Well, a few days after finishing the medication, Smudge, my lop ear rabbit began sneezing again (Medicating a Rabbit). So we are going to treat him for a longer period of time. Because of the cost of the liquid Baytril, I decided to go with the pill form.
Of course, getting the pill into the rabbit was going to take some thought. It would have been nice if he would just eat it, I tried but the Baytril tablets are flavored for dogs and cats, not vegetable eaters. So I thought I would crush the pill and put it into some baby food. This is where I realized I made a mistake with my rabbits.
When I was learning about ferrets, I read that because ferrets imprint on their food, it can be hard to get them to switch to a new food. When a ferret is sick, they often don’t want to eat their regular food and so many people offer a soft food like chicken baby food or make up what is called Duck Soup or Chicken Gravy*. To make sure your ferret will eat this food when it is sick, you have to get them used to it before they are sick.
I never thought of getting my rabbits used to soft food. It didn’t even cross my mind. Even when I bought the baby food, I thought since Smudge loved carrots, he would love carrot baby food. Nope. No interest. I smeared some on his lips, put some on a treat. No thank you, M’am. So I bought some Critical Care from work. This is a nutritional supplement made for herbivores that are sick. It is a powder that you add water to. It’s made ingredient is Timothy Hay, another Smudge favorite, so I thought maybe this would work better. Still a no-go. Arrgghh. I was getting frustrated, especially when I would hear Smudge sneezing.
I decided I had to keep trying. Because Smudge liked his treats, I put the carrot baby food with his medicine mixed into it in the bottom of the bowl and took his treats and stuck them in the baby food. He would have to eat the baby food to eat his treats. He probably thought he had died and gone to heaven as he doesn’t get that many treats in a month. At first he didn’t finish all the baby food, but after a few days he was cleaning the bowl. Hot dog! I decided to add some of the Critical Care to the baby food and see how he did with that mixture rather than all the junk food. That combination turned out to be the best. He loves it. When I go in to give him his medicine he grabs the bowl out of my hand.
It would have been much less stressful if I had gotten him used to eating soft food before all this. This is something i will keep in mind for my next rabbit.
*Duck Soup or Chicken gravy is what ferret people call a homemade mixture that has the consistency of baby food. The original chicken gravy recipe was formulated by Bob Church, but there are many variations. You can find some different recipes at http://www.ferretfacts.com/duck-soup-recipes.html