Too Much Calcium?

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Chancey

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Hi there!

I currently have seven piggies, sow pair, sow trio and boar pair! I've noticed that they all seem to leave the powdery white marks on the fleece - it doesn't seem gritty and is dried in but as all of my piggies are showing this, I worry it may be their diet. I know that their urine is / can be white, but the frequency of these powdery marks are becoming a lot. More so in the sow trio.

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All of my piggies diet consists of:
Unlimited meadow hay
Daily handfuls of Orchard Grass and Timothy hay interchanging
Pets at Home pellets (soon moving on to introduce Oxbow Cavy Cuisine)
Unlimited water (changed daily)
And for their veg they get these daily:
Romaine lettuce
Green pepper
Cucumber
Small sprig of Coriander
And then these once to a couple times a week:
Red / yellow pepper
Parsley (rarely)
Round lettuce / Little Gem (I swap these in with the romaine)
Carrot
Spring Greens
Cherry Tomato

Is there something I should reduce or something recommended to swap in for daily?
 

Chancey

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Hi, I tend to follow the balanced diet on the forums.

In regards to romaine I'm sure I read that can cause "sludge" in the bladder, I don't give lettuce to mine anymore, I've noticed they don't get so much calcium in their pee now.

Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet
Ah thank you! Do you think I should stop giving lettuce and replace it with spring greens to determine if that's causing it? I'm always worried they won't get enough, so I think I overcompensate with giving romaine every day with the rest.
 

Kerrie74

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Nah, maybe just change the type of lettuce :) Wiebke suggests one on the balanced diet thread, also maybe just give it less often, it's optional on the balanced diet thread. I just stopped giving the romaine one because I lost a boar to bladder stones and it made me very weary and with me suffering with anxiety I just stopped giving it to them so I'd stop stressing lol. I've currently got a boar with kidney and bladder stones and the diet seems to be working for him. I've got 9 guinea's who all seem to like the diet, apart from the celery, one of the girls is a bit picky.
 

Chancey

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Nah, maybe just change the type of lettuce :) Wiebke suggests one on the balanced diet thread, also maybe just give it less often, it's optional on the balanced diet thread. I just stopped giving the romaine one because I lost a boar to bladder stones and it made me very weary and with me suffering with anxiety I just stopped giving it to them so I'd stop stressing lol. I've currently got a boar with kidney and bladder stones and the diet seems to be working for him. I've got 9 guinea's who all seem to like the diet, apart from the celery, one of the girls is a bit picky.
Ahh I see, I'll try that then! Though with the current shortage of lettuce here, I may need to reduce romaine or have a break for a little bit until I'm able to get Gem lettuce! For celery, I've always been wary due to the known worry about chocking - do you do anything regarding preparation to prevent that?
Just a quick side question, what pellets and hay do you use? :)
 

Kerrie74

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Yeah I cut smaller pieces lol, I'm the same and worry about that and if there are little bits sticking up, I pull it off.

Ings hay and two different pellets, science selective for most of the guinea's and burgess mint for two of the others, we were given a boar last year who was on burgess mint and rather than switch him I just started putting mint and science selective in their cage, Big's seemed to like the mint one so he eats that now :) People will also recommend the grainless pellets but as my guinea's are a bit picky, I leave them on what they are used to. Can't remember the name of the grainless one's though.
 

Claire W

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You could also filter your water by using a filter jug especially if you live in a hard water area.

I used to feed lettuce everyday but now they only have a leaf or two of little gem a few times a week
 

Annabellam

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Too much calcium is dangerous because it can lead to bladder stones. Check out the vegetables you are feeding. Feed hay that isn't alfalfa, read labels on your pallet package and also offer filtered water.
 
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DM030819

Powdery spots on the fleece aren't the end of the world thankfully. It's a sign that you could be doing something to reduce the calcium in their diet, but it's also a sign that the calcium is coming out, and not hanging around inside to cause problems.

Have you changed their fleece at all, are they new? I noticed with my pigs that spots on the fleece happen more often when I have a new fleece, as it's not wicking properly.
 
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