Getting to Know Supplements: Oxbow Natural Science Urinary Support Information

Written by Oxbow

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January 20, 2021🞄

Author: Dr. Cayla Iske, PhD

Updated: March 22, 2024


Urinary Support Information for Exotic Pets

Natural Science Urinary Support was developed to address urinary issues in exotic companion mammals.

In this article, we’ll cover factors that can lead to urinary health issues in small pets, common urinary diseases in small mammals, the purpose of urinary support supplements, and if Natural Science Urinary Support is appropriate for your pet.


Factors That Can Lead to Urinary Issues in Exotic Mammals

Urinary issues in rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other small pets can stem from a myriad of factors, including but not limited to:

  • An improper diet, such as a diet high in oxalates or calcium
  • Inappropriate caging or bedding materials
  • Unsanitary habitat conditions
  • Obesity
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Lack of exercise
  • Genetics can also play a role in an individual animal’s predisposition to recurring issues


Common Urinary Diseases in Exotic Mammals

The following common urinary diseases can be outcomes from complications in renal function or declining urinary health that can be life-threatening in small mammals:

There are a multitude of animal husbandry factors that pet parents can focus on to help limit urinary and bladder issues, such as diet, exercise, and habitat cleanliness. 

Sometimes, though, these issues are unavoidable, which is where Oxbow’s Urinary Support can help under the guidance of your veterinarian.


Rabbit eating Natural Science Urinary Support Supplement

How Can I Determine If My Pet Will Benefit from Urinary Support?

Every animal is unique and there is no sure-fire way to completely prevent urinary issues. Although there are factors that are thought to contribute to urinary issues, some animals may be genetically predisposed to certain urinary issues. In either case, it’s important to know the clinical signs involved.


Clinical Signs of Urinary Disease in Exotic Mammals

Some clinical signs that may indicate your pet is experiencing urinary issues can include:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Changes in urination frequency or location
  • Painful or strained urination (stranguria) – this can include grunting or straining while “going”
  • Crystals in the urine
  • Thick or cloudy urine
  • Urine scald (redness or inflammation of the skin, especially around the genitals or back legs)
  • Changes in litter box behaviors
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia or weight loss

As prey species, small mammals will commonly hide signs of illness for as long as possible. If you observe any of these symptoms you should contact your veterinarian immediately. A full veterinary exam may include a urinalysis and potentially blood work or radiographs to determine the best course of treatment, which may include adding Oxbow’s Urinary Support to your pet’s diet.


Purpose of Urinary Support Supplementation

Natural Science Urinary Support is intended for animals with both acute and chronic urinary issues including, but not limited to, sludgy urine, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections. 

Urinary health is about supporting the function of every part of the urinary tract, which includes the following components:

  • Kidneys: this organ filters fluid to rid waste and toxic substances from the body and return vital substances to the bloodstream
  • Ureters: ducts that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
  • Bladder: stores urine, allowing for controlled and less frequent urination
  • Urethra: duct that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body


Domestic rat in a home setting

pH, Dietary Calcium, and the Urinary Environment

The urinary environment inside your animal’s body is important to protect. Environmental factors within the urinary tract such as pH and microbial infections can have huge implications on urinary health. The pH of an herbivore’s urine should be alkaline (pH 8-9).

Acidifying diets can lower pH and negatively impact urinary health. In addition to that, due to the unique calcium metabolism of many small mammals, keeping an eye on dietary calcium can also be important for urinary health (though is not always a contributing factor for every individual). 

Two other extremely important factors to maintaining urinary health in all species include 1) adequate water consumption, which helps flush the urinary system, and 2) exercise, which physically keeps the urinary tract’s contents from settling and forming bladder sludge or stones.

Sometimes pet parents consider all of these factors, but urinary issues can still occur. At times like this, supplementation with Natural Science Urinary Support can be useful.


Ingredient Functionality

Natural Science Urinary Support is formulated with the natural diet of small mammals in mind, and uses several natural ingredients that can aid in maintaining the health of the urinary system. Urinary Support is designed to support healthy renal function and promote overall urinary health by helping stimulate urine flow, mitigating inflammation, defending against infection, and maintaining bladder function. The ingredients in this supplement are purposefully selected to support the urinary tract as a whole.

Glucosamine (Plant-based)GlucosamineSupports the replenishment of mucous that lines and protects the bladder
Marshmallow RootMucilages, flavonoidsNatural diuretic properties; reduces irritation and inflammation of the urinary tract
Brewer’s Dried YeastMannan-oligosaccharides (MOS)Acts as a prebiotic and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria for whole body health
Astragalus RootFlavonoids, saponinsAnti-inflammatory and antioxidant to protect kidneys from oxidative damage and support renal function
Cranberry ExtractFlavonoids (proanthocyanidins)Antimicrobial to help prevent urinary tract infections
Dandelion LeafPotassium, vitamin C, flavonoidsNatural diuretic to increase urine flow
Pumpkin SeedZinc, magnesium, fatty acidsHelps relieve spasms and cramping from urinary disorders and strengthens urinary muscles


Is Urinary Support Appropriate for My Pet?

We designed Urinary Support for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, and more—this supplement was designed with both herbivores and omnivores in mind!

Herbivorous small mammals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas can commonly experience urinary issues. Rabbit and guinea pig pet parents in particular may be all-too-familiar with the woes and expenses that come with urinary health issues like bladder sludge and stones.

If your small pet’s vet decides that Urinary Support is an appropriate supplement to add to your pet’s diet, make sure that your herbivore’s diet also includes unlimited amounts of fiber in the form of a grass hay like Orchard Grass Hay or Western Timothy Hay. Their diet, unless specified by your veterinarian, should also include an appropriate daily amount of a uniformly nutritious fortified food.

Omnivorous small mammals like hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice can also experience urinary issues. Oxbow’s Urinary Support contains natural and herbal ingredients that can support urinary health in these species as well. 

If your veterinarian deems supplementation an appropriate option for your little one, Urinary Support can be a great addition to your pet’s diet. 


Brown and white guinea pig eating Natural Science Urinary Support

Daily Feeding Recommendations

Herbivores (rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc.)

  • 1/2 to 2 tabs daily (varies by weight)


  • 1/8 tablet daily for smaller species such as dwarf hamsters and mice
  • 1/4 tablet daily for larger species such as Syrian hamsters, gerbils, and rats


Supplement FAQs

Supplements are more complex than treats, and adding them to any animal’s diet should be thoroughly evaluated with your veterinarian. Listed below are some of the most common questions we’ve received regarding the use of Urinary Support.

Can Urinary Support Cure my Small Pet’s Bladder Stones or Infection?

While Urinary Support can help mitigate urinary issues and can help your pet recover during times of illness, Urinary Support is not a cure. Infections or bladder stones are serious and oftentimes painful conditions that require an examination with a qualified exotics veterinarian and a specific treatment plan to help your small pet get on the road to recovery.

Is Urinary Support a treatment for a UTI in guinea pigs or other small pets?

UTI treatment for rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small pets requires more than a supplement. While Natural Science Urinary Support can be part of a treatment plan, it cannot cure a UTI in rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, or other exotic pets. Supplements should never replace the expertise of an exotics veterinarian.

Can Urinary Support be Used for Long Term Issues?

Our Natural Science supplements can be used long or short term and in combination with other supplements, but developing a treatment plan specific to your pet’s needs with your veterinarian is crucial.

Can my Young or Pregnant Small Exotic Use Urinary Support Supplements?

Natural Science Urinary Support is not intended for small exotics who are pregnant, nursing, young, or growing.


For additional common questions about Natural Science supplements, see our Supplement FAQ blog.