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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?
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.
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
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.
- Sewing for a Cause
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.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
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.
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.
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.
- Sewing for a Cause
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.
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.
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.