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Nutrition

  • Rabbits are herbivores and are considered nibblers, in that they eat continuously. They have complex digestive systems and are very efficient at processing food. They also have very specific dietary needs. If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit’s normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed and may lead to a sick rabbit.

  • All of the pet rodents must be fed a good, high quality rodent chow (nutritionally balanced pelleted food) available at pet stores. Many veterinarians also recommend offering hay to the rodents; check with your veterinarian about this first.

  • Sugar gliders are omnivorous in the wild. In the wild they eat the sap and gum of the eucalyptus and acacia tree plus pollen, nectar, manna (a sugar deposit from the sap oozing from wounds on tree branches or trunks), honeydew (sugar secreted by sap-sucking insects) and a wide variety of insects and spiders. Fruit is not a big part of their diet.

  • Taurine is a type of amino acid, and amino acids form the main constituents of all proteins. Taurine is exclusively found in animal-based proteins.

  • Tube feeding is an alternative way of providing nutrition to a cat that is suffering from anorexia or has some anatomical or surgical condition that prevents it from eating normally.

  • An esophagostomy tube is a small rubber tube that enters the esophagus through a surgical incision on the side of the neck. This allows food you to place food directly into the esophagus so that it can flow down into the stomach. The feeding tube is not placed directly into the stomach.

  • The esophagus is the muscular tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. An esophagostomy tube is a small rubber tube that is surgically inserted into the esophagus through the skin of the neck. The esophagostomy tube allows food to be delivered to the stomach, by-passing the mouth and pharynx (back of the throat).

  • A gastrostomy tube is a rubber feeding tube that passes directly into the stomach through a small opening in the skin and body wall of the dog's abdomen. It allows you to give food and water to your pet while it is recovering from a condition that prevents it from eating and drinking normally.

  • A pharyngostomy tube is a small rubber tube that enters the skin through a small incision in the side of the neck. The tube enters the esophagus, through the pharynx (back of the throat), allowing food to bypass the mouth and be delivered to the stomach. The pharyngostomy tube does not go all the way into the stomach because of the risk of complications that can occur.

  • Too much vitamin A or hypervitaminosis A can lead to serious toxicity. While somewhat uncommon in North America, vitamin A toxicity is sometimes diagnosed in cats that are fed primarily table scraps. There seems to be considerable variability in how susceptible individual cats are to this problem. It takes a long time for the clinical signs associated with vitamin A toxicity to develop; symptoms do not usually appear until the dog is at least middle-aged.

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