Interesting read about Calcium supplements

ChocolatPocky

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I'm a new chin owner but have been scouring the internets for information about malo (my chin, Mr. B, had molar spurs). I stumbled upon this article on this informative chin care site:


It says moderate calcium supplementation can help with malo problems. It's a really well documented read with various sources (also pretty rambly and long tho), so I'm curious if anyone else here has used calcium supplements for their chins or has opinions about it? They address the issue about kidney/bladder stones and how chins have a different metabolism for digesting calcium etc. I'm no chin expert of course, so it's hard to say whats true or not but the writers appear to have lots of chinchilla exp.
 

Amethyst

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The biggest issue I see with adding calcium to the diet is that some chins are genetically predisposed to developing kidney and bladder stones. Normally excess calcium is peed out, but for some chins they aren't able to and the calcium instead builds up. Unfortunately you wont know if your chin is predisposed to them unless you know the genetic history of your chin, parents, grandparents, etc. It's much easier to feed a properly formulated pellet and hay diet rather then trying to supplement, unless the vet says they are deficient. If you read down the article you linked it actually say calcium supplementing should only be done until you've corrected the deficiency.

"If the chin's tooth enamel indicates a serious calcium deficiency (clear/ white to light yellow) , then moderate Ca:no P calcium supplementing is required only until the deficiency is corrected, until the teeth turn dark orange, which indicates sufficient calcium levels in the body. "

On a side note, that article proves my point (and most owners, breeders, and vets) on your other post about chins needing to eat hay. ;)

"Provide a simple diet that supplies sufficient calcium: Unlimited access to fresh, high quality pellets, a variety of hays that includes alfalfa hay, and distilled or filtered water (the dietary staples). Pellets provide nutrition but they are "soft food." Chewing tough, fibrous material for consumption (hay) grinds down continuously growing molars, thus preventing molar overgrowth (spurs, points)."
 

ChocolatPocky

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Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
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The biggest issue I see with adding calcium to the diet is that some chins are genetically predisposed to developing kidney and bladder stones. Normally excess calcium is peed out, but for some chins they aren't able to and the calcium instead builds up. Unfortunately you wont know if your chin is predisposed to them unless you know the genetic history of your chin, parents, grandparents, etc. It's much easier to feed a properly formulated pellet and hay diet rather then trying to supplement, unless the vet says they are deficient. If you read down the article you linked it actually say calcium supplementing should only be done until you've corrected the deficiency.

"If the chin's tooth enamel indicates a serious calcium deficiency (clear/ white to light yellow) , then moderate Ca:no P calcium supplementing is required only until the deficiency is corrected, until the teeth turn dark orange, which indicates sufficient calcium levels in the body. "

On a side note, that article proves my point (and most owners, breeders, and vets) on your other post about chins needing to eat hay. ;)

"Provide a simple diet that supplies sufficient calcium: Unlimited access to fresh, high quality pellets, a variety of hays that includes alfalfa hay, and distilled or filtered water (the dietary staples). Pellets provide nutrition but they are "soft food." Chewing tough, fibrous material for consumption (hay) grinds down continuously growing molars, thus preventing molar overgrowth (spurs, points)."
Yeah, I don't know what Mr. B's genetics are like! But I've seen his incisors at his last check up, they are an orange color, but not a dark orange, so I'm wondering if I should try giving him a bit more calcium in his diet via alfalfa or a tiny bit of calcium powder.

Also I thought alfalfa is a "snack" hay for adult chins? But it says its higher in calcium so that would be a more "natural" way to give calcium to your chin instead of powders/chews. I feed Mr. B Oxbow pellets so that's alfalfa based already.

Reading the article tho, I thought it was interesting how calcium actually helps strengthen the gums (not just teeth/bones), and if the gums are weak, the teeth shift around and then you get misaligned bites and that leads to molar spurs etc - makes sense to me.
 

Amethyst

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I would just check with the vet to make sure you even need calcium, if the teeth are orange he is probably getting enough calcium, if they are yellow or even white, then you have a problem.

Yes personally I think the best way to add calcium is by adding some alfalfa hay. The reason it's considered as just a "snack" or "treat only" for adults is because most people have no clue about the genetics of their chins, and since most don't need extra calcium once they finish growing, it's safer to only give it as a treat unless he needs extra calcium. I give my guys a hay cube or two (roughly a small handful if given loose) of alfalfa every week or two in addition to their regular hay and oxbow essentials pellets. There are others that feed an all alfalfa diet, hay and pellets, so really I think a lot of it has to do with genetics, if they aren't predisposed to stones they are unlikely to get them.

Maybe I over looked it, but I know vitamin C is suppose to help with connective tissue, but calcium helps strengthen the bones and teeth, so they need both in their diet for proper tooth alignment, growth, and wear. Both things would be in the correct amounts in a good quality chin pellet (like oxbow essentials), so you should only have an issue with lack of nutrient if you are feeding it a low quality or inappropriate diet.
 

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