My GPs ate half an hour ago. They're relaxing and seem fine.
Beet greens have oxalic acid in them, but so does parsley and endive and lettuce. (Parsley has more and lettuce has less.) Oxalic acid can contribute to the formation of bladder stones, so you don't want to rely on beet greens as a daily ration, but you can definitely feed guinea pigs beet greens.
edit -- please read the Guinea Lynx care guide. There's a wealth of information there: Diet and Oxalic acid amounts
I eat beet greens too. I thought they meant it's toxic for guinea pigs, and bad for their hearts. Maybe if enough oxalic acid accumulates? I'll read your links now. Thanks! :)
Do not give any of these foods to your guinea pig under any circumstances. There are no exceptions. Giving the following foods will make your guinea pig extremely ill.
These are poisonous and can cause heart problems because of the high level of folic acid"
If you google just about anything related to guinea pigs you are going to get a lot of conflicting information, and a lot of WRONG information. The care guide pulls together the most accurate information members can find regarding guinea pig health, and I rely on it exclusively. Yahoo answers are simply terrible and google is not great -- you can find decent stuff about guinea pigs on google, but it's easier to start here and also to search the forums than it is to go paddling through the good, the bad, and the ugly that is on google.
That being said, yes, beet greens have oxalic acid, although as Lynx said, the young leaves shouldn't have as much. Do you feed your pigs carrots? Because those are high in oxalic acid too, and I don't see very many google links warning people off of feeding carrots -- in fact, most recommend them.
I often referred to Guinea Lynx in the past (though I am new to the forum) when I tried out different vegetables with them and tried to get them onto a healthy diet, but not lately as we have settled onto a routine. There is some questionable info out there, but the vet journal article about renal failure from high oxalates made me think twice about ignoring the large number of sites that said beet greens are toxic. I don't understand the chemistry between oxalic acid or oxalates. Anyway, it's best to be cautious and I've never given them much spinach or swiss chard. Perhaps it's not the oxalic acid or oxalates alone that matter, but that family of greens. I'm going to look into folic acid and heart problems when I have the time.
Thanks for all your reassurances. :)
You're mixing apples and oranges here.
Have you read the Care and Medical Guide up there in the right hand corner? You can learn a lot about heart issues there if you do.