Duvo+ Hay?

ghost's guineas

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I was in a local pet shop recently, after taking one of my herd to the vet and the only hay they had was "duvo+ herbal hay," I live in the UK and haven't seen this brand before, so wondered if anyone else had?

The hay seems to be fresh long strand hay and my guineas get really excited and popcorn when I put some in the hay racks, so what's the catch? It seems too good to be true and must have some sort of fault? The quality seems similar to haybox samples.

That said, all I've noticed is that it's quite soft? But (according to Google Translate, which isn't the most reliable) it doesn't have any alfalfa in it and isn't high in calcium. Something just feels odd about finding such a good hay for a low price (£3 per 500g bag) and it being "branded." Anyways, let me know what you think and if it's safe to feed regularly, thanks!
 

Piggies&buns

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Personally I consider herbal hays or ones containing other things to be a treat hay and not for every day use, but not everybody does. A hay containing dandelion would be higher in calcium due to the dandelions.
Also is that meant to say £3 per 500g? Perhaps it’s meant to be £3 per 5kg?
 

ghost's guineas

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I have both the carrot and dandelion ones, it's all I was able to get during this essential lockdown trip to the vets. I'm trying to order a haybox but have had awful customer service so far, basically they ignored my emails after nearly two weeks of waiting after dispatch for them to tell me that they hadn't dispatched and sent me a refund without any explanation, but that's besides the point. Sorry for rambling on.

I'm hoping to completely cut out high calcium veg from their diet this week, as they're getting enough via the duvo+ hay, just to tied them over til the revisit (about a week I think, it's very up in the air at the moment) and then I might be able to get a different hay with less calcium and treats mixed in. I'm not sure if picking out the dandelions is helping. Luckily I haven't seen any calcium stains yet and have been checking daily for any symptoms of bladder stones, etc. If you have any more advice about this though, I'd really appreciate it! thanks again :)
 

Piggies&buns

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I have both the carrot and dandelion ones, it's all I was able to get during this essential lockdown trip to the vets. I'm trying to order a haybox but have had awful customer service so far, basically they ignored my emails after nearly two weeks of waiting after dispatch for them to tell me that they hadn't dispatched and sent me a refund without any explanation, but that's besides the point. Sorry for rambling on.

I'm hoping to completely cut out high calcium veg from their diet this week, as they're getting enough via the duvo+ hay, just to tied them over til the revisit (about a week I think, it's very up in the air at the moment) and then I might be able to get a different hay with less calcium and treats mixed in. I'm not sure if picking out the dandelions is helping. Luckily I haven't seen any calcium stains yet and have been checking daily for any symptoms of bladder stones, etc. If you have any more advice about this though, I'd really appreciate it! thanks again :)
Haybox has been having problems due to a flood a few weeks ago combined with covid and them not being able to have as many staff in. The level of service recently is not their normal service. They are now getting back on track though.

Feed unlimited amounts of hay, one cup of veg per day (ensuring high calcium veg is kept to being fed once per week only), and one tablespoon of pellets per pig per day, along with ensuring their drinking water is filtered. You cannot, nor should you, completely stop calcium in their diet. The majority of calcium intake comes from overfeeding pellets and unfiltered drinking water.
As I said, personally I keep this type of hay as a treat only and instead feed just a plain meadow hay as routine.

Excess calcium is excreted in the urine. It’s normal to see the occasional white stain, but if it is a lot of if the stains are gritty once they’ve dried, then that requires a vet check as it is a potential sign of too much calcium in their diet. A change in diet would be needed but the effects of reducing calcium intake takes weeks to filter through the system

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
 
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ghost's guineas

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I'm sorry, I didn't intend to immediately or suddenly change their daily diet, I apologise if it came across that way.

I always supply them with unlimited amounts of hay, fresh filtered water, one cup of veg per pig per day, consistently, and as someone who's only just integrating pellets into their daily diet (I used to give them a few each as treats, about half of a teaspoon at most a day, used in the Living World Teach 'N Treat toy) but the need to keep one's weight up (due to the lingering stress of the vet visit, they're having an abscess drawn at the moment along with other treatment and issues being seen to) I've been slowly adding a teaspoon each to their bowls.

And, to explain why I'm being so vague about my guineas at the moment is the health issue and vet visits are for the pig I'm most bonded with, they are and have always been a big comfort to me during a some very bad things, personally. So my detachment here, is because I don't want to poor my heart and anxietys out to be commentated upon. I am doing all I can at the moment to give them the best care available to me and the highest quality of life, with the greatest recovery rate I can hope to achieve with the vet I can access.

I'll try to better word my posts, I apologise for rambling and for any confusion caused.
 

VickiA

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Please could you update your location to give us an indication as to where you are in the UK @ghost's guineas as that would help us with advice. If you are not in mainland UK that may be why Haybox cancelled delivery.
 

ghost's guineas

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Please could you update your location to give us an indication as to where you are in the UK @ghost's guineas as that would help us with advice. If you are not in mainland UK that may be why Haybox cancelled delivery.
I'm sorry, I'm not completely comfortable giving my location to someone I don't know. The haybox dilemma resulted in trying to find a different hay supplier or getting it sent to a relative in towcester and paying postage for them to send to me. It's besides the point at the minute really what with all of the other things going on, sorry to have brought it up and into this discussion. I understand on their part though, and didn't mean to sound as to blame them for the flood of new orders. Sorry to have complained about it.
 

Siikibam

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With regards the piggy you’re trying to help maintain weight, increasing pellets won’t be the way to do it you’re giving them less than is recommended anyway so adding a teaspoon a day won’t make much of a change to their weight. Are you able to syringe feed? How small is the piggy in comparison to when they were a ‘healthier’ weight?
 

ghost's guineas

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With regards the piggy you’re trying to help maintain weight, increasing pellets won’t be the way to do it you’re giving them less than is recommended anyway so adding a teaspoon a day won’t make much of a change to their weight. Are you able to syringe feed? How small is the piggy in comparison to when they were a ‘healthier’ weight?
I'm waiting for some critical care in the post, I have syringes and have been trying to make sure to hand feed every hour with hay in a bowl and some veg. It's been going better than before, and at the moment the treatments I'm doing before going back for another assessment is the prescribed medical grade manuka honey twice a day with warm but not hot salt water soaked cotton wool balls to clean the abscessed area because neither vet can get much more out from just under the skin and it's not 100% clear if there's something underneath that's preventing it from healing up, as draining it multiple times it's came back worse. At one point antibiotics where prescribed but the piggy in question was highly allergic to them, stopping them was the best decision agreed with the new vet (I was assigned to talk to an assistant vet who gave us very strong antibiotics meant for much bigger animals even watered down) it scabbed over once and started to look better externally but when it came off at the vets (it was just a flake) it was full up again. So it's been really worrying not knowing how it's going. She'll eat pellets, but I know too many would cause bloat regardless of brand (what I have at the moment are some Wagg/Harringtons, Science Selective and I'm waiting for some HayBox cold pressed, I bought what I could get in Pets At Home and a local petshop.) With maintaining her weight, I don't know how else to keep it stable, do you know of anything in specific that isn't too high in calcium to reccomend I try feeding her? All your help is appreciated regardless, thank you all again!
 

Siikibam

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Perhaps try soaking the pellets in hot water and offering in a bowl or on a spoon? The issue is if she’s not maintaining she’s not eating enough hay. I don’t know whether too many pellets can cause bloat though. What they would do is lead to unhealthy weight gain. They’re the chocolate of the piggy world.
 

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But the piggy in question has an abscess?
And this is being treated with honey and salt water washes?

Is she on pain killers, antibiotics, pro biotics or any other meds for her condition?
Has the abscess been stitched open to allow you to fully clean it out twice a day?

You mentioned that it had scabbed over at one point and then when the scab came away lots of pus came out - this is typical abscess behaviour, and is why they are usually stitched open to allow them to be kept clean and heal from the inside out.
I am not sure how painful they are but I think the cleaning process can be tough on piggies and so when I have dealt with them in the past I have always made sure my piggies also had painkillers to make things more bearable. Also depending on where it is, it may be affecting her ability to eat (our boy Eddi had several jaw abscesses which had this effect).
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:

If your piggy is losing weight and not eating enough hay, then you need to step in and syringe feed. If you dont have critical care at present, that's fine - the emergency alternative is mushed pellets. As Siikibam has said, soak pellets in water and syringe feed that to your piggy. You need to ensure you weigh piggy daily as if weight continues to be lost then you need to syringe feed more (anything in excess of 40ml in a 24 hour period dependent upon how much piggy is still eating for themselves/what the weight is doing). Syringe feeding is directly replacing the hay the piggy is not eating for themselves and is the only way to maintain weight during a period of illness.
 

ghost's guineas

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All this advice has been a huge help, thank you!

The piggy in question isn't losing weight fast but is definitely losing weight, the antibiotics our vet offered and that we tried were much too strong; they put her off eating entirely, she couldn't stop shaking and became incredibly territorial so showed signs of fear relater aggression, which is the polar opposite of her personality. Most of that subsided when she came off them, they also gave her a rash? Neither vet are sure if it's a rash or something worse, but her skin isn't dry or flaky, and her fur seems to be very healthy and clean; I'm a bit in the dark about that.

It hasn't been lanced yet, only pushed out and emptied (three times by vets, much more gently at home twice.) The vet shaved the area to make it easier to access for cleaning. No stitches no nothing so far, but it's definitely gotten harder to remove. As for draining it, warm salt water helped the swelling and redness, but it hasn't exactly stayed shut. It's now quite empty, we (me and both vets) think.

So, the plan is to do as much non surgical treatment as possible to see if anything works otherwise we might have to get it surgically removed, but I intend to get a third opinion on the other overall issues— if there's time too. She hasn't been in much pain with the abscess itself, only the removal of it, but I know it can't stay there. Plenty of symptoms have improved and disappeared which I haven't gotten into as they've been, as far as I know cured. She isn't physically in a bad state besides this, hiding her symptoms probably but for me it's more a quality of life thing. If surgery was safer and fully explained to me by the person doing it, I would agree but at the moment, as she's been more active, eating, interacting, etc, I'd like to hope it isn't fatal and at no point has it shown to be.

Still, it needs to be gotten rid of sooner rather than later as not to spiral into even more problems. I'll make sure to bring up probiotics when we revisit, as the antibiotics they told me they're licensed to use caused her a lot of problems and pain.

Would syringe feeding her mushed up pellets be a good idea daily or hourly? I'd still worry about the bloat as the unhealthy weight gain could slow her gut again.

I think I explain things worse and more drastically than they are, but downplaying it wouldn't help either. So, I hope this is at least somewhat descriptive and that somebody's able to say how to treat the abscess. Anyways, thank you again! This is the most help I've gotten from talking to anyone so far.
 

Siikibam

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What antibiotics was she given?
 

ghost's guineas

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Apparently it was standard licensed practice. So we think it's an unusual reaction or allergy of some sort. Nobody I've spoken to about it has seemed 100% sure.
 
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