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Urine Yellow Wee

sarah0712

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
123
When my new boar Charlie wees on his fleece, the calcium deposits are powdery but slightly yellow and they then dry white. His wee actually comes out cloudy and yellow. Any idea guys?I've cut down to the very minimum any high calcium foods, so I don't think it's this. Anybody have any experience of this?
 
It's not necessarily high calcium that causes this. Some pigs will excrete calcium from eating romaine (cos) lettuce, while others don't. Some pigs also do it when they eat Oxbow pellets, but not others.

There's undoubtedly some other dietary or genetic component going on, but no one knows what it is.

However, since you're the UK, you might consider filtering his water. A lot of the UK has tremendous amount of limestone, which increases the calcium in the water. You can buy filters which fit on faucets, or pitchers with filters.

What is his diet like?
 
His diet is great, I follow all the rules on here for daily veg etc. And he has p@h nuggets. I've only had him for two weeks so I'm still getting used to what is usual for him.

It's worth mentioning that my sows are fed the same and don't have the same problem
 
As I said, pigs can vary in their calcium excretion.

But if you'll give us the diet details, we may spot something else that could be contributing to the problem. Parsley and kale, for instance, may also be problems.

The P@H nuggets aren't very good. The primary ingredient in any guinea pig food should be hay. And those have a LOT of sugar in them. What other brands are available to you?
 
He has a variety of cucumber, carrot, broccolli, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, fresh herbs, corriander, cherry toms, and the odd bit of fruit. All of these are rotated and he's had a very small amount of any high calcium foods this week. He had some kale last week but only a small amount, and hasn't had any this week. He also has unlimited timothy hay, but he doesn't really eat a lot of it.

The only other nuggets available to me are burgess excel which have practically the same ingrediants. He has only been on the nuggets since I've had him, before he was on musili.
 
I'm having the same issue with one of my boars. The thing is they both are given the same foods.

Lots of timothy hay, fresh grass (about a hand full 2x daily), about 5-10 dandelion leaves daily, leaf of romaine (daily), 1/4 green pepper daily, little bit of celery, couple slices of cucumber (they LOVE it), broccoli base & *a few small slices of apple, *1 small slice of banana , *2 small orange slices, *couple cherry toms *weekly. I also give them a small baby carrot every other day. I've tried broccoli tops (tree area) but they wont' eat them. I give them a handful of alpha weekly and some good quality pellets. I've given them green leaf lettuce a few times, but I'm out now.

Should I cut down on the daily romaine?

I've had them for 14 days now, so still learning. I also get water via a well and its double filtered. We humans drink it too, but it tends to be very hard water (iron) when I had it tested.
 
Not meaning to hijack your thread Sarah!
 
No problem!

I know that romaine lettuce is quite high in calcium and I don't think it should be fed daily. Mine just have ordinary green lettuce. Dandelion leaves are high in calcium too I think. Also banana should only really be fed about once a month as it can cause constipation.

Hope this helps :)

Edited by bpatters: Romaine is no higher in calciuim than many of the other lettuces, red and green leaf included. Whatever the problem is with romaine for some pigs, it's not the amount of calcium in it.
 
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@sarah0712, if he's not eating a lot of hay, cut back on the veggies. The hay is way more important to him -- not only does it have the kind of protein he needs, but it will keep his molars ground down, his teeth properly aligned, and will save you many dollars in vet bills.

Cabbage and broccoli are gas-producing. If he's not eating much broccoli, that's probably not a factor in the calcium, but I'd cut out the cabbage.

@Black, I'd switch from romaine to red or green leaf lettuce. They've got about the same amount of calcium, and no one knows why some pigs have problems with romaine. Both of mine definitely do -- if I feed romaine, their urine will almost immediately show white spots in the cage. If I stop it, the spots go away.

To both of you, there's a way to figure out if it's a dietary problem. Stop all veggies for 2-3 days. They'll wheek at you like they're starving to death, but they won't. Then pick one veggie to add back, say lettuce or peppers. Feed that as the only vegetable for 2-3 days. If the leaves white spots again, you've found the (or at least a) culprit. If not, add one more vegetable for 2-3 days. Continue this cycle until you've found the food that does it.

If you can't narrow it down to one of the foods, it may be the water, the pellets, or the genetics of the pig. But it can be two foods in conjunction with each other. So if the one you identified above is the pig's favorite food, then go back to the hay pellets, and when you start on the first vegetable, see if you get white urine. If not, then some other vegetable is contributing to it, and you can continue the cycle to find out which one it is.
 
Thanks for your advice bpatters. Will it be causing him a problem in the long run? Whether it is genetic or dietary
 
It could. Excess calcium in the urine is definitely implicated in the formation of urinary tract stones, which are painful for the pig and for you, via your pocketbook and the effort involved in caring for the pig. That's not to say that every pig which excretes excess calcium will form stones, but the ones that don't excrete it don't seem to form them.

It used to be thought that as long as the dried urine deposits were powdery and not gritty, there was no problem. And you'll find that statement on many guinea pig websites. I happen not to believe it, and think that is much easier to prevent the stone formation if you can than to deal with it after it happens.

Calcium metabolism and stone formation are complicated processes, and not well understood in guinea pigs. We know some pigs form them and others don't, some pigs excrete calciium in response to items in their diet and/or pellets and others don't. But for about a year, I've been keeping an informal tally of whether there are any pigs that have been definitely diagnosed with urinary tract stones that didn't excrete calcium. Out of more than hundred pigs that I've read about, only one may fit that category. But she's a rescue pig who was a couple of years old when her current owner got her, and no one knows what kind of diet she had before she came to her current home. She hasn't excreted any noticeable calcium, but did have a stone. It may have been there since before her rescue, or it may have developed even though there was no visible calcium excretion.

I don't know about you, but if more than 99% of the pigs who have develop stones have also excreted calcium, I think I'm going to try to avoid that in mine.
 
My sows excrete very little calcium deposits compared to my boar and they have the same diet, so I guess he's slightly more genetically predisposed to this. I will try leaving out the veg and re-adding it though. I was more concerned the fact that his wee is yellow as this is something I've never experienced
 
Can I ask what you feed to your piggies to prevent white spots?
 
I can't believe how much I'm learning and its only been a few hours since I joined. Same as sarah's female, both boars are eating the same, but not until I separated them (due to the fight - see greetings thread), did I realize it was only Zuko with the spotting. I didn't even realize how important it was to get to the bottom of who was having the problem let alone how to fix it. I feel like such a newb...I thought I did enough research before getting them too.

Also, can't believe I didn't think of an elimination diet! So obvious of a solution too (and I should know due to food allergies)! Well, I'll start today on the elimination diet, but jeez I'm gonna feel bad about holding out on them.

So once a month on banana slices, bummer, I had been doing once a week. Glad to have caught that too!
 
I have two adult sows, almost three years old. They're littermates.

They each get, per day, 1/8-1/4 of a bell pepper (depending on the size of the pepper), 1/8 of a roma tomato, 1 baby carrot, and a medium-sized red or green lettuce leaf. Every day that I can find them, they get corn husks and silks.

They usually also get cilantro, and frequently get dill, thyme, or basil. On a rotating basis, depending on what I've got in the refrigerator, they get zucchini or summer squash, green beans, celery, or endive. They get fruit twice a week, or they should... I can't seem to stop my husband from sneaking it to them more often -- they love blueberries, and he loves to feed them to them.

Their favorite food in the whole world is watermelon rind, followed closely by blueberries. But they'll try anything, and will eat most things without sniffing and turning up their noses.
 
I think Picckalo's favorite food is paper bag ....
 
So the first morning of Charlie's no veg diet has gone fairly well (for me). I can still hear him shouting upstairs because the girls have been fed and he hasn't :( must be strong!

Do I need to give him vitamin drops on his nuggets tonight, or will he be ok for a couple of days?
 
Another random question. He hardly drinks. I mean most days I don't see him drink at all and non is gone from his bottle. My girls are the same because they seem to get all the water they need from his veggies. Could this be causing his wee to become more concentrated and therefore yellow?
 
What kind of vitamins?

And yes, his urine could be concentrated from not drinking enough, or it may just be normally more yellow than that of other pigs. Try syringing him some water and see if he'll take it that way.
 
They're just vitamin c drops. I'll try the veg diet first and if that doesn't work I'll look at getting some syringes. I just wondered this because he wee smells quite strong and disgusting to be honest. But this might also be because he's a boar.

Thanks for all this bpatters!
 
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