Sitting on the sofa with the boys beside me as I type this, cosily ensconced under my (formerly rather nice) John Lewis green fleece throw. They’ve been on more antibiotics and their vet-recommended diet for a week and a half now and they already look far glossier and sleeker. They’re more energetic and bolder than they’ve ever been, which is lovely to see although everything is now getting much more copiously peed on as they gain confidence in marking their paths! Their diet is currently something like:
- Dr Squiggles Guardian Angel or salmon oil, depending on the day
- Daily animal protein (at the vet’s insistence, them being underweight rescue rats and all)
- Whatever veg I happen to have around
- At least one “wet” meal containing the protein and plenty of carbs
- Completely ad-lib feeding of a high quality dry mix (RatRations, in my case).
They’re picking out the bits of the dry mix they like, but then that’s to be expected and is probably doing them good – what they tend to leave is the small hard-coated seeds that take as much work to get into as they give calories back. But then I guess that’s what the supplements are there for – to make the more varied nutrients easier to get.
One thing I have learnt this week is that salmon oil makes them reek. Normally they don’t have a noticeable smell unless I forget to keep the litter tray well cleaned out, but it’s creeping as far as the kitchen door today. I think next time I give them salmon oil I won’t put so much in, and I certainly won’t dump it on top of tuna fish!
Socially they’re doing better and better. Both have now learnt to eat (lick) Nutrical gel off my fingers in a more or less civilised fashion – they’re still a little apt to nip at me, especially Salt since he gets wildly excited by the smell! But they’re not actually biting, and they’ve learnt to back off if I twitch at them. They’re much more lively and energetic than they’ve been since I had them – the breathtaking agility rats have and that mischievous “ratty” personality I’ve seen in so many breeder pets is starting to peek through. It’s wonderful to see.
Mad Aunt Jill the exotics vet is seeing them again on Monday, and we’ll get the professional opinion on how they’re doing then. As she said to them as we left last time – “You’re coming back for Weight Watchers!”