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Thread: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

  1. #1
    chipsmom Guest

    Question Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new here and have a couple of questions.

    Two days ago my son brought me a very lethargic baby squirrel that he found laying in a ditch. It was barely moving and very dehydrated.

    Here's a pic of what it looked like


    I looked him over carefully for any puncture wounds, broken bones or signs of illness and couldn't find any. I think he's about 5 weeks old? His upper incisors are just coming in. I've never done a squirrel rehab before but I do raise chinchillas and have quite a few emergency supplies on hand.

    I started out giving the little guy 2cc of pedialyte which he immediately threw up. Gave him 5 minutes and tried again one drop at a time every 5 minutes. Got him under a warming light and kept up the syringe feeding throughout the night. I also made sure he was urinating and having bowel movements. I also jumped online to see what I find out about squirrels. By morning he was opening his eyes but his skin was still tented. Yesterday afternoon I started feeding 1/2 canned puppy formula and 1/2 purified water. 1cc every hour watching to make sure he was adjusting.


    This morning I only diluted the puppy formula on a 1/4 ratio to water and I'm feeding 4cc every 3 hours. I also ordered some silicone nipples because its hard for him to lick the 1cc syringe, he keeps trying to suckle it. I also ordered primate food and bones from the squirrel supply store.

    My questions are:

    Do I need to add whipping cream to the mixture I'm feeding? If so, I have whole fresh goat's milk in my fridge (for baby chinchillas) would that be a better substitute?

    question #2. He has develop soft poos. They are normal in color just soft. Should I start giving beneficial bacteria? I have a plethora of various kinds of acidophilus and I'm not sure which would be best and I don't want to over do it. I have on hand AbsorbAid (30 billion CFU per tablet) vegetarian tablet. I also have Natures Life a milk based acidophilus. Thirdly I have Dawnna's Lifeline which is a combination of acidophilus, digestive enzymes, bee pollen and herbs (it is designed for chinchillas with gastric issues).

    question #3 Is there anything else I should be doing to help this guy?

    All advise appreciated.

    Sarah and Chip

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    The ABCs of orphaned squirrel care are:

    1. First you warm them
    2. Then you hydrate them
    3. Then you feed them

    He might not have been warm enough when you first gave him the Pedialyte, causing him to throw up. I assume he's warm now, and also ON HEAT, i.e., a heating pad turned on low and placed under half the container.

    He's obviously still dehydrated. Do not neglect this! Babies that are not FULLY rehydrated often "rally" and then crash later. I'd give him another feeding of plain, warmed Pedialyte right now. Then, between feedings of formula, continue to give him extra feedings of plain, warmed water.

    That's good you're diluting the formula. You can gradually step it up until you're feeding the formula at the recommended strength. But if at any time you see unformed or liquid poops, go back a step. Soft poops are okay. Also watch for bloating as this can be fatal.

    Plain active-culture yogurt or acidophilus is a good idea; about a tsp into the formula. I wouldn't use anything with extra ingredients like herbs or additives. I wouldn't add cream right now.

    Use plain tap water to mix your formula, not purified water. Never mix the formula with pedialyte. Don't microwave the formula; microwave a mug of water and dip the syringe full of formula into the hot water to warm it.

    Anyhow, a rehabber should be here shortly, but these are some basics.

    Keep rehydrating this little guy; he cannot digest properly otherwise, and we've seen many babies die because of incomplete rehydration.

    to TSB.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s


    Chip is gorgeous and sounds like you are doing a great job
    I am not a rehabber but one will be here soon!
    I get silicon nipples from Chris's Squirrel Store, and esbilac too.
    I do know that some here use acidophilus, I use full stregth esbilac with heavy cream and Dannon All Natural Vanilla Yogurt, we have wonderful poops here!
    In your case I would dilute down all and anything at first...and if he is still tenting, switch between nutrition and hydration each feeding, but it sounds like you are doing great.
    We recommend fleece, no towels...nail issues.
    I would most def keep on heating pad, half under container.
    Also give him a pecan half or a peeled grape, a small pc of peeled apple.
    Again Welcome to TSB!
    Hello Chip!

  4. #4
    chipsmom Guest

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    I just gave him 3cc of pedialyte. He's sleeping in a fleece pouch that I made (I use them for my baby chinchillas). I have a laser thermometer (tempgun)and right now its 98.1 degrees in his box.

    Should I decrease the amount of formula I'm feeding if I'm giving pedialyte between feedings?

    No signs of bloat yet. I do have baby simethicone on hand as bloating is a common problem for chins too.

    I have both plain and organic vanilla yogurt in my refrigerator so I'll start adding it to the forumula.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    hi chipsmom, and a BIG to our TSB family!!!
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    contact me here: http://www.myspace.com/redneckgal71

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    chipsmom you're doing well and have gotten great advice. I won't muddy the waters. I will just answer your question that No, you don't need to reduce the amount of formula when you are feeding Pedialyte in between. As the baby becomes more normally hydrated his appetite will increase, and he will need and want more 'real' food -- i.e. formula. Also remember that the tenting test for dehydration is often inconclusive with baby squirrels in particular: their skin grows ahead of their bone structure and they can be wrinkly or tented even when not dehydrated. BUT, in this baby's case, hydration is key because he was so debilitated when you got him.
    Island Rehabber
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Good adice all the way around- hydration is your inital key here. he's just goregous as he can be. You are def. going to want silicone nipples. Good nipples make the difference between easier, more comfortable feedsing for the babies and harder frustrated feedings. The end of those syringes jsut don't feel natural and they have a harder time. Do you have a gram scale that you can weigh him in?? Once properly hydrated, ya need to know how much he shoukd be feeding (~5% of body weight)

    I primarily just stopped in to say to TSB!
    [I]An ambassador for squirrels everywhere.[/I]

  8. #8
    chipsmom Guest

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s



    I do have a gram scale. I'll go weigh him right now.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Once they open their eyes they may eat a little more or less than the 5%, but at least it gives you an idea of an average. How is the little tyke doing today?
    [I]An ambassador for squirrels everywhere.[/I]

  10. #10
    chipsmom Guest

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Update:

    Chip is doing well. His tail is up now. He's starting to become curious about his surroundings. He weighs 112 grams. So he's getting 5 cc's 4 times a day. I also offered him 1/2 of a raw unsalted hazelnut and grape. He loved the hazelnut but didn't care for the grape. His droppings are solid and good colored again. Since he's doing well now, at what point should I add the whipping cream to his esbilac/water mixture and how much?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s



    Chips mom had a question


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Chip Sarah and a big to TSB. Sounds like he's in good hands with you. One quick thing though... I think you mentioned something about goats milk and from what I understand (and please guys correct me if I'm wrong), I think that can be bad for them. Puppy formula is the way to go. Good luck to you and your little guy. Looking forward to more pics
    The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Are you feeding the formula at the full mixture, not diluted? If so, and I'm not 100% sure, maybe Jackie or someone will chime in, I think you replace one portion of the water with yogurt or whipping cream. So, if you're using 1 scoop of powdered formula, you'd be adding 2 scoops of water. To add the yogurt or whipping cream, it would be 1 scoop powder, 1 scoop water & 1 scoop yogurt/whipping cream. I think you want the consistancy to remain about the same as if you were only using water so that it will go through the syringe smoothly.

    What kind of formula are you feeding? I use Esbilac Puppy Milk replacer, but have heard several others who say Goat's milk replacer is ok as well. Just stay away from Kitten Milk Replacer or KMR.

    Good luck!
    Shanon, Squammy to...




  14. #14
    chipsmom Guest

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    I started out with canned Just Born puppy formula but switched to powdered Esbilac puppy formula after reading that none of the other brands were suitable. He is only getting the esbilac/water/organic yogurt. 1 part formula, 1-1/2 parts water 1/2 part yogurt. I have goats milk on hand for my chinchillas but have not given any to Chip. The whipping cream I bought at the store is cow cream.

    I'll see if I can get some updated pictures when I wake him up for his next feeding.

    Thanks everybody!

  15. #15
    chipsmom Guest

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Photos:

    Tail Up!


    Contemplating the world...


    Stealing treats


    Full tummy and back to sleep.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    What I have had success with is 1 part Esbilac puppy powder, 2 parts water, and 1 part whipping cream. But if this guys is 5 -6 weeks, you may want to start off with maybe 1/2 part whipping cream, 2 parts water, 1 part powered puppy formula. To get him started. h fat is so crucial when younger, but by the time you get him there, it'd be time to start removing the whipping cream anyway. That's jsut what I've found success with- others do other things that work well to. Chime in here gals- what do ya think?
    [I]An ambassador for squirrels everywhere.[/I]

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Newbie with 5 week old and ?'s

    Love it!!! Too stinkin cute.
    The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals

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