Educational Articles

Nutrition

  • Toucans and toucanettes have a high moisture diet and a relatively short digestive tract, which make for a very quick transit time of food through their digestive tract. Hemochromatosis, or iron storage disease, in toucans and toucanettes has long been suspected to be related to high dietary iron. Current dietary recommendations are for diets low in iron. In addition to a low-iron containing pellet, toucans and toucanettes should be offered a large variety of diced fruits. Fresh clean water must be available at all times.

  • Tube feeding is an alternative way of providing nutrition to a cat that is suffering from anorexia or has some anatomical or surgical condition that prevents it from eating normally.

  • An esophagostomy tube is a small rubber tube that enters the esophagus through a surgical incision on the side of the neck. This allows food you to place food directly into the esophagus so that it can flow down into the stomach. The feeding tube is not placed directly into the stomach.

  • The esophagus is the muscular tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. An esophagostomy tube is a small rubber tube that is surgically inserted into the esophagus through the skin of the neck. The esophagostomy tube allows food to be delivered to the stomach, by-passing the mouth and pharynx (back of the throat).

  • A gastrostomy tube is a rubber feeding tube that passes directly into the stomach through a small opening in the skin and body wall of the dog's abdomen. It allows you to give food and water to your pet while it is recovering from a condition that prevents it from eating and drinking normally.

  • A pharyngostomy tube is a small rubber tube that enters the skin through a small incision in the side of the neck. The tube enters the esophagus, through the pharynx (back of the throat), allowing food to bypass the mouth and be delivered to the stomach. The pharyngostomy tube does not go all the way into the stomach because of the risk of complications that can occur.

  • Lipomas are benign fat tumors commonly found in Budgies, some Amazon parrots, galahs and sulphur crested cockatoos. They are most often found under the skin on the sternum (breastbone or keel bone) or on the ventral abdomen, but can be anywhere on the body.

  • Xanthomas are discrete masses or diffuse, thickened areas of skin that are yellow-orange and dimpled in appearance. They are accumulations of fat and cholesterol and are most commonly found in cockatiels and budgies (and they are more often found in females).

  • Common conditions of pet turtles include Vitamin A deficiency, respiratory diseases, abscesses, shell infections and fractures, and parasites.

  • Aquatic turtles such as the red-eared slider have several unique problems. Understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care issues.