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Swiss cheese plant poisoning -

Teema

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Hi everyone!
Before I get started I just want to reassure everyone that we took both our girls to the emergency/out of hours vet within 2 hours of her eating the plant and I have also had a phone consultation this morning.
We discovered on Sunday evening that Poppy (we are almost certain it was her) had eaten a large chunk of our Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa) - we have no idea how she managed this as it is up high, our girls are free roaming and please be assured they are watched carefully and we take precautions always before we open their cage. We noticed a large chunk of the leaf missing and immediately began to check them both over and phoned our emergency vet. We were worried sick, I would do anything for them.
We were quoted £140-£150 (I don’t care about the price I am simply putting it up here for information purposes for others incase something similar happens to someone else). Once at the vet, it was very busy and it was over an hour before the girls were seen to. The vet admitted to us that guinea pigs were not his speciality and he wanted to confer with his colleague who is an exotic vet, he weighed both girls and had a good feel of Poppy’s tummy and heart, checked her mouth and eyes etc and off he went to contact the exotic vet.
He came back and Poppy was given an injection of calcium. The advice we were then given was to crush one calcium tablet into the girls water bottle each day for five-seven days - the vet explained as best he could that the problem with her eating the plant is that, I think, it could cause kidney stones? I could be wrong, we were so stressed out and worried.

Poppy, and Penny, since then have been absolutely fine, no change in their usual behaviour or eating habits, they are snoozing, playing, cuddling and munching away as normal. I am now really worried however as I know that too much calcium can be really bad for guinea pigs, I thought this itself could cause kidney stones? The vet also said something about crystallisation in her wee body after ingesting a toxic plant, of course there is every chance she would be fine but that is the risk he said.

I then contacted our usual vet, not the emergency one, who agreed to keep giving her the calcium tablets and not to doubt the exotic vets advice. My usual vets reasoninh was that in the water bottle it would only be a very small amount of calcium she would get and as we usually would, replace their water every day. Additionally he said another concern is that apparently the Swiss Cheese Plant has lead in it - keep going with the calcium tablets because it could basically keep and risks at bay. She may be fine right now but something may come up later is basically wnat he meant.

Really I am just looking for some reassurance. Has anyone else any experience with this? Any piggies eaten a toxic house plant, a Swiss Cheese Plant? Were they okay? Should I stop worrying and trust the exotic vets advice? Is the calcium really that bad for them (considering they get it in spinach as a treat sometimes) or am I just googling too much and worrying? Has anyone else had to give their piggies calcium tablets, if so why? Did they react okay? I am so terrified something happens, if I don’t give her the calcium and the plant really does poison her or cause the crystallisation/stones, or what if I do and it causes more problems? I could never forgive myself. They are my whole world.


Both pigs are bright and chirpy (and noisy!) as ever at the moment, no change whatsoever, we were also to give them, via syringe, 4 times a day 5ml of water to help flush everything out.
Any advice or experience would be so much appreciated. Thankyou

(Pics below of the plant and Poppy looking rathe pleased with herself in her carry case at the vet at 10pm at night, fab!)
 

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Piggies&buns

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I have not experienced this myself.

Too much calcium is bad for piggies and can contribute to the formation stones (this is the reason why we should filter their drinking water if we live in a hard water area, restrict high calcium veg and don’t overfeed pellets) but my guess is that there will be a difference between wilfully feeding too much calcium rich food, and administering calcium tablets for this kind of situation.

The only issue I can see when adding anything to a drinking water bottle is that you have absolutely no control over how much of the medication they will get, if they get any at all. If it is that essential that they have an increase in calcium to counteract any potential effects of eating the plant, then surely putting it in drinking water which you cannot control their intake presumably is not really effective.
 

Posyrose

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I had a similar issue when one of my boys ate a lily whilst free roaming. After seeing online that lilies are very toxic (fatal) for cats, I spoke to the vets who suggested that he be brought in. To reassure you, the vet said that there is no research on what guinea pigs find toxic but said that there is some research for rabbits which basically says that they can eat things that other animals might find poisonous and felt it likely that he would not suffer any adverse effects.

He was kept in overnight and given IV fluid to wash out the kidneys. The vet agreed with yours that any problems would likely be with his kidneys. He was fine and has had no kidney problems since (a few years later).

I can't comment on the calcium apart from saying that my piggie savvy vet didn't suggest using calcium.

Fingers crossed that she will continue to do well.
 

VickiA

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I’m sorry I can’t add anything to this thread, but hope all continues to go well.
 

Teema

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UPDATE
Thank you all so much. I hope this post can be helpful to others if anybody else experiences such a thing because honestly it was impossible to find anything (symptoms to look for, treatment, similar experiences) online - so thank you guys so much it was a big help.
It is all good news so far thankfully. It was Sunday evening Poppy ate the plant and it is now Wednesday evening and she has been absolutely fine, no change in her (naughty) behaviour, she is her usual adventurous self, as is Penny (who has also been having the calcium as it is in the water bottle - the vet said this was okay). We have been keeping a close eye on them and I don’t feel we are out of the woods yet (the vet said something along the lines of being concerned that if there was an illness or a symptom it could take a while to develop) and it has only been around three days however, we have five calcium tablets to go so hopefully we’ll get through the week without too much trouble. Our girls usually get spinach as a treat once a week but we have taken it out of their diet this week as I know it is high in calcium, just as a precaution (as much as I’d have liked to have spoiled her after her stressful vet visit!). Thank you all so much again, the girls are munching celery, fighting one another, and trying to tear into the presents under the Christmas tree haha, seems our cheese plant has had little to no effect on Poppy’s antics! Thank goodness 🥰
 

Teema

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Forgot to add*
We are drawing a line on their water bottle to see how much they are drinking each day (we are changing the water every 24 hours, we would usually do this more regularly than leaving it for as long as 24 hours but the vet suggested this, it is one calcium tablet crushed into their water bottle and so far, they really are only having a few ‘inches’ of water which I would say is normal for our girls, so we have been able to monitor it sort of?)
Thanks again everyone x
 

Ritika

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It's good to hear that Poppy and Penny are doing well now❤
 
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