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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Antibiotics and Rats

Hello There!

Oreo, my rescue male rat, had an abscess that ruptured on wednesday night. I took him to the vet earlier that day and she extracted some pus out of it, and prescribed him two antibiotics which he is refusing to take, Ive tried everything out there, cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, bananas, bread etc.. and NOTHING works. I have been succesful with one of the antibiotics ( Metanidozale ) but the other one ( Sulfa ) must taste horrible and i have been forcing it but i feel bad for him because it is obviously stressful and im worried he is not getting the complete dose since he refuses to swallow it and goes crazy trying to wipe it off his mouth . That last one is harder to give because its .5cc vs .2 of the Metanidozale (sp?).

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated! He needs his med twice a day so it is twice the stress on my poor little one.

Thanks

Frances
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 08:19 PM
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Poor little Oreo, I feel for him and I know how you feel also about having to give him meds that taste horrible. My husband and I always hated the idea of having to force meds on our two boy rats since it is so stressful and unpleasant for the little guys, and we did the same thing as you...tried to find anything that would taste good that we could put their meds on or something to mask the bad taste.

A couple of things that we tried that worked were Gerbers Baby Peas baby food and Gerbers Sweet Potato baby food, but the grand prize winner had to be something that our small animal vet suggested: Pina Colada syprup or mixer..you know those bottles that you buy at the grocery store or liquor store and you add rum to make pina coladas?

We found a bottle of it at our local Safeway and I would inject their meds into a piece of banana with the little syringe, then pour some pina colada syrup stuff over the banana, and coat the whole thing with dry oatmeal. The boys ate it up every time.


But, of course, they like bananas and oatmeal so if Oreo has a favorite fruit or snack that you know he loves to eat, try putting a little pina colada syrup over it, after you have put the meds on his snack. If I think of anything else that could work, I will let let you know!

But yes, it is a matter of masking that taste with something Oreo loves, and I know all rats are different. Our boys sure loved that pina colada stuff though. The vet said it is very helpful in masking the bad taste of some of those meds.

Vlad

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 09:36 PM
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I agree with Vlad's suggestions. Any baby food veggies or fruits are great. Mine actually prefer butternut squash, but they will also take meds in baby food sweet potatoes and sweet peas. Try to get something like that and let us know how it goes! Good luck!


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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I will def try all those options for his second dose tonight. Thanks! I have another question. Have any of you has any experience with abscesses? Im just wondering how they look normally during the healing process and how long does it take for it to heal. I have been cleaning it with saline solution and putting neosporin (which he licks so that defeats the purpose!) I appreciate any input!

I will let you know how it goes tonight with the meds!

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 12:27 PM
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Saline solution and Neosporin are super, so you are doing the right thing. Oreo licking it off is probably par for the course, and I know it is impossible for you to keep him from doing that.
I don't remember if you already said so or not, but do you have a good small animal vet who is knowledgeable about rats that you can call for any advice?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a good vet, and i actually called her earlier to see if she can change the sulfa antibiotic to something similar since I cant get him to take it (tried all the suggestions and NOTHING has worked ) and im still waiting for them to call me back. The problem is she doesnt work everyday so it is sometimes hard to reach. I tried the peas and squash baby food, i mixed it and put it in a piece of bread and it only worked with the one antibiotic. The sulfa must have a very strong taste. I actually asked the vet tech here at work, she doesnt treat exotics, but she in fact told me that sulfa is a horrible tasting med and suggested to use peanut butter, but not even that worked. The wound looks ok to me, it has started to scab and its not a lump anymore. I continue to clean it with saline solution and put neosporin on it and then give him a treat so that he is entertained for at least a minute and wont lick it!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 06:21 PM
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Yep, I understand how it is to have to wait for the doctor to call back. But your idea to distract him with a treat at least helps to keep the neosporin on him for a bit, so that is clever! You would think if they can send a man to the moon, that they could make a good tasting ratty medicine, eh? So frustrating. Well, maybe your vet will have some good tips for you on better tasting meds. I do know there are alternative meds that vets try when one of them is just so bad tasting that the ratty won't go near it. Maybe she'll have a good alternative for you, hopefully. If all else fails, you can always try that pina colada syrup.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 07:23 AM
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Another thing I've done with doxy, which is a very strong-tasting medicine, is to mix it with a bit of baby food plus one small drop of honey. That works every time. Lately, though, my Russell has been getting picky again, so I mix in some dried oatmeal with it and he goes crazy over it. So, the current mix is: baby food (either squash or sweet potato--I just dip my finger in the jar and spread it on a spoon), doxycycline, one drop honey, dried rolled oats. I give it to him on the spoon after I've mixed it all up.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 11:09 AM
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Agreed. My boys were the same way. They LOVED dry oatmeal and their favorite breakfast was a piece of banana coated in dry oatmeal. Honey sounds like a super way to mask nasty tasting medicine too.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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I asked the vet to change the sulfa so she prescribed him baytril. Since the vet is an hr away they called it in to a pharmacy (Beacon) which turned out to be very expensive ($65), since the vet called the pharmacy at around 4pm yesterday, they said i wouldnt get it until thursday. I checked my mailbox and today and there it was, i dont know how long it has been there and the pharmacy is already closed. It says to keep refrigerated but the ice pack the put in with it broke so the baytril is room temp. I dont know if it is safe to give to him like that and i dont want to chance it. The vet said i could give him his dose tonight and call the pharmacy tomorrow. But i still dont feel comfortable giving it to him because im worried its going to harm him. Since they put blueberry flavor in it im thinking it can go bad quicker. Do any of you guys know if baytril goes bad if not refrigerated for at least 15 hours? Im hoping the will replace it at no charge because $65 for a medication is a lot of money, it wouldve been cheaper just to drive to the vet!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 06:12 PM
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What a bummer about the Baytril...yes, it is expensive as we paid about that much for our Baytril. I am not sure how quickly it goes bad if left unrefridgerated? It might be just fine but I understand how you feel about not wanting to chance it. Hopefully some others on the forum will read your post and give you a good answer. Wish I could be more help! Have you tried Googling your question on the internet? Maybe a meds FAQ for Baytril or something?

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 08:12 PM
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I have always used Baytril with my boys and it has never needed to be refrigerated. My vets put it in a syrup mix, and I specifically asked about refrigeration and they said it isn't necessary. Some people say that you should do it, but actually if it is in a syrup it is best not to refrigerate, because it can cause the mixture to crystallize. Is it a suspension or just straight Baytril? Either way, I'd call the vet just to be sure, but I don't think there should be a problem.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 09:26 PM
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It depends on how it was compounded as to if and when it needs to be refridgerated. I've gotten both types from various pharmacies. If the pharmacy says to fridge it, fridge it.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 10:28 PM
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You know, after reading Breyer's post, I finally did remember that the vet said the Baytril did not need to be kept in the fridge. I was thinking about another medication we had, but the Baytril, no. Unless it is true what Jennicat says, that some forms do need to be kept cold.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 10:42 PM
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Baytril itself doesn't need to be refrigerated. However, Baytril alone tastes fairly awful and is pretty caustic. Vets will often have it compounded with flavoring to make it more palatable. Depending on what's in there, they'll often recommend that you refrigerate it. This is due to the compounding process adding the flavoring and sugars which need to be kept fresh (unlike the antibiotic itself). But from what I understand there is more than one type of compounding that can be done, and it doesn't always need to be refrigerated, but it is often a requirement.

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