We are going in for a fit-in this afternoon, it will be a long wait but I am just glad there's someone to see.
I'll try to get a urine sample.
She feels lighter and somehow loose, if that makes sense.
I seriously feel crazy. At least Horace is doing great.
For a 1 lb 14 ounce pig, would 50 mg of calcium lactate twice a day be right (from KM's post)?
Would it hurt her at all?
I am going to get a full-spectrum bulb too.
I am going to read more threads here, it sounds like in Pinta's case, supplementing was helpful.
I just finished reading kristina's thread about Wilma and it is great. I am going to get a lamp and some calcium lactate and cranberry juice to mix in. I am asking my vet if it would hurt her in any way to give the calcium lactate. So far from reading here it doesn't seem it would hurt.
Both of them have been feeling much better lately, though! I have had success with UV light for vitamin D (a Repti-Glo 5 bulb in a lamp for 10-15 minutes a day) and dietary calcium supplementation with KMS alfalfa pellets and calcium-rich foods such as parsley.
With as miserable as both of them were just a couple of months ago, I would have sworn there was no hope for it either. But they have both turned around considerably with just those two changes, and I hope that Acorn can improve too!
The light I have is "Zilla" tropical series fluorescent coil bulb 13 watt "provides uvb light for proper calcium development in tropical reptiles, full spectrum illumination". The calcium lactate I have is Standard Process, each tab contains 40 mg calcium lactate and about 8 mg magnesium. I got it from Amazon for $20.00.
While she is blocked off in half the cage for her light therapy I give her some alfalfa.
Thanks to everyone here who has posted their info, it is invaluable and I never would have know what to do for her otherwise!
- Supporter in '11
I've been pig-sitting a satin with OD. She has been here several times since being diagnosed with OD. At one point a while ago, she seemed to be going downhill but has made a good turn-around. She's on a calcium supplement, Metacam and is offered Critical Care along with her pellets and hay. Before she started on these, she wouldn't eat her pellets or hay.
I sure hope things go well for you.
I'm glad the piggie you have seen is doing better! It seems to be so common for satins, so sad.
Of the three satins that are still with me, two of them have developed osteodystrophy (Russet and Jasper). The remaining satin (Theodore) is only just now entering the age range for when it most commonly shows up, so I am not sure if he would develop it or not. I have been giving him UV treatments along with Russet as a preemptive measure, since they are cagemates anyway. Russet, Jasper, and Theodore are not directly related to each other to the best of my knowledge.
So that's at least a 50% OD rate with even just my small sampling. :-(
I would have adopted her anyway, even if I would have know it would show up so soon! It would have made me want to adopt her even more. I know I can take good care of her. There is something so sweet about her that made me fall in love with her from the start. But it would be good for people who may not be ready for this level of care to know!
She seems brighter to me so I am going to continue with Metacam twice a day. I want to give her bones a chance to get stronger before cutting it to one.
Good news, she has gained almost an ounce! Either the Metacam, the light, or the calcium or all are helping already.
She loves her calcium mixed with baby food carrots, and Horace comes to the cage to see why now she's getting all the attention instead of him!
I'm so glad to hear that Acorn is feeling better, and Wilma, too!
I started trying to find some information on satins when I decided to bring my first satin home, Russet, because it was something new and unusual (at least to me) going on with guinea pigs. I was concerned about osteodystrophy, but what little information I could find generally seemed inconclusive or even downplayed the seriousness of the health problems associated with "satinization." As Russet aged and showed no symptoms, I felt a little more comfortable about satins and adopted others, only to find out that I had apparently simply been lucky thus far.
From what I have been able to read up on, osteodystrophy most commonly starts showing symptoms in young adulthood just after adolescence, around the age of 18 months. Jasper hit that mark almost precisely. Strangely, Russet, now at three years of age, began showing identical symptoms only about a month after Jasper did. It occurred to Dr. Gurney and I that all of this happened between one and two months after I switched all of the guinea pigs from a cheaper pellet that turned out to be alfalfa based (and thus contained a lot of calcium) to KMS timothy pellets.
Since osteodystrophy is apparently a metabolic disorder in which their bodies don't properly process calcium, in theory I unintentionally triggered the spiral of developing symptoms by taking away was was essentially a constant low-dose calcium supplementation. For the other piggies with normal metabolisms, I had done the right thing, as the excessive calcium they didn't need could cause sludge or stones down the road, but the satins had been stabilized in terms of the osteodystrophy by it. Talk about irony!
Because vitamin D is crucial to calcium absorption, the UV light was begun as a treatment for all of my satins. Although I couldn't find out the exact cause of the osteodystrophy in the satin guinea pigs, severe vitamin D deficiency ranks high in my list of possible culprits. And since the daily UV treatments generally have no bad side effects, I decided to go ahead and include Theodore, a satin Teddy who is a not quite 18 months old now himself, even though he has not shown any clear symptoms of osteodystrophy. I have also ordered KMS alfalfa pellets for the satins only and have been feeding them those, while the rest of the guys continue to get the timothy pellets.
With these two things changed, both Russet and Jasper have shown significant improvement. Jasper has put weight back on, 30 grams at his checkup last week. Both of them walk and even run normally again, and they have stopped lying down in awkward positions or being unwilling to move around like they were. Jasper was, in Dr. Gurney's words, "like a different pig." Neither of them have needed any pain medication after the first couple of weeks of symptoms, either. Unhappily, Russet was intolerant of the Metacam anyway, so this turnaround has been even better for him.
Granted, there isn't a cure, but the imbalance apparently can be successfully managed to give these guys a better and longer life, like diabetes or other chronic conditions. It's more work, but so worth it.
Do people agree with this change in the guide?