We had nine raccoons on the bottle being fed Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR). Theresa Lowry, another wildlife rehabilitator,
called and informed us that two of her newborn raccoons died from the formula congealing in their stomachs. She had
taken these animals to Deer Creek Animal Hospital and had a necropsy performed. This showed that their bodies were simply
unable to digest the formula, probably because of the butterfat added to KMR a few years back. We had also experienced some
isolated problems with KMR over the years, but felt that we had no alternative formula that had been proven effective for raccoons.
We decided that it was time to take immediate action, both for her raccoons and ours. After investigating several formulas, we
chose Zoologic Milk Matrix 40/25. We ordered two five-pound bags shipped overnight, one for Theresa and one for us.
We slowly transferred our raccoons onto the new formula. They loved the taste. We thought all was well. Suddenly, they
developed horrible diarrhea. We thought that maybe we hadn't kept the babies on clear fluids long enough during the transfer. So,
we went back to clear fluids for another 24 hours. It did not stop the diarrhea. We checked in with Theresa, wondering if she
was experiencing diarrhea with her raccoons and to find out the condition of her animals. Her infants were flourishing and their
stools were perfect. That meant that the new formula was working well for her. Totally baffled and frustrated, we continued to
battle the diarrhea for the next couple of weeks. We treated them for an intestinal infection with an antibiotic. Then, thinking that
the antibiotic had killed the positive bacteria in the stomach, we added yogurt. The diarrhea continued. We thought that perhaps
the diarrhea had depleted the potassium and fiber, which can cause diarrhea to continue, so, we added banana and rice cereal.
Nothing was working.
We were in danger of losing these raccoons and becoming quite frantic. We called PetAg to discuss the formula and the situation.
They have a rehabilitator on staff. Everything she advised, we had already done. Finally, she asked the condition of the five-pound
bag. We inspected the bag closely with magnifying glasses. At the very bottom of the bag we found two pin-sized holes. With the
naked eye, they looked like simple dents. We had been feeding tainted milk.
Since we had already tried antibiotics, we asked
Deer Creek Animal Hospital to test the feces for the specific bacteria
that was causing all of this trouble. Once it was isolated, we started them on a different antibiotic immediately. It
took them two more weeks but finally they all had normal stools. All was well.
Needless to say, we will never order the bags again, only the cans. The formula, Zoologic Milk Matrix 40/25 worked
wonderful with all of our babies from then on.
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