Critical Care and handfeeding supplements/recipes

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 3:20 pm

I have recently added another fantastic product to my regimen of syringe-feeding ill cavies and have not seen it mentioned before on the boards.

I was adding water and occasionally orange juice to Critical Care (by Oxbow). No biggie. Pedialyte also works well sometimes. Since I also do SQ fluids with sick pigs (my magical concoction of Lactated Ringer´s/B vits/vitamin C and occasional steroids for anorexia), fluid hydration is not a great concern. Getting enough food, nutrients, and fiber through their GIT is the main concern.

I figured I was wasting the fluid part of the Critical Care slurry. Water is important, but I wanted a bigger nutritional boost. Juicing fresh veggies is time consuming and difficult unless you have a juicer. That would be a great idea, though. My next big idea was adding a more nutritional juice. One with no added HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), sugar, or water and lots of nutrition. I enjoy Odwalla juices which are getting high exposure in CA (made in Dinuba).
Their "Superfood" drink has been my favorite for quite some time. So, now I´m adding it to my handfeeding slurry. The pig seems to like it! It has tons of good things in it. A 15.2 oz bottle is pricy at about $3, but it lasts a pig one week. It´s more than worth it to me.

Here are the ingredients:
Apple juice, peaches, mangoes, strawberries, bananas, spirulina (1700 mg), soy lechithin, open cell chorella (335 mg), royal jelly, wheat grass, barley grass, wheat sprouts, jerusalem artichoke, lemon bioflavonoid, and nova scotia dulse.

Their website is and the juice is flash pasteurized. The nutrition info is wonderful as well.

Does anyone else have any tried and true nutritional supplements/juices/foods to add to hand-feeding slurries? I´m especially looking for things to help keep weight on the pigs that aren´t eating and have thought about finely ground grains (which are only supposed to be used in moderation). Flax oil was another thought, but how to know how much? Cavies have naturally low-fat/low-cal diets.

We all know about piggy poop (as a probiotic and source of B vits), ground high-quality pellets, natural baby puréed foods, Pedialyte, and Critical Care...

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Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 3:45 pm

It sounds like a very good product. I wonder how widely available it is. Anything to get them to like the Critical Care...


Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:47 pm

Wasn´t odwalla the juice that caused an ecoli breakout a few years back? From the apple juice

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Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:58 pm

Google search -- many hits on Odwalla and ecoli. I think it was back in 1996 when they did not pasteurize their product. "The outbreak was traced to a popular brand of non-pasteurized apple juice produced by Odwalla, Inc. "

I think Josephine mentioned it being currently pasturized.

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Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:20 pm

It is being pasturized now, and I´d agree that it is a wonderful product. A testement to its quality is that it was back on the shelves a short time after the ecoli incident. They took a very responsible approach to the whole thing.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:39 pm

Yes, same company. It is pasteurized now and I drink it regularly myself. I would think that since the incident more than 6 years ago, they have streamlined and tightened up quality control. I´ve found foreign objects in other foods more often than had a problem with pasteurized products.

The brand is being sold in more and more stores around here with California´s health food craze. I would think that it will at least catch on in other states if it hasn´t already. I really like their drinks.
Last edited by Josephine on Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:34 pm

I´m having good results handfeeding Critical Care mixed with Wheat Grass juice. A tiny sow came to me badly dehydrated, weighed 7 ounces. Four days of subcue fluids (Lactated Ringer´s with B-complex), handfed Critical Care mixed with either Wheat Grass juice or Pedialyte, liquid vitamin C, and a daily Poop Cocktail. She´s 10 1/2 ounces now and thriving, eating on her own entirely. I give her a pinch of rolled oats with her pellets, and she is still getting the liquid C.


Post   » Wed Jul 17, 2002 10:06 pm

I´ve used half Critical Care powder, half oatmeal/bananas/applesauce baby food, with a little apple juice to "loosen it up" if needed. I used the baby food/juice without preservatives or added sugars.

My pigs got to liking it so much they ate it off the spoon, and the healthy ones begged for "tastes" when the recovering one would get fed. When Leo was really sick, I added benebac right into the mix and fed him about an hour after his meds.

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For the love of my girls!

Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:37 am

I have never had a pig like the CC. The fennel seems too strong. It is hard to hide that flavor! do any pigs like the fennel? Could it be taken out of the CC? It´s frustrating when you are trying to feed a sick pig and they won´t eat it. I´m never sure if they aren´t hungry or they just don´t like it.

The Odwalla is a great suggestion. Maybe it would off-set the strong CC flavor. The oatmeal baby food sounds like a winner too.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:59 am

It´s funny, but my heart patient loved it plain. Still does. He´ll eat it out of a dish with a little water added. He pushes his two boar roomates out of the way and will dive into the bowl feet and snout first. And I thought it was anise? At least that´s what it says on the package.

I´ve always been partial to anise. I inherited that and my taste for amaretto from my Italian grandfather and dad. It´s odd to me that most people don´t care for it.
Last edited by Josephine on Thu Jul 18, 2002 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 10:51 am

Cookie did not care for the CC until I mixed it with cranberry juice (no sugar, natural, expensive--all that jazz), then she liked it.

I don´t care for anise, fennel, licorice either. Anise and fennel smell about the same. I know the fennel plant since they´re everywhere around here, but don´t know about anise. Maybe the Google god will fill us in.

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Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 11:05 am

Fennel vs. Anise: Some quotes:

There is a bit of confusion about these two plants. For some reason,the fennel plant, which resembles celery with fern-like tops, has been called sweet anise in produce markets. The true anise is cultivated only for its seeds. So what you see labelled "sweet anise" in your market is probably fennel, but no matter what you call it, this is a highly interesting vegetable. Every part of the aromatic fennel plant has a taste and aroma similar to licorice. The stems are eaten like celery,uncook, or cooked and served as a vegetable (heavenly with apples in waldorf salad). Available from September to May.

Anise is a slow-growing annual which flowers about 3 months after planting. It grows to a height of 2 feet and produces yellowish-white flowers in umbrella-like clusters. It will grow best in a deep, fertile soil in a sunny, warm location. It should be planted 6 to 10 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. This herb is grown for its seeds which are ready for harvest about one month after bloom. The licorice-flavored seed is widely used in breads and cookies.

The fennel plant has many uses in the kitchen, the bulb of the plant can be cooked as a vegetable or pureed to make a smooth sauce. The tops of the fresh plant look similar to dill and can be used in the same manner to flavor sauces, vegetable and fish and seafood. Fennel seeds are often used to flavor baked goods, they have a sweet flavor similar to anise. Often times fennel seeds are added to Italian sausage.

Finocchio or Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill. subsp. vulgare var. azoricum Mill. Thell, Apiaceae), called "anise," is being marketed in supermarkets throughout much of the U.S. While many cultivars of fennel are grown for the aromatic seed and foliage, finnochio fennel is a special type produced for its enlarged bulb (thickened leaf bases). This vegetable is very popular in Europe, where the bulbs are either consumed raw or prepared by baking, blanching, or boiling. The bulbs are sold as "anise" in the U.S. because of the strong "licorice" or "anise" aroma, but should not be confused with true anise, a seed spice also with a strong licorice aroma.

Fennel is a perennial herb of the carrot family.

See also

Fennel grows like a weed on the hillsides here. It´s very hard to eradicate.
Last edited by bats on Thu Jul 18, 2002 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 11:26 am

I got out my jar of Critical Care, and it only says "natural flavors". Does it mention anis or fennel in the pamphlet?

My pigs have loved Critical Care. But then they love fennel. I cut it into long slices, so each piece has the bulb, stem, and feathery leaves.

I don´t know about the pigs, but my horses like anis. I used it in an herb mix once. It is also used as flavoring in some horse feed and products.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:16 pm

Yes, I apologize, I was indeed reading Oxbow´s brochure for Critical Care which states it has anise in it. It says it is an herbivore attractant.
Last edited by Josephine on Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:19 pm

I feel so silly, I misspelled anise (twice).


Post   » Sat Jul 20, 2002 2:02 am

I am feeding an my little old lady pig, CC daily as a supplement because she goes up and down on her weight, so exotic vet says to try it as she can´t find anything wrong on exam and Ewenice just won´t give up any blood for labs. Anyone have that problem? we have never been able to get blood from her.....
Anyway I use either Odwalla carrot juice or baby food, I alternate creamed spinach, garden veggies, carrots, things like that. Occasionally I add a little plain yogurt. Tried baby pears and she wouldn´t touch it. She loves to eat it right off the spoon or a dish if I put it in the cage, I try to use our cuddle time for her CC as her cage mate is getting fat by eating it too. Only 3 of my 7 will touch it the rest run from it if it is offered. Weird!
What´s this about adding poop? should I being doing that since I am only supplementing her other foods? She is eating her greens and pellets though not her hay. I know because I watch them eat.

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Post   » Sat Jul 20, 2002 7:11 am

If her own droppings look strange or she has been on a round of antibiotics recently, it might help. Otherwise, I don´t know that it would make much difference.

I think Josephine mentioned that blood can be gotten by slightly overclipping a nail -- you don´t want to clip too much, just enough that a sample can be drawn.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat Jul 20, 2002 10:48 pm

Pigfan--have her molars been checked under anesthesia?

The poop is a natural mucous-protected probiotic and B vitamin supplement to protect their sensitive GI Tract.

You can easily overclip a toenail and get a couple of blood smears and microhematocrit tubes to do labwork in cavies. I have a lab that does all of my cavy bloodwork. I have compared it to bloodwork taken from cavy veins in the same animals. It is very comparable, although I sometimes have to clip two nails since the blood clots after a few minutes. This way I have developed even lets me cradle the pig myself and collect the blood alone (since many people in the veterinary profession are not great pig holders/restrainers)!


Post   » Sun Jul 21, 2002 2:22 am

Damnation, Lynx. I posted to this and it disappeared. This is the second time. I always check to make sure the post went thru and this one did. I can´t save every friggin post permanently. What the hell is going on? How can a post disappear AFTER it is posted?

I posted that my vet gets blood from the jugular vein if she´s lucky and she prefers to get it from there because she can get more for testing.

Am I mistaken? Did I post this elsewhere?

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Post   » Sun Jul 21, 2002 9:16 am

I´m sorry, Pinta. I have no idea what happened. As far as I know, once a post has been added to the MySQL database, it cannot just be randomly removed. There is a specific process to removing the post.

I wish I knew what to tell you. I didn´t know that this could actually happen (if you post and you can see your post, it can only be because it has been written to the database -- there is no way for it to simply disappear).

I´ll inquire, but I´ve never heard of it happening to anyone else.


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