Apparently they had great success with this tactic when one of their sows was sick, and it was recommended to them by a respected exotics vet in the L.A. area (I know him by reputation).
The plain Ensure was what the vet recommended
The first thing that strikes me is that it is high in calcium (300 mg per 8 oz container). The other is the sucrose/corn syrup thing but apparently the plain flavor does not have as much as the vanilla and other flavors.
I don't know how dangerous those above ingredients would be in the amount one would put in a meal of Critical Care (perhaps 1-2 oz?).
What does everyone think? I judged these people to be extremely knowledgeable-- in fact, the most cavy-savvy people I've met outside of this forum. So if their little trick works, does that outweigh the possible detractions of its contents?
- I gave AGAIN, dammit!
If you had an amount recommended, it would put it in more perspective. It would be useful to know the percentage of calories derived from it vs. more suitable foods.
It was specifically to try to pack in some dense calories for energy and possible weight. I did use some (very little as I remember) without any ill effects that I am aware of. It was for my terminally ill piggie.
I wouldn't jump to use it anytime a pig needed hand feeding. I'm sure it depends on what the issues are and what you are looking to achieve. With our pig, he had been anorexic a long time and was losing weight despite hand feeding. Since he was going to pass away regardless, I let him eat anything that ever held a moments interest (which hardly ever happened)! He wasn't so crazy about the Ensure past the first encounter, and we didn't end up giving him too much of it.
Even though most companies aren't perfect, I'd tend to trust the researchers at Oxbow, and the stuff they put in Critical Care. Maybe it's possible to e-mail Oxbow, and see if there is someone there that could shed some light as to why or why it shouldn't be used?
Yes but I just told you that their pig rebounded and gained back her weight on it.
Mel, the Critical Care wasn't doing the trick. If Oxbow came out with a high-calorie supplement for guinea pigs (one that didn't cause bloat either), I'd run down and buy some.
But I agree about the calcium. Not good. And other ingredients aren't ideal. But if it gives a critically ill geriatric a little more quality time on earth, would it be worth it?
- GL is Just Peachy
What about putting tofu in a blender?
Comparing product Percentages
Crude Protein (min) 16.00%
Crude Fat (min) 3.20%
Crude Fiber (min) 21.00%
Crude Fiber (max) 25.00%
Phosphorus (min) 0.25%
Calcium (min) 0.40%
Calcium (max) 0.60%
Phosphorus (min) 0.20%
Iron (ppm) 184
Copper (ppm) 5
Zinc (ppm) 64
Niacin (mg/kg) 42
Vitamin A (IU/kg) 12,000
Vitamin B12 (mg/kg) 50
Vitamin D (IU/kg) 660
Vitamin E (mg/kg) 110
Vitamin C mg/g 10
- Knee Deep
I've only personally done it once, before reading much about handfeeding here when Angel was very sick and had lost a ton of weight in August 2002. She didn't react badly to it, but I don't think it had much positive effect either.
I spent some time in the health aisle at the grocery store today, contemplating different products and comparing. Still interested in hearing any expert opinions, but some people I think might be willing to try the unorthodox when they have a dying pig on their hands.
The two which I thought might be the least offensive/most palatable (see, covering all my bases here):
Lower in calcium than the other Ensures and higher in C. Also higher in Calories.
Naked Juice Protein Zone
Very high in C, but also higher in sugars that the Ensure. Lower in calories but the ingredients are more natural.