What are the best foods for giving antibiotics to my rattie?

If you have a rat who needs to have medicine, it can be a nightmare trying to get them to eat the crushed up tablet disguised in food or if it is a liquid medication, to syringe it down them. Here are some tried and tested tips from members of the Fancy Rats forum at: www.fancy-rats.co.uk with some or our own added too..

If you have any tried and tested foods that you hide your rats’ medications in, please email jason@cavyrescue.co.uk

  • I’ve bought some soya milk and choc pudding to try and bribe him as I read its best not to put it in a bottle. I thought I might put it on small piece of wholemeal bread as it soaks it up?
  • Mine don’t like it soaked onto bread or anything like that as they can still taste it. Stirred into 1/2 teaspoon of the choc pudding works well, you need to keep cage mates away of course.
  • My failsafe method is put the baytril onto the teaspoon, add a few biscuit crumbs, cake or scone crumbs to it and mush it in with the handle of another teaspoon until it makes a little dough ball and then hand that to your patient who will take it from you and munch on it happily
  • I always use a blob of EMP
  • The trick I’ve found is to vary it – a bit of cookie one day, blob of jam the next and so on otherwise they get suspicious.
  • I make ratty jam sandwiches. A blob of jam on the baytril soaked bread has always worked. Peanut butter works even better, they go mad for it!
  • I used to put it on bread and then dunk the bread in chocolate powder
  • When Jess was very ill we ended up melting a few chocolate or yogurt drops over a boiling kettle in a teaspoon adding medicine and then freezing it.
  • Babyfood was foolproof for Ping and her concoction of meds. Hot chocolate powder (sprinkle a pinch over the meds, add a drop of water if necessary) 99.9% effectily. Half a malteser worked well but not in big groups. Kiwi, banana mush, porridge were other successes with Ping when she fancied a change. Ribena worked with some, but was foiled quite quickly.
  • Gravy Bones, with one end snapped off and the meds (watered down a bit to make the biscuit soak it up better) syringed inside (though no good for stashers)
  • Peachy porridge baby food works time after time and rat after rat for me – to have a rat jumping up and down desperate to take his meds is a relief
  • My two never fail to take their baytril on a small piece of digestive biscuit, it’s so successful that I’ve never tried anything else.
  • Melted mint choc chip ice cream they cant resist it
  • I use biscuits. Mocha refuses anything ‘on a spoon’, despite usually being so greedy. In fact, he was so ‘flippin fussy that I *attempted* syringing it, but he spat it out.
  • I’ve had ratties do that before, so no more syringing for me (or the rats, lol!). Biscuits work best for me, though have to give the other rattie unbaytrilled bits of biscuit to stop fights…..
  • Soya yoghurt with crumbled digestive and a blob of jam on top. Add the drugs and you have a ratty cheesecake!
  • Smooth apple sauce on a teaspoon with the meds mixed in really well works for me. Or chocolate soya milk in a little bowl if they are caged alone whilst ill, that way they can have a little at a time over a few hours.
  • If appetite is really too poor to eat, maybe mix with a sweet liquid such a blackcurrent first before syringing? You’ll need to get the syringe in the back of the mouth and quickly squirt to avoid side dribble. Trouble is, no matter how ill they are they always have enough energy to wriggle, so maybe someone else can do the rat holding whilst you syringe?
  • I just wanted to add that loose porridge (made with soya milk) and a bit of maple syrup is an easy way to get medicine like Baytrill into a rattie. Rats do love porridge with maple syrup and the maple syrup helps hide the taste of the baytrill.
  • Also a hob-nob (or similar) biscuit soaked in some coffee (again with soya milk), add the baytrill or crushed tablet. The coffee is a bit naughty but if they are sick enough to need medicine then being a bit naughty and offering coffee is worthwhile if it gets it into them without a fight.
  • Another tip I have found to get a rattie to ingest medicine in a soft boiled egg, the favourite part for a rat is the yellow so the soft boiled yellow with the medicine for the sick rat, this has the bonus that you can give the egg white to the healthy sibling rats.

Foods to buy and try:

  • Digestive biscuits
  • Soya yogurt
  • Baby food
  • Farley’s rusk (break up into a bowl, pour hot water over the top and mash until it makes a mush). Add complan to the mix for sick ratties
  • Porridge
  • Swiss roll or any other spongey / absorbent cake