Too much water? Too much tinkling?

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 3:31 pm

Can Guinea Pigs drink too much water? I assume they are like humans in that water flushes their systems and is very healthful. My Fido goes through an entire 16oz. bottle daily. The bottle is bigger than he is! I´ve checked the bottle for leaks and even traded bottles to make sure he was really consuming it. My other piggie, Spot, drinks about 1/3 as much.

The other problem is that so much water makes him tinkle so much. I can´t stand the smell so I will scoop the saturated bedding out of his cage each day when I get home and replace it with fresh bedding. But I can´t let him roam free because he leaks all over the carpet. He gets so jealous of Spot who will wander around the room while I´m cleaning or feeding. And I have to limit his lap time to 10-15 minutes or I get peed on.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.


Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:16 pm

I´ve not got much experience with this but that sounds like a hell of a lot of water! Could he have a URI (urinary tract infection)? Diabetes? Pinta or Josephine would know more than I would.

My pigs don´t drink anywhere near that amount of water but they get a lot of fresh veg which contains a lot of water.

Hope someone else can provide a bit more info for you.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:23 pm

Thanks for your reply cea2001. He gets lots of fruits and veggies too. He´s a bit hyperactive and I wonder if the water drinking is a nervous activity just to keep busy. He also chews on his cardboard cubby home. He´ll eat himself right out of a home for constant chewing.


Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:28 pm

You don´t have a salt wheel in there, do you?

I made the mistake of letting my S/O put a salt wheel in the cage with the pigs. Geep ignored it completely, but T.J. sat over there for hours on end, licking the salt and drinking the water. I, of course, removed the salt wheel after a day or two (as soon as I noticed what had happened!), but now T.J. is still quite fond of the water bottle. I am hoping it´s just a phase, but I´m afraid it´s not.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 5:49 pm


In my experience, different pigs drink different amounts - I have one (Sox) who drinks constantly and won´t eat out of a pellet bowl that doesn´t have a water bottle near by - it is as though he likes to wash them down. My other pig (Boots) doesn´t drink half as much.

Do you keep a record of your pigs´ weight? If Fido is losing weight as well as drinking and peeing lots, this could be a sign of health problems like kidneys or diabetes, but as long as he is putting on/maintaining his weight, eating well and seems happy it is probably just that he is a ´drinker´. Keep a careful eye on his weight though and get him to a vet if there is any weight loss.

There is also the possibility that he isn´t actually drinking the whole bottle, but is playing with it (mine often play with theirs and tug it off it´s holder then run around popcorning because they think it is funny for me to have to put it back up!).



Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:36 pm

A lot of water is not dangerous, but it often indicates a health problem. Kidney problems and diabetes come to mind. Because you mention he is hyper, it made me think of hyperthyroid. I bever had to deal with that myself, but I´m pretty sure that is a possibility. Pinta or Joséphine will know.

This sounds like an aweful lot of water for just one pig. I´d have him tested.


Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 7:08 pm

High water consumption could indicate Diabetes or Cushings Disease. Cushings also comes with bilateral hair loss but I don´t know how common it may be in boars. I´ve had 2 sows with it. One was diagnosed by ultrasound - enlarged adrenals. She suffered almost total hair loss except for her head until the meds finally brought the Cushings under control. Her hair has grown back and she is doing fine on daily L-Deprenyl.

Diabetes is diagnosed thru a Blood glucose test.

I have one hyperthyroid pig and one suspected hyperthyroid pig. This is relatively newly recognized in pigs so all the symptoms may not be known. I don´t know if increased water consumption is a sign. Since ours are in a herd it is impossible to tell how much one individual pig is drinking.

The symptoms I know of for Hyperthyroidism are increased activity(hyper), extremely good appetite and weight loss. The coat stays in good shape. In Bloom, the weight loss was dramatic enough that we felt she was going to fade away - despite being active and eating well.

Diagnosis is thru T-4 blood test. The States uses a different measure/scale than Canada. Since there were no norms we had blood tests done of 2 healthy pigs - 15 and 23. Bloom´s T-4 was 44. On Methimazole it reduced to 19. We just had Shiraz tested and her T-4 was 30, enough to indicate she might be on her way to hyperthyroidism. She had precipitous and unexplained weight loss. She has just started on Methimazole. If her weight loss stops, we will consuider hyperthyroidism diagnosed.

Neither Bloom or Shiraz are related. Bloom is a longhaired soft furred abby and Shiraz is a satin. Shiraz is 18 months old and I think Bloom was about 2 when diagnosed.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Feb 25, 2002 11:20 pm

That is interesting Pinta - my cat is hyperthyroid, the vet said his T-4 should be between 15 and 40 and his was over 200 when he was diagnosed! He is now on neo-mercazole twice a day and is just fine! His symptoms were overactivity, aggession and weight loss - I guess it is the same for pigs (I didn´t notice him drinking any more than usual though).

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:35 am

I have one out of three that drinks so much I had her tested for diabetes. She turned out to be okay. In addition to constantly drinking water she is pretty thin despite her ravenous appetite. The vet told me she was the normal one and that the other two were a tad overweight.

Once I saw her at the water bottle for 15 minutes straight. Every morning when I go to the cage she is at the water bottle. The only way to know for sure is to have her tested if you suspect diabetes or cushings.


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:08 am

GP Lover - get her T-4 level tested. No pig should be thin despite a ravenous appetite. Hyperthyroidism is only just now being recognized and you vet may be unaware. I don´t think it´s even in any med books yet. Vicki of JPGPR had 2 pigs with it and knows of at least one other. I have 2(probably) with it. My vet tested for T-4s when I told her about Vicki´s pigs.

User avatar

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:24 am

Jin - no, he doesn´t have a salt lick.

Cat - I think you are right... I think it´s a combination of him being a big drinker and possibly playing with the water bottle. His weight is good, still gaining. He´s only 6 months old and has gone from 800 grams to 1150 gr.

Pinta - We had a vet visit just a couple days ago and she gave him a clean bill of health. Although she didn´t test for anything specific; his fur is shiney and full, appetite is excellent, weight is increasing.

Everyone - I´ll keep a close eye on him, THANKS!

GP Lover
My home, ruled by pigs!

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:27 pm

Pinta, if Sophie tests positive for hyperthyroidism then what happens next? How is it treated? What are the symptoms beside being thin. I should reiterate to you that the vet said she is ´normal´ weight. She appeared to be thin to me because I compared her to the other two whom he said were a bit overweight.

Thanks for your insight and sharing your experience.


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:32 pm

Vets tend to see pigs as other animals. They are designed to be round and fat, and they often take that for an excess of weight. If she is noticably thinner than they other two yet they get the same food and the same amount of exercice, i would be tempted to say she is the problem and not the other two.

Pinta´s pigs are on Methimazole. This is how it´s treated. Meds daily for the rest of their life.

User avatar

Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:02 pm

I do think some pigs are just thinner, though. Nina and Kitten are plump -- Kitten the most. Snowflake has always been rangey and now that her cysts are removed, she has her girlish figure back. Maybe we need some guidelines. Distribution, length, weight. Snowflake is currently about 2 pounds 7 ounces, evenly distributed. I used to weigh her more frequently because she seemed so much thinner than the other two -- who would make a good meal -- if you were into that sort of thing.


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:24 pm

Yes, thinner. Not thin.


Post   » Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:00 pm

The tip off is steady unrelenting weight loss despite a ravenous appetite and high activity level.

Post Reply
16 posts • Page 1 of 1