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General Finding calcium deposits on Guinea pigs fleece

Mirandalynn

New Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
1
It's been pretty often lately that I am finding calcium deposits in my girls cage. They always have access to oxbow Timothy hay and orchard grass blend. I feed green leaf lettuce and red leaf lettuce and green pepper as something that never changes and most of the time I also give endives daily when I can make it to our hyvee. I give half a cherry tomato probably 3x a week and add in a green bean, dill, radicchio, a different colored bell pepper, cucumber, zucchini, on a regular basis but its never alot of those items, I give a day or 2 in between and never at the same time because I've always been afraid of stones. Of course occasionally I throw in something extra such as a leaf of baby bok choy or a small piece of fennel. But for the most part I keep it pretty simple and sometimes worry I'm not giving them enough variety. I only give them bottled water. What could I be doing wrong? Can anyone help me with setting up a better diet with more variety that will get rid of these calcium deposits?
I was also thinking about switching them from oxbow garden select pellets to the Sherwood pellets because I've heard such good things but ive been afraid to introduce more calcium when they are leaving calcium deposits. Any help would be so appreciated! Thank you!
 
I wouldn't use the Sherwood pellets. There's no real research on them, and all the "hype" about them is anecdotal.

One thing to consider is the water. Is your water hard? If you live in a municipal water district, they can tell you what the calcium content is. If you're on a well, you'd have to have it tested yourself. If it is hard, you could switch to reverse osmosis water (not distilled), and see if that makes a difference.

Some pigs will excrete calcium no matter what you feed them, while others never do. I once pig sat for an old (7+ years) boar whose owner fed him a steady diet of high calcium foods, and he never had any trouble whatsoever, while my three-year-old pig developed stones in spite of being on a low calcium diet.

Exercise will help, as it will keep the calciulm suspended in the urine where it can be peed out. If they're sedentary, the calcium settles in the bottom of the bladder where it can form stones.
 
I also find calcium deposits on my guinea pigs fleece. its not gritty yet I think I felt a spot that was powdery? I was feeding them a lot of calcium however I changed up their diet a little bit. A piece of fennel, a slice of green,yellow or red pepper, carrot occasionally, cucumber, occasionally a sprig of cilantro, red or green leaf lettuce, and all of this is divided up and giving throughout the day, maybe fennel in the morning, lettuce in the afternoon and pepper and cucumber at night. I am still seeing white calcium deposits in their cage even after giving them less calcium filled foods like dill and romaine. :?: Is this something that I should worry about? Am I feeding them too much? Its only about a cup maybe of veggies.
 
The diet sounds OK, and you're not feeding them too much. One thing you could check is the calcium content of your water -- your local water authority will know, or if you have a well you can have it checked. If the water is the problem, you can switch to reverse osmosis water (not distilled water).

But some pigs secrete urinary calcium no matter what you do, and others never will no matter how many calcium-rich foods they eat.
 
I was giving them straight tap water. Do you think filtered water from the refrigerator would be a better option or maybe bottled spring water ?
 
Your tap water may or may not be a problem when it comes to calcium. Personally my tap water is extremely soft and has virtually no calcium in it, however i have a RO unit I got for filtering the tap water before using it in my fish tanks (as my tap water has chloramines which was an issue for the marine tank) and drink RO water from this unit myself so I just fill up my guinea pigs bottles from the 20L container that I fill with RO that I have on my counter for myself anyway.

My local tap water has a breakdown of the content of the water listed online on the water providers website. If they didn't have that I would have either rang them/sent an email asking or just simply trusted the test kits I use for my fresh water fish tanks (not a calcium test per say, but my TDS pen and a GH test kit would give a good idea of if the water is soft/hard).
 
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