Antibiotic Syringing Tutorial & Syringe-Feeding Sticky - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Antibiotic Syringing Tutorial & Syringe-Feeding Sticky

If any of you have to give syringe antibiotics in the future this is a little video I had my husband record tonight while I was doing Quinn's medicine. We kind of rushed through the actual medicine giving part, as we have to with our huffy little dude, but I basically just put the end of the syringe up to his lip and wait for a moment to squirt it in when he opens his mouth. (Squirt at an angle, not down the back of their throats choking/gagging them!) If he won't open, I'll squirt a little onto his lips and wait for him to open his mouth to lick it and then give him the full syringe. The towel method really helps me because of my allergy to his quills and because it immobilizes his head and paws for the most part. If I'm doing it wrong, let me know, but this works for me and he's not getting too hurt or traumatized!
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Last edited by Lilysmommy; 10-02-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Quick Tutorial on Syringe Antibiotics

Some more information about syringing (for meds or food)

- With meds, it can be helpful to mix them with baby food to help disguise the taste (especially if they're not already flavored). Chicken or turkey baby foods are often well-liked, as are carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes. The meat baby foods will probably need to be watered down a little bit to go through the syringe easily. First suck up the medicine (to get a correct measurement), then suck up some baby food (not a ton or it'll be hard to get it all in) and lightly shake the syringe to mix them.

- Here's a thread with some recommendations for soft diets that can be syringe-fed to sick hedgehogs: Hills A/D and Carnivore Care are two great options that you can get from your vet. Both are meant to be syringed to sick animals.

- If you're syringe-feeding a sick hedgie or one that's on food strike, aim to get around 24 mL of food into them each day, or as close to that as you can. The general rule of thumb is 1 mL/hour - so if you get 4 mL into them in a feeding, you can wait 4 hours to try again. This can be worked with around work/school schedules as well.

Some advice from Kalandra:
If she will allow you... keep a syringe with a bowl of food to give her when you are snuggling with her. I have had plenty of times where I had one very sick who wouldn't eat much per sitting. I'd sit with them, snuggling them and when they would wake up, they would take a couple more CCs.

Also consider how you hold her when you syringe feed. Sometimes changing the position you are feeding helps. I've had some that would sit in my lap, I'd use my left hand to steady their head and offer the syringe from the side. Typically those didn't even need the hand steadying them once they figured out what was happening.

Others liked to be held against me while being fed. Any other method and they would get antsy and not take food after a few bites.

Remember to go slow, and if she gets antsy and wants to take a break, its time for a break, but offer her some more food after a few minutes.

It can be tough trying to get a hedgehog who doesn't feel well to eat. Keep at it and don't get discouraged.
- For a sick hedgehog, keep their usual food in the cage overnight, in case they get interested in eating on their own again. You can also offer a "smorgasbord" of food - whole kibble, crushed kibble, soaked kibble, baby food mix, canned food, cooked meat, etc. Offering a few different options may convince them to nibble at a couple different things and get a bit more food in them than they might eat otherwise.

- Experiment with different size syringes. Some hedgehogs may like a bigger syringe (5- or 10-mL) so you don't have to stop & refill as often. Just make sure to go slow with bigger syringes, as the food comes out faster. Some may prefer a smaller syringe (1- or 3-mL) so they're not getting as much food at once. (Personally for Lily, I used 1-mL and filled 3-4 syringes at once so I could keep going as long as she'd let me.)

- Probiotics can help a hedgehog that's on antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in the digestive system in addition to the infection they're meant to fight, giving the hedgehog green poops. Probiotics help restore good bacteria to the gut. Small animal Bene-bac or human acidophilus can be used. Try to give probiotics a couple hours before or after antibiotics, to avoid having the medicine kill the good bacteria.

Bene-bac dosage (from Nikki):
Pocket Pets and other small mammals: Under 1 lb, use to gram at birth and on days 3, 5, and 7. These levels should be given before and after marked environmental changes. Two feedings, 3 days apart are recommended. Place gel on food or directly into mouth.
Acidophilus dosage (from Kalandra):
Not all acidolphilus capsules are created equally. Some have a much higher count of live bacteria than others do. Also has it been kept cold? I see a lot of stores storing it on the shelf instead of keeping it cold here lately. I'm leery of those, I've always been told the bacteria will die faster if kept warm.

With really bad stools I'll use 1/2 - a full capsule a day. That depends on the size of the capsule and the live culture count and how bad of stools we are talking about. If they are bright green, mushy, and mucousy, yeh I'll give more. If they are just green but fairly well formed, I'll give much less.

If possible, mix it in a little baby food and let the hedgehog eat it that way, or you can syringe feed it. If the stools are really bad, I try to get it in twice a day for a few days to "jump start" the bacteria in the gut, and then bump it back to once a day during the normally feeding time.

I typically use it for about a week after the stools return to normal.
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~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12

Last edited by Lilysmommy; 10-02-2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Quick Tutorial on Syringe Antibiotics

Great job. I made it a sticky.
* * * Nancy * * *

Retired from breeding

Rescue contact for both the Hedgehog Welfare Society and the IHA
Rescued over 70 (and counting) hedgehogs needing a new home
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Quick Tutorial on Syringe Antibiotics

Another video, more for cuteness than for actual help with anything... this is me giving Quinn his daily Benebac which is a probiotic that comes in a GIANT tube and is about 4 times as much medicine as what I give him with his antibiotic. We usually succeed in getting it all over him, and this video is no different. If any of you are better at it, let me know!
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Quick Tutorial on Syringe Antibiotics

Izzy is on benebac too. But I usually put the measured amount on my finger and then push it through the tip of the feeding syringe (she was being syringed a/d too). Izzy didn't take benebac well. I also did have some success smearing the benebac on mealworms and then feeding those. That was after her appetite came back. I found that if I tried to give her just benebac, she would spit the glob out. I had a little success smearing it under her lip, against her teeth. She wouldn't open up for benebac. I tried not to put the syringe in her mouth, that way I can use the benebac for other animals on antibiotics and not worry about spreading illness.

~Everyone deserves a forever home.~

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Old 10-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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THAT VIDEO IS AWESOME!! I have to give my Idgie something for his tummy, and I was having a hard time figuring out how to get it in his mouth. I wish I saw this before I wasted 2 doses lol
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default SUPER wiggly hedgehog

Hi there,

My hedgehog Ember doesn't ball up like most of the hedgehogs i've seen in medicine/liquid feeding tutorial videos. Actually he never has balled up since a when I flip him on his back or tip him he just flails around and squirms a lot. He has two oral medications to take and I am at a loss as to how to give them to him best since he doesn't ball up and cant really be held in such a way to control his hog head. I feel like I am stressin him out way too much . I saw somewhere there is a way to wrap him to hold his feets down but can no longer find the thread. Any recommendations for a rediculously wiggly hog?

Last edited by Crazyhoglette; 05-23-2014 at 06:10 AM.
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