https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jul/03/citizen-scie ... eur-research
This interesting article with several examples, says to me that one day, with the interest of pet owners and availability of detailed information, we may know more about things like managing/preventing bladder stones in guinea pigs (in my opinion, one of the worst problems).
I hope genetic info can be gathered along with detailed dietary and care advice (amount of exercise :-) to put together better guidelines for promoting our pets' health.
- Cavy Comic
GL is not very organized though. We would need much better organization to be able to examine diet and stones, for example.
The eventual affordability of genetic testing might help isolate those pigs that did not respond to any dietary changes.
One of the first vets we ever went to was fresh out of vet school. I gave him permission to try new stuff (at least what was new to him). He is now one of the finest exotics vets in Virginia, if not the whole region/country. It's amazing how veterinary medicine has progressed in the 13 years since I got Lightning yet also how some things haven't changed :(
I agree with the article saying we're becoming "didacs" Any info, right or wrong is at our fingers. I too know in my heart and head G.L. haas helped tons of guinea. pigs and their owners. I came for info, and stayed because of the people.
Do we have a documents thread? Or threads?
It's the choosing and setting up of a records system that would include many variables and perhaps data time points that would allow examination of an illness taking into account multiple factors.
I don't know enough to suggest a format. Have several things going on right now so can't really concentrate on it. I may be able to come up with something primative from which it could be vastly improved. A medical history that could offer visual representation of some changes over time.
We would be limited by testing and the ability to know (without it) if changes we make (in diet, in herbs, etc.) are making a difference.
- And got the T-shirt
To do adequate data collection and reporting, you need controls on the data. I don't think we have, or can get, anything resembling that. Never mind that we only have anecdotal evidence about what may[/may] or may not have worked, we have NO clue about the genetics of the guinea pigs involved, and no way to get it.
We've got no controls on the diets, and even if we could institute some, we don't know anything about the combinations of foods and how they affect each other. One example: we all know that high calcium foods can be a problem. But I know one 7.5 year old pig that has been fed several sprigs of parsley per day plus many other herbs, has been on Oxbow pellets with their relatively high calcium content all his life, doesn't drink water at all, and has had not one sign of stone in all that time. Another example (actually many): we've seen many pigs develop stones even on a very low calcium diet, sometimes within days of surgical removal of stones.
There's no way to reconcile the physiology of the pigs to explain that, and no way to sort out any of the other factors that may have applied.
The only way we could get good data that would result in possible improvements is by having hundreds of guinea pigs bred for specific traits that are suspected to apply, carefully control their diets/water/medications/etc., and monitor them over several generations. While that's about the mildest form of animal testing you can get, it would still be an issue for many on this board, I suspect.
- Cavy Comic
Also, I have noticed that many people who claim to put their pig on a low calcium diet, actually make so many mistakes, that there is no real low calcium diet, but then claim that the diet didn't help. Also, the factor "but the pig likes his parsley treat, a few sprigs a day does not make a difference, as the rest of the diet is OK" plays a big role. We can't see what people and vets do in each case.
It reminds me of my mum, who eats no sugar a week before her blood is drawn to check her diabetes. Yeah, right.