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Thread: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

  1. #21
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    @spy9doc, I'm referring to Pets at Home guinea pig nuggets.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    The first ingredient in any pellet should be some kind of hay. Wheatfeed is not a type of hay.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    http://www.burgesspetcare.co.uk/prod...-pig-food.html @CavyMama, what's your opinion on these? They look like they're a pretty well rounded pellet, and the first ingredient is hay, but I could use a second opinion before I go spending on them.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Grass, Maize, Wheat, Lucerne, Soya Bean Hulls, Peas, Soya, Oat Bran, Unmolassed Beet Pulp, Yeast, Soya Oil, Ligno-cellulose, Molasses, Calcium Carbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Vitamins, Fructo-oligosaccharides 0.25%, Salt, Minerals. Contains Natural Antioxidants. No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
    Well, the first ingredient is grass so that's a good start but the inclusion of maize (which is corn), peas, beet pulp, yeast and molasses is troubling.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Yikes. It's damn hard to find a decent pellet where I live. Anyone know of a good, nutritional pellet that's available in the UK? I looked at buying Oxbow online but it was 13 for the smallest bag, which is roughly $21. And that's the cheapest I found it for.

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    Cavy Slave My_3_LittlePigs's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    I have 2 piggies and I fill there pellet bowl about once a week, that's how long it takes them to empty it. The bowl is about 2 cups in size. I give them fresh veggies everyday and they just prefer to eat that I guess..

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Pellets are not meant to be grazed upon slowly through the week. It really only needs to be 1/8 cup daily per pig. So for two pigs 2/8 or 1/4 cup daily. 1/4 cup is not a lot and once it's gone for the day, it's gone to be refilled the following day.

  8. "Thank you, CavyMama, for this useful post," says:


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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    I don't see a problem with using a pellet-less diet, even if it's not for a specific medical reason. I agree that pellets are basically for convenience sake. I believe they actually originated as a way for breeders to feed rabbits easily and put weight on them. Here's an interesting article from the House Rabbit Society on the subject--

    http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-4/pellets.html

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    It's like my gp knows when she's missing something in her daily diet. Hay gets gorged on as do her veggies, and pellets not always. It can be 2 days before I see the 1/8 c almost gone. I feel comfortable knowing she's getting all possible vits and minerals and she seems to know what are the important things to eat, and pellets are last on her list even though she loves KMS.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner janinehunt's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalLecter View Post
    For anyone in Europe, there's a completely grainfree pellet without any added calcium - only 0.5% calcium from parsley & dandelion leaves.
    The first three ingredients are different kinds of hay, and one of my sows (who is prone to sludge) did well on it.
    The vit C content is a bit low though, but I would recommend it before going completely pellet free.
    http://www.zooplus.com/shop/rodents/...jr_farm/178337
    These are the ingredients for this product:

    Timothy grass, orchard grass, meadow grass, plantain, red clover, meadow fescue, lady's mantle, parsley, pea flakes, diced carrots and broad beans flakes, diced parsnip, peppermint leaves, fennel, diced apple, flax seed, dandelion leaves, diced beetroot, nettle, chamomile flowers, black seed, vitamins

    Are pea and broad bean flakes, and the daily consumption of clover, parsnip, apple, beet, peppermint, parsley and dandelion, desirable? At least it doesn't seem to be full of meal and fillers. I can get this in France, but so far have not bought it because of all these ingredients.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner janinehunt's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Actually, I just had a look at the Oxbow Cavy Cuisine ingredients, and it has soybeans, and molasses:

    Timothy Grass Meal, Soybean Hulls, Wheat Middlings, Soybean Meal, Cane Molasses, Sodium Bentonite, Soybean Oil, Salt, Lignin Sulfonate, Limestone, Yeast Culture (dehydrated), L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Magnesium Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate

  13. #32
    Cavy Slave hectorandpercy's Avatar
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    can anybody recommend what the best pellet I can buy in the uk is?

  14. #33
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    Is this the food you're feeding?
    http://peterspureanimalfoods.com/pro...gers-feast.php

    If it is, it's very unhealthy. The pellets you feed should be plain pellets. The main ingredient should be timothy hay or other kinds of grass hay.


    While pellets is the smallest part of their diets, I won't say it should be a treat.

    The recommended amount of pellets for adult pigs is 1/8 - 1/4 cups of pellets per pig per day.

    They should always have unlimited grass hay, and about a cup of veggies.

    See this page on how to select good quality pellets.
    http://www.guinealynx.info/pellets.html
    Oh... Thank you for raising my awareness of that. I'll not purchase that product anymore.

  15. #34
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aertyn View Post
    If it's Peters ANYTHING...it is only good for compost. Their entire range is crap.

    You can purchase Oxbow from selected Pet Stores and ebay (and a few other online places as well). It's typically cheaper to buy instore. You can find locations here
    http://oxbowaustralia.com/retail-locations/

    I'm not very sure, but here is his link:
    Oxbow is the only food in Australia that is suitable for Guinea Pigs, it's grass hay based (ALL Australian foods are Lucerne based) and is probably in the top 3 foods worldwide. It's a little pricey but you only need a tablespoon per pig per day (for adults), so a bag lasts quite awhile.

    As an aside, I'd ask what qualifications this vet has for treating Guinea Pigs, he sounds like he doesn't have a clue.
    Oh, thank you! I just found out I have an Oxbow around my area...

    ANYWAY, here is the link to my vet(s): http://www.rosebayvet.com.au/staff/ . The one I got information from is named Michael Linton.

  16. #35
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starthecavy123 View Post
    This vet sounds like he's not qualified to treat guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are an exotic pet and should be taken to an exotic vet. You can also find vets that a qualified as an exotic vet and a dog and cat vet. Like we have one called johnson/mckee animal hospital. Don't be afraid to ask if they are certified as an exotic vet. Some are willing to even show their certificates.
    Okay, thank you.

  17. #36
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuineaPigster View Post
    Great opinions!
    I agree. Forager's Feast should NEVER be fed. Please make sure your vet is trained in exotics, and switch your pigs to a new diet.
    I understand now. Thank you for your advice!

  18. #37
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guineapigpro View Post
    Why is this such an awful thing for her vet to say? Some people say that it's better for pigs to be on a pellet-free diet, and that pellets cause gas. Also, if your vet is referring yo the fact that only 1/8-1/4 of a cup should be given because hay should the primary source of nutrition, then she's/he's right. That's not an incorrect statement.

    Also, those specific pellets should definitely only be fed as a treat, if even at all.

    I don't know your vet; maybe it's not an exotic vet. It it's not, then you should definitely get one. My guinea pigs have suffered greatly from OD of meds of a noncavy savvy vet. But I don't know why we should all jump to conclusions.
    Hmm... Thank you for your input on that.

  19. #38
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    Re: My vet says pellets should only be given as a treat....?

    Quote Originally Posted by cavy_jdas View Post
    There are many very qualified and experienced vets and guinea pig owners alike that agree that a pelletless diet is best. Calcium content and source in pellets can be a significant issue for many pigs, whereas the same amount of calcium coming from a natural (ie fresh veggie) source does not cause the same issue. When you add in other potential issues such as weight, gas, teeth health... there can be a long list of reasons why fresh veggies and hay alone can be better.

    When going with a pelletless diet, there is more effort needed on the owners part to ensure that the entire range of nutritional needs are met, but there is absolutely no reason to dismiss this vet based on this recommendation. My vet, who is absolutely amazing, strongly advocates for no pellets, ever.

    My pigs get KMS pellets - just a few - as a treat here and there. I have had a stone pig in the past, and with one of my current pigs, any pellets, even just a taste, brings the calcium back in her urine. I believe that @bpatters has gone pelletless with her pigs because of calcium issues as well. If you search here and on guinealynx, you'll see a lot of other discussion and support for this approach.
    Okay, thank you! I'll consider this.

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