I’ve worked around and with animals for years. When I was younger, I also used to rescue animals, get them healthy again and find them new, loving homes. For the past few years, I have been lucky enough to work at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and had many experiences there, including my internship for my Master’s of Nutrition degree.
I worked with the Living Collections department to analyze and assess the diets of 4 lesser studied captive species that had a tendency to grow tumors and die early deaths. I gave the department my analysis and suggested changes for each species and the suggestions were implemented. What resulted was fairly fantastic.
The hedgehogs began to lose weight and were more excited about their food choices. The guinea pigs were weaned completely off the pelleted diet and given whole foods higher in vitamin C which resulted in a huge energy increase. The most incredible change was with the Southern Flying Squirrel. He not only started eating again, but started flying around his enclosure and was very engrossed in his daily enrichment exercise I suggested by foraging for mushrooms.
If you are a handler or a pet owner and would like assistance analyzing the diet of specific animals, please contact me and note “Animal Analysis” in the subject line.