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Encouraging eating and drinking?

danuutka

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As a quick summary, my boy Miki underwent his second stone removal surgery last week - his first one was only 4 months ago. This is despite being on a low calcium diet, with plenty of watery veg daily.

Understandably, our vet has suggested that we need to up his water intake. However, this is where things get tricky. Miki has three different types of water bottles, and a water bowl in his cage, but will not drink from any of them - the water levels aren’t dropping so I can tell he’s not using them. I give fresh water daily, but still nothing.

Ever since his surgery, he’s been off his veg - he used to polish them off in one go, now he just has a nibble. He’s eating hay 24/7 and maintaining his weight, so I’m not too worried about that - my main concern is if he’s not eating veg and not drinking, where is his water intake coming from?!

I do try to syringe him water, but a lot of the time he gets very distressed by this, and it does take a long time. I’m willing to do this, however is there anyway I can encourage drinking and eating in him? As this would be less stressful for us both.

He has been on Tramadol post-surgery, so I’m trying him off if now that he seems a lot less sore, to see if that had any effect on his appetite.

Any suggestions are welcome, here’s what I’ve tried:
- giving plenty of watery veg
- always rinse the veg in water
- put veg in a shallow dish with water
- hand feeding
- syringing water
- 3 types of bottles and a bowl
- putting veg on the end of the water spout to encourage him to try
 

cococookie

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As a quick summary, my boy Miki underwent his second stone removal surgery last week - his first one was only 4 months ago. This is despite being on a low calcium diet, with plenty of watery veg daily.

Understandably, our vet has suggested that we need to up his water intake. However, this is where things get tricky. Miki has three different types of water bottles, and a water bowl in his cage, but will not drink from any of them - the water levels aren’t dropping so I can tell he’s not using them. I give fresh water daily, but still nothing.

Ever since his surgery, he’s been off his veg - he used to polish them off in one go, now he just has a nibble. He’s eating hay 24/7 and maintaining his weight, so I’m not too worried about that - my main concern is if he’s not eating veg and not drinking, where is his water intake coming from?!

I do try to syringe him water, but a lot of the time he gets very distressed by this, and it does take a long time. I’m willing to do this, however is there anyway I can encourage drinking and eating in him? As this would be less stressful for us both.

He has been on Tramadol post-surgery, so I’m trying him off if now that he seems a lot less sore, to see if that had any effect on his appetite.

Any suggestions are welcome, here’s what I’ve tried:
- giving plenty of watery veg
- always rinse the veg in water
- put veg in a shallow dish with water
- hand feeding
- syringing water
- 3 types of bottles and a bowl
- putting veg on the end of the water spout to encourage him to try
@Wiebke hi gonna tag someone as i have no idea,sorry
 

Piggies&buns

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Is it possible that the fact he has three bottles and a bowl means he could be drinking but because he has so many options is that the reason you aren’t noticing the levels drop? Is he not taking some from all of them, but the sips are so little you don’t notice the levels drop but are enough to actually sustain his water intake.
Is he urinating normally/finding wet patches in the cage? It’s unlikely he is going to dehydrate himself so I imagine he is getting enough water for his needs. I understand you want him to increase his water intake to flush his bladder through but he is only going to drink voluntarily when he wants to.
 

Wiebke

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Is it possible that the fact he has three bottles and a bowl means he could be drinking but because he has so many options is that the reason you aren’t noticing the levels drop? Is he not taking some from all of them, but the sips are so little you don’t notice the levels drop but are enough to actually sustain his water intake.
Is he urinating normally/finding wet patches in the cage? It’s unlikely he is going to dehydrate himself so I imagine he is getting enough water for his needs. I understand you want him to increase his water intake to flush his bladder through but he is only going to drink voluntarily when he wants to.
:agr:

Water intake can vary very much individually, from not drinking at all to drinking a bottle - and they can all be perfectly normal. Many bladder piggies are in the less active drinker category; it is often one of quite a number of contributing factors many of which are out of our control. Big drinkers rare have a stone problem. However like in elderly humans where the need to drink is often the first to go, you can't just make piggies drink more if they are simply not thirsty.

As long as your piggy is peeing normally, he is drinking normally. The need to drink comes before the need to eat as the second most important survival drive behind breathing. That means that as long as the weight is stable and your boy is obviously eating enough, he is also implicitly covering his fluid intake. Offering more water won't make him drink more when he is not thirsty; unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.

I would recommend that you look at supporting the gut with probiotics and/or poo soup in order to boost a healthy gut microbiome, which will in turn hopefully entice him to eat more veg.

You can try to offer him water via syringe once daily (and conveniently add a pinch of probiotics into it) and let him drink from the syringe as much as he will take in one session in order to boost one stronge bladder flushing pee.
PLEASE never force any water down an unwilling piggy; overhydration can actually be much more damaging and potentially fatal than dehydration, especially when the water ends up going into the lungs.
 
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