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Old 03-07-2009, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Lily ate hardly any food last night, and didn't drink any water, either. I want to make sure I have everything I need on hand and how to mix the ingredients in case she doesn't eat tonight and I need to start syringe-feeding her. I'm planning on getting some Hills A/D and some chicken baby food. Will it be fine to just mix those two things with some ground up kibble to feed to her, or should I add something else? And how much of each thing do I use in the mix for each feeding? And last question, how often should I offer her the food?
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

when vex was on a hunger strike i mixed both of those food and very finely ground kibble. It has to be a powder or it can't get through the nozzle (it expands when wet).

When you actually syringe, the food, i used an electrolyte drink or sugar water to start up his appetite (1ml) and then began syringing him food. I gave him 5ml a session to start, 4 times a day (20 ml total) and then set 10 pieces of ground up kibble in front of him and he usually ate about 1/4 of the bowl. After he started to "blow bubbles" with the food in his mouth i knew he was full. I then fed him more drink until he stopped taking it (dripped on him instead of swallowing). Oh, and be sure that she will most likely anoint over an electrolyte drink and the food, vex does it every time.

Also, when syringe feeding DO NOT hold her on her back as she can possibly choke. I only found out about this after vex started to gag and then puked because i was holding him on his back. The proper way i found to do it was to scruff him and leave his bum on the counter and heed it to him.

For vex i almost had to force feed him for the first day. I would insert the syringe sideways in the corner of his mouth up against his teeth and then press to fill up his mouth. He would then swallow whatever was in his mouth. I did this 3-4 times and then he started biting on this syringe and i could keep a constant flow. When he started to blow bubbles with the food i stopped. Also when she bites at the syringe, try to keep in the corner of her mouth as feeding her directly from the front she can choke.

Also please check your private messages, i sent you a link on this very topic. (sorry i can't post it here).
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Thank you so much! I tried to look around on the forum for other posts about this, but maybe I wasn't checking the right topic. Anyway, I feel a bit better about the possibility of having to syringe-feed her. I freaked out this morning when I saw she hadn't eaten or drank last night, I thought maybe she was trying to hibernate her. All I got for my panicked dumping her out of her igloo was a very grumpy look, lol. Did you syringe Vex at night too, or just four times throughout the day? I'm on spring break right now, home all day, so I can do it however often I need to, or stay up late to feed her more during her awake time if needed. Thanks again!
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Is there something you can use other than Hills A/D? Our vet that we take our cat and dog to don't carry it, and the vet we take Lily to is 45 minutes away...I check the three main pet stores that are near my house, and none of them carry it either. I think I read someplace that some people use Ensure or something else like that, could that be used intead of Hills A/D or do they use it in addition to Hills A/D?
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

I'm of the opinion that hedgehogs should be maintained on their normal diet as much as possible to avoid tummy upset. I make a syringe feeding formula out of their regular kibble.

Take 1 cup of their regular kibble. Pour 1 cup of hot low sodium chicken broth over the kibble and let it soften and cool. When it is completely soft (squish it up in your hands, run it through the blender or food processor to make sure there are no lumps. I use a stick blender) add in one can of paste style cat food or two jars of baby chicken. Don't use minced or sliced cat food. Stir in one to two jars of baby sweet potatoes or an equivalent amount of canned unseasoned pumpkin. If you have freeze dried insects you can grind some up and mix them in, too. They aren't mandatory.

Dilute the mix with enough broth to make it the consistency you want. At this time you want a thick, pudding-like consistency that holds it's shape. Use an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions. Defrost a portion, thin it down with broth if you want to syringe feed it and you're good to go.

This maintains the normal diet and normal flavors that a hedgehog should accustomed to and prevent GI upset from changing foods.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Thanks a lot, HedgeMom. I have all the stuff I need, so if she doesn't eat much or at all tonight, I can mix up the food and syringe-feed her.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

another option is to just get her regular kibble in a soft food form.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Turns out I was just overreacting anyway. She ate close to her normal amount of food last night, and drank water, too. And I found three poops by her wheel! So we're back to normal here. Thanks for the advice, though, I'm keeping the instructions for mixing/syringe-feeding with the rest of her stuff in case she does stop eating for more than two days in the future.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not eating- proportions for syringe-feeding?

Yay! Glad she's eating and drinking normally again! ^_^
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