Force feeding help!
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Thread: Force feeding help!

  1. #1

    Default Force feeding help!

    How much and how often?
    My 3 year old stopped yesterday and I've been forcing ensure and cream of wheat through an syringe. I've been giving maybe 3 100cc syringes full before he goes ballistic.
    How often and how much?
    Spider

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    I'm not sure on the how much and how often, but I'd assume as much as she will willingly(ish) take and quite frequently. Is she drinking on her own? Has or will your girl be going to the vets?
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    Went to the Vet today, got a bunch of meds and instructions on forc feeding.
    About a half a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon every 3 hours.
    I'm worn out from focusing on this old Rattie these past few days, it looks like he might be around awhile more, if I can keep getting food down him.
    Spider

  5. #4

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    What was the diagnosis at the vets?
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    You really cannot force a rat to take food/liquids. There's too much of a chance they inhale, aspirate whatever it is in their lungs and end up with aspiration pneumonia.

    I encourage/ask/beg them to drink from the syringe., but once they stop, they either pass that night, or I take them in the following morning to be pts...they have had enough.

    If you are struggling to get fluids into Leo, you should probably consider letting him go.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    At that age it may be kinder to just let your rat go. There are so many reasons for them to stop eating and drinking at that age that sometimes prolonguing their life isn't necessarily the best thing to do.

    As for force feeding .. if your rat is absolutely refusing any sort of food (that includes being offered babyfood and fruits) then all you can do is keep them rehydrated. A healthy rat (on average) will take at least 8-11ml per 100g of bodyweight.

    If I have a rat who isn't active and is still relatively willing to take fluids, I aim to get around 15-20ml of fluid minimum per day. This is broken up into sessions throughout the day and giving them only what they can take. I don't just give water - I perfer a mix of 50/50 water to stage 1 babyfood. OR you can use a supplement like Ensure or Complan.

    If the rat is refusing liquids and seems stressed by my attempts, I will only give as much as they need to keep them comfy. This is perhaps 1ml over a period of 2 hours, just enough to keep their mouth moist and the worst edges off the dehydration effects. You can usually get 0.10ml a time into a very sick rat but if they are sick enough to not even want to swallow .. reconsider your efforts.

    Good luck

  8. #7

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    Leonardo is almost 3 years and suffers from heart disease as well as numerous cysts and growth I've had removed but am reluctany to put him through another surgery. He drags his hind legs and has difficulty climbing his ramps.
    I've tried to set him up in a nice single level cage with everything close by, but all he did was sleep next to the cage door and poop on himself and make a mess.
    I believe that even though it takes a herculean effort to get around the big cage its his home, and he must get some feeling of achievement climbing the steep ramp to his eagles nest.
    I noticed about 3 or 4 days ago he was winding down, really slowing down and when I started tracking him I saw he wasn't eating. He'd take a sniff or a bite then walk away. this went on for 2 days with his not sleeping staring off into space, I really expected him to die at any time. He was chain stoking breathing like my dying mother did, it was awful, I got him on antibiotics, pain meds,enalapril,
    but it wasn't working he seemed to want to die, starving to death. Two nights ago I said enough of this,I started FORCE FEEDING him, I say force feeding as he didn't want anypart of food and I had to force it on him ,I wouldsquirt a bit into his mouth and look at him like you'd better eat this buster and he'd start chewing and swallowing. I can give him 3 or 4 syringes full now.
    And now he looks alot better, sleeping soundly. He's still a mess, got alot of problems, I don't know if he'll ever eat on his own, but he's alive! for now.
    Spider











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    ,

  9. #8

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    but it wasn't working he seemed to want to die, starving to death. Two nights ago I said enough of this,I started FORCE FEEDING him, I say force feeding as he didn't want anypart of food and I had to force it on him ,I wouldsquirt a bit into his mouth and look at him like you'd better eat this buster and he'd start chewing and swallowing. I can give him 3 or 4 syringes full now.
    It saddened me to read this. Those are all the signs of a rat wanting to pass. Keeping him going beyond this point is only keeping his body ticking over, the moment you stop he is likely to pass anyway and if you continue to force feed it's unlikely that with the amount you are feeding you will sustain him for long.

    It is hard to let them go (been there, hated that) but sometimes you need to take a step backwards, disconnect from your emotions and ask yourself what he wants right now

  10. #9

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    Typical Liberal Psycobabble. The Rat didn't make a conscious decision to "pass on", I'm not going to argue over a Rats intellectual capacities.
    Too many of you hold Romantic memories of bad '70s shlock maudlin flix like 'brians song, and love story etc.' and try and superimpose the scenerio unto your rat-human relationship.
    A Rat with heart disease will undergo Changes in his tastes, due to ascites ( fluid build up in the abdomen) and wil reject food. But once its in his mouth he reflexibly munches away. I'm giving him a real witches brew of green juices, noni, coconut yogurt, brown rice cream etc.. I've studied nutrition for 40 years and I don't see this Rat existing on a starvation diet!
    I've been putting food bowls in his cage anyways, and I'm starting to see evidence of small amounts of food being eaten. This is my hope= that through all the Meds+ plus nutritional supplementation it will kick start his survival instincts into gear.


    When we're down 21 to 0 in the bottom of the 9th inning, with no chance of winning we still go out and play aggressive ball, like theres still a chance. Spider



























  11. #10

    Default Re: Force feeding help!

    I would definitely do this with a younger animal but Leo's body is winding down to its final conclusion. he's probably only eating for you, and will not come back to what is normal for him. His fight to breathe is what is making him not eat. My CHF rats often ate a lot when they were feeling well. Leo cannot be feeling well.

    It may be psychobabble but a rat will tell you when its had enough. Its one thing to go charging into the fray when there's a chance at a quality of life. Leonardo doesn't have that. Let him go Spider.

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