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Thread: Choking???

  1. #1

    Question Choking???

    Has anybody had a squirrel that is a "choker"? My Charlie is about 6 (7?) weeks old.. doing great on formula, gaining weight, just super in every way.. He has rodent block available, but he just noses it around, doesn't eat it. He shredded an apple slice the other day, but also didn't eat that. SO- Today, after his morning formula feed, I gave him a cheerio.. more to see if he could stand up and hold it than as a food.. He chomped it into little bits in about 2 seconds- and then stated choking! I picked him up and looked in his mouth.. it was full of cheerio bits!! I picked some out for him, and he spit out most of the rest. He continued to spit out little pieces (spitting out- NOT coughing up) until he had no more in there. I gave him a chance to drink a little formula from a syringe to clear him out, and he did fine with that. But WOW how traumatic (for both of us!!) He doesn't seem to have any residual problems from it so far, but I will watch for aspiration symptoms..

    So how do I introduce solid foods to a choking squirrel? Now I am scared to just give him things to try and walk away.. He doesn't seem to chew peices off his rodent food, so I will leave that in his cage. But he doesn't act like he even knows it is food LOL. ..

    All advice would be welcome at this point...

    Liza

  2. #2

    Default Re: Choking???

    Liza my little Preston last year choked almost to death on a raisin, I will never give a squirrel a raisin again. That was a very scary for me as I am sure the cheerio was for you.
    I would skip the cheerio for now..my older squirrls had several shredded in the bottom of the cage & they dont shred fine (if you will) like rodent block or monkey biscuit, which almost turns into a powder?
    I wont be giving any to my babies for a while, in fact maybe not at all the rodent block is much better for them. Poor little guy!

    Pa. licenced Rehabber

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Choking???

    Other rehabbers in our group will put formula in a shallow dish and put cheerios in the formula (rodent block would work, too). That way they get soft enough so they don't choke, but helps them move to solids at the same time.

    I've not used that method, though, because I can't be there two - three hours later to remove the uneaten food so they don't eat spoiled goods.
    A young man was picking up starfish and tossing them gently back into the ocean. "What are you doing?" a wise man asked.

    "The sun is coming up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die," the young man said.

    The wise man replied, "But there are miles of beach and millions of starfish. You can't possibly make a difference."

    The young man bent down, picked up another, and threw it lovingly back beyond the breaking waves. "I made a difference for that one," he replied.

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