Today, Wed Apr 4, 2012, after lunch, I visited a groomer with Dr Daniel who bought some dog treats.
"What is the daily requirement of Vit C for a guinea pig?" I asked this pet shop operator who sells guinea pigs of all colours and can be considered a local expert on guinea pigs.
"Vit C is essential for GPs since they don't manufacture Vit C themselves. So a daily intake is essential," she said. "Otherwise they loose hair and loose the shine in their coat.
"How much of Vit C should be given? How many mg/kg of body weight?" I reiterated
"I don't know the mg," she said. "Usually 1 tablet/day, hand-fed or 1/4 teaspoonful of the organic Vit C powder/guinea pig sprinkled onto their food. Vit C is very safe. You will not kill GPs with excessive dose."
She sells 90 tablets/bottle and the "holistic" organic powder in a bottle costing around $37.00.
"If you say Vit C is very safe, what if the GP owner gives 5 tablets/day? Give more to get a shiny coat."
As she was busy going for medical check up of a "trigger finger" in her left hand's middle finger, I did not detain her as her husband was about to drive her and her 3 children to the hospital. Her middle finger could not flex normally and fully. The doctor had given a steroid injection at the base of the 3rd finger some days ago and asked her to get an operation done. "My client asked me to try Chinese medicine," she said as she left for the appointment.
Later she sms me
"Hi dr song thanks for ur concern. Now waiting for my turn to go doc. Just FYI, excess vit c may cause a little bit stools but very seldom people wld give up to 5 tablets. So far, max is 3 tablets to ensure healthy shiny coat."
Some information from her:
1. Onset of maturity. Male 3 m. Female 4 m. Generally 1st mating is 5-6 months despite what GP books says about earlier age. Usually after 5-6mths
2. Breeding. 8-months limitation. Pelvic bones fused by this age, leading to narrow pelvic cavity, then dystocia. If breed after 8 months. Dam and young may die.
If first litter is born before 8 months, the GP can continue breeding.
3. Signs of scurvy in GPs. Hair loss a lot initially. Dull coat. Bones weak.
4. Urinary stones in the bladder. Males get this problem. Mainly male GPs from 2 years onwards.
5. If give vegetables, some GPs get diarrhoea.
6. Vit C tablet. Owner must hand feed. Break into half piece. Aroma attracts GP to eat. Most customers give 3 tablets Vit C/day to get a nice coat. So 1 bottle of 90 tablets per month.
7. GP weight in Singapore's GP. Usually 900 g to 1.1 kg. Some weigh up to 1.4 kg. If GP is housed in a big crate or has garden exercise outdoors, it grows to 1.4 kg. If not, they are generally 900 g-1.1 kg.
I am surprised she type "dr song" as I am not "song". There is a dr song as a vet.