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I took one of my 8 month boys to the vet because he was having breathing troubles, and lo and behold, he has pneumonia :-/ We caught him pretty early on, so the meds should clear it up in a few weeks, but in the mean time he doesn't seem too keen on drinking. He's eating his food still (though his appetite does seem decreased) and will happily accept baby food if I give it to him, but he won't take water or coconut water from me, nor does he go down to get it from the bowl. I imagine he would drink gatorade or such, but I don't want to overload him on sugar. Any ideas on how to keep him hydrated?

Side Note: If anyone with previous experience caring for a rattie with a respiratory issue has any tricks to help him breathe easier, those would also be greatly appreciated :)
 

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Baby food is quite wet so that helps. I would sweeten the water and not worry about it short term. Key thing with resp issues is the right antibiotic at a high enough dose for long enough (3 to 6 weeks).
 

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I agree with RedFraggle--if given baby food on a regular basis, and he's eating it, he will drink less water. If you're still concerned with hydration, you can also offer foods high in water content such as cucumbers and watermelon (not sure watermelon is in season yet though), or other 'wet' fruits and veggies.

I've dealt with respiratory illness long term with my ratties and I know it's rough. I currently have one lone ratty left and he is older (2+yo) and is currently on doxy/baytril to keep myco in check. While he's not at 100% and never will be at this point, he is doing well. He gets his meds twice daily in baby food--that's the only way he'll take these nasty/bitter tasting meds, and I do notice a decrease in water intake, but he still drinks from the two bottles I have hung on the cage.

If the meds were just recently started, he just might not care to drink and could also be in pain and just doesn't want to mess with it. I feel that after he gets a few doses in him and starts feeling better that he may start drinking again. Just keep an eye on him and offer wet foods until you see him start drinking more water on his own.
 
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