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Low Calcium Diet For Bladder Piggies

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Pigjes

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Low calcium diet for piggies: an option to be considered.

Many people among us have or had calcium issues in piggies. Calcium can cause gritty pee, which can cause UTI’s or stone formation in the entire urinary system. If a stone gets lodged, chances of survival are low.

People try to solve the issue by lowering calcium intake, but usually not enough, so they rely on additives like Chance Piedra, Cystaid / Cystease, Glucosamine, Shillington, etc. Or desperately calculate Ca : ph levels. This usually only works partially and is a remedy that doesn’t attack the issue itself, just helps dealing with it.

Once that a piggie is over 6 months old, it doesn’t need large amounts of calcium anymore. A diet of approximately 0.4% calcium is sufficient. This means to never cross that level, not even as a treat. This was advised by the university professor vet at Utrecht in The Netherlands.

This means that the pellets should be low calcium too - or the amount cut down or cut out completely. Timothy hay is the only low calcium hay which exists. Green oat hay can be given as a treat. It is healthy, but should not replace Timothy, as it’s not as fibrous.

The water that you give to the pigs should also be low calcium. You can check the calcium level with your supplier. Some people use filters on their tap, or decalcifiers on their main water supply. Some people buy bottled water: the level should be less than 40 mg on the label. Decalcifiers which use chemical filters, not carbon filters, are less advised.

People who use daylight bulbs should only use them for 20 minutes a day, this also applies to putting pigs in direct sunlight. The formation of vitamin D has a negative effect on calcium intake if it’s the pig sits for too many hours in sunlight. Of course, pigs need shelter from it anyway, so they can go and hide from it if they need to.

If you feel your guinea pig has issues due to calcium intake, please consult your veterinarian before changing their diet. You can print this off and discuss it with him.

Here is a list of low calcium veggies and fruit, up to 0.4% calcium:
Sweet Potato
Sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour
Green Beans
Lettuce types (no iceberg)
Parsnips
Squash
Turnip / Rutabaga
Carrots (feed moderate, can cause liver issues)
Kohlrabi
Cauliflower
Asparagus
Pumpkin
Peas

Endive, Belgian
Orange
Blackberries
Kiwi
Papaya
Raspberries
Beets
Cucumber
Cherries
Strawberries
Tangerine
Apricots (feed moderate, can cause bloat)
Grapefruit (feed moderate: acidic: can cause mouth sores)
Pear
Cantaloupe
Grapes
Mango
Bell peppers
Tomato
Watermelon
Persimmon
Pineapple
Apple
Cranberries
Banana
Blueberries
Melon all types
Nectarine
Peach
Plum (feed moderate, can cause bloat)
Jicama (contains 5% sodium, so feed in small amounts)
Acerola (feed moderate: acidic: can cause mouth sores)
Corn, White and the pale husk leaves.


 
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