Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Magic of Critical Care

The icky stuff and the good stuff
Pinniped has ongoing issues with bladder sludge.  We're pretty careful with a low calcium diet, but occasionally, due to what's available or how her body decides to process with it, I'll find white spots on the fleece.  I've been dosing Pinni with shilintong off and on for a couple of years.  It's a Chinese herb associated with bladder health.  I give her a half tablet a couple of times a week when I start to see the white spots.

None of my pigs have liked the taste of shilintong.  I have tried to trick them into eating it a variety of ways:  hiding it in a piece of banana or melon, grinding it up and mixing with water and syringing it.  Willow had this amazing knack of eating all of the banana around it, then spitting out the tablet.  Oi!

I had the easiest time getting shilintong into Pinni while I was hand-feeding Bertie because there was always a bit of leftover Critical Care.  Pinni loves Critical Care.  I'd grind up the shilintong to mix in the slurry and Pinni would suck it down.  However, mixing just enough Critical Care to mask the taste is a lot of work.  Two weeks ago I was in a rush and just didn't have the time to prepare a syringeful of the stuff.  I used a pair of tweezers to pick up the half-tablet, dipped it in water, dipped it in the Critical Care and gave it to Pinni.  She snarfed it up so fast, she had no clue she'd eaten the shilintong, too.  Wonderful!  Why didn't I think of this ages ago??  I don't even have to take her out of the cage to medicate her.

I am sure this is too good to last.  She'll eventually clue in that this Critical Care has an odd crunch and aftertaste.  On Sunday she managed to suck off the coating and spit out the tablet, although she did eat the whole thing on the second attempt.  Maybe I didn't coat it thick enough?  We'll see.  But in the meantime, I will enjoy the ease of doing this while it lasts!


  1. How much would you say that the shilintong helps with Pinni's bladder sludge? Does it just minimize deposits or do the white spots disappear altogether temporarily?

    1. It can sometimes cause the white spots to disappear altogether. I think it depends on how bad the sludge is in the first place. Since she's not sludgy all the time, I am not always sure if it's the shilintong, or if she's just stopped getting sludgy on her own. But they do seem to coincide a lot (the lack of sludge timed with the shilintong).


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