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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question Feeding My Sick Baby :(

My oldest Rat Pax has stopped eating solid food recently, so I've been feeding him food via syringe, now i know you can feed rats certain kinds of baby food, but i don't know which one's they can't have. My Dad went out and bought a few jars, and one of them he got was Gerber Mixed Vegetables & Beef, it contains: Carrots,Water,Tomato Puree, Beef, Rice Flour, Green Split Peas, Onion Powder, and Dried Parsley. Can i feed it to him, or would that be a bad idea? I really need to give him more of a variety than what i have been feeding him, so he can stay healthy.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 10:13 PM
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Hello LittleRatMama!


Oh, I am sorry Pax is not feeling very well, poor baby.


Baby foods can definitely help, but I am not sure if there is too much protein in a baby food that has beef puree in it. Except for mama rats that are nursing, too much protein is not good for rats.


Fruit or veggie based baby foods would be nutritious and helpful, like such as banana, green peas, green beans, sweet potato, etc.


I know that Lilspaz, one of our very knowledgeable rat veterans serves her sickly rat kids Ensure at times. Have you heard of Ensure?


Let me see if I can send a quick message to Lilspaz so she can read your post and give you some good tips.


How sweet of your dad to help with Pax and to buy him baby food, that is great. Sounds like you have a GREAT Dad who is trying to assist you with Pax.

Hopefully, you will get a reply from Lilspaz soon if I can get a message to her. She is so much more knowledgeable on this!

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
Hello LittleRatMama!


Oh, I am sorry Pax is not feeling very well, poor baby.


Baby foods can definitely help, but I am not sure if there is too much protein in a baby food that has beef puree in it. Except for mama rats that are nursing, too much protein is not good for rats.


Fruit or veggie based baby foods would be nutritious and helpful, like such as banana, green peas, green beans, sweet potato, etc.


I know that Lilspaz, one of our very knowledgeable rat veterans serves her sickly rat kids Ensure at times. Have you heard of Ensure?


Let me see if I can send a quick message to Lilspaz so she can read your post and give you some good tips.


How sweet of your dad to help with Pax and to buy him baby food, that is great. Sounds like you have a GREAT Dad who is trying to assist you with Pax.

Hopefully, you will get a reply from Lilspaz soon if I can get a message to her. She is so much more knowledgeable on this!
Thank you so much for the well wishes , i know Pax appreciates them. Yes i do know what Ensure is, i was actually going to ask my Mom if she would take me tomorrow to go and get him some, and some more baby food . Thank you so much for passing along my question to Lilspaz hopefully i will be hearing from her soon .

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 04:25 AM
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You are most welcome! And you can give Pax a cuddle and a kiss for me too.


Hopefully you will hear from Lilspaz soon!

My information may not be accurate either, so a second opinion from her will be great. I may be wrong on beef/meat ingredients in baby food having too much protein, so we will see what she says. My opinion may just be coming from the fact that I have always fed my babies vegetable and fruit based baby foods.


Another idea I had for some soft, easy to eat/digest options for Pax would be rolled oats softened up with some warm water (a ratty oatmeal of sorts!) and/or Gerber Baby Rice Cereal, which you also add some warm water to and it makes a nice creamy soft cereal mush.


I actually feed both of these items to my two rat boys (even though they are not elderly or under the weather, and they are too pudgy, heh heh) but basically because they LOVE the taste of oatmeal and rice cereal, as just about any rat does....but those both seem like some good options that Pax should find delicious and they are filling. That and of course the Ensure option. Ensure may end up being the Gold Medal Winner for under the weather/sickly ratties?


But, again, I will let Lilspaz see what she has to say about all my advice! If I gave any incorrect advice, she will let you know!


Kisses to your Pax and I hope he starts to feel better soon? Sounds like you have great support from your parents with trying to help Pax, and that is always so wonderful.

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Last edited by Vladina; 05-07-2013 at 04:29 AM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 03:03 PM
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Response from Lilspaz

Hi again LittleRatMama,


Good news...Lilspaz did try to get onto the forum to post some advice for you about Pax and his feeding, but she is having trouble getting onto the forum for some reason, so she sent me her response and asked if I could post what she said. I was able to log on so now I can paste her advice for you.


Below is what she advised:


*From Lilspaz* Hi there. Can you tell me a bit more about Pax? How old, is he sick? Is he not eating solids due to weakness, inability to grasp the food in his front paws or ??


If he's sick, syringe feeding isn't going to make him better.


As for foods to try, the hardest thing to do is try to feed them a sustained long term balanced diet. Honestly the best thing to do is to soften quality lab blocks, or use the powder at the bottom of the bag. You can mix it with a little Ensure and]/or baby cereal and add water (quite a bit as lab blocks are sponges and you may need to add more later on once its absorbed in).


I am using a soft food diet for a boy here who lost his 2 front teeth and this method works well. If you plan on syringe feeding it, make sure its very watery so he get fluids as well as food.


How many cc's of food is he getting at one time? And how often do you feed him?

Vlad

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
Hi again LittleRatMama,


Good news...Lilspaz did try to get onto the forum to post some advice for you about Pax and his feeding, but she is having trouble getting onto the forum for some reason, so she sent me her response and asked if I could post what she said. I was able to log on so now I can paste her advice for you.


Below is what she advised:


*From Lilspaz* Hi there. Can you tell me a bit more about Pax? How old, is he sick? Is he not eating solids due to weakness, inability to grasp the food in his front paws or ??


If he's sick, syringe feeding isn't going to make him better.


As for foods to try, the hardest thing to do is try to feed them a sustained long term balanced diet. Honestly the best thing to do is to soften quality lab blocks, or use the powder at the bottom of the bag. You can mix it with a little Ensure and]/or baby cereal and add water (quite a bit as lab blocks are sponges and you may need to add more later on once its absorbed in).


I am using a soft food diet for a boy here who lost his 2 front teeth and this method works well. If you plan on syringe feeding it, make sure its very watery so he get fluids as well as food.


How many cc's of food is he getting at one time? And how often do you feed him?
Ok well first thing, he's almost four years old,and I think he's sick on top of just being old, I've been giving him doses of tetracycline everyday and he's been getting better,before I started giving him the medication his eyes were constantly watering and he was sneezing a lot.
Well he tries to eat but at the moment he is unable to support himself on his back legs, so he's not been doing much of anything except sleeping, but he's slowly getting stronger again, so tomorrow I'm going to start trying to get him to eat solid food again. I've been feeding him baby rice cereal made with warm water,along with some Apple sauce, and a little bit of banana(because he loves it, and i know it can loosen his stool a little so I don't give him much of it) for about three days now, the only thing that worries me is that he has dropped a good amount of weight and I need something to help him gain it back, will the cereal help, or do I need to be getting him something else to help with that?
And I've been feeding him with a 1cc syringe, and I'm giving him as much as he can eat which is usually 5-7cc's three or four times a day, sometimes a little less, of both the cereal and some Apple sauce, going to be getting him some more stuff tomorrow(my mom was a little under the weather so we didn't go anywhere). Oh, also he's had a little bit of diarrhea(that's why I'm not giving him allot of banana only about 0.2mg yesterday and same with the day before) so what can I do for that? Also thank you so much for helping me with this .

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 02:12 AM
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Hi again!

I will definitely convey your thanks to Lilspaz and send her your reply...I will ask her if she is still unable to log onto our forum. Hopefully you might be able to see a post from her soon?

Yes, my ratties have always loved bananas, both fresh and also the baby food! Fresh is nice, but I always need to wait for them to ripen up nice before feeding it to my fur kids. I am sure Pax loves his banana treats.

Did you try Lilspaz's advice about soaking some of Pax's lab blocks in some warm water to turn it into a mush?

Vlad

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
Hi again!

I will definitely convey your thanks to Lilspaz and send her your reply...I will ask her if she is still unable to log onto our forum. Hopefully you might be able to see a post from her soon?

Yes, my ratties have always loved bananas, both fresh and also the baby food! Fresh is nice, but I always need to wait for them to ripen up nice before feeding it to my fur kids. I am sure Pax loves his banana treats.

Did you try Lilspaz's advice about soaking some of Pax's lab blocks in some warm water to turn it into a mush?
Ok i hope to hear from her soon .
Well i have two other boys(both the picture of health )and when i fed them today i used up the last of my food, so i have to go out and get some more tomorrow, so i'll try that tomorrow. Yeah all three of them love banana but sadly they can't have to much of it, or i know they would eat it all day, everyday XD.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 04:39 AM
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Oh yes, I agree. Moderation is always best! Fresh veggies and fruit are so good for ratties, but not to the point where they are getting diarrhea, you are correct.

Wow, so what kind of staple food are you feeding all of your ratties until you buy more? Do they have a lparticular brand of lab block type staple food that you are able to get at your local pet stores?

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:52 AM
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Hmm have you listened to his lungs to see if there's any noises in there while he breathes?

Old rats sleep a LOT, but not eating on his own is a bit worrying. Can you put down a dish of soft food (I would avoid fruit for now and go pick up Ensure instead, strawberry is a universal favorite and mix it with baby cereal) and see if he can lick it up himself?



Tetracycline is one of the weakest antibiotics, so it may not end up curing him...are you dosing it properly? Two to 3 times a day at 10-20 mg/kg?

The diarrhea could be caused by the excess fruit or the tetracycline. You can try unsalted soda crackers for the fruit diarrhea but if its the tetracycline, the antibiotics have killed of fthe good gut flora along with bad bacteria and you will need to give some sort of probiotic like live culture yogurt, but you have to make sure not to give it within 2 hours of the antibiotics or it will render them useless.

For my oldies, you have to help them do things they are unable to do anymore, especially grooming. Rubbing and cleaning their itchy ears, scratching ALL over, checking for penis plugs in intact boys, is all part of it.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Oh yes, I agree. Moderation is always best! Fresh veggies and fruit are so good for ratties, but not to the point where they are getting diarrhea, you are correct.

Wow, so what kind of staple food are you feeding all of your ratties until you buy more? Do they have a lparticular brand of lab block type staple food that you are able to get at your local pet stores?
I feed them lab blocks, and a little bit of sunflower seeds(it's their favorite food), and i also feed them different fruits and veggies, and my youngest likes to eat bread so i give him some every so often. Off hand i can't quite remember what the name of the brand i get is(i know what the box looks like, and i already threw away the one i had.) :\, but i can usually get it at the local pet store.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm have you listened to his lungs to see if there's any noises in there while he breathes?

Old rats sleep a LOT, but not eating on his own is a bit worrying. Can you put down a dish of soft food (I would avoid fruit for now and go pick up Ensure instead, strawberry is a universal favorite and mix it with baby cereal) and see if he can lick it up himself?



Tetracycline is one of the weakest antibiotics, so it may not end up curing him...are you dosing it properly? Two to 3 times a day at 10-20 mg/kg?

The diarrhea could be caused by the excess fruit or the tetracycline. You can try unsalted soda crackers for the fruit diarrhea but if its the tetracycline, the antibiotics have killed of fthe good gut flora along with bad bacteria and you will need to give some sort of probiotic like live culture yogurt, but you have to make sure not to give it within 2 hours of the antibiotics or it will render them useless.

For my oldies, you have to help them do things they are unable to do anymore, especially grooming. Rubbing and cleaning their itchy ears, scratching ALL over, checking for penis plugs in intact boys, is all part of it.
His lungs sound clear, he's not wheezing or sneezing excessively(anymore, he was sneezing before i started giving him medicine).
I've tried giving him soft food to eat on his own but right now he's so unsteady on his feet he just ends up getting it all over himself .
Yes i measured it out(i found a chart online to help me with that) and he's receiving his medicine in his food, i know it doesn't taste so good so I've been mixing it in with his food and dosing him that way(i give some food with the medicine in it and some without to him).I also have amoxicillin that i could give him if you think that would be better instead of the tetracycline. Also do you think wet tail might work for the diarrhea, or is that just for stress induced diarrhea(if you don't know what i'm talking about, it's a medicine i can get at my pet store)?
He needs a bath, but I've been scared of stressing him out to badly to give him one, so I've been taking a warm washcloth or paper towels and wiping him down when he needs it. I have no problem doing all that for him if he needs me to , he's actually been trying to groom himself, sometimes are more successful than others, but at least he's showing an interest in something other than sleeping .

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 01:12 PM
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Oh, the poor baby...it just broke my heart when you told me he was trying to eat on his own and getting a mess on himself because he was so unsteady. Poor little guy trying sooo hard to do things for himself.


The warm wet paper towels are just fine for bathing him. I use unscented baby wipes for the once in awhile times that my rats need a tad of freshining up.


Actually, a warm wetted paper towel sounds delightful...I bet it feels very good to Pax when you wipe him down.


I will let Lilspaz address your medication questions, since I am so uneducated about medications compared to her!


I wish I could give some good sound advice on Pax. Sounds like he is trying to stay strong, and trying to groom and all that, the sweet little fighter.


It could be possible, due to his age, that he is just finally worn out? I could be very wrong too though. Maybe Lilspaz will have a comment on that. Give my love to Pax, okay? I will be thinking of him.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, the poor baby...it just broke my heart when you told me he was trying to eat on his own and getting a mess on himself because he was so unsteady. Poor little guy trying sooo hard to do things for himself.


The warm wet paper towels are just fine for bathing him. I use unscented baby wipes for the once in awhile times that my rats need a tad of freshining up.


Actually, a warm wetted paper towel sounds delightful...I bet it feels very good to Pax when you wipe him down.


I will let Lilspaz address your medication questions, since I am so uneducated about medications compared to her!


I wish I could give some good sound advice on Pax. Sounds like he is trying to stay strong, and trying to groom and all that, the sweet little fighter.


It could be possible, due to his age, that he is just finally worn out? I could be very wrong too though. Maybe Lilspaz will have a comment on that. Give my love to Pax, okay? I will be thinking of him.
Thank you so much for all the well wishes for my baby , he's a tough little guy, for instance he had his ear ripped up a little bit by one of his brothers(because my middle and youngest got into a fight and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time)and i was more panicked about it than he was XD, he hardly even cared.
Your helping with what you can, even directing a more experienced owner my way so she can help me with my questions , i say your doing all you can, and that's all i can ask for.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:38 PM
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Oh, you are so welcome! It is always good to know, when you have an ill or under the weather baby, that you are not all alone with your worry and your concern.


We LOVE our ratties here at the forum and we love everyone else's rats too. A big rodent family here. It is never fun when anyone's rat is not feeling well or when one passes away.


That is what this forum is for. For advice, some chuckles about our wonderful fur kids and for support when things are not going well with one of our rats.

And, yes, when you told me Pax acted like it was no big deal when he got his ear nibbled on by being in the wrong place during a fight with your other two boys, I could easily picture it, because rats are so tough and strong, and just amazingly resilient.


We rat mommies are the ones that tend to freak out and get upset far more than the rats, eh? Such amazing and strong little guys they are. Did I mention charming and soooo loveable?

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