American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2012 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Beginners’ Corner

Peanut Butter To Put On Weight; Thin Mouse

By Karen Robbins

Peanut Butter To Put On Weight

Sariah Lily Jones, Facebook
QFor anyone who has ever had to force feed a rat who is refusing to eat—check out Diamond’s story. She taught me to never give up!

Diamond a couple months after her surgery. Can you tell she’s 28 months old, a full year older than the other two? After she got the collar off she started acting ‘younger’ than them! Photo by Sariah Lily Jones.

When the vet told me she needed peanut butter for the protein and fats I panicked; I’d heard too many horror stories of rats choking on peanut butter. And I was still hand-feeding her at that point! The vet said if it’s a thin enough layer it’s safe, but how was I supposed to get her to lick it when she wouldn’t even lick water? I experimented mixing it with a lot of things and finally came up with this mixture: 1 part PB, 1 part jelly, 2 parts apple sauce, and open water nearby to wash it down. I watched her like a hawk when she ate it but the mixture wasn’t even sticky! She never had any problems with it, and it was only on the days she had peanut butter (even the teensy bits I tried at first when she was still refusing to eat) that she gained weight at all.

I’d love to know what you think of my peanut butter recipe. It seems to be safe.

AYes, as long as you thin out the peanut butter like you did for her, it goes down without any problems. Amazing story! Glad to see she pulled through OK.

Thin Mouse

Julia, e-mail
QI have 4 female mice, all less than a year old. Three are big and healthy, and one is thin. What can I feed to the little one to put some weight on her? I have tried various cheeses, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, vitamin drops, but she is still very thin. She still drinks water, and I see some tiny poops in her enclosure. (Right now I have her separated with a hot water bottle for warmth.) Any suggestions?

ABy thin, do you mean just thin condition (body weight) or thin and sickly looking? Some mice can be thinner than their cagemates but still be very healthy and active, with clear eyes and nose, normal breathing, etc.—just not as robust as their cagemates. Other mice that are thin are that way because they are sick and usually have fluffed up hair, tend to not move around much, usually make chirping/clicking/sneezing/wheezing noises, may sit in the corner huddled up, may have runny eyes/nose, and may not eat or drink much. Does she have any of these symptoms? If she is sickly, then a trip to the vet is recommended so she can be put on antibiotics if needed.

As far as foods: millet, oatmeal, dog/cat kibble, healthy whole grain bread, bread in milk (milk, Ensure/Boost, rice milk, etc.), scrambled egg, baby food, rice cereal, dog biscuits, sunflower seeds, etc., are good additions for a mouse in thin condition or one that needs extra calories due to illness. Be careful with peanut butter as it should be thinned down with juice or water so the mouse doesn’t choke on it.

If you can send a photo of the thin mouse, I can have a better idea on the condition you are asking about. *

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Updated March 23, 2016