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Low calcium diet, gritty pee

MWpiggies

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Hello everyone!
Eddie has been on low calcium diets for most of his life, and currently gets (daily) red/green leaf lettuce, cucumber, all colours of pepper, handful of grass, 2 raspberry leaves. (Occasionally) carrot, Apple, radicchio, grape. As well as filtered water and Timothy/orchard hay 24/7.
Recently I have noticed more calcium deposits in his pee, at first they were powdery, but now they are getting gritty. I haven’t changed anything in his diet and am very concerned, if anyone has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

Wiebke

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Hello everyone!
Eddie has been on low calcium diets for most of his life, and currently gets (daily) red/green leaf lettuce, cucumber, all colours of pepper, handful of grass, 2 raspberry leaves. (Occasionally) carrot, Apple, radicchio, grape. As well as filtered water and Timothy/orchard hay 24/7.
Recently I have noticed more calcium deposits in his pee, at first they were powdery, but now they are getting gritty. I haven’t changed anything in his diet and am very concerned, if anyone has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Hi!

Please have him vet checked and be aware that a diet too low in calcium can also result in long term problems if you are getting the calcium ratio wrong.

Please be aware that after (hard) water, pellets are the other food group more calcium is coming into the diet than via veg because even the lowest calcium pellet still contains significantly more calcium than the highest calcium veg (kale). How much pellets are you feeding?
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Also be aware that diet is only one aspect of the complex calcium aborption process. There are genetic dispositions, how much water a piggy drinks/how well the bladder gets flushed, and occasionally sometimes something in the absorption process simply flips.

Since every location has got different parameters, there is no 'one size fits all' rule.
 

MWpiggies

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Thank you for your reply, he currently has no pellets since I found that even a small amount gave him more calcium deposits. What would be the signs of calcium deficiency? I will look into taking him to the vet, though it’s very tricky with COVID on the rise.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your reply, he currently has no pellets since I found that even a small amount gave him more calcium deposits. What would be the signs of calcium deficiency? I will look into taking him to the vet, though it’s very tricky with COVID on the rise.
Is Your Guinea Pig Getting Enough Calcium? | Animal Hospital of Ludington | Vet Clinic in Ludington, MI

Some guinea pigs are more sensitive to calcium, as stated in my last post. We can only control the diet aspect but we cannot control a genetic disposition or changes in the absorption of it.
 

MWpiggies

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I read the link you posted and it doesn’t appear that he is calcium deficient. I will try switching up his diet a bit to see if it has to do with his calcium absorption as you said. If he still has the grit, I will be taking him to the vet. Thanks for your help, and if anyone has any other ideas that would be appreciated!
 

Wiebke

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I read the link you posted and it doesn’t appear that he is calcium deficient. I will try switching up his diet a bit to see if it has to do with his calcium absorption as you said. If he still has the grit, I will be taking him to the vet. Thanks for your help, and if anyone has any other ideas that would be appreciated!
I just wanted to alert you that there is a risk of going too low that many people are not aware of. I would recommend to have him checked for a bladder stone.

If he hasn't got one, I would strongly recommend to up his lettuce and cucumber to ensure that his bladder is well flushed so a stone cannot form; especially if he is a bad drinker (which many bladder piggies are).

However, if he has already got a small stone, there is the risk that it could be flushed into the urethra and fetch up in the awkward inglenook that boars have in it and from where it is much more difficult to get out. That is why I recommend to see a vet first before you start with a diet high in high fluid content veg. please also accept that guinea pigs won't continue to drink the same amount of water if they get in their edible food. They don't get any thirstier just because you offer more.
 
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