Oxbow Animal Health's Critical Care is a supplemental food for sick, underweight, and animals that are not eating. It is a powdered food that, when mixed with water, is typically syringe fed to herbivores.
Critical Care is used almost daily in the exotic pet hospital. I recommend this product on a routine basis for owners of herbivorous reptiles (like adult bearded dragons), guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits, and more due to the ease of use, nutritional content, and the willingness of most critters to eat it. This product is easy to push through a syringe, comes in both Anise and Apple-Banana flavors, and can even be mixed with no sugar added fruit juice for really finicky eaters.
There are three bag size options (36g, 141g, and 454g) as well as a finely ground variety that can be used to tube feed. It can be stored in the fridge or freezer to maintain its freshness longer but it also has a zip top on the foil bag it comes in.
Critical care is meant to be purchased only through a veterinarian (although there are websites that carry it) and should be available from your exotics vet.
What I Like About Critical Care
Critical Care is a great product. Pocket pets and reptiles alike usually take it quite willingly and the two flavor options are wonderful. You can make it as thick or as thin as you want depending on how much water you add to the dry mix, making it great for both syringe feeding and offering on a dish or on top of other food.
Unlike some other similar products, Critical Care is a nutritionally complete diet. You don't have to doctor it up or add anything to it to make it complete and balanced plus it has digestive aids like papaya and pineapple, as well as a variety of vitamins and calcium. If your critter does need some extra calcium or other supplement you can still add it into the mix each day before adding the water.
I especially like the variety of exotic pets that this product is good for. You don't need 12 different things to feed 12 different animals. Critical care is great for any herbivore, especially for guinea pigs and rabbits with ileus. Although the bag tells you how to measure it out and gives the water to powder ratio, you can add as much or as little water to the mix as you like. It is also good for 24 hours when kept in an zippered baggie in the fridge after mixing, making it especially easy for multiple feedings in a day.
What I Don't Like About Critical Care
There isn't too much negative to say about Critical Care. My biggest complaint with the product would have to be the cost but if you aren't using large quantities of it is not a problem. At one point there were flavoring issues but after calling the company Oxbow realized there were some batches that not enough flavoring had been added to and they sent us several replacement bags. The only problem with those batches were that pets weren't as willing to eat it.
I also find that after mixing it up and letting it sit for awhile you may have to add more water to it to get it to fit through a syringe. Also, you must use a syringe meant for oral dosing or feeding with a wider tip than a regular luer slip tip syringe unless you want to just syringe the water to your pet (or you are offering the fine grind variety).