Emeraid Intensive Care Basic Use Guide

For Critically Ill exotic animals

Click here to download the guide

Step 1: Weigh Patient

hedgehog on scaleBest done at the beginning of each morning before they have eaten, been medicated or had fluids given, (or on admission).

Step 2: Correct hypovolaemia

Click to see Fluid therapy recommendations in select exotic animal patients

Table 1. Fluid Provision on Admission
SpeciesVolume ml/kgRoute
Ferret30-60s/c
Rabbit60i/v max 30ml/kg
balance s/c
G-pig20s/c
Chinchilla20s/c
Bird20i/v max 20ml/kg
balance s/c
Reptile10s/c or
intra-coelomic
(chelonian)

Step 3: Address Hypothermia

FerretKeep patient warm and quiet. See LafeberVet for additional information.

Step 4: Determine Appropriate Emeraid or Emeraid Combination

The Emeraid System for Exotic Animal Critical Care or “Exotic Emeraid” is designed for three main nutritional strategies: Emeraid Herbivore, Emeraid Omnivore, and Emeraid Carnivore. Technically, Emeraid Carnivore is a faunivore diet that meets the nutritional needs of both carnivores and insectivores. Feed Emeraid products singly or in combination to best meet the needs of your specific patient.

Click to see mixing table (Search for specific species.)

Taxonomic Group SpeciesOmnivore (Parts)Carnivore (Parts)Herbivore (Parts)Water (Parts)
Armadillo24
Bearded dragon1.51.54
Blackbird64
Blue-tongue Skink1.51.54
Bluebirds24
Budgerigar64
Caecilian24
Canary64
Cardinal4.50.54
Catbird1.51.54
Chameleon-Old World24
Chickadee1.51.54
Chicken64
Chinchilla44
Chipmunk64
Chuckwalla44
Cockatiel64
Cockatoo64
Conure64
Cowbird64
Coyote24
Crossbill64
Crow4.50.54
Degu44
Domestic Duck64
Dove64
Duck–Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Scoter24
Duck–Mallard, Canvasback, Coots, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Wood64
Duck–Scaup, Ruddy4.50.54
Ferret24
Finch64
Flycatcher24
Fox24
Frogs, Toads- Aquatic, Horned, Pacman, Dart, Mantella, Tree24
Gamebirds–Grouse, Quail, Pheasant, Turkey, Woodcock64
Geckos - Leopard, Fat-tail, Tokay, Day, Crested, Radcodactylus24
Gerbil4.514
Goose324
Gopher44
Grackle64
Grebe24
Green Iguana1.51.54
Grosbeak4.50.54
Ground Iguana1.51.54
Guinea pig44
Gull24
Hamster324
Hedgehog1.51.54
Jay64
Junco4.50.54
Kangaroo Rat64
Lark64
Loon 24
Lorikeet64
Lovebird64
Macaw64
Magpie64
Marmot44
Mockingbird1.51.54
Mole24
Monitor24
Mouse64
Muskrat44
Myna Bird64
Newt24
Nuthatch1.51.54
Opossum24
Oriole24
Parakeet64
Parrot64
Peafowl64
Phoebe24
Pigeon64
Piscivorous Birds–Cormorant, Egret, Heron, Pelican24
Porcupine44
Quail64
Rabbit44
Raccoon1.51.54
Raptors–Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, Kites Owl, Vulture24
Rat4.514
Raven4.50.54
Robin314
Ruddy Duck4.50.54
Salamander24
Sapsucker314
Scaup4.50.54
Shorebirds–Wader, Sandpiper24
Shrew24
Siskin64
Skunk1.51.54
Small Lizards - Anoles, Collared and others24
Snake24
Sparrow4.50.54
Squirrel64
Starling314
Sugar Glider64
Swallow24
Tanager24
Tegu24
Thrasher1.51.54
Thrush314
Titmouse1.51.54
Tortoises - Desert, Gopher, Sulcata, Red-foot, Russian44
Towhee4.50.54
Turtles - Box, Wood Aquatic–Sliders, Painted, Map, Cooter1.51.54
Turtles- Snapping, Mud and Musk24
Uromastyx44
Vireo24
Vole1.534
Warbler24
Waxwing64
Woodchuck44
Woodpecker314

Step 5A: Determine MLS/Feeding for Mammals and Birds

  • When feeding CRITICALLY ILL ANIMALS, begin with a smaller food volume.
  • 1st feed 1% body weight, 2nd feed 2% body weight, 3rd feed 3% body weight.
  • Volumes fed are only increased if well tolerated and passed through the gastrointestinal tract.

Feeding volumes for mammals and birds based on percent body (or %BW)

Weight1st feed (1 %)2nd feed (2 )%3rd feed (3 %)
50g1/2ml1ml1.5ml
100g1ml2ml3ml
500g5ml10ml15ml
1kg10ml20ml30ml
2kg20ml40ml60ml

Step 5B: Determine mls/feeding for reptiles

  • When feeding CRITICALLY ILL ANIMALS, begin with a smaller food volume.
  • 1st feed 0.5 % body weight, 2nd feed 1% body weight, 3rd feed 2% body weight.
  • Volumes fed are only increased if well tolerated and passed through the gastrointestinal tract.

Feeding volumes for reptiles based on percent body (or %BW)

Weight1st feed (1 %)2nd feed (2 %)3rd feed (3 %)
50g1/4ml1/2ml1ml
100g1/2ml1ml2ml
500g2.5ml5ml10ml
1kg5ml10ml20ml
2kg10ml20ml40ml

Step 6: Mix enough Emeraid for feedingBeakers

  1. Measure out Emeraid according to Step 4 (Table 3) “Parts” indicate the proportions needed. To mix Emeraid, you can use the scoop provided, a syringe cap, or any measuring implement of your choice as long as the proportions described above remain consistent.
  2. Add powder to hot water measuring 50°C (122°F).
  3. Mix well.
  4. Use a syringe to draw up the mixture. When made as directed, Emeraid formula can pass through both an 18-gauge feeding needle and a 5 French feeding tube.
  5. Make fresh for each feeding. Discard remaining food after each feeding.

Standard mixing directions for the Emeraid System for Exotic Critical Care

EmeraidPowder (parts)Water (parts)
Carnivore24
Herbivore44
Omnivore64
Piscivore*34

Helpful Hint

Emeraid mixture can be placed in a shake tube or capped pill vial for mixing. Draw Emeraid mixture into syringe through the feeding tube or feeding needle to avoid any clumps or potential blocks during administration.

Step 7: Determine frequency of feeding

The decision on how frequently to feed must rely on clinical judgment as FREQUENCY depends on the species, the individual and their ability to handle the stress of restraint, the patient’s clinical response, and the underlying clinical problem.

  • Is the patient gaining or losing weight?
  • Has the patient vomited or regurgitated?
  • Has normal faecal production been observed?

Recommended frequency of feeding

Recommended frequency of feeding. Bonus feedings are often administered:
4 x dailyFor all mammals and birds (< 500g)
3 x dailyFor birds (> 500g)
1-2 x dailyFor reptiles

Step 8: Administration of Emeraid by syringe or gavage

  • Monitor patients closely. Administer all other treatments BEFORE gavaging to prevent regurgitation.
  • Immediately after gavaging, please place patient gently back in cage or incubator.
  • See LafeberVet, for restraint and administration techniques.

Step 9: On-going fluid requirements

ChincillaAssuming 10% dehydrated and given advised feeding volumes and frequencies.

On-going fluid requirements

SpeciesVolume ml/kg/24hRoute
Remainder Day 1Day 2 & 3
Ferret010ml bid/kgs/c
Rabbit010ml bid/kgi/v, s/c
G-pig20mlbid/kg10ml bid/kg
Chinchilla00
Bird20ml bid/kg20ml bid/kgi/v, s/c
Reptile20ml bid/kg20ml bid/kgs/c, i/c

Step 10: Next day – weigh patient first
Guinea-Pig

  • Important to weigh before first gavage feeding so weight accurately reflects patient weight.
  • Consider possible increased weight due to slow stomach/crop or GI emptying.
  • Am I meeting my patient’s ENERGY REQUIREMENTS?

Step 11: Re-assess patient

  • If the patient is in very poor condition, or has lost weight, increase frequency or volume of feeding.
  • For more detailed calculations refer to: Lafeber.com/vet/emergency-medicine/

Repeat Steps 5-11: Begin feeding assessment cycle again.

Medicine is both science and art. While these instructions may work, many patients have conflicting aspects that must be considered when using these guideline, such as maximum volume tolerated, general neuro-muscular/ skeletal weakness against very poor condition and an urgent need for critical care administration and weight gain.

Disclaimer:

These simplified instructions are based on the patient being 10% dehydrated on admission and the patient physiologically accepting suggested feeding volumes and frequency. They are intended only as a guideline and must be adjusted with the patient assessment of the attending veterinary clinician.