If your rat needs medicine, it is necessary to determine how much he needs and how to best give it to him. Some rats are willing to take medicine using a syringe, like this cooperative young lady:
While others find it pretty yucky. Fortunately for those rats, many medicines can also be given in their drinking water, so they don’t even realize it!
Calculating rat medicine dosage in drinking water is easier, too. Rat medicine is dosed by body weight and, since we know how much water rats drink per grams of body weight, it is not necessary to weigh a rat to know how much medicine to put in their water!
Most Rat medicine comes as a pre-mixed liquid, ready to be given by syringe. It will generally say on the bottle how many milligrams of medicine there is per milliliter of water. If not, you can ask the pharmacist or vet. Then, you can use OC Dumbos’s Free, Online Rat Medicated Water Dosage Calculator, to determine how many ml of the pre-mixed medicine you need to add to your rat’s drinking water. FYI, although the calculator says it is for Roof Rats, the calculations are valid for Norway Rats. Here is an example screen:
Notice that you must enter the water and medicine that was used to make the pre-mixed medicine liquid. In this example, a 100 mg of Doxycycline was dissolved in 6 ml of water to make a 16.66 mg/ml concentration liquid. 1 ml of this would be added to a 250 ml bottle of drinking water (in this example.) This calculation was based on the typical dosage for Norway or Roof Rats. If you are given medicine with a different concentration, you would enter the mg/ml of the pre-mixed medicine in the first box, and 1 ml in the second box, and the calculator would tell you how much of that you need to add to the rat’s drinking water. To measure, you can use a syringe (which you can buy on Amazon):
You should shake the pre-mixed medicine prior to each use, as medicine sometimes settles to the bottom. If got medicine in pill or capsule form, you can add water to make your own pre-mixed medicine liquid, which you can put in a medicine bottle (which you can also buy on Amazon):
In case you decide to give medicine orally by syringe directly to your rat’s mouth, you can use the OC Dumbos’s Free, Online Rat Oral Medicine Dosage Calculator, Again, although is says it is for Roof Rats, the dosages are for Norway Rats. Here is an example screen:
As before, you enter the water and medicine which was used to make the pre-mixed medicine liquid. However, you also need to enter the rat’s weight in grams. The suggested weights are for Roof Rats, and Norway Rats will be heavier (especially males.) Also, you should try to adjust the mg/ml so that the amount you need to give to your rat is “reasonable.” It will be hard to get a rat to drink more than 0.5 ml, for example. But, if you make the medicine too concentrated, it will be so yucky that the rat won’t drink it! You should shake the medicine bottle prior to each use, as some medicines tend to settle to the bottom.
Remember to always consult with your vet before giving any medicines to your rat, and make sure that he agrees with the methods and dosages. We love rats and it’s our goal to help yours to be happy and healthy so they can focus on what’s important…
…like watching television!
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