Satins and bone loss--Attn: Hollister families

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KarasKavies
For the love of my girls!

Post   » Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:14 pm


OK. It's strange. When I first log in, it says that this thread only has 4 pages.

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Becky

Post   » Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:57 pm


Update:

Just to recap, Elvis was x-rayed on June 4 and it showed terrible bone loss.

I started him on 75mg of calcium lactate, split into two doses, morning and night before his veggies. I found the gel capsules and mix it with Odwalla Superfood.

Just so I document it here, the capsules are 200mg calcium lactate with nothing else in them. I open up 6 capsules (1200mg) and mix it with 36cc of Odwalla. The dose I give is 1.5ml in the am and 1.5ml in the pm.

In addition, he either goes outside for about 20 minutes on sunny days or spends 10 minutes a day in his "tanning booth" using a 13watt Super UV coil lamp.

We decided to try using the hormone, calcitonin, that regulates the passing of calcium from the blood stream to bones to see if this would reverse his bone loss. This requires supplementing with calcium for a while to guard against heart problems. In the meantime, my vet researched and worked out a dosage amount/schedule.

I took him in today to draw blood for baseline numbers and to do another x-ray as a base before we started the calcitonin.

I'm happy to say, the x-ray showed a great improvement in his bone density with just the calcium supplementing and UV treatment. It's still not "normal," but much improved.

As a result, we're not going to do the calcitonin, but continue with the supplementing and take it from here.

I borrowed the x-rays, and hopefully, someone around here can scan them and help me get them here.

So, Pinta, we now have two documented cases where satins have shown improvement with supplementing. Pinta, you and the other information here really are an invaluable resource.

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KarasKavies
For the love of my girls!

Post   » Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:45 pm


I am SO happy to hear of his improvement! Now he can sway his hips again!

Thank you for documenting all of this. Thank you to you and Pinta for caring enough to treat these pigs and offer help and hope to others.

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Teresa

Post   » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:22 pm


Hey, I saw Becky at the vet today when I took two in to get neutered. I hadn't seen this thread.

You want to know where some of the Hollister pigs went? Oh my.

Well, this is definitely adding fuel to my anti-ACBA, breeder fire.

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MNCavy

Post   » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:33 pm


Becky! Congratulations on your success so far! Any reason why the calcium lactate as opposed to other forms? (I am not questioning -- merely asking to ensure I'm not screwing up with my g'pig.)

The reason that I ask is because I have had my Satin (diagnosed with calcium deficiency by x-ray) on a blend of calcium citrate/calcium carbonate and the ratio of magnesium, zinc, potassium and Vit D that is recommended in "Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals," Fourth Revised Edition, 1995 which is posted on the Nutrition Links section of Guinea Lynx. She's doing remarkably well after 5 months of supplementation. I asked my vet about taking another set of x-rays and she agreed with me that since Sierra is doing so well and scurrying around that it's working so x-rays not necessary.

Theresa - ditto to your "fire!" I purchased my Sierra from an ACBA breeder. Sierra was my second Satin from the same breeder that has this problem. I notified him but he never responded. I don't know how anyone that loves these dear animals can ethically continue breeding them when there's a known genetic problem. I knew nothing of this disease with my first Satin and it was horrible. Absolutely horrible what the poor dear had to endure because me and my vet didn't know what was happening.

Becky, so pleased that your Elvis is doing so much better! I wish you continued success.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:27 pm


That is great news, Becky! (that he's building up calcium)

Thanks for giving detailed info on dosing. Oh, and how much does he weigh? (to figure out the mg/kg)

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Becky

Post   » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:10 pm


Any reason why the calcium lactate as opposed to other forms?

I know some people here (Lynx and Lisam?) did quite a bit of research on the form of calicum most absorbable, I believe. I'll let one of them answer this for you.

Lynx, Elvis is right around 930g. This dose is about half what Pinta was giving. My vet still thinks it's kind of high, but so far, so good. We'll take another x-ray in a couple of months. If the bones are continuing to get better, we'll stick with this dose. If they're about the same, I want to talk to him about increasing it.

pinta

Post   » Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:56 pm


Kleenmama did some research into it I believe and Dr. Legendre confirmed it was best absorbed but qualified with an "I think".

Even if you're sure it's working it's still worth getting xrays since that's the only proof other vets will accept. Nips the "Calcium supplements don't work" argument in the bud when you have xray proof. I believe Shiraz was just an anomaly until Elvis's xrays?

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MNCavy

Post   » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:06 pm


Thank you. Yes, you are correct that for the benefit of others I should have a follow-up x-ray of Sierra taken. Since we are presently focusing on Rugi's kidney stone (urine tests about every two weeks) the vet costs are a little out of the ordinary! Nonetheless, I will plan to have a follow-up x-ray taken for the benefit of knowing.

Out of curiosity - my vet charges $90 for x-ray and it's been running $30 a time for urine test and all she does is spin it down -- doesn't send out for culture. Are these in line with what others pay?

pinta

Post   » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:23 pm


Sounds about right. If my vet is really curious she'll sometimes spring for lab costs if I'm balking.

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Becky

Post   » Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:13 pm


ACK! Please disregard the dosing info. I must have been drunk at the time.

The capsules I use are 100mg. I mix 6 capsules with 36cc's of Odwalla SuperFood. To get the 75mg/kg dosage, he gets about 2cc's twice a day for a total of 4cc's daily.

Sorry for the confusion. (must...stop...drinking...)

I'll update again when we do a new x-ray in September.

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MNCavy

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:50 pm


Lynx, if I shouldn't post my update on Sierra here, please move. However, since we were discussing Satins and the success of Ca supplementation, I thought I'd add Sierra's update here.

Well, I am depressed. My Satin, Sierra, was diagnosed with Ca deficiency in March 2005 at 2 years of age. I have since been supplementing Sierra with Calcium and visibly, her improvement was dramatic! She is back to scurrying around and I was sure that a subsequent x-ray would show her bones had filled in.

Well, we had a 6-month recheck today and her bones have not improved. The good news is that her bladder was clean of any signs of sludge or Ca build-up so that pleases me. Her spine looks good. It is just her pelvic area that is still moth-eaten. However, visibly you'd never know she had a problem as opposed to prior to the Ca supplementation.

I will look forward to Becky's update on Elvis. I hope the Ca supplemenation for Elvis shows better results.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:57 pm


Thanks for the update. Perhaps what you've been able to do is control the deterioration even if you have not reversed it. Have you thought of upping the amount given? Looking into drugs for osteoporosis?

Good luck.

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MNCavy

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:05 pm


Lynx, thanks. You pose an good question and it's similar to the one asked by my vet. Because she is not an exotics specialist she relies heavily on what I'm able to gather from this remarkable forum.

I recall that for Elvis, Becky's vet was discussing the use of calcitonin but because of the initial success with Ca supplementation they've held off so far.

It doesn't sound like there is very much information out there so our Satins are truly "guinea pigs." Do you (or others) have any suggested hormones that we could consider?

Is there any vet that is experienced in this that I could refer my vet to?

Thanks.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:37 pm


Maybe you could write Becky and encourage her to update her info. Did she specify how many mg/day Ca she was giving her pig?

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MNCavy

Post   » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:49 pm


Yes, Becky posted above:
The capsules I use are 100mg. I mix 6 capsules with 36cc's of Odwalla SuperFood. To get the 75mg/kg dosage, he gets about 2cc's twice a day for a total of 4cc's daily.

I was dosing Sierra about 50 mg so will increase a little but my vet is also concerned about over-dosing Ca. Quite the balancing trick!

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Becky

Post   » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:28 pm


My vet also was worried about the calcium dose, but (knock wood) there haven't been any adverse effects. He knows that I understand the risks and respects my decision to use this dosage. Also, keep in mind, this is still half the dosage Pinta's pig was on, so I feel very comfortable about it.

I'll be taking him in in about a week, so I'll have more info then, but I must say, over the past month, he's been slowly and steadily putting on more weight, so I'm thinking good things.

Before trying the calcitonin, I'd up the dosage. Also, add sunlight--either the real stuff or a full-spectrum UV lamp--on a daily basis. My vet thinks this really might be the difference since they need Vit. D to properly process the calcium.

I also agree with Lynx. What you've been doing could very well have stopped her from getting to the point of being so fragile that she'll have a fracture. Don't give up yet!

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Laurie Graham

Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:14 pm


Hello, Fellow Cavyslaves

My Fluffy is the presumed son of Elvis, and sister of Francine. When I found out from Francine's mom about what was going on with Elvis, I checked Fluffy, and he had lost a lot of weight. I had him xrayed 2 weeks ago, and he was diagnosed with scurvy, then with a metabolic disorder, which MBD is.

Today he had a recheck. His weight is up a bit. He will be starting Calcium Gluconate. This is calcium in solution, which obviates Becky's laborious concoction.

So here are the stats:
He is three years old, born after the Hollister rescue, on July 4th, 2002. I don't have a starting weight, but his high weight was 1166 gr on 4/20/03. He has mostly been in the 933-1025 range. On 8/14, he was 852. On 9/04, he was 727. Today he is 750.

I am floundering with getting enough food into him. He has been doing okay with soaked Cavy Cuisine, but is not interested in high-C foods like red peppers or broccoli. Dr. Mellior-Smith has suggested pulping them and syringe feeding, so I will try that, but he doesn't much care for syringe feeding or syringe anything.

I have printed out all the food charts and will try to figure out how much of what to give him. I am getting confused about the calcium/vitamin C thing. Can someone put it in a nutshell for me?

I read the article on MBD with great interest. The vet who wrote it says it's all due to poor nutrition. I wonder if the GP he saw was a satin.

My husband once said he thought it was great that our pets were rats and guinea pigs, because doctors know everything about them. Wrong - only about the lab variety.

So let's hear it for citizen science! Let's keep up the fight, procure the knowledge, and pass it on. And donate the bodies.

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Laurie Graham

Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:16 pm


Brother! Fluffy is Francine's brother! He's a boy! That's apparently part of the Hollister genetic thing.

Sorry about that.

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Becky

Post   » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:25 pm


Elvis also hates to be syringe fed. One thing I've done is put him in the bowl of the scale, since I weigh him daily anyway, and syringe while he's sitting there. He doesn't fight me a bit.

Laurie and I have corresponded about this and I was saying to her that one of the difficulties of hand feeding guys with this problem is you don't want them to struggle too much, since their bones are already fragile. So it's not just a matter of force feeding. Being careful with this is a big consideration.

And yes, everything you read says this is due to poor nutrician, but my vet knows how particular I am about nutrician, balancing Ca:Ph, etc., so with satins, that does not seem to be the case.

Laurie, what is the dosage for the calcium gluconate?

I'm taking Elvis in on Saturday for an x-ray and will tell him about Fluffy. Good luck keeping him fed and his weight up. I think you'll be surprised at how the calcium will help bring up and maintain his weight.

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