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Thread: Calcium spots on fleece.

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    Question Calcium spots on fleece.

    Hello guys,

    I recently moved my guinea pigs to my fiance's house and he's been taking care of them for a wheek now. He sent me a picture today saying he found white spots on the fleece and I explained this was calcium deposits. He obviously was concerned and so was I.
    We feed our pigs 1/8 cup of pellets every day. We're currently feeding them Oxbow Cavy Cuisine (the new formula) and recently purchased a 10lbs bag. Would it be better to reduce the amount of pellets for a few days to see if it helps or switch to KMS pellets? Appreciate the information you can give me.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    How old are the pigs?

    We don't worry about calcium in young pigs because they need it for their bones. If they're over six months old, you may need to reduce the calcium But just so you know, some pigs will have calcium problems no matter what you do, and other will never have them in spite of eating high calcium foods all their lives.

    I wouldn't do anything about the pellets at this point. The rest of the diet is more likely to be the culprit. Answer the following questions, and we'll see if we can figure it out.

    What kind of hay do they get?

    What veggies are they fed, and how much of each?

    Is the water in your area hard?

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    How old are the pigs?

    We don't worry about calcium in young pigs because they need it for their bones. If they're over six months old, you may need to reduce the calcium But just so you know, some pigs will have calcium problems no matter what you do, and other will never have them in spite of eating high calcium foods all their lives.

    I wouldn't do anything about the pellets at this point. The rest of the diet is more likely to be the culprit. Answer the following questions, and we'll see if we can figure it out.

    What kind of hay do they get?

    What veggies are they fed, and how much of each?

    Is the water in your area hard?
    My guinea pigs are: 1.5 year old - 2 girls / 1 year old - 2 boys
    They eat 1 lettuce leaf (green or red leaf lettuce) a day - 1 grape tomato - 1 baby carrot - 1/8 bell pepper (green) a day, each.
    They get timothy hay or orchard grass depending on what's available. And we're using bottled water for them because the water is hard.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    This isn't really a calcium tip, but I recommend buying a Brita filter instead of giving them bottled water. You'll save money in the long run.

    Also, I wouldn't feed carrots every day because of the sugar content. Twice a week should be fine.


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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycriae View Post
    This isn't really a calcium tip, but I recommend buying a Brita filter instead of giving them bottled water. You'll save money in the long run.

    Also, I wouldn't feed carrots every day because of the sugar content. Twice a week should be fine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    thanks for the advice!!

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Mine get a chunk of carrot every day, and have for about six years. Doesn't seem to be causing any problems.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    It's not that there's anything particularly wrong with giving carrot every day, just my personal opinion. I'm a little wary of high-sugar foods in general, and tend to be very sparing with fruits as well.

    Also, a chunk of carrot sounds smaller than a baby carrot to me, some baby carrots are quite large by a pig-scale, especially considering how solid they are. When I feed carrots I usually give mine each half of a baby one.

    Again, it's really just opinion.


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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Is there any good way to tell the difference between regular pee stains and calcium deposits?

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    I think if the residue is powdery then that is the calcium deposit
    Quote Originally Posted by mzehnich View Post
    Is there any good way to tell the difference between regular pee stains and calcium deposits?

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Yes, the residue is powdery. Despite my feeding my pigs a low calcium diet, they still drop calcium spots every day. As already stated, sometimes is just is what it is, they're genetically predisposed. I've stopped stressing over it now, as I know I'm doing everything within my power to prevent it. I just keep my fingers crossed and hope it doesn't develop into stone issues.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Hi everyone, i'm resurrecting this older thread because I switched to a darker fleece and in notice several calcium spots on it from my Catnip.

    He is about 3 months old. I am feeding him Timothy hay and Alfalfa pellets. We give him red bell pepper every day, a baby carrot just about every day, a chunk of cucumber, and red leaf lettuce. I think the problem is the occasional treat we give him: basil and oregano. He LOVES them, but I know they are high calcium. Should we eliminate those completely since he has these calcium spots?

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Not to worry too much about it right now, as baby pigs need the extra calcium. If you find it a problem after about six months, it may be a good time to cut it out of their diet, or at least limit it.

  13. "Thank you, Guinea Pig Papa, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    @Guinea Pig Papa, you never want to cut all the calcium out of the diet. That can cause MAJOR problems with the bones, heart, and everything else.

    @BeckieL, let's revisit this when they're six months old and you're limiting pellets.

  15. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    @bpatters, my mistake. I meant EXCESS calcium, not cut it out completely.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    Further up in this thread @bpatters stated that some pigs will have calcium issues their whole life no matter what.

    I can confirm this is certainly the case with my girl. She frequently leaves little powdery patches and has done all her life. Her diet in the early years was grass, hay and veg. No pellets. When she was 2-3 we tried pellets and a mix food from a rescue. Same issue no matter what the diet. This has been investigated by vets to no conclusion. It just appears to be how her body processes calcium, or rather doesn't.

    It concerned me when I learnt it isn't normal, but for her it is inconsequential.

  18. "Thank you, grace&piggies, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    One of my girls is spilling calcium my vet gave me a paper with all sorts of fruits and veggies on it. There is a vit C list and a calcium list. Each food item indicates how much of each is in that food. She told me to increase hay as it helps break down calcium and focus on produce that is high in vitamin c while being low in calcium. I can snap a photo if you like of the list.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    @BFGuru I would appreciate it if you could share the photo! I found a link online that had similar information, but I do prefer to validate my information with more than one source! I am still seeing quite a bit of calcium spotting on the fleece and I've stopped feeding them any veggies but red pepper, cucumber, romaine lettuce, and carrots. They do still get alfalfa pellets which is where the extra calcium comes from.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    @BeckieL, you don't know that the alfalfa pellets are where the excess urinary calcium comes from. You're feeding romaine, and in some pigs, that causes excess urinary calcium excretion. Other pigs can eat it with no problem. Romaine is no higher in calcium than the other lettuces, but there's something about some pigs that causes the excess calcium in the urine.

    But if your pigs are young enough to still need alfalfa pellets, why are you worrying about the calcium spots? Almost all young pigs do that, and we don't usually worry about calcium spots until they're past six months of age and their adult diet has stabilized. They need calcium for their teeth and growing bones when they're young.

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    Re: Calcium spots on fleece.

    I will try to upload it when I get home tomorrow.

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