Sunday, April 10, 2011
Eating oranges and getting our daily dose of Vitamin C
As any good cavy owner should know, Vitamin C is essential to a guinea pig's diet. This is because piggies do not produce their own Vitamin C, so to prevent scurvy they must get it from outside sources, typically in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. Ideally, they should get 10-30 mg/kg of Vitamin C daily, while young, ill, pregnant, and nursing cavies need extra. Excess Vitamin C is flushed out through the urinary system, although overfeeding can result in liver problems.
According to Guinea Lynx, one way to make sure your piggy gets enough Vitamin C is by giving a quarter of a 100 mg chewable or plain tablet. You should not add any Vitamin C to the water because it degrades rapidly and changes the flavor, which can cause your cavy to drink water less frequently because they dislike the taste.
Belka and Truffle have personal experience with this. When they were babies the only water available to them had Vitamin C added to it. They went crazy drinking water nonstop when our slaves brought them home for the first time, every half minute one or the other would run up to the water bottle and gulp continuously from it. Belka and Truffle drank so much that our slaves worried whether they were all right, this went on for over two days! They got used to it soon after though, and now they get Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables like the rest of us.
Here is a video of Belka, who is demonstrating how she gets Vitamin C from oranges. Whee must admit, she is not always the daintiest eater, you can hear her messily chewing and squishing away starting from 0:43 in the video.