Guinea Pig Calcium Oxalate
What is Guinea Pig Calcium Oxalate?
Guinea Pig Calcium Oxalate Crystals are normally found in the Urine of Guinea Pigs, and are most common constituent of Guinea Pig Bladder Stones and Sludge.
What does Calcium Oxalate Crystals Look Like?
Most Crystals look like 6 sided prism and often look like a pointed picket from a wooden fence. More than 90% of the crystals in a urine sediment will have this type of morphology.
Is it True that every Guinea Pig has Calcium Crystals in it’s Urine?
Yes, In fact most Animals including Humans will have Calcium Crystals in their urine due to the fact that excessive Calcium that the body can not absorb will be wasted through the kidneys in to the bladder and excreted through the Urinary Tract.
Can excessive Calcium Crystals lead to Bladder Stones & Sludge?
The simple answer to this is Yes!.
I would like to point out at this point however that Not every Guinea Pig will form Stones or Sludge in there Bladder if they have excessive Calcium Oxalate Crystals in their urine.
Some scientist now believe that it is a genetic condition that can affect Guinea Pigs prone to Stone formation.
Is their anything we can do to reduce the risk of my Guinea Pig suffering from Bladder Stones & Sludge formation?
Yes!. We need to try and control the amount of Calcium Oxalates that your Guinea Pig Digests. This can be done in many ways however completely removing all Calcium from their diet can be life threatening due to the fact that Calcium is needed for good Bone growth around the Guinea Pigs body including Teeth.
- Good quality Nuggets will have the correct Calcium & Phosphorus content allowing the body to absorb the required amount of Calcium with little or no excess waste.
- Good Quality Timothy Hay will again have the correct Ratio of Calcium & Phosphorus. Timothy Hay is also one of the Good Hays which are low in both Calcium & Phosphorus and High in Fibre.
Fruit & Vegetables
Fruit & Vegetables are the only part of a Guinea Pigs diet that we can really control with the amount of Oxalates stored within them, however this may not be an easy task within itself. I have researched many websites and have built a list of Fruit & Vegetables and where they stand with regards to their Oxalate status being Low, Medium, High and Extremely High. I will also point out that their is a lot of conflicting information from different sources.
Excessive Vitamin C consumption can also increase the Calcium Oxalate Crystals in the urine due to the fact that the body naturally converts Vitamin C in to Oxalate when metabolic changes happen.