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Thread: Calcium?

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Calcium?



    What do y'all think of this? I know she knows a lot about guinea pigs but what of calcium? My understanding has always been that too much calcium causes stones.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium?

    I also was very confused by Saskia's video. I really admire her and I think she knows her stuff when it comes to guinea pigs but this video contradicted everything that I have ever heard. I was particularly concerned by her comment about the use of soy in guinea pig pellets. I use Oxbow pellets which do contain soy. I also looked at both KMS and SPS pellets and they also contain soy. The only one's that I could find that do not have soy is Sherwood pellets. My pigs do not care for them at all and I'm a little concerned about the lack of research regarding these pellets.

    I am curious about the validity of her video and where she gets the information regarding calcium. There is so much information out there concerning guinea pigs that it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium?

    Here is the thing, she has researched kidney stones, but that isn't what guinea pigs get. Guinea pigs almost never get kidney stones and instead they get bladder stones. The information she has given also only applies to calcium oxalate based kidney stones, there are other kinds of kidney stones that have different causes such as uric acid stones, cystine stones, struvite stones, etc.

    From the research I have done in the past I recall guinea pigs often get calcium carbonate bladder stones, so the cause of them developing will be inherently different to calcium oxalate kidney stones. As such the way you would modify the diet to give the best chance of minimizing reoccurance will also be inherently different.

    Edit to add: Also take into account guinea pigs have basic/alkaline urine, whereas humans (where the kidney stone research is based from) have acidic urine and almost never develop calcium carbonate stones as a result (acid dissolves calcium carbonate as calcium carbonate is basic/alkaline). I do agree more research needs to be done on bladder stones in rabbits and guinea pigs but I disagree that restricting calcium on the information we currently have is drastic if you have a bladder stone prone guinea pig in your care.
    Last edited by Soecara; 11-05-19 at 03:34 am.

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Calcium?

    I agree with @Soecara Saskia does sound like she has done some research on the subject (I really wish she had referenced her sources in the video), but much of what she says seems to be opinion and is describing the formation of kidney stones in humans, not bladder stones in pigs (which is still a very poorly-understood process). Oxalate does not have nearly as much bearing on bladder stone formation in pigs as what she seems to be assuming; my understanding is that the vast majority of bladder stones in pigs are calcium carbonate stones, not calcium oxalate.

    Given that, I noticed that her pellet food that she feeds at her rescue lists limestone (which IS calcium carbonate) as one of the ingredients. Knowing that limestone is essentially raw material for forming bladder stones, there's no way I would ever feed it to my pigs, organic or not. It is also my understanding that bladder stone formation in pigs is heavily dependent on genetic factors, as well as other factors such as BMI and exercise. But again, the process of bladder stone formation in guinea pigs is not very well researched. (Sorry, I don't have any references either!)
    Last edited by LittleSqueakers; 11-05-19 at 06:07 am. Reason: grammar

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    Re: Calcium?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    I also was very confused by Saskia's video. I really admire her and I think she knows her stuff when it comes to guinea pigs but this video contradicted everything that I have ever heard. I was particularly concerned by her comment about the use of soy in guinea pig pellets. I use Oxbow pellets which do contain soy. I also looked at both KMS and SPS pellets and they also contain soy. The only one's that I could find that do not have soy is Sherwood pellets. My pigs do not care for them at all and I'm a little concerned about the lack of research regarding these pellets.

    I am curious about the validity of her video and where she gets the information regarding calcium. There is so much information out there concerning guinea pigs that it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Oxbow's Garden Variety pellets doesn't have soy in it. I checked since my boys eat it. I watched her video but wasn't entirely convinced about it. My boys love their Oxbow Garden Variety pellets (and their vet approves), so I'm just sticking to that.

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    Re: Calcium?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsie View Post
    I also was very confused by Saskia's video. I really admire her and I think she knows her stuff when it comes to guinea pigs but this video contradicted everything that I have ever heard. I was particularly concerned by her comment about the use of soy in guinea pig pellets. I use Oxbow pellets which do contain soy. I also looked at both KMS and SPS pellets and they also contain soy. The only one's that I could find that do not have soy is Sherwood pellets. My pigs do not care for them at all and lord of the ocean online
    I am curious about the validity of her video and where she gets the information regarding calcium. There is so much information out there concerning guinea pigs that it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Agree!

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