A way to make syringe feeding easier?

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whitelop

Morgan
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I'm having to syringe feed Ellie right now and its incredibly difficult.

I have the anise flavored critical care, which smells terrible, so thats probably part of it. Not to mention that she hates being held, touched, told to do something she doesn't want to do. And hates to have something shoved into her mouth. Its usually all she can stand to take the sweet tasting gut motility meds.

Is there an easier way to get her to eat the critical care?
Right now, I'm burrito-ing her and holding her on the couch with me. She'll get a little bit in her mouth and eat it, but a lot of it she just dribbles out or spits out. I wind up with more of it on me than she ingests, which is no good.

Can I mix a bit of baby food into? I know added sugar isn't the greatest thing for her right now, but something to make it taste better? I mean, I tasted that stuff and its terrible! My whole house smells like anise all the time now.

Do I just suffer through it and just make the best of it?
Any tips from those who have had to force feed like this for extended periods of time?

Thanks!
 

thisisfliss

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The vet showed me how to give Alfy meds and it could translate to syringe feeding. Put bun on a surface (table, counter top) with their bum against your body and their head facing away. Put your arms either side of them holding their head with one hand and you can place the syringe into the side of their mouth with the other.

It took a bit of practise with Alfy but it is so much easier and she doesn't struggle. I even did it when she was on the floor managing to hold her in place.

Hope this helps!
 

JBun

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You can try kneeling with her in between your legs if burrito-ing isn't working well, and use your feet to keep her from backing out, and block her with your hands or a wall in front.

But getting her to actually swallow is much harder. Usually with the syringe in the side of the mouth, if I kind of move the tip to tickle their tongue, that stimulates licking and swallowing, so you could try that. It's time consuming as you can usually only syringe small amounts at a time because you have to wait for them to swallow each little bit.

Because of the stasis and her GI problem, it's probably not a good idea to be adding in any sugars, as this will only promote bad bacteria growth, which is the opposite of what you want happening right now. Hopefully the fiber and moisture will get her gut moving better and she'll just start eating more on her own so you don't have to syringe feed any more. If she'll eat leafy greens, offering lots of those seems to help get them back on track faster.
 

BlueMoods

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I agree, they don't like the anise flavor critical care but, it isn't the anise they dislike as I have yet to find one that doesn't love Calf Mana and, it is anise flavor too. When my vet saya critical care, I ask if feeding 1 TSP twice a day of Calf Mana will work instead if the rabbit eats fresh greens and hay as well. I can usually get them eating those, even if they don't want pellets.

I use more Critical Care as frozen cubes of the stuff on the 100 degree plus days when the a/c is out around here than I do for sick rabbits. When it's that hot, they don't mind frozen anise flavor, it cools them and that's the most important thing to them when it gets that hot.
 

whitelop

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Unfortunately, its only anise that my vet carries. I could and should, probably order some of the other flavor for the "in case".

I think I'm going to try to put her in between my legs and do it like that. Like Jenny suggested. I've tried with her on my desk, wrapped up, with the syringe in the side of her mouth, she just spits it out. LOL Maybe, she needs a smaller syringe. The one they gave me is a feeding syringe, but its like this 100 cc gigantic thing. Maybe the syringe is too big? I'll try a smaller one, I have one thats still big, but not SO big.

I didn't think that any added sugar would be good for her, but thought I would ask. I've been holding off giving her anything sweet, just pushing lots of leafy greens that have been soaking in water and hay. And shes down to 1/8 cup of pellets, which is 2 tbsps. So she gets one tbsp in the morning and one in the evening.

Thanks guys! I hope this gets easier! But the longer she and I go through this, the harder it gets because she HATES me right now!
 

ClarBun

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Something that helps me with the critical care feedings is making sure that the water to feed mixture has a consistency of applesauce. When mixed to this consistency I find it easier to get my bun to actually "chew" and swallow it rather than when it is more watery in that case he just kinda lets it dribble out or spits it out. (I actually just posted something very similar to this except asking for help with getting him to take pills!) Also, make sure that you are getting the syringe in from the side of the mouth, behind the front teeth. And definitely order some apple banana flavor online so next time it will be easier. I definitely understand the struggle! Hope it goes well!!!
 

Maureen Las

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I have ordered critical care off amazon in apple banana

I also do the critical care thing a bit different. I water down the critical care and blend it in a blender and then let it sit awhile. I have had had such terrible results getting them to swallow the properly mixed CC that I have close to given up. Since I create almost a liquidy CC I can get it into small syringes and actually shoot it into the side of their mouths like a liquid. I know the vet gives a certain amount per day but I have never been able to get even close to that amount. I give the liquidy CC every few hours to keep the rabbit hydrated and to get in some nutrition. Of course my method would not be something you would use for an extensive period of time. Good for a bun in stasis though
 

doodlebugger

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Our rabbit savvy vet suggested if we couldn't get our bun to take critical care, we could grind up regular pellets and add water and use those instead. The other thing we have done is smear the tiniest amount of banana on the end to sort of trick the bun into thinking the medicine was yummy. I'm certain the anise smell and flavor is the problem but if you can disguise it, that might help.
 

Whitesnowy

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Have you tried to put the very tip of the syringe in a cucumber or a tomato so it acquires the smell of it?
Another trick is to suck just in the very tip (again) of the syringe few drops of some juice - pressed tomato for example.

What else I can recommend you - the tip of the syringe is hard plastic and if the rabbit moves or tries to escape the feeding he might get injured. Therefore I recommend to put some of those rubber pipes (especially designed and sterile) into the tip. This is similar to what I'm talking about:
http://www.mkrepost-bg.com/UserFiles/Image/shir/shir_10_(shlauh).jpg
http://www.mkrepost-bg.com/UserFiles/Image/drugi/drugi_4_(katetur_ochila).jpg
You cut it just 1 inch (2 cm) and put it on the tip of the syringe.
 
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