Can you get sick from the ammonia in your rabbit's urine?

by Corey
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

I clean my rabbit's cage every 3 days but I went away and the person taking care of him only fed him and gave him water. I got home late so I fell asleep and I felt like I was going to throw up when I got up, I had a head ache and also had it coming out the other end.

***Moderator Comment***
Excellent question, Corey. The main symptoms with ammonia odor are mainly eye, nose and throat irritation. If it gets really bad, you could experience eye injury and lung spasms. At the very worst, ammonia poisoning can be rapidly fatal. Glad you're still with us, heheh.

My guess, from your descriptions, is that your room smelled pretty rank, but not bad enough to prevent sacking out. The symptoms you describe sound an awful lot like an intestinal flu, though it is of course impossible to say either way with certainty.

Hope you'll be feeling better soon...

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Jul 31, 2011
How interesting...
by: Silver Desert Rabbitry

It sounds like you are not used to the smell of it. I clean my rabbit cages once a week, even the ones inside, and I don't hardly smell a thing when I clean them. It is because I am quite used to it. Cleaning the cage every 3 days is a great habit, and that is probably the reason why you got ill.

I bet it was refreshing to no longer have that smell around once the cage was clean again.

Jul 30, 2011
by: judith g

I clean my rabbits out every day that is just the ground floor where she uses one corner to wee in etc., I also spray it with hutch cleaner which is very good as you can get lavender etc., but if the person did not clean your rabbit out while you were away, that was unfortunate for you and your little bunny as they had to live in it. We all know rabbits do smell, but if you use the right products there is very little smell. I speak only from my experience. Wishing you and your bunnies all the very best. Judith G

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