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Thirsty Girl

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New Born Pup
Aug 13, 2014
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North Wales
We have two girls, roughly seven months old. They’re house piggies, bedded on fleece.
Two to three weeks ago, one of our girls started drinking increasingly. We’re now getting through about 70ml of water a day in the water bottle. I haven’t seen our other girl use the water bottle for weeks, and although I know she could be drinking some of it, our thirsty girl is definitely at the bottle again and again and again.

Any ideas if this is the symptoms of something serious?

We feed them two large bowls of mixed veg daily (large = enough for some left over when they’ve finished gorging themselves on it). Made up of curly kale, lettuce (romaine or little gem) and peppers, with varied amounts of cucumber , carrot, cabbage, broccoli, sugarsnap peas, etc. for variety. Occasional fruit (apples or grapes or suchlike twice a week). They have unlimited access to hay and Burgess tasty nuggets with mint.

Some changes that may have coincided with the drinking beginning – We changed from Alfalfa King Timothy Hay to HayForPets Ings hay. We introduced tasty nuggets with mint instead of ordinary tasty nuggets. We started using romaine lettuce (but have tried switching back to little gem with no difference). She’d also not long come off a course of Baytril because she may have had a respiratory infection (she sounded a bit clicky when sniffing, the vet couldn’t here anything irregular but gave both girls a ten day course of antibiotics just in case).

She doesn’t seem incontinent, as I can have her out for cuddles for 20 minutes at a time without her wetting. No evidence of diarrhoea. No squeaking or crying when she uses the litter tray, no evidence of blood in the urine.

One thing we have noticed is she tends to go straight from the nuggets to the water bottle, while still chewing. And stands ‘chewing’ the water after using the bottle, so it could be she’s using it to soften the pellets.

She’s an Abyssinian. We have noticed the fur under her chin getting a little hard, and she does sometimes have a little wet fur around the undersides of her back legs when picking her up. Just occasionally though. Despite us swapping the fleece out every other day and it never getting wet.
What should we be thinking here? Vet time?
Hi! Don't worry, that amount is well within the huge individual variance. You need to see a vet if a piggy is emptying a whole bottle (300ml) in a day of water on a regular basis. She looks like she is a rather messy drinker, so a fair bit of water may not actually end up in the mouth.

Please always check the bottle spout to make sure that it is working properly and it is not packed with crud. Use a cotton bud and rinse well.
Hi Wiebke, thanks for taking the time to help.

You don't think I should be concerned that the drinking started suddenly?
No - especially if you have indoors piggies and have started to heat the house. The individual water intake can change through the seasons. In summer when piggies have access to fresh grass, they will naturally drink less. Some piggies will hardly ever drink at all.
When you've had your piggies for a while, you get to know who drinks how much. Inka and Maya will drink nearly half a 320ml bottle, whereas Bonnie and Clyde will only drink about an inch or two of it. How high the bottle is fixed can effect the way a piggie drinks. If it is too low, the pig will drink sideways, sometimes even turning her head upside down, and a lot of water spills out the side of the mouth. I was finding this with Inka and Maya. So I raised the bottle slightly and now not so much water is wasted. Plus it is more comfortable for them to drink.
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