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Vegetables Iceberg Lettuce


Cavy Star, Video Contest Winner
Cavy Slave
Jul 1, 2008
Is iceberg lettuce a no no completely? I've be sick and am almost of run out of romain lettuce. Is it ok to give some ie tomorrow till someone can go shopping for me?
It won't hurt them. It just won't help them. It has almost no nutritional value.
@bpatters I thought it gave them diarrhea and caused Wet Tail? Is that way off base?
It won't give them a bacterial infection (unless of course the lettuce itself is infected), but it MIGHT give them diarrhea if they eat a lot because it has tons of water. When I was younger, I chose iceburg lettuce instead of romaine for myself. My mother said, "You know, eating iceburg lettuce is just like eating paper - NO nutritional value."
Hi SpicyPiggies

What it Wet Tail?
Guinea pigs can not get Wet Tail, that is a term used to refer when a hamster has diarrhea.
Wet tail is a type of opportunistic bacterial infection that occurs in hamsters when they are stressed. For example, when a hamster is relocated.
Spicypiggies, yes, that's way off base. The lettuce itself won't give them diarrhea. If it's contaminated with something, that probably would. And the fact that it has water in it certainly won't give them diarrhea. If that were true, they'd get diarrhea from drinking from a water bottle.

Guinea pigs don't get wet tail because they don't have tails. And wet tail is usually caused by an organism frequently found in hamsters but not in guinea pigs. But they do get diarrhea, which is essentially the same thing.
i heard its dangourus and could poisen them !

Abbie guinnea, you can hear lots of things, and many of them will be wrong.

Posting a different opinion is fine, but since you're new here and we don't know how much you know about guinea pig care, it will help if you'll post a link to the source of your information so we can evaluate its accuracy.

In this case, it's absolutely wrong. There's nothing poisonous about iceberg lettuce. It just simply doesn't have enough nutritional value to make it worthwhile to feed to guinea pigs.
I'd read the same thing about iceberg lettuce bing toxic when I was first reading up on cavy care. It was in one care book (I'll have to hunt it down; I ended up not buying it). It's also on multiple websites, along with a lot of other misinformation. It wasn't until I read more here and talked to our rescue that I realized it wasn't toxicity but it being a nutritional blank.

This talks about iceberg, dispels some of the iceberg myth, goes on to say red leaf lettuce is bad and so forth:

(broken link removed)

Doesn't specify toxin, but says may be dangerous to guinea pig kidneys:

What Are Guinea Pigs Allergic To?

Under the Romaine section, it says that iceberg is toxic to cavies:

Guinea Pig food and Feeding Guide

Says no iceberg because high in nitrates / can sicken pigs:

Guinea Pig food and Feeding Guide

There are a bunch of sites out there -- google "guinea pig" "iceberg" and "toxic" -- but it goes to show that there are a lot of sites out there with bad information.
Thanks, Wildcavy.

This whole problem is one of the reasons that we try to be so careful about not letting blatantly incorrect information go unchallenged. People just pick up information anywhere and post it all over the place, so it spreads like wildfire.

Unless I'm mistaken, the main source of nitrates in lettuce is the fertilizer used, so my guess is that it varies widely from one field to another, and that there's no way to really say whether one type of lettuce has more nitrates than another. You'd almost have to analyze every head of lettuce you feed the pigs to know that.
I ending up not giving them any as my dad was able to pick some romain up for me..But thanks for all who answered
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