ISSN 2398-2985      

Assisted feeding

Jreptile

Introduction

  • Assisted feeding may be required as part of an anorexic or cachetic reptiles’ stabilization period in the hospital. It is essential to first address fluid deficits in sick reptiles before nutritional support is addressed.
  • In debilitated reptiles, 40-75% of the daily energy requirements are initially given, and over the following 2-5 days an increased amount is given, to reach full requirements. This is to avoid re-feeding syndrome where there is a depletion of plasma potassium and phosphorus in response to the administration of glucose, and an insulin-stimulated cellular uptake of potassium and phosphate ions.
  • For initial emergency nutrition, the use of products such as Vetark Professional Ltd’s Critical Care Formula® is useful to give simple sugars and amino acids.
  • There are a number of commercially available preparations that can be used for reptile nutritional support. Critical Care products for herbivores and a separate product for carnivores (Oxbow Pet Products) or Science Recovery for herbivores (Supreme Petfoods Ltd) can be fed. Emeraid (Lafeber International) provides semi-elemental nutrition and replenishes the animals’ depleted protein, fat and energy stores. It is provided in a format that is easily absorbed and metabolised by the sick patient. Emeraid provides herbivore, omnivore, carnivore and piscivore products, with instructions on appropriate mixing and volumes, to meet the optimum requirements for the species.
  • Additionally, reptiles can be given a liquidized diet or another proprietary diet:
    • If commercially available preparations are not available carnivorous species may be administered products such as Hills a/d or Virbac’s Reanimyl® and the herbivores/omnivores may be given vegetable-based baby foods such as Milupa® or Cow and Gate® (avoid lactose-containing products).
    • While some sources suggest feeding carnivorous reptiles Hills a/d, other clinicians advise against this as it is a purine-based protein diet; this may predispose to a build-up of uric acid in the catabolic reptile.

Snakes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Lizards

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Tortoises

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Stomach tubing

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Pellett S, Stocking D & Wissink-Argilaga N (2015) Tortoise feeding and nutritional requirements. Comp Anim 20 (4), 240-245 VetMedResource.
  • Pellett S & Wissink-Argilaga N (2015) Nutrition - lizards and snakes. Comp Anim 20 (6), 362-366.
  • Lennox A (2002) Practical nutrition of reptiles. Exotic DVM 4 (3), 83-86 VetMedResource.
  • DaSilva R S & Migliorini R H (1990) Effects of starvation and refeeding on energy linked metabolic processes in the turtle (Phrynops hilarii). Comp Biochem Physiol A 96 (3), 415-419 ScienceDirect.

Other sources of information

  • Lafeber (2018) Emeraid Intensive Care Basic Use Guide For Critically Ill Exotic Animals. Website: http://emeraid.com. Last accessed 26th February 2018.
  • The Tortoise Table (2017) Plant Database. Website: www.thetortoisetable.org.uk. Last accessed 26th February 2018.
  • Wilson B (2017) Lizards. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 95-136.
  • Cheek R & Crane M (2017) Snakes. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 137-181.
  • Girling S J (2013) Emergency and Critical Care Medicine of Reptiles. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 346-354.
  • Donoghue S (2006) Nutrition. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Mader D. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 251-298.
  • Calvert I (2004) Nutritional Problems. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 2nd edn. Eds: Girling S & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 289-308.
  • McArthur S & Barrows M (2004) Nutrition. In: Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles. Eds: McArthur S, Wilkinson R & Meyer J. Blackwell Publishing, UK. pp 73-85.
Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Ballard & Ryan Cheek: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician © 2017, and Simon J Girling: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets © 2013, published by John Wiley & Sons.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code