by Dani Nicholson, licensed wildlife rehabilitator
The EmerAid System for Exotic Animal Critical Care or “Exotic EmerAid” is designed to provide life-saving nutrition to a wide variety of species during the first few days of care. EmerAid is designed to help when an animal is unable to eat on its own due to starvation, injury or illness, and the digestive system has begun to shut down. These therapeutic diets should be used only under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator.
Please see our Basic Use Guide for information on EmerAid administration. The table in Step 4 includes feeding recommendations for wildlife patients. You can also download the EmerAid Feeding Guidelines. Although this resource is older, it also includes a more extensive list of mixing directions for wildlife patients.
WHO BENEFITS FROM EMERAID?
The EmerAid System for Exotic Animal Critical Care includes EmerAid Carnivore, EmerAid Herbivore, and EmerAid Omnivore. By using these products singly or in combination, many different ill exotic animals can benefit nutritionally. EmerAid Piscivore is the first semi-elemental diet designed for the critically ill fish-eater.
Marine mammals such as emaciated sea lion and elephant seal pups have been fed EmerAid Piscivore at marine mammal centers in California.
Bats have benefited from EmerAid Carnivore. Rehabilitators are beginning to use EmerAid with great success for some of the more debilitated individuals. We are told bats must like the flavor because they “lap it up.”
Rabbits, both domestic and wild, have been fed EmerAid Herbivore for many years. These animals are known to have a very delicate digestive system and are regular patients in veterinary clinics and wildlife centers.
Seabirds have been gavage-fed EmerAid Carnivore or EmerAid Piscivore for years with greater success than any other tube-feeding formula. Seabirds have responded so favorably to this diet, that it is currently part of the intensive care nutrition protocol at the Oiled Wildlife Care Network in California. EmerAid was also used successfully during the Gulf Oil Spill.
Raptors such as eagles, hawks, and owls are frequently presented to all wildlife centers and are commonly emaciated. EmerAid has been tested on these birds for many years with great success.
Reptiles are another animal commonly in veterinary clinics and wildlife centers that have been repeatedly saved by EmerAid.
WHY FEED EMERAID, AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
EmerAid is nutrition for critical care, designed to be used short term, from a few days to a week on average. EmerAid is easy to assimilate because it is in a form that doesn’t require the patient’s valuable energy stores in order to digest. This allows the debilitated animal to quickly get the essential nutrients for survival. Another wonderful advantage of EmerAid is that there are four formulas: Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore, and Piscivore that can be used singly or in combination so that more species can benefit. And EmerAid is simple to mix and feed.
Rehabilitators are often the first to care for the animal who is ill or injured and who have been found on roads, beaches, fields, yards, etc. These animals are often so weak or injured that they are unable to eat, and the downward spiral begins. The EmerAid formulas are mixed with water, which means that the animal becomes rehydrated and given life-saving nutrients at the same time. EmerAid can make the difference in whether an animal lives or dies.
Generally, upon intake, an animal is first given some sort of fluid therapy, by the oral, intravenous, or subcutaneous route. The length of time prior to introducing EmerAid will vary with the particular animal and its level of dehydration. EmerAid is mixed with water and tube-fed or syringe-fed, depending upon the species. Visit LafeberVet.com for free access to education articles and videos.
WHERE CAN A REHABILITATOR BUY EMERAID?
Dr. Ted Lafeber, owner of EmerAid, recognizes that “wild animals don’t carry a checkbook” and wildlife rehabilitators often pay for supplies out of pocket. Licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the United States can purchase EmerAid at a significantly lower cost (50% below veterinary). With this discount, the Lafeber Company is able to help save more lives. To apply for the wildlife discount, click here.