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Thread: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

  1. #1
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    I don't know if this is life threatening or not, but it has me worried enough that I can't sleep. Long story short, my 6-7 week old squirrel is seriously constipated. He tries and tries to poop, but its really hard for him. Sometimes his poop is so hard that I have to help him with q-tips and warm water, which he actually holds still for, something that he never does. This has only been going on for a day, and I thought he was getting better when he pooped a bit, albeit it was a bit hard for him, But I took a look at him again and noticed that the area upwards of his bum is round and hard to the touch. He is really full of poop, and it is very hard. Is there anything I can give him, not to soften the poop that's coming, but to soften the poop that's already there?

    You'll have to excuse my ignorance, but I just found him and his brother a few days ago, and I've never rescued baby squirrels before...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    His poop is dark and hard because he is dehydrated. I would recommend either giving him 2 pedialyte feedings in between his regular feedings or taking out one regular feeding and give a feeding of just pedialyte instead to rehydrate him. It is normal for their poop to be like that for the first few days since they were probably without food for at least a couple days before you found them.
    Another possible cause of his trouble could be what you are feeding him. What kind of milk are you feeding him and how much does he get at each feeding? Is it his belly that is full and hard? Perhaps you are overfeeding. His belly should be full but not tight to the touch when he is done eating (I think others describe it as a slightly deflated balloon?).
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  3. #3
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    I've been feeding him and his brother esbilac puppy milk mixed with water, 1:2 ratio. When I first brought them home, I checked to see if they were dehydrated. They seemed fine. The little guy's brother's been eating the same thing, but he's fine. Pooping rather spectacularly really...lol I could try giving the big one a bit of olive oil to help things along on top of the extra water if you think that would help?

  4. #4
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Ooop! Part of my post disappeard. He isn't ever bloated, its just the area forward of his bum that's round and hard. The big guy's a bit of a pig, but we rarely give him as much as he wants. If he's still hungry, he'll go munch on the dry kittend food that's in the cage. Something else that disappeared from my previous post: We switched to KMR kitten formula for a bit, not because we wanted to, but because the only store open around our area didn't have any esbilac left. The woman who was there told us she'd taken wildlife rescue training courses and that she herself had raised squirrels. She said that KMR was the same as esbilac except less strong, and that dry kitten food was best...

    *sorry about the double post*

  5. #5

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Good morning,

    Nix the kitten food. That may be causing the problem. The oil may be given once but if you don't see improvement do not repeat it. Extra fluids, as suggested, is very good. I would try stimulating him to help hem go. Use a tissue, cotton pad/ball with quick gentle downward motion to massage his pooping end. It may that a few minutes or several tries to get him cleaned out. I'll check back later. Others will be with more help.

  6. #6
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    I will do anything for my babies! Thanks Gamma Baby and Mars, for replying so fast! You have no idea how comforting it feels to finally get a hold of someone who knows what they're doing!

    So, I got up to feed them this morning, and Mr. Big pooped! A big poop, but glorious glorious poop! Without grunting! ...unless he'd been working at it all night... Umm, a few question here if I'm not bothering you guys too much. Can Gatorade be used as a replacement for Pedia-Lite for a couple of hours? And if so...man this sounds so dumb but, what flavour? Is there one in particular that's best? Annnd, I will defer to all experts here , what is the best dry food to give squirrels, on top of veggies and fruits? Ahhh so many question!

    Sorry for being so crazy, but I'm just so HAPPY the little guys seems to be doing better. I had a terrible night spent worrying!

    I'll keep everybody posted, but I think Mr. Big might be out of the woods.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Glad he pooped good this morning! I give my squirrels rodent block along with their fruits and veggies. You can order it at Chris's squirrel store (link at the top of the page). It has complete nutrition for baby squirrels and some rehabbers feed their babies soley the rodent block after they are weaned. I do not do that but do give them as much of it as they want in addition to their fruits and veggies.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    So glad everything came out OK . We really do need a "Pooping Forum" here on TSB.! Actually this happens a lot, but it is nerve-wracking every time it does. Hooray for Mr Big!
    Island Rehabber
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  9. #9
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Purina Dog Chow, rodent block and monkey biscuits, oh my! lol! I'll check that out later. For now, my babies are good, I'm good, I need a nap. All that worrying has tired me out!

    Thanks everybody! I'll keep you posted. but I think I'll also go ask about toys and such in the non life-threatening...thread.

    P.S. I have to find names for my two little guys. I can't keep calling them Mr. Big and The Runt!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus_04
    The woman who was there told us she'd taken wildlife rescue training courses and that she herself had raised squirrels. She said that KMR was the same as esbilac except less strong, and that dry kitten food was best...

    I'm pretty brand spanking new at this, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that that woman is completely IGNORANT! Worse. That ignorance seems to be common in wildlife/vet circles. I recently got a somewhat irate email from a vet student (dd of an online friend) who did 3 years at a wildlife center as part of her vet school training and she said the same thing - all they ever feed their squirrels was KMR and I'm going to kill mine with esbilac and virtually everything else I do for her. Do NOT believe everything you read, no matter where you read it - do your own research. After an initial mistake made in haste ( squirrel in hand, needing to be fed) I came to believe the majority of Squirrel Board, only after reading the threads and see whose squirrels are thriving and successfully releasing. I also did outside research on the nutrient content of various milks.

    I was led astray once with advice to feed cow's milk, which has so low a fat content that some consider it posionous ( an innacurate term - it is not poison - but it does not digest well in squirrels). I got wise. I looked up the nutrient and fat content of various animals. I posted this on another thread, and will repost here:

    Milk composition table, in percentages, from Borden, Inc. research:
    Species Solids Fat Protein Carbohydrates
    Cow 11.9 3.5 3.0 4.6
    Dog 24.0 10.5 7.9 3.8
    Cat 20.0 6.5 9.0 6.8
    Gray Squirrel 26.6 12.6 9.2 3.4

    That is from this website: http://www.naturalhorsetrim.com/18.htm
    ________________________________________

    Just Born brand released this statement about what to use for what animal:
    Q) Can the formula be fed to other orphaned wildlife?
    A) Just Born Milk Replacer formulas have been developed specifically for puppies and kittens, and while it may be fed to
    orphaned wildlife, the consumer accepts full responsibility for such use. The puppy formula is best for squirrels, chipmunks,
    rabbits, ferrets, beavers and Virginia opossums. The kitten formula is more suitable for raccoons, badgers, hamsters, guinea
    pigs and bobcats. However, it is important to check with your state regarding its policy on wildlife possession and
    rehabilitation, as it may be prohibited.

    That was from this site:

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/library...m-milkrepl.htm
    __________________________________________________ ________

    For those who want to learn more, here is a pdf about the content of grey squirrel milk (compared with cow's):
    https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/ bitstream/1811/5665/1/V72N01_003.pdf

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus_04
    I've been feeding him and his brother esbilac puppy milk mixed with water, 1:2 ratio. When I first brought them home, I checked to see if they were dehydrated. They seemed fine. The little guy's brother's been eating the same thing, but he's fine. Pooping rather spectacularly really...lol I could try giving the big one a bit of olive oil to help things along on top of the extra water if you think that would help?

    Lazurus, I am having ongoing feeding/peeing problems with Miss Hickory, and Mars has been a big help. She is VERY knowledgable. But I'd like to mention a couple of things that might help.

    Don't assume that your big guy is well hydreated just because he is pooping. MH is quite the little pooper herself, but they tend to be hard and dry - and black or dark brown. They will look like dead fleas one day and plump rice crispies the next. She does not like drinking water in any form, and formula has been a battle since day one. The funny thing is that whenever I write about this, she runs over and drinks from her tube, so maybe I should post several times a day

    I watch for pee - poop is not enough to indicate they are getting enough fluids. You can also do the pionch test ( not as in ouch pinch, but lifting up a fold of skin between the shoulders and watching how quickly it settles)

    You want them to pee once or twice each day - and to have a nice odorless clear pee fairly often (your internist will tell you the same thing If she has had no pee - or, if she seems to anxiously look for something - suspect dehydration. Give a syringe of pedialyte then.

    This morning, MH got out and inspected every clear vessel in my house, but snorted into water if I held a glass for her to drink from. She knows how to use a tube, and has a tube, but has this idea abotu vessels being better ( yet has not the patience to learn to drink form them yet. I tried dipping some fabric in the water for her to suck and i tried giving her wet celery leaves, and moist foods ( she typically rejects all moist foods - darn the luck) but no go. Finally I give her a syringe of pedialte. Mine will usually take 2 cc's at most, but it helps. I cna also keep the syringe handy and she will sip form it as she romps around. Just don't mix formula with it, because they digest at different rates!

    In case you are wonderin, I stalled a bit on the pedialyte because she is 10 weeks and needs to be able to accept other forms of fluids before she is released.

    Hope that helps And I am SOOOO glad to hear he finally pooped! I know he feels better, and I'm sure you do to. Now you can get proactive before another blockage.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Make that:

    Milk composition table, in percentages, from Borden, Inc. research:
    Species--------Solids-------Fat-------Protein------Carbohydrates
    Cow-----------11.9----------3.5-------3.0-----------4.6
    Dog------------24.0--------10.5-------7.9-----------3.8
    Cat------------20.0----------6.5-------9.0-----------6.8
    Gray Squirrel-----6.6--------12.6--------9.2----------3.4

    That is from this website: http://www.naturalhorsetrim.com/18.htm It also has racoon, oppossum, rabbit etc, for anyone who is rehabbing those

    That should read better. As you can see, cat and squirrel are very close. Just add a little heavy cream or multi-milk and you've got good squirrly formula.

    Gabe has a slightly different chart, and surmised this one might be a bit outdated (or reseach varies?) but this is close enough to gie a good picture of what you're feeding with each form of milk.

    BTW - cats are carnivorres and dogs are omnivores. Squirrels are largely vegetarian but mildly omnivore. Dry kitten food is not good for kittens because it has so many grains/carbs. It is worse for squirrels because it is too high in meat content.

    Oh - and a hunch I have about the various pellet foods - animals only have access to what is offered them. Caged ones are by necessity less picky, so manyfacturers may spend less time and money developing palatable foods than they do for dogs and cats. These foods may be yummier, but I'll bet they suffer in nutritional value because of it ;-).

  13. #13
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Official report: Mr. Big is doing much better! He actually pooped 5 or six times since this morning. Still a bit big for him, but at least its coming out. I also noticed that his stool is getting softer when I cleaned his bum bum not long ago. The Pedia-Lite doesn't sustain him for long though, and I'm afraid of giving him too much to eat...

    Wow, so much info! I have officially removed said kitty food from cage and will forever more ban kitty food of all kinds in our house I have sent my dad out to find either zupreem monkey biscuits, rodent block or purina dog chow as a substitute for now. I wish him luck. As for me, I'm adding a dish of water on top of the hamster water bottle, because I noticed the little guys were having a bit of difficulty figuring out what it was for. If they don't start drinking, its syringe time! Aaaand I'm going to the grocers to get fresh fruits and veggies for them, coz they ran out. Phew! Thank God I wasn't working today!

    Hummm. Can anybody tell me exactly how much formula I should be giving 6-7 week old squirrels and how many times a day? I've browsed so many sites, and they all say different things...and the guys are ALWAYS hungry at all hours of the day...

    Thanks so much to all of you! I'll keep updating. Hey, do you think we could move this thread over somewhere else, since my buddy's doing better? I feel kinda bad keeping this thread going now that the danger is over.

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Do you have any way to weigh the little guys? I feed 5-8% of their body weight (in grams) at each feeding. A 6-7 week old squirrel should be fed 4 times a day. If you want to give pedialyte then give that between feedings. Also, you can add a little pedialyte to the milk, just do not add pedialyte instead of water or else the little tykes will digest the pedialyte very quickly leaving the milk powder to form a big ball of goo in their belly. To add pedialyte to the milk mix the milk to be 2:1 (2 parts water to 1 part milk powder) and then add the pedialyte to that as extra fluids and you can add as much pedialyte as you want. When Zippy (my baby foxer) was bloated and having trouble digesting I added pedialyte to her milk. When I was doing that I mixed 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of pedialyte, and 1 tablespoon of milk powder to make her milk.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  15. #15
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Hmmm. The only way I could think to weigh them is with an old fashioned scale. But they'd probably be too small to even give out a reading. I'll give it a try the next time they're up though. As for feeding them 4 times a day, it's been really hard to get them on a schedule. Should I just refuse to feed them until its time Squirrelsrule?

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Give them the fruits and veggies and rodent block when you get it and then yes, refuse to feed them until it is time. They will learn to eat their regular food then. If you give them milk whenever they want it they will fill up on that and not eat their regular diet.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus_04
    Hmmm. The only way I could think to weigh them is with an old fashioned scale. But they'd probably be too small to even give out a reading. I'll give it a try the next time they're up though. As for feeding them 4 times a day, it's been really hard to get them on a schedule. Should I just refuse to feed them until its time Squirrelsrule?
    There is no possible way I could have fed Miss Hickory only 4 times a day at that age. She simply did not have the stomach capacity to hold her over. You'll have to factor in your personal situation/squirrel with whatever advice you get here - but double check too - that is what I do. It took me a while to know when I should overide good advice given by experienced rehabbers here, because it did not fit my squirrel, who is a bit of a Princess and the Pea. People here are patient, and nearly everyone understands every squirrel is a little different, so read everything and keep asking!

    To get mine on a schedule, I watched for when she was most eager and made those times my guide. I then factored my own schedule in, and eased hers towards mine ( fed her slightly later each day until she slept as late as me)

    I don't have a small enough scale either. I use a kitchen scale, which has ounces. Imoerfect but at least I could tell if she was losing weight or gaining. You might ask around and see if anyone has a sale they can loan you. Mars told me a trick - you get those boxes they sell strawberries in - the large size, and put the squirrel in it for the weighing.

    Another way to know how much to feed - several people say they should feel like a day old balloon after feeding - their tummy that is. Island Rehabber first told me that one, and it is a great guide. It's kept me from overfeeding a time or two because my girl has a small and sensitive tummy. When we were trying to go by what other people feed their squirrels mine got pretty miserably bloated.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    If your squirrel is able to get a good amount of formula at each feeding, 4 feedings is plenty. I have always given mine just 4 feedings a day at that age and they gain weight very well, and they start eating their diet very well as well. At that age your squirrel can hold somewhere between 9 cc and 12 cc, depending on size, so if you can get that much them at each feeding, they will be fine.
    SQUIRRELS RULE AND BUNNIES TOO!

  19. #19
    lazarus_04 Guest

    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    Report: Mr. Big is getting better and better! Still not there yet, but he is pooping quite a bit now, and its getting much easier to clean his bum when he needs it!

    Hmm, I try to take into account what everyone says and then apply it to fit with my two little guys. No squirrel is the same right? It's just a bit hard when you first start out! You worry so much you think your head is going to explode!

    9-12 ccs? Thank god! I thought I was overfeeding my big guy. Is it normal to have to wake them up to feed them in the morning? Mr. Big tends to wake up pretty fast when he gets his first taste of food, but his smaller brother tends to be quite sleepy and eats less. He does have quite the appetite in the afternoon though. Is this normal?

    On another thread I asked if the difference in size between the two of them meant that they possibly came from different litters or that my little guy is just a runt. A few people posted back and said that it might be a sign that he has pneumonia or that he is sick. But he seems fine. Not clicking sounds. He eats a bit less, and he's not as ''hyped up'' as his big brother, but then again, he is smaller. That's not to say that he DOESN't eat and that he ISN'T active, just that he is less so. He also seems to be much more calm. Mr. Big always seems as if he is starving when I feed him, but the little guy always takes it in stride. After he is fed, he usually (but not always) cleans himself up a bit and falls asleep, sometimes in my cupped hands. In the past day or two, Mr. Big has been quite active after feeding.

    Another thing is that Mr Big has grown quite a bit in the few days we've had him, and the little guy has grown too, but not so much. His tail isn't as fluffy, he's quite smaller than Mr. Big, and he's still a bit gangly in the limbs. That's why I thought maybe they came from two seperate litters and that he was the younger of the two, possibly five weeks to Mr. Big's 7? Do you guys think he might be sick? If so, I'll bring him straight to the closest rehab center. It's about an hour away. I haven't gone yet for the simple reason that they've just started to settle down. I don't want to stress them again for nothing.

    wow.

    Sorry.

    I guess what I'm asking is that, is the reason my little guy a bit slower than his bigger brother because he is sick? The runt of a litter? Or maybe from a different litter alltogether and therefore a couple of weeks younger?

    Thanks again guys for all of your help! I would have probably died from a brain aneurism by now, and where would my little babies be then!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Baby squirrel VERY constipated

    I'm no expert, but you may just have a runt and a dominant baby. Or, you may have a gut feeling that something is wrong and you can't put your finger on it? Which do YOU think it is? Big ole Brutus might have been able to get all the grub back at the nest, but Lil Sweepea has as good a chance now, right? I'd think he'd be growing too. His slow growth and his morning sleepiness might concern me too, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything. They were different sizes when you got them, right? If so whatever is going on is likely genetic and nature will prevail one way or another. Of course some more experienced rehabber will come along and either agree or set me straight :-)

    FWIW, I once got a kitten from a litter with one enormous little Tom. Their origin is sketchy as someone literally threw this litter out of a car on the freeway. Doughboy, as he aptly came to be known, led the party to a baking facility, here they snuck in and feasted on baking supplies. Doughboy was literally discovered in a bin of flour. There was quite a bit of speculation on how much flour he ate, because he was twice the size of his siblings when found. My neice, a pastry chef, brought two home - one for me and one for her - Mine, Trilby was the most pathetic being you ever saw - she looked like she shopped the January fur sale at Goodwill and got there after all the good furs were gone. atShe was all shorhaired black except she had strange tufts of long white hair here and there - totally moth eaten looking. She was healthy though - it is ultimately Doughboy we came to worry about. He had an appetite that knew no bounds. Just goes to show...

    Just curious - how did you find them? Two is an odd number and they are an odd couple. Opposums drop their babies off two by two and I've wondered how they decide who goes with whom. pairing the strong with the weak makes sense. Best of luck with them!

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