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Pet Rats/how to get a rat with pneumonia to eat


I have a female rat who is about 14 months old who recently came down with pneumonia. She has two liquid medications that she needs to take orally every day and is not eating or drinking very well. I was wondering if there are any tricks to get her to take her medication ( she hates the syringe ) and how to get her to eat and drink. She's pretty bony and were thinking about getting baby food and Gatorade for her.


I'm sorry that your girl is ill.  It's difficult to get a rat to eat when she's not feeling well, yet it's important so that she can keep up her strength so that she can heal.  Licking is easier than eating solid foods when she's ill, so I would recommend Ensure, which provides the nutrients she needs.  Try vanilla flavor.  It's a rattie favorite.  Also, try Pedilite rather than Gatorade for providing electrolytes.

Rather than baby food, you can try mixing the meds into the Ensure, but if the meds are very bitter, Ensure May not hide it that well.  You can try instead mixing it into something sweeter such as ice cream, pure maple syrup, strawberry syrup, etc. to give you some ideas.

I hope that your baby pulls through and recovers soon.  Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.

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Irene Murphy


I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.


I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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