Micah Feeding

Vet Speak

In this section, Dr. Micah Kohles, Oxbow’s Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach, answers all of your animal health related questions.  If you have a question for Dr. Kohles regarding the health or behavior of your small animal, send it to web@oxbowanimalhealth.com.

My guinea pig Max is 3 1/2 years old. Is this a good time to start giving him Oxbow Natural Science Senior Support tablets? Also, Max loves romaine lettuce and spinach. Is there a limit as to how much I should give him?

Thanks for the question.  There is no specific time when I suggest starting any supplement, as we really want to base it on the animal. At 3 ½, I would consider Max a middle aged pig and, as long as he is healthy, would suggest you wait until closer to 5 to initiate a senior supplement. That being said, if he is aging quicker than other pigs or has had some ongoing health-related challenges, you could certainly consider initiating supplementation earlier.

As far as greens go, my motto is the more the better. That being said, we want to focus on feeding a diversity because certain types are higher in certain minerals (such as calcium) that we want to limit. Spinach and romaine are both good greens, but in small amounts. I prefer to lean towards greens like red/green leaf/bib lettuce, as they are lower in calcium content but, again, diversity is the key. I have many pigs getting upwards of 15%-20% of their diet from fresh greens . Note that I say fresh greens, not veggies and fruits. A small amount of veggies is fine and an even smaller amount of fruit. Make changes in green offerings (such as species and amount) gradual and slow to insure your little one tolerates it well.  Good luck and have fun!

Sincerely,

Dr. Micah Kohles, DVM
Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach
Oxbow Animal Health