More on the Subject of Bladder Stones & Diet

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:32 pm

That's true.


Post   » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:23 am

Very interesting articles!!
I feed Oxbow pellets and fresh veggies daily but I might start cutting back pellets (which are never completely eaten anyway...I’d say they eat maybe half of what I give them at the most) and increase veggies. I’m shocked that anyone would advocate decreasing fresh veggies😱

Personally, I’ve always believed that tap water can contribute to stones. I think a vet told me that once (talking about my cat) so I always give filtered water. Idk if this is fact tho.


Post   » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:05 pm

All interesting stuff!

I have sadly lost a couple of guineas to bladderstones and while I think there could be a genetic factor, I'm sure that diet is obviously a major issue too. I do give my pigs Oxbow Urinary Support biscuits - which they yum up as treats, and I try to make their diet as low in Ca as possible.

I had a very distressing experience when I was inexperienced in keeping guineas. A young sow (Bobo) started to do bloody wee, so we immediatedly took her to the vet. Unfortunately I'm sure I'm not alone here in saying that many vet practices don't know guinea pigs. But it was worse in Bobo's case - they took her in for a scan and DROPPED her - leaving her paralysed! They were so uncaring - they advised me to have her put down - they didn't give a sh*t. Fortunately I found an exotics vet who showed me how to give Bobo physiotherapy - and it worked!
Unfortunately, she really did have bladderstones and they tried to help with hyaluronic acid injections (as part of a clinical trial) which apparently reduced scar tissue in the bladder wall.
It didn't work and I am so sorry for putting her through that but I was trying to do the best for her.

Best wishes,


User avatar
Supporter in 2023

Post   » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:07 am

What an awful experience to have your guinea pig injured at the clinic and then advise you to euthanize! Unbelievable!

It sounds like you're doing everything you can to keep your guinea pigs healthy.


Post   » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:55 pm

In response to Sef's posts, the quotes regarding greens and water intake, are there any resources that list the best greens to feed pigs prone to bladder stones? The nutrition chart on the website is a little I concentrate on Ca:P ratio and sort of ignore the Ca column?

User avatar

Post   » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:50 pm

Have you read ?

Supposedly it is the ratio that makes a difference. Overall lower calcium does help too.

User avatar
I dissent.

Post   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:18 am

Where stones are concerned, it is likely that diet is only one possible factor. If a guinea pig is prone to stones - whether through genetics or disease or some other predisposing factor - there is a good chance that he or she is going to form stones no matter what you do. Sadly, I've dealt with my fair share over the years, and finally reached the conclusion that there is no magic bullet as far as prevention is concerned.

That said, many of us do try to aim for a diet that is generally lower in calcium. The chart on the Diet page is sortable, and you can use it to determine those values and try to avoid foods that are on the higher side of Ca. Those would include things like spinach, parsley, cilantro, etc.

It may also help to evaluate the pellets that you use. Some of us have a theory that pellets containing calcium carbonate may trigger stones in guinea pigs that are already prone to them. I currently use KMS Hayloft, which is a lower calcium pellet and does not contain that ingredient. Oxbow removed calcium carbonate from their adult guinea pig pellets a couple of years ago, but the overall calcium content is still a little on the higher side compared to KMS.

Evaluating your water supply may also help. If you have hard water, it might be worth investing in a filter to help eliminate extra minerals. As an added precaution, I use a relatively inexpensive one even though our water where we live now is not particularly hard.

Some theorize that more sedentary guinea pigs (and other animals) form stones more readily, as the sludge/sediment has a better opportunity to settle into bottom of the bladder and become dense. I have not necessarily found that to be the case, but it's just another possible consideration if your guinea pig is overweight or not particularly active. Exercise is of course beneficial in general.

I will add here that, for what it's worth, I have never found any 'bladder health' supplement to be particularly useful.

Good luck.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:25 am

Listen to Sef. She has wise advice!

p.s. Sef was instrumental in my getting the stones page up. It is a complicated subject with no immutable answers. All guinea pigs (and us) need calcium for good health. We process it differently. And there are things like the gut microbiome that could influence how calcium is processed in the body that we haven't even considered (not enough research on guinea pigs).

Microbial Diversity and Organic Acid Production of Guinea Pig Faecal Samples ... 19-01630-x

Post Reply