Satins and bone loss--Attn: Hollister families

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Becky

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:12 am


Karen, if you go the link Deborah posted, there are several great pictures of satins, one with a satin next to a "regular" coated pig.

Their fur actually almost sparkles. It is extremely shiny. Once you see it, it's pretty distinctive.

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Brianna
Forum Fan Club

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:15 am


If you have a GL calendar, look at July's pic. That's Reba, she is the sister to my Abby and they are both satins.

I'd have to check with Critterluv, but I believe my Abby is a little over a year old. Would it be a good idea to get a baseline x-ray and then every year to check her bones?

pinta

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:25 am


If I had a satin I would get a baseline xray. When my vet looked back over Shiraz's first xrays she realized the loss of bone density was so subtle she missed it first time round and only noticed it when she was looking for expressly for it in those first xrays. I believe she used a magnifying glass to compare.

Now that we know the first stages are so subtle we're forearmed.

I would probably get repeat xrays every 6 months because of the average lifespan of a pig. But because it's uncharted territory, for all I know that could be overkill and once a year xrays would be sufficient. I do think the baseline xrays are important as a tool for your vet to monitor the bones and know how fast changes are occurring, if at all. I'll probably get xrays done of the skinnies every 6 months for a year and then maybe once a year unless there is weight loss or poor gait. If the xrays show bone density loss and we supplement we'll probably get xrays done every 3 months until the bones fill in(assuming they will like they did for Shiraz) and as needed.

Karen, satins are so obvious they would bite you on the ass. Except for dark colours. Shiraz had a white stripe on her nose and a white foot and that's where her satin breed showed. Irridescent fur that shimmered and glowed. Harder to see in dark colours.

pinta

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:37 am


Great article, Becky.

I recently consulted for a vet treating a male (intact), 17 month old guinea pig with pathologic fractures of the left and right humerus bones. The guinea pig was on an appropriate diet (according to the owner), but it developed fractures with normal ambulation. ......... Radiographs, evaluated by a board certified radiologist, confirmed metabolic bone disease in this patient. Any time there is osteoclast activity, the alkaline phosphatase will be elevated. Unfortunately, this patient died before calcitonin could be administered.

What do you bet this pig was a satin or teddy or texel? What do you bet the importance of breed never occurred to either vet?

It does appear from this article that bone density loss can be arrested and reversed so a big phhhht to those vets who claim supplementing with calcium won't help.

So, the main effect of calcitonin is to help rebuild bone more quickly. What used to take weeks or months to correct, can now take just a few weeks to reverse. The synthetic calcitonin-salmon actually reverses the effects of parathyroid hormone.

I think it took 2 months for the calcium lactate to rebuild Shiraz's bones.

Calcitonin works by inhibiting bone resorption, and it pulls circulating calcium and phosphorus out of the blood, and will help put calcium into bone and other body tissues. It decreases osteoclast activity and stimulates osteoblast activity. It also causes increased calcium excretion in the urine.

I assume the calcium lactate worked in the same manner so it sounds like the excess calcium would be peed out rather than lodge in the bladder. I guess we won't know until a sludgy pig with loss of bone density tries it

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:59 am


Great article indeed. More reason to use a high quality feed, emphasize vegs, go light on the fruits. Supplementing with too much D can create problems too. Some suggestions:

Providing full-spectrum (UVA and UVB) fluorescent lighting which is replaced every six months, or better yet, allowing an animal to be exposed to natural sunlight, unfiltered through glass or plastic (approximately one hour per week as a minimum) is essential, even if vitamin D is supplemented in the diet.

The calcitonin is given to animals who've been provided extra calcium so the blood calcium levels are up, or the calcitonin can also cause problems.

General good nutrition, important, so important.

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gpservant

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:59 pm


Becky, does this mean I should take Little Lamb (texel mix I think) in for x-rays? I've noticed that he doesn't climb the ramp to the 2nd level as quickly as he did in the past but I thought it was just a sign of him getting older. Little Lamb and two of my other pigs almost never sleep on top of their pigloos anymore. They used to spend a lot of time up there but I just assumed it was a sign of aging or weight gain.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:34 pm


I've never had pigs that climbed on top of pigloos. If you did get an xray, it would be a baseline in case you needed it.

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WindeSpirit
Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:34 pm


Thinking back, Elvis started sitting down to eat all the time probably about a year ago. I thought it was strange, but didn't really make the connection then
That is not encouraging to read at all since I've got 3 that do that now and the two girls has always felt rather light in the legs (not body) in comparison to other females.
Guess x-rays will be in order during their next check up and following.

Is it still to early to ask if there has been any notices with third (or latter) generation pigs that have other breeds in them? Say abby or american for example. Curious to that because I 'think' that is where T-patch would be on the scale if research on his mother was indeed correct.

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gpservant

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:10 pm


I should add that I thought Little Lamb was slowing up because of all the abuse he takes from Sir-Hump-Alot aka Stowaway. There is almost a 1lb weight difference. Little Lamb just whimpers a little and let's Stowaway mindlessly hump away.

Image

pinta

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:49 pm


Lynx - General good nutrition, important, so important. Yes it's important but it won't stop this problem from happening in Satins. Shiraz had great nutrition.

The vet here seems to think this is preventable but I don't think he's aware of the connection to specific breeds. As far as he knows he was consulting on an average pig whose owner claimed it was being fed right (I noted a bit of doubt on his part). Probably in other animals it is preventable but in the case of satins, it appears to be genetic not environmental. But at least it IS treatable(Phhht to the vets who say "no").

I'm going out on a limb here but I strongly suggest anyone with a pig with genetically altered hair(frizzy, kinky, hollow shafts) get an xray the minute there is slow down, change in behaviour or unexplained weight loss. Alert the vets they'll need a magnifying glass to check the bone density and an xray of a normal pig skeleton for comparison.

gpservant - if that was my pig I'd be booking an xray tomorrow. To keep costs down, you may be able to get away with a dental xray of the leg. Much cheaper. But for a full check to see all the bones , full body is best.

If all is well, great. If there is a problem then you can start treating before there are pain issues. I'm not claiming in any way that every pig with weirdass hair will have bone density problems but there is enough evidence to raise a hell of a lot of red flags.

If any sciency types would know the connection between calcium, phosphorous and hair shafts, it would help to unravel this mystery.

Nurgle
...what, what, what?

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:10 pm


Eh, you don't need sciency (although it might help for reading articles), you need medical with translation abilities.

pinta

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:21 pm


Translation to "stoopud"

Nurgle
...what, what, what?

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:23 pm


They need to make a dictionary.

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Becky

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:34 pm


Windespirit, I should have clarified the sitting-down-and-eating comment. I actually have two lazy sows who prefer doing that. It was different with Elvis. Here's a picture. You can see he barely has his chin off the floor.

Image

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Becky

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:42 pm


Ken, good to "see" you around again! You were missed.

If Little Pig is showing signs of lethargy, I would be inclined to get an x-ray, just for peace of mind. It could just be that he's getting older, but he's not that old, is he? Just three or so?

Concerning the article, I thought it was pretty interesting.

In my mind, good diet is essential and probably one of the most important aspects of preventing all sorts of problems, but when you see problems in spite of good diet, then it's time to do further investigation.

Calcium, phosphorus and hair shafts. Hmmm...sounds like a summer project. And I'm an expert on stoopud. That's already been established.

To update on Elvis, he's gained a small amount of weight (as opposed to losing) and is much more active. I have to call to see how long he can be on metacam or if we need to switch him to Rimydal for long-term maintenance.

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Karen
Slug Whisperer

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:28 pm


Long time no see Ken, welcome back.

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WindeSpirit
Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:47 pm


Becky - I'm actually (this time) aware of the differences with the laying down to eat. But I thank you for the clarification. Of the 7 here, 6 likes to do that as well, it's only 3 of them that I had a feeling I'd have some kinds of issues beyond what I knew. Such as this bone loss.
To be up front about Cotton (near 1yr), I've always worried about her. Her bones have always been rather 'petite' and fragile feeling compared to Pepper(2-1/2yr) who is a satin. Neither of those girls will run, maybe jot across if scared and walk in a light footed way. 3rd pig I'd be conserned about would be T-patch (1-1/2yr), born from Pepper and the 'runt' of the two born and reason to why I as about generation pigs.

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gpservant

Post   » Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:25 pm


Becky - Little Lamb will be 3 next month. He is my biggest pig(largest appetite) but smallest in weight(2lb-2oz). He's always been kind of frail and wiry compared to my 3 other pigs. How much does Elvis weight and is he big eater? I recall him being skinnier than I expected.

I think Little Lamb has always been slightly bow legged but I also think he might be having some problems with the size of his...man parts. Kind of like a car with an overloaded trunk. I don't think they are unusally large compared to pictures I've seen here but since he is so thin they are out of proportion with the rest of his body.

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Becky

Post   » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:20 pm


Elvis is small for a boar, I think. He was 2lbs, 1 oz. when he came to me, climbed to 2lbs, 13 oz at his heaviest, then settled in at around 2lbs, 9 oz up until the past year. He's now about 2 1/2 oz.

What about Little Lamb's gait? Does he hop at all?

Sure sounds like you might want to get an x-ray. It's certainly non-invasive. A bit pricy, but peace of mind is never cheap.

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Becky

Post   » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:21 pm


We're going to try Elvis on the calcitonin. I'll keep you all posted as to how it goes.

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