Help feeding a very doddery old boy

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Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:25 am

Poor aul' Diego, he's such a fragile little man. I love the bones of him. I've put my dudes all on a kidney-protective Shunamite mix suggested for older ratties.

I notice Diego seems to have trouble holding his food, though. When I feed him from my hand he takes the piece of food eagerly (mini Shredded Wheat, say) but most times then he drops it as he's eating it, like it has fallen out of his hands, and he comes back to me eagerly looking for more.

He manages to rummage in the food bowl okay and I try to give him alone time for eating or Harry takes his food off him. Just wondering would it be a good idea to give him soft food as much as possible? I gave him a teaspoonful of Boo's canned canine k/d a few times and he managed really well with holding and eating that. If his kidneys are ailing then adding moist foods to his diet would help him, anyhoo?

I wonder does he have a problem holding food items as he might be a bit arthritic?

I wouldn't know what moist foods would be good to feed, though. The dry k/d kibble for dogs is suggested as part of the mix I mentioned, and I often have cans of it too, so he could have that sometimes.

He looks thin - so much thinner than Harry or Stoner, who are fine big bruisers. Should I be trying him with a high-cal paste?

Thanks folks. I loffs him. Love 
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by smokierat on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:24 pm

Babyfood,readybrek,coconut milk,Complan,Nutrical,yohgurt etc are nice fattening foods ive used in the past to keep a skinny ratty going.I know you've to be careful about giving anything with too much protein to older rats,particularly Bucks as there can be kidney issues which high protein foods will make worse but dont really have much experience with that.Thats why i stuck with the aforementioned foods,high cal,lowish protein.And i also found giving that time alone with the food bowl helped,bit of one to one handfeeding everyday,treats and such :)i would defin give a nice range of wet food everyday alongside the dry as they get old and frail :)your boy sounds very loved and spoiled which is what every ratty deserves in their golden years Smile

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by DJF on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:36 pm

I had something of a reverse problem a while back - a young rat who failed to put on weight/thrive after a few recurring Resp infections.

I found Nutri-Cal to be magical! This, alongside using a supplement called 'Baby Weight-Up'. Both can be purchased from the rat warehouse which are rather quick with delivery.

I tend not to like giving food fortified with too many vitamins ( Nutri- Cal is highly fortified) over a long period and so try to limit the intake of that to when they are poorly and then, only a small globule daily (no more than a centimetre). I have found that my runt really likes malt pastes (as do all the girls, the promise of a lick of malt paste and you could clicker train them to do the laundry - they love it!) . These are available for rodents on zooplus.ie. The brand is Gimbi. They are unfortified, contain papaya and are approx 40% fat.

Another option is Harrison's organic bird food,  the juvenile formula. This was recommended for me when Monica was convalescing. It is damn expensive but works wonders for weight gain and they love it! I am not clear on the protein content of it so it may not be suitable for an aging boy.

The simplest is baby food. For under a euro, you will having a couple of evening meals in a jar for a single boy. Heinz do a nice range of organic baby foods which are just puréed vegetables and some fruit based ones also. My rats get a jar a week and lap it up.

Porridge made with soya milk is great too, as is the creamed porridge baby food.

Good Luck!

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by smokierat on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:47 pm

Oh yes,ive heard the" weight up baby" stuff is great but havent had a reason to try it yet!

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by Zoundz on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:59 pm

All of the above - and Complan too Smile

I thought I'd mention the possibility of a pituitary tumour though Sad with not being able to hold food being one of the early signs. If you hold him towards the cage bars - can he grip them and hang on?

xx

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:24 am

I will try and figure that out, Zoundz. (If he can hold onto the bars.) I do know he is not a climber but that could be just down to his age, too. Harry's the only one who climbs up and down the bars.

Lots of great food suggestions there, thank you! I'd forgotten that the little glass bottles of baby food come in varieties with meat in them. I used to get the pumpkin ones for Boo. I'll pick him up a bland chicken and veg one, I bet it'll go down a treat and the other boys can have some too. Diego is such a delicate little man, you just want to wrap him up in cotton wool. I love him. Love 
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:05 am

Was feeding him this afternoon and watching closely. It is more that the food falls out of his mouth when he's carrying it. Sad 

He puts his paws around the bars and holds onto them when the door is opened and I'm feeding him. But he does seem to have mobility issues. He came down the ramp from the shelf and fell off the ramp half way down when he listed over to one side. Meh (It's a soft fall thankfully, with the vet bed.)
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by Zoundz on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:12 am

bless him Sad hard to say - he could just be doddery. Can you get a video or some pics of him that show how he is?

xx

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:49 am

I'll charge up the camera xxx

Thanks Zoundz Smile 
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:11 pm

Vegetable chicken casserole FTW! Big Grin  He loves it!

I must have looked crazy in the supermarket, reading the label on all the different varieties of baby food and then putting only just this one in my basket. Big Grin 

It doesn't have peas in it which is brillo as they are high in phosphorus. A no-no for any animal with ailing kidneys. And it comes in a squishy pack so he can have it straight from the nozzle. You can see in the pic that he's thin so I hope this will bulk him up a little bit and he'll feel better with the extra moisture too. He spends a lot of time at the water bottle.

I found a little lump on his side, pea-sized, but please god he'll be around a little while longer yet. He is SUCH a sweet boy!



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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by Zoundz on Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:43 am

Bless him, he's very sweet isn't he? Love  he doesn't look *that* thin yet - so don't worry too much. He could definitely stand to put some weight on, but he looks in OK condition.

xx

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:34 am

I'll get his weight and see how he does now he's getting nice baby food on top of the shunamite mix they all get. Smile 

Thanks Zoundz. Wink 
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by DJF on Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 am

He is a nice looking rat and seems bright eyed and enjoying his grub!

Good luck fattening him up!

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:31 am

He is really plumping up on the baby food already and not only that, he has more energy, woohoo!

I'm sure the high moisture content in the food is good for him, too.

Have ordered some Nutri Cal and Ipakitine for him also. He's my best little man. Love 
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by DJF on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:54 am

That's great news! When your Nutri-Cal arrives, I guarantee he will be swinging from the tube like a young fellow!

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by katherine on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:02 am

aw bless him, he's gorgeous. GLad to hear he's improving

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by limerickrats on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:12 am

He pulled the pouch of Ella's banana and rice breakfast out of my hands tonight, lol!
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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by Zoundz on Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:26 pm

Fab! Grin

xx

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Re: Help feeding a very doddery old boy

Post by smokierat on Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:41 am

The Ellas stuff is great isnt it Smile

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