GliderCENTRAL

Ensure?

Posted By: JillMarie

Ensure? - 12/27/10 09:36 AM

I have very mixed feelings about using Ensure in a glider diet. Very mixed.
I am not currently using it now, but have in the past as a once a week treat.
I read where "Boost" (?) was used and recommended by a zoo or something in Australia...man where DID I put that article...

I want to hear how some other people feel about it. Good or bad?

Why do you feel that way?

What type of Ensure (there are a couple different types of the Ensure brand alone) are you using and why?

How often do you use it?

If you use a "liquid nutrition" different from Ensure, which one and why?

Have you seen any effects on coat condition when using/not using it?

Thanks for being as specific as possible smile
Posted By: Marz

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 10:29 AM


Sustagen ( plain hospital formula powder NOT liquid) was the original vitamin supplement for the first glider diets in Australia. It was used until approx 2006 at Healesville Sanctuary where they replaced it for a more generic bird vitamin/calcium supplement. I asked the sanctuary the reasoning behind this change and it was simply to streamline their diets -in particular the nectar mix across more than one species of animal/bird. They found sustagen to be an excellent vitamin supplement in the sugar glider nectar mix and there was no nutritional deficiency for the change.

Sustagen is marketed & manufactured in USA as Boost *** . There are small nutritional differences though between the two but not significant ones. Ensure though made also as a nutritional supplement, does not have the same nutritional ratios as Boost/Sustagen so it would be like comparing apples to oranges. Ensure has not been nutritionally tested with sugar gliders like Sustagen has. Again please note all references here are for the powder hospital formulas not the liquid drinks or shakes which is something I personally would not recommend

*** As per post further down this thread, it appears that Boost powder might not be available in the US anymore.

Posted By: 1daddyglider1

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 12:56 PM

Marz:
Do you know what would be the U.S. genetic equivalent?
Do you have a list of ingredients for the dry mix.

Sorry to hijack the thread.
I use to use a 1/4 of a cup of the liquid boost(almond flavor) as a change of pace in the liquid portion of the diet. Haven't done it for awhile.
Art
Posted By: Marz

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 01:15 PM

Hi Art

I just looked at the Nestle website and I can't see the Boost hospital formula powder anymore! It was definitely there a few months back as I copied the nutritional data down for the comparison I was doing. I do have it somewhere on my backup drive which i will try and find tomorrow. However, if they no longer have the dry product, the comparison is moot.
Posted By: 1daddyglider1

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 01:25 PM

Ok thanks Marz.
Art
Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 01:53 PM

I know someone who feeds an ensure based diet and has for years. Her gliders are living to be 12 to 15 years old...............just sayin...............
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 03:33 PM

Thanks so much Marz!
and everyone else who has responded. would love to see a comparison of the ingredients and nutritional values for the "Boost" dry and liquid, and the Ensure (and various forms of it)

Marz, may I ask why you would not recommend the liquid forms? and can you share the name/brand of the vitamin/calcium supplement they are now using?

Thanks smile
Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 03:36 PM

T bull feeds the ensure diet.
i feed the suncoast diet but have replaced the reptile vits./min. with plain vanilla ensure adding 1/2 tsp. plus a tiny bit more of calcium citrate(now brand) to each 8 oz. bottle of the ensure.

i give each of my gliders 1 tbs. of this each night for their vits./min. 2 tbs. for 2 gliders.

they all got a little fluffier. not over weight.

there was a discussion abt. ensure and how much calcium to add to each ensure container that is where i learned abt.
the amt. of calcium to add.

ensure does not have enough calcium to phos. so you have to add the calcium.

regards,
nancy in detroit
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 03:56 PM

Many of the 'medical' or 'hospital' nutritional formulas are designed for use in tube feedings. They may be nutritionally similar to the familiar canned products available in grocery and drug stores but most have no flavorings and may have different blends of vitamins and minerals since palatability (pleasant flavor, lack of chalky texture) are not an issue.

From a practical point, we cannot really compare the commonly available products to the older powdered versions that are not generally available. Nutritional supplementation products have evolved since the original Sustagen/Boost products mentioned above were used and many are now actually 'prescription' only
products.
Posted By: suggiemom1980

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 04:16 PM

I've given vanilla Ensure as a treat now and then, after making sure none of them were dehydrated. When feeding Ensure as part of their daily diet, what do you do if a glider is dehydrated? The body draws out the moisture from Ensure and leaves a clay like substance, which will block their intestinal tract. Is this not a problem when feeding an Ensure diet or do you feed something else when dehydration is an issue?
Posted By: tbull

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 04:57 PM

Originally Posted By: suggiemom_1980
The body draws out the moisture from Ensure and leaves a clay like substance, which will block their intestinal tract. Is this not a problem when feeding an Ensure diet or do you feed something else when dehydration is an issue?


Not to hi-jack this thread, but I've heard this before. Can anyone tell me who found it out and how was it discovered? I have fed an Ensure based diet for many years and never had any nutritional issues, ill gliders, or blocked intestines. I do add some warm water to the empty ensure bottle before adding the calcium, but that is just so that the calcium disolves fully before I add the new bottle of ensure to it.

I had one glider who got dehydrated following surgery for a mating wound. She did not come out of the gas well, and attacked herself, tearing up her chest before the tech could get her wrapped up. She was not eating or drinking well for a few days following the surgery and started to get dehydrated. The vet sub-qed her once and I started handfeeding melons and watered down fruit juices, but she never stopped getting her ensure and never had any blockages. Alittle soft poos, but as my vet says, "what goes in, comes out" so all soft, watery foods in, soft poos coming out.

If there is proof that ensure turns to clay in the intestines, I really need to know, so I can add some kind of test for it to my yearly exams.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 07:10 PM

T, I believe it was Jen Bailey who had a glider die from intestinal blockage from the ensure. (verified upon necropsy). I/you would have to double check that with her though.
Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 07:58 PM

oh lord if anyone has any more of this intestinal information please let me know also. i am also feeding ensure/cal. to my gliders.

back to the drawing board?

regards,
nancy in detroit
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 08:03 PM

Does anyone have the calcium and phosphorous amounts for the regular ensure? I was only able to locate the info for ensure plus and the ensure fiber (with fos) online.
wondering why calcium needs to be added to it. The data on the 2 I mentioned are either a 1:1 or better. I would think a nutritional supplement would be at least 1:1? or is that done to compensate for the fruits and veggies being fed?
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 08:05 PM

Originally Posted By: hwh4ev
oh lord if anyone has any more of this intestinal information please let me know also. i am also feeding ensure/cal. to my gliders.

back to the drawing board?

regards,
nancy in detroit


LOL when it comes to diets I dont think I ever left the drawing board!
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 08:28 PM

Im typing this on my phone, so please forgive the bad grammar...

I asked my vet about the "ensure turning to clay" issue before I began feeding the ensure and she told me that a severly glider should only be sub-qed or given water/nectar and NEVER given any solids or "liquid solids" such as ensure/smoothies/etc... If a severly gliders is given anything over then pure liquids then it has the potential to turn to "clay" in their digestive track.

That being said, ensure itself is/ not the issue, but rather the fact that sick and severly dehydrated gliders should NEVER be fed anythin and shouldb only be given water or nectar and, most importantly, should be getting subq fluids.
Posted By: Marz

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: OtteMom
Many of the 'medical' or 'hospital' nutritional formulas are designed for use in tube feedings. They may be nutritionally similar to the familiar canned products available in grocery and drug stores but most have no flavorings and may have different blends of vitamins and minerals since palatability (pleasant flavor, lack of chalky texture) are not an issue.

From a practical point, we cannot really compare the commonly available products to the older powdered versions that are not generally available. Nutritional supplementation products have evolved since the original Sustagen/Boost products mentioned above were used and many are now actually 'prescription' only
products.


i think you may be a little confused here with what Sustagen powder actually is as it certainly not for tube feeding and it is very easily available in chemists and is excellent tasting vanilla flavour. The reason it is called Hospital formula is that is promoting itself as a more complete nutritonal supplement seperate from their drinks/sports powder range which you can buy in the supermarkets. Boost powder was on the market only a few months ago so not old fashioned in the nutritional sense..just following the whims of the consumer market I guess for "easy" and "ready to use" products.

The reason I do not recommend the drinks range of products personally is I have only ever used the powder. This is the way it was originally introduced to gliders...as a supplement in the nectar mix and this is how it was nutritonally devised for gliders. As I have never used the ensure product in any form or any of the sustagen drinks, I obviously cannot recommend them even if they are suitable.
I only weighed in on this thread as Boost was mentioned and it was the US version of Sustagen.
Posted By: Dancing

Re: Ensure? - 12/27/10 10:47 PM

The issue with ensure comes with feeding it to DEHYDRATED gliders. Healthy gliders that are eating enough fruits and drinking enough other liquids shouldn't have those problems.

I will refrain from posting my personal opinion about the ensure as a diet staple.
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:03 AM

Please I value everyone's insight on this. I would really like to hear what everyone with experience with this product has to say, regarding my original questions, as well as additional nutritional info and/or experience they can provide in this area. oh yeah and the additional question I raised about adding the calcium.

If you dont want to express your opinion publicly, please feel free to PM me. I am looking for intelligent and rational discussion on this type of product and possible benefits or bad side effects.

This was not meant to be an argument about diet.

Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:11 AM

I would just like to say you are going to find a lot of various answers/controversies to your question. What does your vet say? I am going with the voice of experience from the glider tree and I hope she finally posts what she feeds. And since GC has gotten much , much better about not bashing diets and each other ....................which is totally awesome, then maybe just maybe she will. I would love to see it under the diet link. Ill/dehydrated gliders should never be fed an ensure based diet or Ensure period, that is a fact! I keep BML supplies on hand to syringe to sick or dehydrated gliders (if I ever have to)
I buy the vanilla flavored Ensure with caltrius/caltrate (green lable, watch out they have chocolate in the same lable color so make sure if you use it to get the vanilla. It has a lot more calcium and other good stuff in it! Just keep on a researching, there is no telling what we will be feeding 5 years from now. LOL
This is how we all learn and I learn something new every day!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:19 AM

Hmm....maybe Australia has a cooler chemist's. I've never seen powdered hospital formula anything at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, or Kroger. I think the point is moot if we can't find the product! LOL. (Can we have some levity here, pwetty pwease?)

Cora I wouldn't feed BML to a dehydrated glider unless you water it waaaaaaay down first.
Posted By: GliderNursery

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Cora
I would love to see it under the diet link.


Cora - any diet can be listed under the diet link. As with any of the other links, anyone can add the information. thumb
Posted By: GliderNursery

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:48 AM

BTW - the Ensure diet is listed in the database as Darcy's Diet. Assuming this is the same diet being discussed here, it would help if the same name was consistently being used.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:53 AM

Originally Posted By: tbull
Originally Posted By: suggiemom_1980
The body draws out the moisture from Ensure and leaves a clay like substance, which will block their intestinal tract. Is this not a problem when feeding an Ensure diet or do you feed something else when dehydration is an issue?


Not to hi-jack this thread, but I've heard this before. Can anyone tell me who found it out and how was it discovered?


I haven't read the entire thread yet, but wanted to respond to this when I saw it. When feeding a severely dehydrated sugar glider, it is strongly recommended not to feed Ensure type liquids until hydration can be restored. Jen (Xfilefan) had an experience with a glider that vomited up a thick clay sludge after being fed Ensure when the glider was very dehydrated.

There have been a lot of gliders fed Ensure or Boost or equate/store brands that have not experienced this. I have fed Ensure, but I did stop when Kira became very dehydrated because I simply didn't want to take the risk. My vet said the reason this kind of thing can happen is that when an animal is very dehydrated, their systems slow or shut down so in the digestive system, the intestines keep drawing out water because the food isn't moving through, not because it is pulling 'extra' water out at normal speeds. (Does that make sense)? If an animal's systems are running along normal and healthy, this kind of thing wouldn't happen.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 12:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Guerita135
I asked my vet about the "ensure turning to clay" issue before I began feeding the ensure and she told me that a severly glider should only be sub-qed or given water/nectar and NEVER given any solids or "liquid solids" such as ensure/smoothies/etc... If a severly gliders is given anything over then pure liquids then it has the potential to turn to "clay" in their digestive track.

That being said, ensure itself is/ not the issue, but rather the fact that sick and severly dehydrated gliders should NEVER be fed anythin and shouldb only be given water or nectar and, most importantly, should be getting subq fluids.


This is my understanding also - if your glider is severely dehydrated enough for Ensure to be a concern, they wouldn't be eating solid foods anyway and you have a much bigger problem on your hands than what they are eating for a few days.
Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 01:27 AM

yes that is correct anything fed to a sick glider is way watered down and generally with a syringe plus pedialyte, and subq only if necessary!
I know it can go under the diet link the trick is getting her to do it.............I think maybe she will! Been working hard on her!
Posted By: mary h

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 01:55 AM

...I have been feeding Ensure for about as long as it's been on the market. My babies get it every other night in a smoothie and once a week straight.

I have 12 gliders who are between the ages of 10 and 14 and have been here many years...never have health problems of any kind. They are still active and run in thier wheels. They are on the ensure. Pacman lived to be 15 yrs and 4 months.

I tried many diffrent things to get them thier vitamins and calcium...it was all washed down the drain the next morning.

I am not telling anyone to feed like I do...what I am saying is "if it works...I don't fix it"

Maybe it's all the corn they get everynight...they love corn...that balances out the ensure. They get eggs...veggies...fruit...meat and more. So before you frown on my diet...think about my babies being healthy, happy, and trying to out live me and doing a good job of it.

Mary
Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 02:19 AM

" have 12 gliders who are between the ages of 10 and 14 and have been here many years...never have health problems of any kind. They are still active and run in thier wheels. They are on the ensure. Pacman lived to be 15 yrs and 4 months."

That speaks volumes to me!! Thank Ya Miss Mary!
Posted By: Pockets

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 02:43 AM

Mary hello -
what a treat to find a posting from you -
"baby white corn" my little ones love but they also adore their "PML" since 2002 (wonder why - lol)
Maybe we are just a couple of stubborn old-timers!

Years ago spoke with a couple of older Aussie care-takers that swear by their own secret ratio of sweetened condensed milk, etc, etc ... let me know if you wish or need to try downline ((hugs))



For other's
A quick look I see sustagen listed in Aussie zoo diets & published in 1990 & 1999 in
Taronga Zoo's Guide to Urban Wildlife & Care of Australian Wildlife,
(petaurus, gymobelideous, swift parrot & Red FF) Sustagen is also listed in
Australian Mammals biology and captive management - 2003 Jackson
(would need to locate discs & look thru thumb drives for more)

Following links are interesting - last is very interesting to compare

http://www.sustagen.com.au/sustagen_hospital.html
(click on the right hand side for the nutritional table & scroll down for vanilla)

ENTERAL NUTRITION FORMULAS

Some commonly used brand names

http://www.drugs.com/cons/sustagen.html



Enteral Nutrition Formulas (Systemic) COMPARE - Products

http://www.drugs.com/mmx/sustagen.html?printable=1
Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 03:04 AM

This is the ensure I use since I can no longer get the high calcium Ensure

http://ensure.com/products/ensure-bone-h...fit%20Platforms
Posted By: mary h

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 03:43 AM

Hi Pockets...thanks for your post to me.

I don't usually get in on the diet part...don't want somebody sending a "hit man" down here to get me....:) Just kidding there.

Gliders are like people...what one loves to eat...another one likes something else. I have never believed in forcing a glider to eat anything it doesn't like. If someone tried to force something on me...I'd throw the plate at them. Did your mama ever use the words "remember...this hurts me worse than it does you?" My mom did...many times I was not allowed to get up from the table 'til I ate what was on my plate...being a stubborn child sometimes...I just laid my head on the table and went to sleep...:) Besides it does my heart good to see them look foward to supper.

I have never forced my diet on anyone. Like all the rest of you I want my babies to have a good diet and live long and healthy lives...and I watch them close.

My ears are never closed to new things to try...but my babies make the decision on wheather it stays or goes....

Mary
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 04:16 AM

Sorry for all my typos in my previous post. I was on my break at work and was trying to type on my phone, lol.

Originally Posted By: JillMarie
Good or bad?


Personally, I feel that Ensure has alot of potential for use in sugar glider diets because it's full of lots of vitamins and nutrients and takes most of the guesswork out of feeding gliders. wink

I've been feeding the Ensure Diet for about a year and a half now, if I remember correctly, and the worst problem I've had with it is that my gliders don't smell as sweet as they used to on HPW. tounge It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make though, lol.

Originally Posted By: JillMarie
Why do you feel that way?


Answered above.

Originally Posted By: JillMarie
What type of Ensure (there are a couple different types of the Ensure brand alone) are you using and why?


I feed the regular Vanilla Ensure. Although sometimes I'll get the strawberry, Hazelnut, or other flavors(except for chocolate) just to mix things up. I do not feed the other TYPES(high calcium, high protein, etc...) of Ensure, however, because they have too much sodium in them. Although it would be harmless if only given occasionally as a treat, since I feed Ensure nightly as part of their diet I prefer not to risk giving them too much sodium.

Originally Posted By: JillMarie
How often do you use it?


Daily. I feed the Ensure Diet. 1 serving of the diet consists of the following: 1T of Ensure, 1T of protein, 1T of fruit, and 1T of veggies.

[quote=JillMarieHave you seen any effects on coat condition when using/not using it? [/quote]

The only difference I've noticed is that the gliders seem to smell a bit stronger. However, that might be due to other factors as well, such as the fact that I used to have my gliders split into 2 separate rooms and after switching diets I moved them all into the same room. That, of course, would make things a bit stinkier too, lol.

As for the question of how much calcium the Ensure has and how much needs to be added...regular Ensure has a 1:2 calcium:phos ratio. I add 250mg of calcium to a bottle of Ensure to raise the ratio up to 2:1.

My gliders LOVE the Ensure Diet and even after a year and a half they still will jump onto the fronts of their cages and beg when they see me bringing their dinner and the Ensure is the very first thing that they eat. grin

That makes ME happy. Also, the cost of feeding the Ensure Diet is in-between HPW and BML, so it's not bad. And the prep-time, of course, is a HUGE perk! dance I no longer have to go into panic-mode while making a batch of food because I forgot one of the 20 ingredients. roflmao
Posted By: JillMarie

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 09:05 AM

Thanks to everyone that took the time to answer and add links for me to look at. Thanks Nicole for your time to answer each question smile

Huge thanks to Mary for coming on here to answer. You are highly respected by the glider community and would love to discuss your diet in more detail. The proof is in the pudding! Whatever you are doing works and I would love to hear more. I never diet bash and can relate to how you feel. In the past I had to refrain from diet talks for the same reason. Thankfully it seems more "comfy" here for me now. smile

As for why this has been brought up. I have changed my glider diet a couple of times. and keep notes on condition, appearance, activity levels. It SEEMS that they are best when getting the ensure. But of course I will read something that says its bad and stop. So I wanted some MORE info from the community.

As for the TYPE of ensure. I like to use nutritiondata.com for info. it is hard finding amounts in mg for food and they have a good database. The regular ensure isnt listed. only the plus and the "with fiber FOS" type. Both of which have an acceptable ratio without added calcium.
I think I fear OVER supplementing WAY more than under.

side note: when keeping my notes, I do understand that diet changes do not show immediately but can take months smile

I also want to add about the "ask your vet" statements. While I fully agree with asking them about health/medical issues, vets do not receive alot of education in the way of diet, especially exotic ones. While I trust my vet to see my glider if it is hurt or sick, she will do the same thing regarding diet questions that I do, ask someone else. Along with that for every vet that may say ensure is ok, there is another who will say it isnt. vets are also not infallible. I would rather rely on the opinion of someone who has successfully raised MANY gliders to a ripe old age than someone who see a glider in the office once or twice a year.

which is why I started this thread. I HAVE asked my vet. and got a shrug, "seems ok to me" response. Again, this isnt meant to offend or start any arguments. I wanted factual info from experience.

At this point I feel my questions have been about 75% answered. Anyone else?
Posted By: hwh4ev

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 10:08 PM

i agree with guerita. i also feed the plain vanilla ensure and add the 250 mgs. of calcium (which is 1/2 tsp. plus a dash more) to a bottle of ensure. so the calcium ratio is higher than the phos.
i have been feeding this every day at dinner and to my joeys as they start to eat.
they all go for the ensure first and their coats seem to look better.
i have been feeding this for close to a year now.

no problems.

regards,
nancy in detroit
p.s. like t and some other folks stated the other kinds of ensure have to much salt in them for daily feedings.
Posted By: Cora

Re: Ensure? - 12/28/10 11:38 PM

I now have some tails getting fluffier that were thinning!
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