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Toby & Barney's Diet Thread

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AbiS

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Some of you may know that Toby and Barney have been to see the vet recently. Firstly because of Barney's cyst and then because both boys have an ear infection. The vet advised me that they both really need to lose a bit of weight as they are a 'little' (*ahem) on the podgy side. So I have decided to start this thread documenting their weight loss.

5 weeks ago Barney was approximately 1485g and Toby would have been about 100g less at 1385g - I don't remember the exact weights. At that point I started scattering their pellets and fresh veg around, instead of just putting it in a bowl, so that they had to work a little bit harder for it. I had them both at the vet on Tuesday and Barney weighed 1435g, Toby was not weighed at this time. The vet laughed at poor Barney and said 'yup - far too big'. As I have to go back in a fortnight I thought we should take this diet seriously so I have very slightly reduced their evening romaine to 40g between them, I have not adjusted their breakfast veg amount. As for their nuggets I used to give them just under 1.5handfuls a day between them. I have since started to weigh the nuggets out and so they started with 20g twice a day between them and have been reducing this by 1g per meal everyday since then. Today they had 17g at each meal.

They were weighed today and have both done really well - Toby weighs 1336g and Barney is 1411g.

After tonight's antics I think I have going to have to postpone reducing the nuggets any further for a while - Barney is such a good boy that he has lost weight but his skinny self is now being really really naughty! He will not leave poor Toby alone - rumblestrutting, wheelbarrowing, ear biting. He is either feeling really perky as he is now more streamlined or alternatively he is just hangry (hungry + angry). He does seem to be doing lots of zoomies and popcorning though which is really fun to watch. It could also be that he is feeling better if the ear drops are starting to work on the ear infection.

I am not really sure what they should weigh but I am going to gauge it on ribs/spine and the little fatty lumps on their sides. I did see a thread by @Wiebke that recommended they have 10-20g nuggets per piggy per day so my aim at the moment is to give them 2 lots of 15g between them and see what happens.
 

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Some of you may know that Toby and Barney have been to see the vet recently. Firstly because of Barney's cyst and then because both boys have an ear infection. The vet advised me that they both really need to lose a bit of weight as they are a 'little' (*ahem) on the podgy side. So I have decided to start this thread documenting their weight loss.

5 weeks ago Barney was approximately 1485g and Toby would have been about 100g less at 1385g - I don't remember the exact weights. At that point I started scattering their pellets and fresh veg around, instead of just putting it in a bowl, so that they had to work a little bit harder for it. I had them both at the vet on Tuesday and Barney weighed 1435g, Toby was not weighed at this time. The vet laughed at poor Barney and said 'yup - far too big'. As I have to go back in a fortnight I thought we should take this diet seriously so I have very slightly reduced their evening romaine to 40g between them, I have not adjusted their breakfast veg amount. As for their nuggets I used to give them just under 1.5handfuls a day between them. I have since started to weigh the nuggets out and so they started with 20g twice a day between them and have been reducing this by 1g per meal everyday since then. Today they had 17g at each meal.

They were weighed today and have both done really well - Toby weighs 1336g and Barney is 1411g.

After tonight's antics I think I have going to have to postpone reducing the nuggets any further for a while - Barney is such a good boy that he has lost weight but his skinny self is now being really really naughty! He will not leave poor Toby alone - rumblestrutting, wheelbarrowing, ear biting. He is either feeling really perky as he is now more streamlined or alternatively he is just hangry (hungry + angry). He does seem to be doing lots of zoomies and popcorning though which is really fun to watch. It could also be that he is feeling better if the ear drops are starting to work on the ear infection.

I am not really sure what they should weigh but I am going to gauge it on ribs/spine and the little fatty lumps on their sides. I did see a thread by @Wiebke that recommended they have 10-20g nuggets per piggy per day so my aim at the moment is to give them 2 lots of 15g between them and see what happens.
The best way to regulate excess weight is by reducing the pellet intake, but please do so very gradually and nearly unnoticeable to the guinea pigs to avoid upsets. They may become more active with less weight; this has been my own experience.

If you can get pinches of fresh grass or small slices of veg like celery or cucumber, you could give them that as a little extra treats to divert them . Readigrass is unfortunately quite rich and rather promotes weight gain.
 

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The best way to regulate excess weight is by reducing the pellet intake, but please do so very gradually and nearly unnoticeable to the guinea pigs to avoid upsets. They may become more active with less weight; this has been my own experience.

If you can get pinches of fresh grass or small slices of veg like celery or cucumber, you could give them that as a little extra treats to divert them . Readigrass is unfortunately quite rich and rather promotes weight gain.
Will definitely be careful with the readigrass - MrS has been fully informed as well and it shall be kept as a minimal amount for a weekly treat. Odd though isn't it - you would have thought it would be good for them! We are also managing to do their ear drops when they have their dinner so we don't have to give them an extra treat later on - the only things that would distract them properly were either baby corn or carrot - both high in sugar I suspect!
 

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Will definitely be careful with the readigrass - MrS has been fully informed as well and it shall be kept as a minimal amount for a weekly treat. Odd though isn't it - you would have thought it would be good for them! We are also managing to do their ear drops when they have their dinner so we don't have to give them an extra treat later on - the only things that would distract them properly were either baby corn or carrot - both high in sugar I suspect!
Both veg very fattening and in the "underweight" list, not the overweight one. Fresh grass, from which readgrass is made from, is actually very rich. it is less so once the first spring flush is over.
 

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Aww bless them. I love the word Hangry, I get Hangry sometimes, I can see where he is coming from! :P
 

katie-elizabeth

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Good luck with this! Going to follow this thread as I think my Joey is getting a bit podgy! He weighed 1397g yesterday and that's a slight increase from last week too - Joey has just turned a year old, am I right in thinking his weight should have stabilised by now?
Any other veg to avoid apart from carrot and babycorn @Wiebke ?
 

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Good luck with this! Going to follow this thread as I think my Joey is getting a bit podgy! He weighed 1397g yesterday and that's a slight increase from last week too - Joey has just turned a year old, am I right in thinking his weight should have stabilised by now?
Any other veg to avoid apart from carrot and babycorn @Wiebke ?
I would stay from most other root veg like beetroot or feed it only in small quantities, but generally feeding too much pellets is responsible. You can find out whether your boys are too podgy for their size via this thread here: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/the-importance-of-weighing-ideal-weight-overweight-underweight.38805/
 

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We just had weigh day poor pigs are still fat - in fact bigger than last time. I don't quite understand. They have been running around being hungry for a week and doing more zooming than normal yet Toby now weighs 1351 (up 15g) and barney is 1421 (up 10g). They have been having 17g nuggets twice a day for the last 4days as I thought they would get seriously angry if I dropped any more but think I will have to start reducing again.
 

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Don;t worry too much about 10g - maybe they were working up to a wee! Also if they are doing more exercise they are turning fat into muscle - which weighs heavier!

It's not just about the weight - it's about body composition of fat vs muscle.Best area on a pig to feel for this is across the shoulders - are the shoulder bones prominant....or covered in a 3-4mm of nice firm flesh..... or can you pick up "oodles of flesh" with your fingers?

My larger-framed boars routinely weighed in at 1.25-1.35kg - they were perfectly healthy. At 1.45kg or above a couple of them became "obviously fat" and their "previous taut musculature" was replaced by a flab - mainly on/around the belly - this was due to inactivity owing to arthritis or heart issues. Heart issues also increased their weight and distension of the abdomen owing to fluid accumulation.

Cut down the pellets gradually - otherwise if they \re starving you could end up with fatty liver disease - it;s a reaction of the liver to not enouih food intake. Encourage them to eat more hay (try special hays like oat or Timothy for variety), cut out the calorific fresh veggies (eg corn, carrot and apple) and substitute with fresh and dried natural forage/herbs (e.g. dill, parsley, dandelion delight)

Putting piggies on a diet is much more problematical; (and slower in results) than hoomans because
a) they still need to take in enough fibre to keep their guts going and
b) if their calorific intake drops too suddenly they develop fatty liver.

You're doing a grand job - this is a "slow but sure" process.
Hugs
x
 

AbiS

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Thanks @Pebble - that was a lovely post. I didn't know about the fatty liver - that is really scary. I will reduce their nuggets a tiny bit weekly so it is very gradual. They have constant access to 3 different kinds of hay. What you said about the muscle:fat weight makes sense. I was really surprised that barney hasn't lost weight because his fatty balls on his abdomen have really shrunk down - he also has many mad minutes of zoomies now though. It is lovely to watch them fleeing round the furniture. Even if they don't lose loads of weight at least I know they are much healthier.
 

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How are things going @AbiS ?

I had to take Bess to the vet today ( well, I took all 3 as, when one goes, they all go !). I'm afraid the vet has reminded me that my 3 are overweight . So, I'm reading this thread and the links on it .
 

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How are things going @AbiS ?

I had to take Bess to the vet today ( well, I took all 3 as, when one goes, they all go !). I'm afraid the vet has reminded me that my 3 are overweight . So, I'm reading this thread and the links on it .
Good luck with your three too PiggyOwner.
 

AbiS

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How are things going @AbiS ?

I had to take Bess to the vet today ( well, I took all 3 as, when one goes, they all go !). I'm afraid the vet has reminded me that my 3 are overweight . So, I'm reading this thread and the links on it .
Oh no - what do they weigh?

We were all doing really well and had cut down on the nuggets from 50g - 32g per day. The scales stayed the same but their little fatty tummies had become more streamlined. However we are now on a diet holiday as they are locked up for a fortnight while we treat mites so they aren't getting the same amount of exercise. I have decided to deal with one problem at a time or they might start to cry!
 

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their weight chart is in the shed with them and I've bedded them down for the night now. Will get weights tomorrow. I didn't think their weights were TOO bad - but the vet showed me Bess's weights (that have been taken on her check ups) in chart form and it was a steep uphill slope.

I've bee giving them root veg ( they love beetroot) and baby corn - so that's going to have to stop.
 

AbiS

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T&B were getting far too many nuggets and treats (carrot and readigrass), was difficult go cut out the carrot though as needed to bribe them with it to get their ear drops in.
 
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