older rat care

rattietatties

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Schaumburg, Illinois
My oldest boy is now >2.5 and has pretty bad hld now. He does a pretty good job moving himself around the bottom layer of the cage and drinking water/eating himself. Even though he still eats normal block food he’s gotten really small (always been kind of small but you can see bones now) and i was wondering if there’s any good supplements to give him and how often. As of now i give him bits of egg and baby food occasionally but if there’s some more to help him gain weight that would be good.
 

lilspaz68

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You can soak the lab blocks in water and make lab block mush...much easier for oldies to eat and they still get all the nutrients they need. If you use a small compressed food like Oxbow you might need to grind it up with a coffee grinder before adding water. You can give baby cereal (alone or with Ensure or some meal supplement) as well.
 

Rattdad

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Ensure works well for this type of situation. I've had two rats with health problems/age related issues in the last year, and both liked Oxbow as lilspaz described, ground up and mixed with oat milk; Deb Ducommon sang the praises of soy milk for this application. If you really want to give him a treat, you could try giving him some organic chicken baby food--some would say this is too much protein for rats, but if your boy's losing weight, it might be worth a try and is only a buck or so. My rats went nuts for it. Finally, you could give him some of the critical care formula powder, which is specifically formulated for rats/animals that need to gain weight. My girl Pumpkin ate that for about a year. She had maloccluded teeth so had trouble eating a lot of foods. I would get it from the vet but you can also get it from Amazon. Fair warning, I made the mistake of buying the meat powder from Amazon for my boy who recently passed and he wanted nothing to do with it, so I'd go with another flavor.

The rat in your avatar is quite a looker!
 

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