Critical Care for Herbivores – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Critical Care and when do I use it?

Critical Care is to be used in animals that are not eating voluntarily and are under a veterinarian’s care. It is a complete feed that is prepared by adding water. Critical Care can also be used as a complete feed for those animals with advanced dental disease and require a soft food diet. When syringe feeding, we recommend using a catheter tipped syringe.

What is in Critical Care?

Critical Care is primarily composed of timothy hay and supplemented with oat groats, soy beans and wheat germ for added energy that is needed by nutritionally stressed animals that are ill, recovering from surgery, or need additional food supplementation. Electrolytes and stabilized vitamin C are also added.

How many meals will Critical Care make?

Package Size Total prepared ml in package Number of 10 ml meals in package Number of 15 ml meals in package Number of 20 ml meals in package
141 gm pouch 520 52 35 26
454 gm bottle 1,660 166 112 83

How much Critical Care should I use?

The recommended amount is to feed 50 cc of mixed product per kilogram of bodyweight (generally, divide this amount into 4-6 meals per day).

Weight of animal (kg) 3 meals / day 4 meals / day 5 meals / day 6 meals / day
0.5 8 ml 6 ml 5 ml 4 ml
0.9 15 ml 11 ml 9 ml 8 ml
1.4 23 ml 17 ml 14 ml 11 ml
2.3 38 ml 28 ml 23 ml 19 ml
3.2 53 ml 40 ml 32 ml 27 ml

How long will Critical Care last?

Approximate length of time a 141 gm pouch will last when used at the standard rate of 50 cc per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight.

Weight of animal (kg) Mixed at a 1:1.5 ratio
0.9 11 days
2.3 5 days
4.6 3 days

It’s too thick; can I mix more water with the Critical Care?

Yes, due to the physical characteristics of the hay in the Critical Care, absorption properties can differ from one batch to the next. More water can be added to reach the consistency of tomato sauce.

How do I get the Critical Care in the syringe? I can’t pull it up through the tip?

Most often it is necessary to remove the plunger and spoon in from the top. If using a catheter tipped syringe, it may be possible to pull it up through the tip depending on the amount of water used.

What is the shelf life?

Use before “Best By” date stamped on product. This is generally 2 years from manufacture date. Use within 6 months of opening the package. It can be frozen to extend its shelf life an additional 6 months.

What is the shelf life after it is mixed?

Unused mixed Critical Care should be refrigerated and used within 24 hours. More water will need to be added as the fibre will absorb more moisture the longer it is left in contact with water.

What happens if I use outdated Critical Care?

Critical Care will still work as an appetite stimulant on a short term basis, even if the product is outdated. For longer terms, do not use outdated product. *For additional information on nutritional management contact your veterinarian or call Oxbow Pet Products.

Why can’t I purchase Critical Care in a store or on Oxbow’s website?

Critical Care is designed for animals that are not eating. When an animal is not eating, it is a symptom of an underlying health problem that must be diagnosed properly by an animal health care provider. The pet may have an intestinal blockage, which could be made worse by force-feeding food into the system. By not addressing the underlying health problem, your animal’s condition may get worse instead of better.