature, cloudy urine, inactiveness, protein in the urine, puffy eyelids, dry coat and skin, and extreme thirst.
Gerbil glomerulonephritis is caused by bacterial infections and tumors.
Tumors or Cancer
Tumors in gerbils can be malignant or benign. Benign tumors do not spread while cancers are malignant tumors that spread to other parts of the body.
Tumors within the internal organs of a gerbil either in the kidneys, bladder, or other body parts cause symptoms including diarrhea, blood in urine, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and depression.
If you try to pick up your gerbil, it may squirm due to pain.
The cause of cancers and tumors is not known but some are linked to the genetics of a gerbil line.
While early detection of tumors or cancer provides your gerbil with the best chance, it can be tough to spot.
What Do I Do If My Gerbil Is Urinating Blood?
The most important thing to do when you notice your gerbil urinating blood is to immediately take them to the veterinarian.
Blood in the urine is mainly because of a serious underlying ailment and a gerbil must be examined to determine the exact cause and to be treated.
Your vet will conduct a physical examination, X-rays, a CT scan, and/or an MRI. Your gerbil will also undergo blood tests and biopsies to determine if it is kidney or bladder cancer.
Early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes by the provision of treatment that is required in the early stages of the disease.
How Is Blood In A Gerbil’s Urine Treated?
The treatment provided to a gerbil that is urinating blood depends on the underlying cause.
A urinary tract infection in a gerbil is treated through the administration of antibiotics to clear the infection.
Tumors are surgically removed to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.
In cases where they cannot be removed, a care program will be designed by your veterinarian to manage their symptoms and make your gerbil comfortable.
Treatment for glomerulonephritis is through the administration of fluids and antibiotics to clear infections.
The veterinarian might also prescribe vitamin B supplements to help with your gerbil’s body weakness.
How Can I Prevent My Gerbil From Having Blood In His Urine?
Prevention of urinary tract infections in gerbils includes feeding them a balanced diet that promotes urinary tract health.
This includes feeding them dried cranberries which are good for the urinary tract. Cranberries protect the urinary tract lining which prevents recurrent infections.
Also, provide enough drinking water for your gerbil at all times. Water helps to eliminate waste from the urinary tract which reduces chances of infection.
It is difficult to prevent glomerulonephritis, however, to prevent it from developing due to its causal agents such as infection, it is important to catch and treat infection in the early stages.
Therefore if you notice your gerbil showing signs of sickness and they are not as active, seek medical attention immediately.
Ensure to also have regular medical checkups for your gerbil so that the veterinarian can conduct a thorough physical exam to determine early signs of sickness if present.
This will provide early diagnosis and treatment of an illness which will prevent severe disease outcomes.
Cancers or tumors are also hard to prevent. Currently, there are no known methods for their prevention in gerbils.