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View Full Version : Conditions Are there natural healing books or websites?



Easefirst
05-25-15, 10:08 am
There are some wonderful books about natural health for cats and dogs, and horses, and even goats, but the only one that i could find for guinea pigs is tiny 48 page book Piggy Potions by Peter Gurney. I am ordering it from UK (prices are ridiculous on US amazon site). I am wondering, if you know of any other sources -books or websites?

pinky
05-25-15, 10:36 am
There's tons of info on here on just about every subject. Questions about health can be answered on here and on www.guinealynx.com so I wouldn't waste my money on books. Guinea pigs are somewhat fragile so I'd always consult with a vet when there's an illness that's questionable or when they stop eating or pooping. They can go downhill fast.

Easefirst
05-25-15, 02:03 pm
That is true, but as I do for us - I trust herbs and other natural healing ways much more than I trust doctors (use them just for emergencies), I would like to give that to the girls as well. Even, when I do go to the doctor, I always double check information on medicine or other advice they give, and quite a few times I cought them not knowing, what they are talking about. So vets can be useful, but I do not consider them my only or absolutely trusted source of information.
They do not have health issues now, but i would like to be ready.
Could you give me any links to specifically natural health sites for the guinea pigs?

pinky
05-25-15, 02:26 pm
That is true, but as I do for us - I trust herbs and other natural healing ways much more than I trust doctors (use them just for emergencies), I would like to give that to the girls as well. Even, when I do go to the doctor, I always double check information on medicine or other advice they give, and quite a few times I cought them not knowing, what they are talking about. So vets can be useful, but I do not consider them my only or absolutely trusted source of information.
They do not have health issues now, but i would like to be ready.
Could you give me any links to specifically natural health sites for the guinea pigs?
Your best bet would probably be to find a holistic vet. A lot of times, bloodwork and xrays are needed to assess an illness so I don't think the money saved by attempting to diagnose and then treat a sick guinea pig naturally is worth the risks. You also have to be very careful with herbs because unless you understand their properties, some of them can be dangerous. I'm curious about what type of ailments you'd expect to treat them for with herbs or natural remedies. Neem oil can be used for parasites and lice but it has a very strong odor and is very oily so regular bedding would stick to their fur. I wouldn't consider treating them for anything like a URI or UTI with anything other than an antibiotic, though.

Easefirst
05-25-15, 02:51 pm
Well, see, I like to take preventative aproach whenever possible, so if I could find out which herbs are healing for the bladder and safe for piggies(ad I know quite a few of them, but for humans), I could feed them to them occasionally to help to avoid the problem in the first place. Peter Gurney mentioned nettle pills he used with his pigs, but in the book I read, he doesn't give much information beyond that. I grow lots of my own herbs for our healing, and would be glad to plant some for the piggies as well. Animals in the wild always intinctively go looking for certain herbs, when they do not feel well.
One a bit more natural treatment I found for mite infestation is using Bag Balm, and people report great results, even when regular medication didn't work.

pinky
05-25-15, 03:19 pm
Well, see, I like to take preventative aproach whenever possible, so if I could find out which herbs are healing for the bladder and safe for piggies(ad I know quite a few of them, but for humans), I could feed them to them occasionally to help to avoid the problem in the first place. Peter Gurney mentioned nettle pills he used with his pigs, but in the book I read, he doesn't give much information beyond that. I grow lots of my own herbs for our healing, and would be glad to plant some for the piggies as well. Animals in the wild always intinctively go looking for certain herbs, when they do not feel well.
One a bit more natural treatment I found for mite infestation is using Bag Balm, and people report great results, even when regular medication didn't work.

There's a lot of info on diet and nutrition on here. Probably the best thing you can do is limit the amount of calcium you give to adults and feed no more than 1/8 cup of timothy based pellets. KM is the only one that doesn't contain calcium carbonate (limestone) which has been implicated in stone formation. I had a stone pig years ago and went to my regular vet who hoped that my guinea pig could pass it since the stone was small. I was also interested in herbs and went to a natural health foods store in Glen Ellyn that sold herbs. The woman who owned the store suggested three things: corn silk, mallow and hydrangea root. Not only did it not work, the stones grew rapidly. There are herbs that are diuretics to keep the urine flowing, etc., and some that impact the immune system but when it comes to an illness or disease, I don't think there's been any evidence that herbs have cured or healed a guinea pig. Being prey animals, they probably don't survive long in the wild when they're sick because they become an easy target. The other thing is that just because something is safe for humans doesn't mean it's safe for animals. There are antibiotics that we take that will kill a guinea pig. That's why it's best to let a vet diagnose and prescribe something that is proven safe. Guinea pigs are very sensitive so an error can kill them. I recall someone on here with a stone pig who tried using some sort of mushrooms and potassium citrate but never heard whether it made a difference. Stones can be made up of different things, too, so you can't know what you're dealing with unless you analyze it.

sallyvh
05-25-15, 04:01 pm
I wouldn't worry about feeding preventative herbs, instead focus on a well rounded and balanced diet. I would highly suspect you could do more harm than good trying to prevent things. The best preventative medicine is proper nutrition.

Most ailments that guinea pigs have need prompt medical treatment from a vet. In many cases where a pig needs treatment I wouldn't waste time experimenting with holistic remedies. There is little to no scientific research for holistic treatment in guinea pigs.

ETA: Bag balm is NOT recommended to be used on guinea pigs. They groom themselves, therefore they injest anything on their fur and skin. Bag balm can be toxic to them.

Easefirst
05-25-15, 04:01 pm
The interesting thing is, that if diet is short on calcium, stones are also more likely to form. Thank you for sharing, what you know.
I was wondering, if anyone else have any information or experience?

sallyvh
05-25-15, 04:38 pm
If the diet is EXTREMELY short on calcium then the body will leech calcium from the bones. This obviously will have adverse effects on the entire body. However, feeding a low calcium diet has so far proved to be the best preventative for stones.

There is very little concrete evidence on the cause of stones as it seems that they are largely genetic based. Two guinea pigs can be fed the exact same thing and one of them can still form a stone. Feeding a low calcium diet should be encouraged though as it seems to help slow stones (calcium carbonate ones) from forming.

I have a stone pig. She was never fed a diet very high in calcium but she did get the recommended 1/8th of a cup of Oxbow adult pellets. Fortunately her stone wasn't very large and she was able to pass hers with the assistance of subcutaneous fluids. Since then she has been placed on low calcium diet, taken off oxbow and is given a few KMS pellets. She's been stone free for almost 8 months now. Reducing her calcium has stopped her from forming another stone for now. Many other members have had similar results so I don't feel that it's correct to say that a reduced calcium diet increases the likely hood of stones.

pinky
05-25-15, 04:58 pm
The interesting thing is, that if diet is short on calcium, stones are also more likely to form. Thank you for sharing, what you know.
I was wondering, if anyone else have any information or experience?
Refer to the diet and nutrition charts. You should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio between 1.5:1 and 2:1. Like I said before, there are different types of stones so the solution isn't always diet related and can be genetic like sallyvh said.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List#post254730

pinky
05-25-15, 05:10 pm
If the diet is EXTREMELY short on calcium then the body will leech calcium from the bones. This obviously will have adverse effects on the entire body. However, feeding a low calcium diet has so far proved to be the best preventative for stones.

There is very little concrete evidence on the cause of stones as it seems that they are largely genetic based. Two guinea pigs can be fed the exact same thing and one of them can still form a stone. Feeding a low calcium diet should be encouraged though as it seems to help slow stones (calcium carbonate ones) from forming.

I have a stone pig. She was never fed a diet very high in calcium but she did get the recommended 1/8th of a cup of Oxbow adult pellets. Fortunately her stone wasn't very large and she was able to pass hers with the assistance of subcutaneous fluids. Since then she has been placed on low calcium diet, taken off oxbow and is given a few KMS pellets. She's been stone free for almost 8 months now. Reducing her calcium has stopped her from forming another stone for now. Many other members have had similar results so I don't feel that it's correct to say that a reduced calcium diet increases the likely hood of stones.
I don't think she means reducing calcium leads to stones; rather that an inverted ratio of excessive phosphorus to calcium can lead to phosphate stones.

Easefirst
05-25-15, 05:12 pm
I am so glad you found what works. No, I am not saying, that reduced calcium diet causes the stones (unless it is reduced to extreme amounts.), but possibly there are other reasons than just calcium or genetics. I finally found a site with lots of herbal information and some links to studies about health issues:
(Link removed. Please don't post a link to breeder site)

In there there is a link to study, that fluoride in water might be linked to stone formation as well -one more reason not to drink tap water yourself or give it to the piggies.
Oxbow pellets have limestone, which is the main ingredient in many bladder stones. Considering that, I think recommending Oxbow pellets to guinea pigs is not very wise. Thank you for sharing your story. I am much more interested in first hand acounts than just general opinions.

pinky
05-25-15, 05:22 pm
I am so glad you found what works. No, I am not saying, that reduced calcium diet causes the stones (unless it is reduced to extreme amounts.), but possibly there are other reasons than just calcium or genetics. I finally found a site with lots of herbal information and some links to studies about health issues:
(Link removed)

In there there is a link to study, that fluoride in water might be linked to stone formation as well -one more reason not to drink tap water yourself or give it to the piggies.
Oxbow pellets have limestone, which is the main ingredient in many bladder stones. Considering that, I think recommending Oxbow pellets to guinea pigs is not very wise. Thank you for sharing your story. I am much more interested in first hand acounts than just general opinions.

My guinea pigs get distilled water and occasionally bottled water purified through reverse osmosis but never tap water. I have a private well and am convinced my stone pig got his stones from the high mineral content in the water. As I mentioned above, KM Hayloft pellets are the only pellets without calcium carbonate (limestone) and while I no longer feed Oxbow pellets, I did for years without any problems. Pellets shouldn't be overfed. Stones are complicated and if there was an easy fix, it would have already been discovered. When my guinea pig had stones, my vet contacted as associate who worked at a research hospital in IL. He said that they were really eager to try and find a cure or preventive measure for stones because guinea pigs are used as lab animals and studies are often scrapped because they'd lose their animals due to stones.

pinky
05-25-15, 05:33 pm
I'd be leery about feeding those herbs without understanding what they can do to a guinea pig. Echinachea can serious side effects in humans with immune disorders. Just by looking at the list, I can see many are high in calcium. Even if you research them, it won't tell you how they affect cavies. There are things that are safe for humans that aren't for guinea pigs. If you're set on giving them herbs, you could set up a consultation with a holistic vet who's an expert on guinea pigs and natural remedies.

Easefirst
05-25-15, 05:50 pm
Yes, with immune disorders, that's the key word. For most humans, it is a wonderful healing herb and makes a delicious tea. They might be high in calcium, but if you noticed, they make treat bags with herbs, and we give just 1 teaspoon per pig of whole herb (not extract or other concentrated form.) See, I trust natural plants much more than I trust chemicals, but of course, I have healthy respect to some powerful herbs, but echinacea is not one of them. I grow and use it myself. And it was used extensively on guinea pigs, because of their unfortunate fate of being research animals. That said, I do not fully trust science, because science is like a prostitute -they get paid to search for answers, that drug or other similar companies pay them for. My friend is a scientist, and she researches smoking effects on health, and guess who is paying for it- Phillip Morris....
I would prefer to get answers from people who have any information and experience with herb use, not from people who disaprove of it. I realize, that some people prefer synthetic medicine and it is okay, everyone chooses, what they think is best.

pinky
05-25-15, 06:10 pm
Some people might not even realize they have an immune disorder and could end up in bad shape. Same thing with other herbs. I can see the allure of something that's grown to treat ailments but just because it's natural doesn't mean it's more effective or even safe. There are herbs that are poisonous but minute amounts can treat illnesses. And some that are safe for humans aren't safe for animals. As far as science or anyone else or anyTHING for that matter, who can you really trust? There's a holistic vet in our area who is well respected but his rates are astronomical. It's a business and he's obviously in it for the money but I can't blame him. It's his livelihood. Trust is one thing but it's always about the money. Even those who sell natural products are in it for the money. And even though some people might have used herbs and felt it helped, you can't say for certain that it works unless there's some sort of clinical study to support it. Go look on www.guinealynx.com and look up different subjects. You're bound to find threads dealing with different ailments and different things people suggest and try to treat them. There's extensive information on there.

ClicknCavy
05-25-15, 06:13 pm
Well, chemicals are chemicals. Whether synthetic or natural. In fact, it's a fallacy to think that just because something's natural, it's better.

I don't think that science is a prostitute like you say as long as the experiments follow the scientific method. As soon as you do an experiment with "something to prove" then that's pseudoscience. I trust science and, in fact, have trained my animals using proven, science-based methods.

bpatters
05-25-15, 06:45 pm
Well, chemicals are chemicals. Whether synthetic or natural.

Hear, hear! Everything on earth, and I mean everything, is made up of chemicals. You, me, the pigs, the food we eat, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the holistic or manufactured medicines we take, it's all chemicals.

Easefirst, I hope you have some other criteria for accepting plants other than the fact that they're natural. Because you can kill yourself with a cyanide overdose with enough peach pits, or you can poison yourself with natural mushrooms, or you can buy natural herbs that contain NONE of the advertised ingredients.

I'm not saying that there's no value in herbal medicine. But I've old enough to have lived through any number of widely-touted herbs (St. John's Wort for depression, as just one example) that were found to have no medicinal value whatsoever in some of the preparations. Some contained only 1% of the active ingredient. There were others that contained 1000 times as much active ingredient as the label said. So when I'm treating myself, and especially my guinea pigs (who have VERY delicate digestive systems), I'm going to go with something that some quality control to it, and that is required by law to contain the amount of active ingredient that it advertises. It may not have it, but it's got a lot better of chance of being correctly dosed than a preparation that has no controls to it.