My 4-5yr old male, Scooter, has just been diagnosed with what appears to be early signs of kidney dysfunction. I have had guinea pigs my whole life (my last one lived to the ripe old age of 8-9) and have never had this problem come up. My vet said there's really nothing we can do except keep an eye on him that he's still eating on his own, and appears happy---plenty of water, of course. I know with people and even for my parrot there are certain dietary steps that one can take to at least slow any kind of problem, but GP pellets are pretty one size fits all. Any suggestions? thanks! I did read your care sheets and will stock up on parsley and other Vit. C rich foods---I was disheartened to read that too many carrots is bad-he has been getting 2 baby ones a day for awhile, as did my last one who lived so long. I am handfeeding him OxBow Crit. Care, which he loves, fortunately:)
- I GAVE, dammit!
Your vet can teach you how to do them. It is really helpful to know how with senior pigs.
You really want to moniter his weight. Get a baseline and weigh him daily if possible. A scale is a must.
For a senior pig, timothy pellets and hay are highly recommended . They are much lower in calcium than alfalfa. Calcium can lead to bladder stones. Oxbow sells timothy based pellets ( www.oxbow.com ) and the best timothy and bluegrass ( also low calcium) can be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of us here swear by her hay.
Unlimited good guality hay for fiber is a must. It helps keep their molars worn down and is good for their gut. I absolutely swear by it as does my vet.
You have been obviously doing a good job if your last pig lived so long. 2 baby carrots is not a huge deal.
My oldest is eight right now and I cherish every day with him. I know I'm living on borrowed time with him but he's still doing great ( touch wood).
Just out of curiosity, what did your vet use to diagnose the kidney disease? Was it bloodwork?
SQ (subcue) fluids would be awesome, though at least for a while you might be able to get away with syringing extra water/fluids. Make sure your pig is drinking a *minimum* of 60mls daily, or at least 2 ounces. More would be even better.
With kidney disease, UTIs are more common. Keep an eye out for symptoms.
Go easy on the foods with extra calcium. It can potentially calcify in the kidneys, especially diseased kidneys. Extra water can be provided via water-drenched veggies.
Having some Critical Care from Oxbow might be a good idea. Weight loss is inevitable with kidney issues (you might start weighing him more often than once weekly...even daily wouldn't hurt), and you'll be able to help him maintain his weight by supplementing with the Critical Care when needed.
As for the cranberry juice, it wouldn't hurt. Be careful, though, most of the actual juices have a lot of sugar in them. You might consider getting some of the cranberry concentrate from GNC (there's a thread related to it in the Reference forum). It could potentially help prevent UTIs.
I was told that the kidney disease is a result of the diabetes and a blood disorder that I have. What causes kidney disease in piggies?
- Little Jo Wheek
A high creatinine combined with a high BUN--usually both obtained through blood chemistries--does generally signal kidney problems. E, you might be thinking of ALT with liver function. It's always elevated in animals that aren't eating well and it not always indicative of liver disease.