Saturday, November 09, 2013
This is Brodie, I had him a few years ago and he lived to be 2 years old. He was extremely picky when he got an upper respiratory infection but I was able to find a few foods that he would eat. But only a little at a time, so I had to hand feed him from a spoon 6 times a day for about a month.
Over the last 10 years I've had 12 rats and for the most part they have all been healthy and died of old age. Old age for a rat is usually around 3 year old. But rats do get upper respiratory infections and can become quite sick very fast, which is why I always have antibiotics on hand to give them when they get sick. The sooner you can get them on antibiotics, the better chance they have of getting better sooner.
When rats get old or sick, they tend not to want to eat. Which can make them even sicker since they will lose weight and even become dehydrated very fast. Sometimes we rat parents have to come up with strange combinations of foods in order to get our sick little buddies to eat. So I thought I would let you know some of the foods I have personally found that my rats would eat when they were sick or getting old.
If this is your first sick or old rat, you should take them to a Veterinarian and have the vet let you know what medicine's they will need. You may also need to help them drink more water by bringing the water to them on a spoon or by bringing the water bottle closer to where they lay.
Here's Brodie on the right, looking right into the camera. Hades is the black and white one and in the back was Ares. On the left you can see Jasper's butt. lol
They are all eating a little chocolate cereal here but Brodie got very picky in his old age and especially when he got sick. I also had a rat that lived to be 4 years old but when she was around 3.6 years old, she stopped eating the hard seeds and hard rat blocks and got a little skinny. So I fed her other things.
Here's are foods my old and sick rats would eat. Keep in mind, sick and old rats will usually only eat a little at a time and sometimes you will have to hand feed them these foods 6 times or more a day because if they are like mine and you just leave it on a plate in their cage, they won't bother eating it. I would sometimes have to scoop a little onto my finger and let Brodie lick it off until he wouldn't eat anymore. You will have to have a lot of patience with them.
Mashed boiled eggs mixed with ripe mashed avocados. This should be mashed very well with very little chunks or they might not eat it. *This is good for rats that need to put on some weight as well because avocados are a fattening food*
Mashed potatoes that have been thinned out with gravy, milk, butter and/or sour cream. If the mashed potatoes are too thick, they can choke on them.
Nutri-Cal *A high calorie nutritional supplement for pets you can get from your vet*
mashed ripe fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberry and peaches
I hope some of this information helps anyone out there nursing a sick rat back to health.
Posted by Mary Kirkland at 12:00 AM