September, 2020

September 30, 2020

The Importance of Spaying or Neutering Your Rabbit

The Importance of Spaying or Neutering Your Rabbit
by Dianne Cook, Licensed Veterinary Technician

As pet parents, we all want our fur babies to live forever. Though we have yet to stumble upon that fountain of youth, there are some steps we can take to help ensure our furry family members live well into their golden years. One of the ways we can do this is by having our rabbits spayed or neutered. For decades, veterinarians have been educating us about the benefits of spaying or neutering cats and dogs, but rabbit parents are often left wondering if these procedures are appropriate, or even safe, for their little ones. While no surgical procedure goes without risks, it is important to do your due diligence and learn all you can about these elective surgeries and how they can help give your little one the longest, happiest, healthiest life possible. 

Why Should I Spay or Neuter My Rabbit? 

Spaying or neutering your rabbit can significantly adds to their life expectancy and benefits their general health and wellbeing. The most obvious perk of these routine surgeries is eliminating the risk of reproductive cancers (mammary, uterine, ovarian, testicular) that are dishearteningly common in unaltered rabbits. Studies have shown that intact female rabbits have as high of a 65% chance of developing uterine adenocarcinoma by the age of 4 years which is an extremely high risk for neoplasia in any species.  Spayed or neutered rabbits also tend to be more friendly and affectionate toward their pet parents (as well as other pets in the home) and are generally easier to litter box train. Another huge benefit is curbing, or reducing, unwanted behaviors. While your intact rabbit may find dousing you with urine to be the highest form of flattery, most pet parents are not overly receptive to this particular expression of love. Spaying and neutering often eliminates your bunny’s deeply engrained desire to propagate by altering their hormonal response, which is a giant step to improving unwanted behaviors. Additionally, without the desire to constantly procreate, altered bunnies tend to be much easier to introduce (Bond) to one another and are free to live in coed colonies without the risk of contributing to the pet population. 

What Age is Best for Having My Rabbit Spayed or Neutered? 

When possible, it is preferable to spay or neuter your little one before health concerns or problem behaviors arise. The best way to ensure this is to have the surgeries completed when your bunny is still young. Technically, once a female reaches sexual maturity or a male’s testicles have descended (usually between 3 and 6 months of age), they can safely undergo their respective procedures. Depending on your rabbit’s size, breed, and current health, however, your veterinarian may feel it best to wait until your rabbit is a little bit older. This is yet another reason why routine visits with an exotics savvy veterinarian are so important.  

But what about older bunnies? Just like humans, as animals age, anesthesia can become inherently riskier. Though opinions vary, most exotics veterinarians agree the benefits of the surgery often exceed the risks, even in older adult rabbits. It is important to remember, though, that older rabbits will need more extensive pre-surgical screening and may take longer to recover. If your rabbit has already reached their senior years (5 – 6+ years old), make sure to have a serious heart-to-heart with your veterinarian about whether the procedure is safe for your particular rabbit, and whether or not the surgery will still provide the intended benefits (increased longevity, decreased aggression/spraying/humping, etc).  

Is it Safe to Have My Rabbit Spayed or Neutered? 

Any time a veterinarian performs a surgery, regardless of species and procedure, the goal is always a quick and efficient operation, smooth recovery, little-to-no post-operative complications, and a healthy patient. The unfortunate reality is that all anesthetic procedures include risks, and occasionally patients are lost, even during routine surgeries. This should be a rare occurrence, however, as a knowledgeable veterinarian and their highly skilled team will have plans in place to safeguard against risks and efficiently address complications should they arise. Before scheduling the surgery, make sure your veterinarian is well-versed in rabbit surgery and post-operative care, understands the risks and benefits of the procedures themselves, and answers your questions (below) to your satisfaction. To find a rabbit-savvy vet near you, check out the following resources: https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/ or https://aemv.org/

What Questions Should I Ask? 

  • How long have you been seeing exotics animals, specifically rabbits? 
  • How many rabbits do you see in your office annually? 
  • On average, how many spays/neuters do you perform on rabbits each year? 
  • What is your success rate? 
  • Have you ever lost a rabbit during surgery? If so, what was the cause? 
  • Should my rabbit fast before surgery?   
  • The answer to this should be an emphatic “no” because rabbits are unable to vomit or regurgitate, there is no need to withhold food or water before surgery. Doing so could cause your bunny to go into gastrointestinal stasis making the entire situation much riskier. 
  • What are your anesthetic protocols? 
  • What precautions and supportive measures do you have in place before, during, and after surgery? 
  • Can you please describe the surgery?  
  • What is your typical post-operative plan? Do you provide pain control medications or antibiotics? Do you suggest feeding a recovery diet (like Critical Care) after surgery? 

How Are Spay/Neuter Procedures Performed on Rabbits?  

Both spay and neuter surgeries will require your rabbit to be fully anesthetized. Anesthetized animals’ vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate/effort, blood pressure, temperature, and others) should be monitored closely by trained personnel throughout the entire procedure. A spay (ovariohysterectomy) is the procedure performed on females. For a veterinarian to properly and safely spay a rabbit, the hair is shaved from her abdomen, her skin is disinfected, and an incision is made through her abdominal wall. Blood vessels are tied off and her uterus and ovaries are removed before she receives several layers of sutures to close her up. To neuter (orchiectomy) a male is often a quicker procedure and therefore requires less time under anesthesia. After the hair has been removed from around your rabbit’s scrotum and the skin has been adequately disinfected, an incision is either made directly into the scrotum, or just before it, and the testes are tied-off and removed. The resulting incision can either be closed by the veterinarian or be left open to close on its own. It is important to remember that a male can store semen (sperm) in his body for up to 3 weeks after being neutered, so it is imperative to keep him away from any intact females during this time to avoid an unexpected litter. 

Post-Operative Considerations 

Most rabbits do very well after surgery and heal without incident, but it is incredibly important to watch them closely, monitor their incisions and make sure they are eating. As prey species, rabbits are hardwired to hide any signs of illness or pain, so it is your job as a dedicated pet parent to provide them with a safe, comfortable environment and carefully watch them as they heal. Watch for any signs, regardless of how subtle, that may indicate your kiddo needs additional support (decreased appetite, decreased water intake, abnormal fecal output, behavior changes, etc). Though each rabbit is different, many males will come home hungry and ready for a snack. Because females undergo a more extensive procedure, they may want to be left alone and do not cherish the thought of being handled or moved around for several days. Other than making sure your little lady has access to plenty of fresh grass-hay and fresh water, and administering her daily prescriptions or suggested supplemental diet, it is usually best to respect her wishes of solitude. If you notice your recently altered bunny licking, chewing, or scratching at their incision, reach out to your veterinarian for suggestions on how to limit the behavior so the surgical site does not break open. Pain medication is essential so make sure they are receiving the full amount of what your prescribed by your veterinarian.  

It is also important to remember that spaying and neutering may not be an instantaneous fix, especially if the procedure is being done to address problem behaviors. Hormone levels can take a while to stabilize, so less than desirable behavior patterns may continue for several weeks to a couple of months after the procedure. If your furry friend was altered well after reaching sexual maturity, some dominant behaviors (hair pulling, humping, circling, etc.) may have become engrained so it is important to discuss especially worrisome concerns with your veterinarian prior to the surgery and establish appropriate expectations. 

While spaying or neutering your rabbit is not the key to eternal life (most regrettably), it has been proven to significantly increase overall health and longevity. These surgeries also often have the added benefit of making your rabbit a more affectionate companion and reducing problem behaviors. Though every surgical procedure comes with a certain level of risk, as a dedicated and knowledgeable pet parent, you can help decrease the risks by choosing a rabbit-savvy veterinary team that can answer all your questions and has a high surgical success rate. The decision to have surgery performed certainly isn’t easy, and should never be taken lightly, but by knowing what to expect and advocating for your fur baby, you can help ensure your bunny experiences a smooth procedure and quick, comfortable recovery. 

Learn More

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What Are the Best Vegetables and Leafy Greens for Rabbits

Curbside Veterinary Care for Small Mammals

Ten Life Lessons You Can Learn from Your Rabbit

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September 22, 2020

Pet of the Month September 2020

Pet of the Month September 2020

Congratulations to our Pet of the Week, Gustave! This adorable little chinchilla loves carrying around Enriched Life Timmy Pops and being the king of parkour. Thanks for being a fan, Gustave!

Would you like your pet to be considered for Pet of the Month? Follow Oxbow on Instagram or Facebook and follow the instructions on our Pet of the Week posts to submit your photos! We select our Pets of the Month from our Pets of the Week submissions.

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September 22, 2020

All About Gastrointestinal Stasis in Small Herbivores

All About Gastrointestinal Stasis in Small Herbivores

Gastrointestinal (GI) Stasis is a topic we have referenced numerous times in previous articles, from its common occurrence in chinchillas to how it can affect your animal’s stools to how to tell if it’s affecting your rabbit. In this article, we will take a deeper dive into this very serious, potentially fatal health concern that all small herbivore parents should be aware of and educated about. 

What is GI Stasis and Why Does It Occur? 

In a healthy small herbivore, the stomach and intestines should always be moving, and this normal, healthy movement is known as peristalsis. Gastrointestinal stasis occurs when muscular contractions (peristalsis) and movement within the stomach and intestines slow down or even stop (ileus) and normal beneficial bacteria and microorganisms (i.e. the microbiome) become imbalanced.  This imbalance is also known as “dysbiosis.” The lack of GI movement can also result in dehydration of food material in the stomach, causing a partial or completed obstruction as the dry mass of GI contents cannot move from the stomach to the small intestines.  

There is a large diversity of potential causes of GI stasis including inflammatory or infectious processes and physical obstructions but the most common (and preventable) contributor to GI stasis is inadequate fiber in the diet. Small herbivores such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas were designed to ingest high quantities of fiber. The insoluble fiber (fiber which moves through the digestive tract, largely unfermented, to promote motility), such as hay, which makes up a majority of their diet is not calorically dense and not highly digestible. In fact, the very definition of fiber revolves around its resistance to digestive enzymes. Because most of the food small herbivores eat is so low in calories, in order to meet their energy requirements, food moves through their GI tracts relatively quickly to make room for more food. Fiber pushes everything through their system to keep the system constantly moving. To really understand GI stasis, it may be helpful to brush up on your fiber knowledge before reading on. 

 

Beyond what we know about fiber and what our animals are eating, it helps to visualize what it all looks like as it moves through your animal’s hindgut. Luckily, we have some great animations that do just that for rabbits as well as guinea pigs and chinchillas. From these animations you can see your fur baby not only gets nutrients and energy from the fiber they consume, but you can see how essential fiber is in maintaining efficient GI motility and a healthy microbiome.  

We’ve previously discussed the importance of the microbiome and it cannot be overstated how critical these billions and billions of living microscopic organisms residing in your little one’s GI tract are to your pet’s overall health and well-being. The microbiome’s contribution to hundreds of physiological processes is closely tied with adequate dietary fiber and can be compromised if your furry friend is fed too many simple carbohydrates. So, the importance of fiber in a small herbivore diet is two-fold: the physical effect of efficient peristalsis and maintenance of the microbiome to keep digesting fiber and fight off bad bacteria (among other things). It is also vital to consider the environmental factors which can contribute to lower food/fiber intake. Things like stress or inappropriate husbandry can greatly affect these highly alert prey species and one of their first reactions may be to stop eating. Therefore, environmental factors/stressors can contribute to GI stasis. 

How to Spot GI Stasis in Small Pets 

The changes in eating patterns and lack of fiber intake associated with GI stasis typically first manifests in changes in feces (frequency, size, consistency, etc.). When stasis occurs and movement of the GI system slows or ceases, gas can build up and further impede intestinal movement, not to mention cause some significant pain for your little one. Because small herbivores cannot vomit or eructate (belch), any gas that builds up in the GI system must continue to move throughout the entire system to be alleviated at the rectum. This gas buildup can lead to some of the observable symptoms of GI stasis, including:  

  • Reduced food and water intake 
  • Decreased activity 
  • Lethargy  
  • Abdominal stretching  
  • Hunched posture 
  • Behavior changes 
  • Changes in, or lack of, feces (size, amount, color, etc.).  

Any of these changes, even if just for one day, can be detrimental so these signs should always be closely monitored. These clinical signs can manifest in many ways including quick development, low severity for several days, or even come and go over a prolonged time span. While some symptoms might not be unique or exclusive to GI stasis, they do indicate an abnormality and are cause for a visit to your exotic animal veterinarian.  

How to Avoid GI Stasis 

As you may have guessed, the best way to prevent GI stasis in your pet is to provide ample amounts of appropriate fiber in a balanced diet. A majority of this will come from the long-strand fiber in the unlimited grass hay your pet should have access to at all times. At a minimum, your small herbivore should consume a pile of hay the size of their body each day (and more is better!).  

Offer Unlimited Amounts of Hay Each Day  

As you may have guessed, the best way to prevent GI stasis in your pet is to provide ample amounts of appropriate fiber in a balanced diet. A majority of this will come from the long-strand fiber in the unlimited grass hay your pet should have access to at all times. At a minimum, your small herbivore should consume a pile of hay the size of their body each day (and more is better!).  

Opt for a Uniform, Balanced Food  

Additionally, a grass hay-based uniform pellet should make up about 20% of the diet. Muesli mixes that contain an assortment of different sizes, shapes, and colors nearly always lead to selective eating of bits that contain the highest concentrations of starches and sugars, thereby negatively impacting the GI tract and microbiome. Similarly, treats should be limited to about 2% of the diet and should also be hay-based to avoid excessive starches and sugars. To round out the diet and supply even more fiber, an appropriate and revolving selection of greens and veggies should be offered daily. 

Offer a Variety of Hay and Greens 

A balanced diet is key, but diversity is another big factor. Offering several different kinds of grass hay (timothy, orchard, oat, etc.) and rotating various kinds of species-appropriate greens and veggies not only provides enrichment by keeping mealtimes interesting but helps avoid picky eating tendencies. In those times your little one might not be feeling so great, offering a variety of their favorite foods can help spark their appetite. Offering a variety of water sources is also a good idea for many reasons. Providing both a crock and bottle of water has been shown to increase water consumption and hydration can help alleviate a myriad of health issues. 

Even when following all of the suggestions above, it is crucial to monitor your pets’ diet and behavior frequently and consistently. No two animals are exactly alike, so having a baseline “normal” established for your fur baby is the easiest way to know if something is off. Monitoring your pet for illness and performing regular weight and body score condition checks, fecal examinations, and wellness exams at home, in addition to routine checkups with your veterinarian, are important aspects of being a small herbivore parent. Coming up with a documentation plan to keep track of these observations helps highlight changes in your pet that you might not notice day to day. If you do observe changes, contacting your veterinarian right away will set them up for the best possibility of a speedy recovery.  

How to Treat GI Stasis in Small Pets 

If you suspect GI stasis, get your animal to the vet immediately! Stasis is a life-threatening disease by itself but can also be a secondary problem resulting from other potentially worse underlying issues. Your veterinarian can perform a complete physical examination and diagnostics (x-rays, lab work, etc.) to accurately diagnose the disease and work to develop the correct treatment plan. Depending on the severity of disease this could include fluid therapy (oral, subcutaneous, or intravenous), antibiotics, gastric motility or pain medications, and/or other appropriate care plans.  

A common and often extremely important supportive therapy your vet may prescribe is syringe or tube feeding with a liquid food such as Oxbow’s Critical Care. Syringe, or hand feeding, allows you to get fiber, nutrients, and hydration into your pet to stimulate GI motility as well as work to dehydrate the GI tract contents. This can be a tricky procedure to master and should always be initiated under the guidance of a trusted veterinarian. If you do find yourself in a syringe feeding situation, or just want to be prepared before the time comes, you may find these tips and tricks helpful. 

As always, the best treatment is prevention and taking care to prevent GI stasis is critical with any small herbivore. Stasis is a serious issue but educating yourself about what it is, how it occurs, and how it could affect your little one is a great start to prevention. This knowledge will help you limit avoidable issues and be prepared if GI stasis ever does arise. An appropriate and balanced diet, proper husbandry and reduced environmental stressors, and routine monitoring of your little one both at home and by an exotics savvy veterinarian are essential to ensuring your furry friend lives a long, happy, healthy life. 

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September 16, 2020

Considering a New Pet? The Surprising Joys of “Thinking Small”

Considering a New Pet? The Surprising Joys of “Thinking Small”

A Beginner’s Guide to Small Pets 

woman holding rabbit

What is an “Exotic” Pet?

The term “exotics” is used commonly in the veterinary and animal communities as a broad stroke definition for pet species other than dogs and cats.  In reality, this term can apply to many different species, all with uniquely different personalities and needs when it comes to key areas such as nutrition, housing, and care.  Some of the more common exotic species kept as pets include rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, rats, and mice, but there are many more.       

Why Should I Consider an Exotic Pet?

For prospective pet parents, there are many reasons to consider exotic pets when it comes to your family’s newest potential addition.  The list of reasons you might decide a small exotic pet is the right fit for your family is almost endless, but here are a few of the top reasons you might decide a small exotic animal is right for you:

Small Pets are Intelligent and Affectionate

Much like dogs and cats, many small animals are incredibly intelligent and affectionate.  Many species love to play, explore, and even cuddle – just like their more commonly domesticated counterparts.  With this in mind, it’s always important to remember that every species is unique with key instinctual behaviors they never completely lose in a domesticated setting.  For example, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small animals are prey species by nature and are likely to be more sensitive to perceived threats within their environment.      

With Proper Nutrition and Care, Many Small Pets Will Live a Long and Healthy Life

For many years, there has been a sad misconception that small pets aren’t likely to live long, healthy lives.  Thanks to increased popularity and considerable improvements in nutrition, care, and education, this myth isn’t nearly as persistent as it once was.  In reality, certain species of small exotics (such as rabbits and chinchillas) can live ten years or longer when fed and cared for properly.  Other species, such as rats, hamsters, and gerbils, do have shorter lifespans, but this doesn’t diminish the joy they can bring into the lives of their caretakers.    

A Small Pet Might Be the Best Fit for Your Family

Dogs and cats are amazing animals, but they’re not always the right fit for every family.  For example, maybe you don’t have the kind of big backyard or acreage that dogs need in order to explore and thrive.  Or, maybe someone in your family is allergic to the family cat you had as a child.  Whatever the reason may be, many pet parents have discovered that their small animal is the perfect fit for their family.   

Exotics Have Unique & Interesting Personalities

If you’ve ever owned a dog or cat, you know there’s nothing better than when they joyfully express their emotions and unique personalities.  When it comes to big personalities, small pets are no exception.  A happy rabbit might perform an impressive, acrobatic jump/twist called a binky.  Guinea pigs make a high-pitched squeal called “wheeking” when they are happy.  The list of unique expressions different species use to share their emotions goes on and on. 

No matter which species you’re considering when researching potential pets, it’s essential to do ample amounts of research in order to make an educated, responsible decision.  Feel free to reach out to your local veterinarian with any specific questions you might have.  In the meantime, start by asking yourself and your family important questions, including: 

  • Is there an experienced veterinarian in my area who can provide regular care for the species I’m interested in?
  • Am I prepared to provide build a safe and comfortable habitat for the animal? 
  • Can I afford to provide healthy nutrition and enrichment and regular veterinary care? 
  • Am I ready to “pet proof” my home and all the areas the pet may explore, and can I provide ample space inside and outside the habitat to allow my pet to thrive? 
  • Have I researched the potential lifespan and am I prepared to provide loving support for the entire life of the animal? 

If you can confidently answer “yes” to these and other important questions, you are likely well on your way to a positive, lifechanging experience for you and your future best friend.

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September 10, 2020

How to Syringe Feed Your Rabbit, Guinea Pig or Other Small Pet

How to Syringe Feed Your Rabbit, Guinea Pig or Other Small Pet

It's every pet parent's worst nightmare; you notice your beloved pet isn't eating their hay or food like they normally do, or, worse, you can tell they're visibly ill with your own, perceptive eyes.  You take your fur baby into your trusted veterinarian right away and they are able to successfully diagnose the underlying issue that has lead to your pet's symptoms.  The great news is that your pet is going to make a full recovery back to their happy, healthy selves (thank goodness!), but, you're going to need to help their recovery along by hand feeding them in the meantime. 

When it comes to preparing and hand feeding a recovery product such as Oxbow's Critical Care, we know that the process might seem daunting and more than a little stressful at first.  However, with the right preparation, some practice, and plenty of patience, you will be confidently and successfully hand feeding your rabbit, guinea pig or other small pet in no time.  

Which Oxbow products are designed for hand feeding?  

Critical Care Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore, and Herbivore Fine Grind are designed to support exotic pets unwilling or unable to eat enough food on their own. Critical Care Herbivore and Critical Care Herbivore Fine Grind are designed for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, tortoises, iguanas and other herbivorous species. Critical Care Omnivore is designed for chickens, rodents, hedgehogs, and bearded dragons and other omnivorous pets.  Critical Care Carnivore is designed for ferrets, cats, and other carnivorous pets. 

When is hand feeding a recovery nutrition product such as Oxbow's Critical Care appropriate and beneficial?

There are a number of clinical applications or issues your pet may experience that could lead your veterinarian to recommend a recovery product such as Critical Care.  Some of these applications might include:

  • Gastrointestinal stasis
  • Appetite stimulant 
  • Severe weight loss
  • Age-related needs
  • Dental disease 
  • Medication carrier 
  • Pre-dental and post-dental procedure 
  • Pre-surgery and post-surgery

Where can I buy recovery products such as Oxbow's Critical Care?

Due to the nature of the product and intended uses, Critical Care should only be prescribed and purchased through your trusted veterinarian.  In most cases, Critical Care is intended to be fed over a limited time period, as your pet recovers from an underlying health condition, surgery, etc.  For this reason, it's important to determine if and when Critical Care is appropriate and beneficial for your furry family member.

How do I prepare a recovery product for my pet?

Some pets will eat Critical Care products directly from a dish, but for most, hand or syringe feeding is the best option.

Steps for preparing Critical Care include:

  • Mix products as directed on the product label.
  • Use the included scoop or measuring spoon.
  • Mix well and mix fresh at every feeding.
  • The dry powder formula gives your veterinarian the flexibility to advise more or less water.   
  • If at any time the solution seems too thick, just add a little more water.  
  • There are a variety of different syringe types available; in most cases, long tipped hand-feeding syringes work the best.  

How should I prepare my pet before attempting to hand feed?

  • Some pets enjoy hand feeding, while some do not.
  • Sometimes it’s easiest to wrap the pet in a towel or get a helper to assist you. This works especially well in prey species like rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Place the towel on a table, and place the rabbit in the middle of the towel.
  • Tuck the towel under the chin and cover the front feet.
  • Wrap each corner like a burrito, and have your helper to hold the burrito close to their body.
  • Ferrets often can be gently held by the scruff.  

How do I feed Critical Care to my pet?

  • Introduce the tip of the syringe gently into the side of the mouth.
  • Deliver a very small amount at a time, insuring that the pet swallows before offering more product.  
  • Feeding too much or too fast could result in aspiration of food into the lungs.
  • In most cases, it is beneficial to feed small meals, multiple times throughout the day. 

The amount of formula to feed is calculated based on calorie and fluid needs. Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

Pets are usually hand fed until they are able to eat on their own. 

What other factors should I consider before hand feeding my pet for the first time?  

Hand feeding can be stressful for pets and pet parents alike.  Be calm and patient throughout the process. Also, be flexible; what worked well for one feeding may not work so well the next.

Note that sometimes it helps to take the pet into an unfamiliar room, to help them focus on hand feeding, and not be distracted by wanting to return to familiar surroundings.

Whether pets require syringe feeding or prefer to eat Critical Care formulas on their own, be sure to follow your veterinarian's instructions to help your pet recover and return to health as quickly as possible. 

If, at any time, your pet’s condition worsens, or you are unable to feed them as directed, call your veterinarian right away.

Frequently Asked Questions about Critical Care Products:

Does the product need to be refrigerated before opening?

Unopened product does not need to be stored in the refrigerator but just make sure to store unopened bag of Critical Care in a cool, dry location.  

Does the bag of powder need to be refrigerated after opening?

Yes – once opened, use the included scoop or sanitary utensil of your choice to remove the necessary product, then squeeze as much air out as you can, seal tightly and then refrigerate or freeze the sealed package between uses.

How long is the product good for?

Oxbow guarantees the Critical Care product UNOPENED for 2 years (based on the best by date on the package).  Once OPENED, the product is good for 30 days.

Oxbow can no longer guarantee the freshness and stability of the product beyond these time periods.  Therefore, we do not recommend using the product past these dates. 

Can the dry powder be frozen?

Yes, the dry powder can be either refrigerated or frozen. Either option is fine!

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