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Thread: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

  1. #1
    Christie189 Guest

    Question We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Hi everyone. I'll start by saying that we have had this little guy 2 days now. I have read and read and there is a wealth of information here. We already have Ebsilac (powdered) and right now, we are using a syringe with a longer type nipple attached. He has been eating little bits about every 3-4 hours. He is proving rather difficult to feed, but I think he is getting the hang of it. He is not suckling much, we have to drop a little bit into his mouth and wait for him to swallow. It's a long process, but worth it. The whole aspiration thing has me a wee bit nervous, but we are taking it real slow and following his lead. I looked at the age chart and he seems to be about 3-4 weeks old? His eyes are not open as of yet. And all he wants to do is sleep, I assume this is normal for this age? Does anyone know how much formula this little guy needs and how long between feedings at this age? Assuming he is about 3-4 weeks. We are stimulating his "goods" after he eats, and he has went pee/poo. It takes a little while to get him to go...

    He did have fleas when we found him. We picked them all off, dropped them in a cup of water and carefully wiped him down with a bit of Adams Flea Powder that I oddly already had when we had our dog. We no longer have a dog - just an outdoors cat, who prefers it that way. I also read that is what to use on Squirrels. Or it doesn't matter?

    Here is a picture to help determine:








    We do know that he weighs 88.5 grams!

    It is a boy and that wasn't hard to determine.

    We have a HUGE mulberry tree in our backyard and my husband found him outside beneath the tree. We tried to leave him there, hoping his mama would come back for him, but no luck. He cried and cried with this "Peep-Peep" sound. It started getting dark and there was no sign of her. Sooooo, we took over and brought him inside. We tried again the next morning and several hours later, no luck. It was breaking my heart into pieces. Also, there is quite a few stray dogs and cats that frequent our neighborhood and that really worried me. We have a hamster cage (for the time being) and we took the advice of many here, we put a heating pad on one half of the cage (on low) between a fleece blanket and he seems content. I had some fluffy rodent bedding that we tucked inside of a little cozy bed that he is all curled up in. He doesn't seem sick or anything at all, which is great. He twitches a good bit but I also read that is normal for this age, something about energy and his eyes being closed? I forget some things after reading so much!

    I believe I read that keeping this little guy is legal in the state of IL, with a permit. How does one go about getting a permit to have him as a pet? My husband had a pet squirrel years ago and throughly enjoyed the experience...

    I hate to say that I am already attached to this little guy, but I guess maybe the middle of the night feedings can do that?

  2. #2

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Christie, husband and that precious little baby. I am so glad you guys have taken him in it sounds like you are doing a great job Just wanted to say HI and I will let the more experienced step in and help you out on the particulars. Great pictures, such a sweetheart, have you though of a name yet??

  3. #3
    Christie189 Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Thanks so much for the warm welcome!

    No name as of yet. I guess we need to get to know his little character first and then go from there. I told my husband that he can name him. I am sure it will take him a few to think of one that he likes. The squirrel that he used to have was named Sammy. Can't use that one again.

    I am so worried about this little guy. But my husband tells me that I am a worrier by nature. Doesn't make caring for this wee baby easy. But he is adorable!

    BTW, my name is Christie. My husband's name is Ken.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Welcome Christie and Ken! Thank you for being such careing animal lovers and a great photographer to boot!
    "All we really are is Squirrels" (and Bunnies!)
    - The Beastly Boys

  5. #5

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    to the board and what a precious baby boy!

    Pa. licenced Rehabber

  6. #6

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    You can't use Sammy because we already have a Sammy on here! You'll have to watch LynninIN's videos of him sometime. I personally like Reese, that way when he makes poopies they are Reese's Pieces!



    And welcome to the board. We're thrilled to have you and the little guy. He is absolutly precious! Are you sure it's a boy though? Is his wee-wee kind of in the middle of his tummy or down between his legs?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Christie,

    Your adorable little guy looks beautiful! Keep it up.

    I'm new here myself, and these folks have been a HUGE help to me and my little Miss Hickory. You are in the best hands here

    Miss Hickory was just a little older than your guy when she was found Her eyes were open, and her ears a little more adult like, but otherwise abotu the same. She was healthy but emaciated, so had gone hungry a long while. This is her first feeding, to give you an idea of what a super eager baby looks like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubbEkSySAA8

    When my son was born, I learned pediatricans rate how eagerly babies nurse. I've forgotten all the names, but the most eager are called barracudas (this is official language!) and that is what MH is. Yours might just be younger and more polite, or perhaps one of the experienced people here might have some suggestions. I know there are lots of different syringes and nipples, etc. You want to stay small ( 1 or 2 cc syringes to start) so you don't aspirate him, and never force the formula down him. Try to get to know his swallowing pattern and work in concert with him, giving him time to rest every few swallows if he needs it.

    Have you been to Chris's website for squirrel supplies? They have a set of syringes and nipples you can buy to find out what works best for your guy.

    Before deciding to keep him as a pet, read as much as you can about what that means. Since getting MH two weeks ago, I have met doxzens of peopel who have had them. I had NO idea they were such a common pet - or should I say ~attempted~ pet. Everyone has a story or a dozen stories to tell me about serious mischief (look at this scar! It went all the way through my finger!) or tragedy. I met one man who told me his friend raised a baby racoon and when it hit sexual maturity and got aggressive ( as virtually all wild animals do) he felt betrayed and beat it to death. Know your own limits, how well you will able to meet his needs for life ( this might not be the best pet to have around babies, for example) and what quality of life he will have with you vs out in the wild. He will miss out on the pure joy of swinging through the trees and developing a relationship with his own species. As social as they are, this is a serious consideration. Squirrels are not domesticated and as sweet and baby like as they ae now, they are just that wild later. I am already seeing it, and my baby is just 8 (?) weeks old!

    If you want one as a pet, consider getting rehab certified and finding one that cannot be released to the wild due to health issues. That way everybody wins

    Having said that, I TOTALLY relate to those maternal instincts. Mine has the temperament of my first born child, and boy is that ever bringing back memories and longings! Plus she is just so darned cute, I can hardly stand it. But because of that, I want her to have the best life she possibly can.

    Oh - a word about bedding. I don't know if squirrels ever eat it, but we just lost a hamster to supposedly 'proven safe' stuffing she ingested. In that experience we learned one should never give them any loose bedding that does not dissolve easily iin water (think toilet paper).

    What we use, and I HIGHLY recommend this, is a fuzzy bedroom slipper. MH LOVES them. They are very snuggly, make a great first playground, can be adjusted by eve very small squirrels for warmth ( she sleeps in it, on it and under it, depending) and the size is just right. Best of all, that critical first week, is it feels like Mom. MH's first one was silky, and she liked to run her paws through it and muzzle it looking for a nipple. She never nursed on the fur, but I used a wig brush and brushed it realy well after each washing, just to make sure. Her new one is thiick and fuzzy, like a good quality stuffed animal. It's made by Dearform and she loves the part that cups the heel - perfect for curling into and feeling that proporecptive feedback that you get form a ple of sibs The other advantage is she has a cave, to call safety in. This is where her treats are taken straight off, and where she herself goes when there is a loud noise or whe wants to play hide and seek with us. You can see her playing with her slipper in the second video at the link I gave.

    The third pair are frogs. Seriously - silkscreened nylon frogs - with big plastic eyes. They are not warm, so are just for play, unless she gets really hot, and wants to sleep there. I'll get soem photos because seeing a squirrel play in a big frog is pretty funnny!

    So far, I've found all three pairs, brand new, at Goodwill. They are a popular Christmas gift that people do not want, and this is the season to find them. It's too warm now ( at least in Georgia~!) to find them in most other stores.
    I got a seam ripper and removed the rubber sole from each slipper and pulled out the foam padding. We keep one in her box and the mate in the wash at all times. I also cut baby washcloth sized squares from a fiber fill baby blanket and she likes to pull them over the entrance to her cave when she is sleeping. This is safety instinct - when she is grown we'll give her an outdoor box with a door she can shut.

    Enjoy him, and I look forward to watching I grow up

    Laurel.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by TexanSquirrel
    You can't use Sammy because we already have a Sammy on here! You'll have to watch LynninIN's videos of him sometime. I personally like Reese, that way when he makes poopies they are Reese's Pieces!



    > Are you sure it's a boy though? Is his wee-wee kind of in the middle of his >tummy or down between his legs?
    Yup, when I got MH the poor little thing was so emaciated her lady bits hug loose from her body and looked like what shuld be on a boy. She was Hercules Hickory for a week, because we thoguth she was male and she likes to get under her slipper and do push ups. But I kept calling her 'she', so I think I knew Finally this board helped me sort it out. Girls are rather prominent but it's down between the legs, compared to boys. The boys don't have discernable testicles until later.

    Laurel

    Laurel

  9. #9
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Welcome to the squirrel board! He is a very cute little guy. I happen to have a fox squirrel that is the same size as your little guy. She weighed 87 grams this morning. I am feeding her 4 times a day and she can take between 5 and 6 ccs per feeding (she always wants the 6 ccs). It will probably take him a few days to get used to you feeding him, so don't worry that he doesn't suck it down very quickly. You will want to listen to his breathing and make sure there is no clicking though, because if there is he could have pneumonia (mine had it when I first got her).
    As for keeping him as a pet, I would think long and hard before making that decision. A pet squirrel is a huge long term commitment as anyone on the board that has a pet squirrel can tell you. I would not recommend keeping him if he is healthy, which it looks like he is. When he grows up and matures, he will want to live a regular squirrely life in the trees.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  10. #10
    Gabe Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Hi and to the squirrel board. Squirrels Rule has a good feeding schedule for you. The clicking sound that she described is a symptom of pneumonia that comes from aspirating.
    Your little guy will learn to suck soon. It usually takes about 3 days to get used to the new feel of the nipple, taste of the milk, and smell of his new Mommy. I'm glad you found him but would like to add that they don't usually come leave the nest until the mother has been dead 3-5 days so dehydration is a concern. Also it would not hurt to check the area very carefully and see if there aren't 3 more as they generally have a litter of four. Good luck with him.

  11. #11
    Somebody's Mother Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    welcome to the board. what an adoreable baby. sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the situation.
    enjoy taking care of him and then pay attention to what he wants to do with his life. sounds funny to say that about a squirrel but it is true. i had an eastern grey inhouse for about 5 weeks. but she let me know that she wished to be wild. she now lives a 3 hour drive from me. my neighborhood was not the ideal place to release her and the rehabber put her with other babies about her age so she didn't have to venture into the wild by herself.
    but there are those squirrels that are happier living with humans. i don't know how that works but it happens sometimes. so watch him for clues as to what he wants. it is adviseable that if you are going to keep him as a pet that you have him neutered. (not right away)
    i currently have a flying squirrel. she loves the company of humans. she will jump out of her cage onto my shoulder and start purring.

  12. #12

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    ahhh lucky! that's probably my favorite age to get babies at.

    good job on getting started! i would suggest, though, that you look up the contacts of local rehabbers. we can give you a lot of advice, but if something goes wrong all of a sudden (knock on wood) it's a comfort to have a contact already at hand.

    he should start to get more eager soon. sometimes babies that we get in just won't take to a nipple. but after a couple of days, that formula starts to smell pretty good and the instinct to live kicks in.

    if he doesn't increase his appetite, you may want to change your feeding methods. he sounds pretty healthy, so things should go well.

    SM. the squirrel really does tell you what's what.

    make sure you watch the baby closely. i don't want to scare you, but i had a baby fox squirrel his age before, and he used to sleep all the time and twitch a lot. it took a couple days, but my mother and i realized that every so often he'd cry out and stretch in a weird way. he was having seizures. i doubt that this is the case for your guy but if you see any strange behavior let us know.

    good luck!
    thundersquirrel

  13. #13
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Gabe has a good point, make sure you watch for other babies because a litter of 1 is very unusual, usually there are 3-4. Here is a picture of my little girl squirrel, her name is Zippy:



    I have had her for 2 weeks and a few days now and she has had her ups and downs but is doing very good now. She has been gaining about 3 grams a day and should open her eyes Friday or Saturday. Your squirrel should be doing about the same.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  14. #14
    Christie189 Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    I have to tell you - this board is an amazing support to us. Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to reply! He is eating better and better with each feeding. When he gets hungry, he squirms around and around his little cozy bed, suckling on anything in sight. He just ate 3cc's and he is passed out again. He is learning to suck the nipple a little more each feeding and hearing that little slurp sound is sooooo precious.

    Thank you for being such careing animal lovers and a great photographer to boot!
    Thank you! I love, love, love my camera and take great pride in photography. I would to start a photog business in the future...

    Are you sure it's a boy though?
    I am pretty sure. Here is a picture of his goods:



    Oh, squirrelsrule&bunniestoo, that is a precious little one. Makes me want to kiss her! Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to keep track of her weight.

    I looked ALL over the place for more little ones. I didn't see any, hear any or anything. I've looked for the past 2 days now, all around the tree. Nothing. I hope that if there is more, they are OK.

    With all that said, I will be on the lookout for a rehabber in our area, just in case. I like having that extra reassurance in case something does happen. We understand the long term commitment to keeping him as a pet. We are going to follow his lead and take it one day at a time and see how things go. The decision will become clearer and clearer as each day passes, I am sure.

  15. #15

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Sounds like this little guy has a smart Mom & Dad, and they are doing a wonderful job with him.

    Pa. licenced Rehabber

  16. #16

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Zippy is looking just great Christie I think that is a BOY

  17. #17
    Christie189 Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Sounds like this little guy has a smart Mom & Dad, and they are doing a wonderful job with him.
    Thanks so much. That is nice to hear. I've never done this before, so it is good to hear that we are doing the right thing(s). I love this place already.

    :wott

    We got a BOY!

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    That is definetely a boy all right. He is looking very healthy! Sounds like you are doing a great job, glad he is sucking the milk better. He will work his way up to the full feeding, just give him time. Then he will be a little piggy like Zippy has become and will keep drinking and drinking until he looks like he will explode. When they get like that you have to watch that you don't overfeed them, because they will drink more than they should! I have a chart that I can PM you with how much to feed at each weight if you would like it. For now I would go with 5-6 cc four times a day as the target amount.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  19. #19
    Abacat Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    Christie and Ken ...What a handsome little boy.
    Glad to see pics of your baby, (we love pictures.) Just wanted to say welcome.

  20. #20
    Christie189 Guest

    Default Re: We found a sweet little man! A few Questions...

    I'd love the chart. That'd come in really handy if you wouldn't mind! He has been eating anything from 1-4cc each feeding with about 3 hours between each feeding.

    I was going to ask. I read (here, or somewhere, I can't recall now) that I should be mixing his formula 3 parts water, 1 part powder until he gets used to the switch. Is that much to diluted for this age? Should I go with 2 parts water, 1 part powder instead? We weren't sure what to do. Just been using the little teaspoon scoop that came in the powder. I mix his formula up as he is ready to eat. Getting it to temp is rather tricky, but we manage!

    Thanks, Abacat. I'll be sure to share tons. I love pics!

    I am sure he will have a name soon!

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