Message Number: YG38 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-02-19 10:26:00 UTC
Subject: Intro/Calcium Supplements

I'm Katharine and I live in Tallahassee, Florida. I currently have 5
little ones. Lany will be 6 in March and is trying to get over ECE.
Cedes is 6-7ish and is also recovering from ECE. Dillon and Chester (I
have no idea how old they are) are rescues who brought the ECE to Cedes
and Lany <g>. Dillon had adrenal surgery in November. Then there's
Champ. Champ will be 4 in May. His sister Blaze died from lymphoma in
September. Champ just had right adrenal surgery (for the second time),
then had a UT infection, and currently is in renal failure. He spent
two days at the vets' office receiving fluids and I am now giving sub-q
fluids twice a day. He will spend tomorrow at the vets' office
receiving further tests. My vet and I worked out a few changes to my
soup recipe over the phone today to decrease his protein intake. I made
it when I got home and he dove right in! Yay! He hasn't been eating
well. I had gotten him to eat some Gerber's chicken and turkey baby
foods but, of course, that's not good when they need low protein. He is
being moved to a low protein kibble also (Hill's K/D).

I recently raised a baby opossum (I do wildlife rehab) who developed
Metabolic Bone Disease. This disease causes bones to be very weak and
they break very easily, and is caused by dietary deficiencies. They do
not tend to get this in the wild. It is caused when we don't feed them
properly in captivity. Caleb was fed properly but apparently picked and
chose what he wanted to eat. I raised 40+ more baby opossums last year
and no others came down with MBD. I have learned now to "blend" all of
their foods so they get a balance. Caleb went down in the rear one day
and I feared he would have to be euthanized. I consulted with a vet in
California who has devoted the last 15+ years of her life studying the
opossum. She immediately put Caleb on a very specific diet (including
mice and crickets), no substitutions. No supplements were allowed. Dr.
Henness believes that a balanced diet will do the trick. I followed her
instructions to the letter and did physical therapy (including swimming
<g>) with Caleb ever day and he was successfully released in December at
7 1/2 months of age, only about 2 1/2 months late. I released him in a
protected area (someone's wooded and fenced yard) where he could be
watched (in case he had problems and we had to trap him) and he is still
seen at the food dishes at night. He has found a friend and I suspect
(hope) it's a little girlfriend for him. He is, by far, the most
handsome opossum boy out there.

My point is that a proper diet should take care of (and turn around) any
deficiencies but you should discuss it with your vet.