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Is My Vet Right?

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Junior Guinea Pig
Nov 7, 2013
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Heywood. Lancashire
Hi all,

Took Dobby to the vets yesterday and just wanted to check the advice she gave me. He weighs 1.5kg and she said he needs to go on a diet. I have two pigs currently, the other one is just under 1kg. The vet said Dobby needs to be more like that weight. The thing is he has been the same weight since he became fully grown. Anyway then she said that pigs should not really be given fresh veg - only hay and an added vit C supplement! If they have pellet food they can only have an egg cup full each per day.

Can you advise me on if this is correct - I trust you guys more than the vet lol.

I took him as he has a chronic eye condition that means he needs eye drops every few weeks. The new pig has hairloss so she is being treated for mites even though she shows no signs of itching. I guess we will have to take her back if it doesn't clear up. The hairloss started before we got her.

Any advice welcome!
How much pellets do you feed? Guinea pigs come in all shapes and sizes. I feed a small amount of pellets and my heaviest piggy is 1178g so some piggies are just bigger. If you feed only a small handful of pellets and he still weighs the same then I would say it is his natural weight. Vegetables don't put weight on piggies anyway. I have heard the theory that guinea pigs don't need vegetables but I still give them to mine twice a day.
Well I will be honest, they have a bowl with pellets (Harringtons) and I just top it up when its empty.
Well you may want to reduce that as they don't need unlimited pellets once they are fully grown. Do not feel bad as I used to feed unlimited pellets myself before I realised not to.
You can check overweight by feeling around a piggy's chest. Ideally, you can feel the ribs. If you can't, a piggy is indeed overweight. If you can feel the ribs sticking out, it is underweight. The individual size/body weight in guinea pigs varies massively, so textbook weight alone is not enough. A healthy adult weight can range between 800-1800g. Most adult pet piggies are around 900-1300g; they reach their highest weight generally at the peak of their life between 2-4 years of age.

Ideally, you feed adult piggies about 10g of pellets and not more than about 50g/1 cupful of veg in a day. Hay should make the bulk of the feed. Don't feed any fatty/sweet treats (includes rich readigrass if it is more than a pinch every few days). Make sure that you feed your two boys in different bowls. Split the pellets and veg and serve them only in small portions several times a day, so they eat it all in one go and no piggy can hog more than their fair share. if they are bored, they can eat plenty of fresh hay. ;)
I used to keep the bowl of pellets full all the time as well - so please don't beat yourself up about that! It was only over the last couple of years that I learnt that you didn't need to. As an added bonus it works out cheaper to feed good quality hay all the time than it does to keep a bowl of pellets topped up!
Both my girls are around the 1100g weight - the vet has commented on their lovely condition. They have a bowl of veg between them in the morning and again later in the afternoon - plus any other little bits they can acquire at odd times (usually by shouting loudly and looking very cute :) ) I would say their nuggets are usually topped up every 3 days or so - they don't over eat with them but I would hate to think they fancied some and the dish was empty! I don't think you can say one pig should be the same weight as another as they are all different.
I have guineas that come in all shapes and sizes. I put enough nuggets in their bowls to last till morning but it doesn't get topped up again until evening. They get their veg and lots of hay as well as any grass if it's nice enough to be in the garden x
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