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Thread: I can feel her bones.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigParty's Avatar
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    I can feel her bones.

    Yesterday when I was holding Willow I found out that I could feel her spine and hip bone's. Yet her tummy was normal and full.

    She still eat's and drinks the same amount and walks around normally as well.

    I am going to be talking her to the vet this week because she has been having power urine.

    Do you think I am overreacting or something is wrong with her?

    Willow is also about 4 year's old now.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    My comment should in no way be taken in lieu of medical advice, but when I got my third pig from a woman on craigslist I had noticed the same thing. I could feel her hip bones and spine. It kind of freaked me out so I asked the previous owner and she said she eats fine and has always been healthy. She came from a person who really does care about her animals, so I took her home and did a "watch and see" thing. Turns out, the girl was right. Pancake has a serious appetite and can out eat my other pigs. She is about 6 years old. I think the bony hips might be a senior pig thing. I have had her since May and she has not gained any weight.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    By power urine, do you mean powdery urine? If so, that doesn't need a vet visit. It needs a diet change. What exactly are you feeding her? What kind of hay? What brand of pellets and how many? Which vegetables and how many?

    Are you weighing her regularly? That's the best indicator of whether or not she's healthy. If you weigh her weekly, same time of day (preferably before breakfast), you'll be able to tell whether she's gaining or not.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    By power urine, do you mean powdery urine? If so, that doesn't need a vet visit. It needs a diet change. What exactly are you feeding her? What kind of hay? What brand of pellets and how many? Which vegetables and how many?

    Are you weighing her regularly? That's the best indicator of whether or not she's healthy. If you weigh her weekly, same time of day (preferably before breakfast), you'll be able to tell whether she's gaining or not.
    I feed all of my pig's Oxbow essentials for pellet's and they only get a enough that it fill's the bottom of the dish. For veggie's I mainly feed romaine lettuce and green leaf lettuce and with the occasional other veggie's (About a cup for each pig.) And for hay I use SPS but I am moving back to Oxbow orchard grass.


    I will also start to way her every morning.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    I don't think you should be able to feel the bones on a senior pig. I just adopted a senior pig (around 7) in July. She has a long list of health problems, so she's not your average senior pig, but I can't feel her bones, and never have been able to. Her weight is normal. I also have a 5 year old pig, who I can not feel the bones on. The only time I've been able to feel bones on a pig was when they had ovarian cysts.

    ETA: I don't really think of 4 as being senior. I would consider that middle aged.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Oxbow pellets cause some pigs to have excess urinary calcium, and may be the cause of the powdery urine you see. I'd take her off pellets for a week and see if things improve. Romaine lettuce does the same thing for some pigs -- some pigs tolerate it just fine, others don't. Neither of mine can eat it without leaving huge white spots where their urine has dried. If I were you, I'd totally take all my pigs off romaine and just us red and/or green leaf lettuce.

    I'm betting that those two things will clear up the urine problem.

    How much does your pig weigh now? One of my sows is more bony than the other, but always has been even when they both weighed the same amount. If she's losing weight, I'd definitely worry. If she's not, I'd just keep an eye on things for several weeks and see if you can figure out what's going on.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Oxbow pellets cause some pigs to have excess urinary calcium, and may be the cause of the powdery urine you see. I'd take her off pellets for a week and see if things improve. Romaine lettuce does the same thing for some pigs -- some pigs tolerate it just fine, others don't. Neither of mine can eat it without leaving huge white spots where their urine has dried. If I were you, I'd totally take all my pigs off romaine and just us red and/or green leaf lettuce.

    I'm betting that those two things will clear up the urine problem.

    How much does your pig weigh now? One of my sows is more bony than the other, but always has been even when they both weighed the same amount. If she's losing weight, I'd definitely worry. If she's not, I'd just keep an eye on things for several weeks and see if you can figure out what's going on.

    Sorry I was taking so long. Willow is 2 pounds. It is a little bit odd to me because last time I took to the vet she was a pound and a half.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    If she's gaining weight, I wouldn't worry much about it. The only concern would be whether she's developed ovarian cysts, which could cause her weight to go up even while she's losing muscle mass. Read http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html and see if she shows any of those symptoms.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Willow has gotten more bony..... But other wise she seem's fine. I am going to try the green pepper test in a little while. I cant lose another piggie...

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    What is the green pepper test?

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigParty's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    She became a pickier eater, refusing her green pepper.
    This test. It is from guinea lynx.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    You really should take her to the vet to see if she has an ovarian cyst. It sounds like that is a real possibility, and the cyst can burst. If she really is bony, that's not normal. Something else is taking up the calories she's taking in. It's likely a cyst, but it can also be a sign of tumors.

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    I still don't see a green pepper test, and can't find it by searching GL.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigParty's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Quote Originally Posted by ClemmyOddieIndy View Post
    You really should take her to the vet to see if she has an ovarian cyst . It sounds like that is a real possibility, and the cyst can burst. If she really is bony, that's not normal. Something else is taking up the calories she's taking in. It's likely a cyst, but it can also be a sign of tumors.
    If she does had a ovarian cyst would she gain weight? What are the cure's?

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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    She might gain, she might not. They can be small, in which case she probably wouldn't, or large, in which case she might. Sometimes the weight gain from any cyst or tumor is offset by loss of fat and muscle, so there's not always a change in weight.

    Ultrasound is really the only way to diagnose ovarian cysts, although hair loss along the flanks and crusty nipples can (but aren't always) indications. The sure cure for them is spaying the pig, which prevents their return. Sometimes hormone injections are given rather than spaying, particularly if the pig is too old for the invasive spay operation, or has other conditions that would prevent it. The hormone injections sometimes work well, sometimes work for a while and then the cysts recur, and sometimes don't work at all.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    In my Odette we removed her uterus (she had a uterine tumor as well) and the L ovary which had a cyst in it. Several months later I noticed weight loss again, and this time it was the R ovary had a cyst. We used HCG injections, and she had I believe 3 total injections over her last year of life (she died of heart failure), but the injections seemed to always suppress symptoms (weight loss and hair loss). My current ovarian cyst case Daisy (which the cysts are the least of her worries) never showed any signs of them, but when we were checking to see if her cancer had spread we found the cysts in her ovaries and used a Lupron injection. She still has never had symptoms of the cysts, so I can't say if the injection did anything. The cyst has not grown though.

    ETA: If it is an ovarian cyst your veterinarian (as long as they're cavy savvy) should be able to walk you through your options and help you pick out one that's best for you.

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    Cavy Slave 3GPigsplus1more's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    I agree with bpatters about the weight gain but loss of body mass. I have seen two guinea pigs gain weight but the body withering away. Both looked healthy because the belly was enlarged. I would have it checked out if after the food change it continues.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigParty's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    I am taking Willow to the vet today. I will post update's soon.

    Wish me good luck!

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigParty's Avatar
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    Re: I can feel her bones.

    Willow look's to be alright! If she keep's gaining or losing weight she is going to have to have a X-ray done to check for any tumor's etc. But over all she look's to be in good health. :)

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