Pelletless pellet??

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:23 am

Metacam smells like stinkyfeet to me!

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Got Pigs?

Post   » Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:50 am

I am just not sure I see the advantage. Maybe it is just me. But the pellets are made from Hay and we want them to eat Hay. My girls eat Hay and Pellets and have both all the time.

I understand if it is a medical issue but not sure on healthy pigs why the advantage of pelletless feeding. I must just not be getting something here. Please enlighten me!

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:46 am

Ground hay in pellets and long-strand hay are different for the teeth. So the pellet isn't grinding down the teeth they way teeth need to be ground down.

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Post   » Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:29 am

Also, you may or may not want to feed the other things to your pig. With fat pigs, the oats (which are fine but perhaps more fattening) would not be part of their diet.

Possible that feeding a mix of hays would also be wise to diversify nutrients (orchard grass and timothy).

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:48 pm

Just bring this topic back. I'm curious to see if it goes anywhere.

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:55 pm

Can we possibly revisit this? With all of the stone pigs we're seeing on GL, I'm starting to wonder if a pellet-free diet could be the way to go.

Many of us who have had stone pigs (and I've had three in 3 years so far), have always been careful about Ca:P ratio with our veggies. One common factor seems to be that most guinea pigs who are diagnosed with a stone(s) have been fed a pellet diet -- particularly Oxbow. I don't want to open a can of worms about Oxbow pellets here (although I know several people who are starting to have concerns about their extrusion process), and I know there are so many factors that come into play with stones, but...I'm really starting to have serious misgivings about feeding pellets. This last scare with Henry has me wanting to be a lot more proactive than I was with Sidney, Sebastian and Zachary.

Linda told me that she didn't really get much feedback/support for her idea of a supplement, which I think is really a shame. In my opinion, there is an opportunity here for us to have the option of going "pellet-free" while ensuring that our guys are still getting all the recommended nutrients.

Any way we can pursue this further?

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:00 pm

I would be very interested in something like this.

My pigs would have me brought to the block though, if I didn't dish out pellets every day. I would have to wean them off of this habit if we went to a less frequent, "pellet-less pellet".

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:06 pm

Here, too. I get dirty looks just for being late with the pellets.

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:24 pm

I think this is a very good idea, even if it most likely will be difficult to get the pellets shiped here. I am conserned about the Oxbow pellets, but at the moment I don't have other options, I think. I even have problems getting good hey at times, so I feel I have to give my pigs pellets. Besides they LOVE their pellets and can't understand why I have been cuting back on something so goooooood!

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:24 pm

Sef, the issue at play in my mind is there's a heck of a lot more going into play with stones than just diet. The guinea pig physiology is just asking for stones. I found a study saying at least 10% of a research population had some form of stones. It's just the way their body makes urine. There are so many natural minerals in there, that HAVE to be there, that I wonder. Maybe I"m way off base. I dunno. My vet even has concerns about using urine acidifiers like polycitra because of the necessity of these minerals for proper urinary tract function in these animals. In humans, urinary minerals are generally abnormal. In cavies, not so.

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:30 pm

So you are saying do not even try? So you are saying its not worth even looking into?

So why even bother? Why bother to get stones removed? Why bother to change diet at all?

I mean, if its really not going to matter because of physiology anyway, why do not we just euthanize them at the first sign of stones?

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:06 pm

I'm not necessarily saying that pellets are the only factor, or even the biggest factor. I'm just saying that it might be something we should start looking at. Dr. Hawkins advocates going pellet-free with stone-prone guinea pigs; one of the vets at K-State that was helping me with Zachary was of the same opinion. A vet of mine made the comment two years ago that the "un-natural" diet of dry pellets might well be turn out to be a contributing factor in stone production (this after our Sidney died from an obstruction in his urethra).

IF a pellet-free or limited-pellet diet has the potential to help reduce kidney stones in guinea pigs, I feel it's at least worth looking into.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:08 pm

Hopefully Linda will see this and let us know what if any answers she may have gotten when researching. I would also think she'd have to have a pretty large customer base to make it worth her while?

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one pig at a time.

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:46 pm

I would love to give something like this a try. I am not very "smart" about the medical aspects of their health and all of that, but I have first hand dealt with the pain of losing pigs to stones. If I could do something to save them that physical pain, and me that emotional pain I can not see why not.

I also think with having a herd of pigs all living in the same cage that it would benefit them NOT to have pellets. I have contemplated many times going pellet free, but I just am not good enough with the whole ratio thing and the balanced diet. I would be afriad to make their veggie intake incorrectly and be at fault. I feel that with having a group of pigs in one cage that certain pigs sit by the dish all day eatting (like Belle), and others (such as Boris) are older and snack on and off. Poor Boris gets hungry and yet there is none left for him because over three pound Belle has eatten them all. I really wish there was a better alternative.

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:24 pm

It's just like with the Actigall. Ozzy has a stone. I'm not doing surgery again. What's it going to hurt to try something?

I think they may be better off without pellets because in the wild, they certainly don't get them. Hay is the big key for us to have out at all times for them. I think a "vitamin" pellet would be fab!

And here's something else to think about. Over the years animal husbandry has gotten so much better for all our little guys, dogs, cats and even the pigs. With them living longer we are opening them up for a whole host of problems not seen as much as before when their life expectancy was 3-5 years.

So, while we are doing good by vetting them and treating them for their illnesses, I think the medical world owes it to us and our animals to do more research for confounding illnesses like stones. Tumors. Heart issues.

If so many of us are having pigs with these issues, WHY IS THERE NOT MORE INVESTIGATION!?!

We in the GL community are doing our part by having necropsies done (for the most part). It helps know what went wrong but it doesn't help much for those still in pain. I don't think vets should be as afraid to treat these guys as they are.

If my pig is going to be euthanized anyway if we can't get rid of the f***ing stone, then experiment away, I say!

Sorry, I'm off soap box now. I know most of you feel the same way. I just had to vent since I'm going through this with Oz right now. I think it's starting to drain me emotionally.

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:29 pm

Its emotionally draining for everyone who has ever been there, but it chaps my nether regions when someone pipes up that its either not purposeful or losing a battle that we *know* we are fighting. Well hooray for you for having all the right [expletive deleted] answers.

Well hell yes, its a battle lost. Hell yes maybe they were not supposed to live past 2 year - but WHAT IS A HELPFUL SOLUTION?

Just euthanize them all? Just blow it off until they are in so much pain we cannot tolerate it? Just comfort ourselves they were never to live past 2 years and just have them put to sleep?

While anyone left still cares enough *OF COURSE* its worth pursuing a better/different option.

or else, why the [expletive deleted] would any of us waste our time and our pigs lives asking guinea lynx for help?

Just wondering.

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:32 pm

I'm with ya sistah!

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:35 pm

Thank you Branni, my dear girl. Could not have said it better myself.

I had to watch Zachary slowly waste away over the course of 2 months from inoperable stones. It was absolutely the most difficult, heart-breaking thing I've ever been through with a pet. I really don't appreciate having nay-sayers come along and poo-poo those of us who want to try to be proactive.

I know Kleenmama did cite cost as an issue. Wondering if we could do a GL fund-raiser of some sort to help her pay for research and development?

Who's your Branni?

Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:41 pm

Maybe I was early in anybody else's eyes putting Nathan down because his second huge stone showed up months after the first was surgically removed. This was all before he was even a year and a half old.

Maybe we are fools for opting for heroic measures (surgery, etc. ) but WTF - if were ARE going to be fools for that, why would anybody begrudge us for being fools for other freaking options.

We know everyfreakingthing that stands up against us. Why in the hell is it unreasonable to ask that the people who care for other gps either stand with us in our search or STFU if what we are asking for is not harmful to ourselves or our pigs.

All we are doing is trying. Its all we have the strength and the power to do. If anybody in science EVER only listened to the naysayers, then A) we would be in a heap of trouble and B) maybe not even half of us here today would be here to naysay.

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Post   » Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:06 pm

I may email Kleenmama tonight and ask her to check this thread. I don't want this issue to fall by the wayside...too many of us have lost guinea pigs, or had seriously/chronically ill guinea pigs, from kidney stones. There has to be SOMETHING we can do. Seriously.

Still anxiously awaiting the publication of the UC Davis stone report. It was scheduled to be presented at a conference this month, but the speaker cancelled at the last minute and they're presenting something else instead. Damn.

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