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island rehabber
06-15-2009, 06:20 PM
Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

It is recommended by many that squirrels get at least one hour per day of natural sunlight to help provide vitamin D as well as other health benefits. If you choose to do this, use careful judgement, common sense, and these guidelines:

1. Never place a caged squirrel in direct sunlight.
2. Always provide water and shade.
3. On hot and/or humid days, indoor squirrels should be kept inside.
4. To-be-released squirrels need to be slowly acclimated to summer temps.
5. Never leave indoor squirrels (or unacclimated to-be-released squirrels) unattended outdoors.
6. Make sure your squirrel is in a secure cage (they can chew through screening), safe from predators, and not exposed to mosquitoes.

Symptoms of Heatstroke
Mild--Damp fur, appears to be sweating, rapid heartbeat and breathing
Moderate--Drooling or "foaming at the mouth," labored breathing, vomiting
Severe--diarrhea (may contain blood or mucous), uncoordination, seizures, collapse

If you see any of these symptoms, bring the squirrel indoors immediately and begin Emergency Cool-Down Procedures.

A squirrel can develop heatstroke in as little as 10 minutes, even in the shade!

randall
01-18-2010, 07:20 AM
Hi
No thet don't need everyday sun exposure but if you first receive the baby squirrel, begin to feed every two hours AFTER he is rehydrated for several days.

THIS IS AROUND THE CLOCK, EVEN AT NIGHT.

Continue to feed every two hours if the baby is under two weeks old.

Feed every three hours from two weeks old until his eyes are opened. (about 4-5 weeks old)

Feed every four hours until weaned, between seven to ten weeks old.


WEANING THE BABY

After the baby has opened his eyes, you can begin to introduce solid food into his diet.
Remember; continue to feed the baby his formula until he no longer wants it. (About 7 to 10 weeks)

Because nutrition is so important to a squirrel's fragile system, most rehabilitators begin the baby on Primate Dry Monkey Biscuits. This has the right amount of nutrients to keep the baby from acquiring severe ailments such as Metabolic Bone Disease, rickets, seizures, malnutrition, brittle bones, or other problems.

island rehabber
01-18-2010, 07:52 AM
I must respectfully disagree with you that once squirrels reach the age of 7-8 weeks old they need daily sun exposure. This is the age at which mamma squirrel would let them out of the nest to explore. They require sunlight in order to metabolize calcium.

LydiaAmaranth
02-01-2010, 07:14 PM
How do you all give your squirrels sun exposure? Hammy is near a sliding glass door, but sun never directly shines through it, so I am worried he needs more light.

PBluejay2
02-01-2010, 07:20 PM
How do you all give your squirrels sun exposure? Hammy is near a sliding glass door, but sun never directly shines through it, so I am worried he needs more light.

Sunlight filtered through glass won't cut it. The glass filters out a lot of the UV rays (even screen filters out a lot). I wheel my cages outside every day I can. You can also purchase UV bulbs at PetSmart. Look for "Repti-sun 10" (about 35 dollars) or "Repti-glo 10" (about 20 dollars), and keep them on during the day within two feet of the cage.

CritterMom
02-01-2010, 07:36 PM
Isn't Hammie a flyer? Being nocturnal, I think they get their Vitamin D from their diet more than sun...pretty sure the flyer folk feed mushrooms to provide the D they need. This is just stuff I have gotten from reading the board - I don't have a flying squirrel. The flyer folk can help you though - they are just now waking up, stretching, grooming, and getting ready for a big night. The squirrels, too...

PBluejay2
02-01-2010, 08:02 PM
Ooops! I can't remember whose squirrel is what! I HATE old age and the risiduals of living through the '70s. Yes, I think Hammy is a flyer and therefore needs less sun exposure than a diurnal squirrel. However (and I can look this up (maybe) if needed), some theorize flyers get reflected UV rays in their nests while they are asleep during the day. But I would imagine most of the D they get is through diet. Sorry--I'll go flashback now, listen to some Pink Floyd, tear the filter off the end of a cigarette, twist the end, and pretend.

Chickenlegs
02-01-2010, 11:56 PM
Hahahahahaha! Snork! Pretend huh?

SqrlyGirly
08-15-2010, 05:00 PM
I too have heard that squirrels need sunlight exposure, and it makes sense. MBD should be avoided at all costs, so I feel better giving them the exposure just in case. Besides, it is a natural way to get them to metabolize properly, and I'm all for taking advantage of that.

I also use UV light bulbs from pet shops. Its so much easier than moving cages in and out, and worrying about the weather and other things. The bulbs are only about $20, and typically last a while, especially with just a few hours of daily use.

TexomaGirl
08-27-2010, 12:24 AM
Just a note about the UVB bulbs, in my opinion, it is a much wiser choice to spend the few extra $$$ on the zoo-med repti sun bulbs versus other brands. The zoo-meds are the only ones proven to put off UVB output longer than 6 months. The zoo-meds will put out UVB for 12-16 months versus 4-6 months-other brands. And even with zoo-med, it's a safer choice to go with a strip light versus a "compact." Some compacts have been shown to cause blindness in animals. But also keep in mind that 2 hours of actual sun is about the equivelant of 10 hours under a UVB.
Just my 2 cents on it as I am a reptile keeper also...

island rehabber
08-27-2010, 06:24 AM
:goodpost Thanks for that info, TG :thumbsup

Crabbyolebroad
08-27-2010, 05:35 PM
I'm new here, but I figure Skittles likes the sunshine. We take him outside for at least an hour each time, sometimes several times a day, unless it is very hot out (which Kansas has been lately). if it is too hot, we go for maybe 20 minutes. He eats and then curls up to nap after each trip. I figure it couldn't hurt, right?

Charley Chuckles
05-17-2011, 06:24 AM
Even though I am in Florida and Charley goes outside with me daily I still provide him with supplements in his water ...I mix up a liquid of calcium/with vitamin D....and a liquid potassium/magnesium............. I take Charley (since I can carry him around) out on our deck under a gazebo/it has the screens on it (the kind you see at camping not screens like a house window) does the indirect light provide much or any kind of natural sunlight even though it is filtered and not directly hitting him :dono then again I have never seen a squirrel just out basking in the sun :rotfl

EricSteve
07-19-2011, 02:42 AM
Yes ,i have also heard and read about this man.Its almost true,The squirrel need sunshine on daily basis.There is no doubt in this.If you have few pet squirrel then you must have to arrange this for them.

Pierre
07-19-2011, 07:29 AM
If you like to give your squirrel some daily sunlight for warmth, melatonin, etc. that is fine.

Your squirrel, if eating a healthy diet with rat block, boo balls, or HHBs, do NOT need sunlight, or a UV lamp, for their vitamin D requirements. They get all the vitamin D they need in the above healthy diet foods. The lamps by the way, can be dangerous to their eyes.

Roxi's mom
08-07-2011, 06:39 PM
I've just discovered the Squirrel board and so just learning alot about some of this stuff. My girl is 3.5 years old and has really only ever had sun exposure from a window while playing around my office. She seems pretty healthy. I do give her deer antlers to chew on and she eats mushrooms practically every day. Is that the source of her vit. D then?

tphss
09-02-2011, 07:55 PM
Does this thread information and sunlight exposure apply to Flying squirrels as well, being nocturnal?

island rehabber
10-06-2011, 06:44 AM
Roxi, my suggestion to you would be for your girl to get 1-2 Henry's Healthy Blocks per day...the Adult Formula. They are a supplementary rodent block that will give her the calcium she needs to avoid MBD. Unfortunately it's never too late for a squirrel in captivity to develop MBD, and with no natural sunlight (only an OPEN window counts) your girl is at risk. Henry Blocks are yummy to squirrels which makes it easy to get good vitamins & minerals into them.
www.henryspets.com (http://www.henryspets.com) I use them for all my rehab squirrels, ESPECIALLY when I have to overwinter some and they are not getting natural sunlight all winter long in my living room.....:shakehead

island rehabber
10-06-2011, 06:47 AM
Does this thread information and sunlight exposure apply to Flying squirrels as well, being nocturnal?

Our flyer experts can really give you the scoop here, but no flyers do not have the same need for sunlight exposure for exactly the reason you stated: they are nocturnal and they metabolize calcium & Vit D differently.

mandibair
10-16-2011, 03:39 PM
Does anyone know where I can get a coupon code for HHB?

tphss
10-18-2011, 07:23 PM
Our flyer experts can really give you the scoop here, but no flyers do not have the same need for sunlight exposure for exactly the reason you stated: they are nocturnal and they metabolize calcium & Vit D differently.

I just ordered a Zilla UV light, just in case. I might turn it on for her a little bit everyday. Although she's been a really good girl and she eat ALL the mushrooms I leave in her bowl (and quickly disposes of it from another side... lol).

tphss
01-30-2012, 11:28 PM
By the way to update, my flyer hates the Zilla UV light, when I turn it on she runs back to her cage immediately.
She seems extremely healthy and strong now with the proper diet I've been feeding her the last few months, mushrooms are daily, and pretty much every day she eats especially the very dark brown inside the mushroom.

astra
01-30-2012, 11:56 PM
By the way to update, my flyer hates the Zilla UV light, when I turn it on she runs back to her cage immediately.
She seems extremely healthy and strong now with the proper diet I've been feeding her the last few months, mushrooms are daily, and pretty much every day she eats especially the very dark brown inside the mushroom.
yes, proper diet can supply vit D they need.

another important flyer diet nutrient that gets overlooked often: protein.
Flyers need more protein that grays: worms, hard boiled egg, cooked chicken

SUNSHINE
02-19-2012, 12:31 PM
what do you guys think of the ott light , they use to sell it at home depot and people hear were using them, that way it was safe for you also because they were natural light, im thinkin i might get one on line somewere if it is in fact the right lighting:)

cuteascnb
02-19-2012, 07:56 PM
Well at the recent gathering Dr. E shared with us that the do need vit D3 EVERYDAY...wether it comes from the sun or a supplement... Hope this helps....

Inky
06-21-2013, 09:44 PM
I use a UV light and after reading some comments I'm concerned that maybe I shouldn't due to the possible damage to the eyes. It is usually on 20 to 30 minutes per day. Any feed back would be appreciated.

pappy1264
06-22-2013, 08:30 AM
No lights for flyers, you can blind them! Mushrooms are fed for the vit. D. As far as 'regular' squirrels, I have bought a repti-sun 10 bulb to put over Peanut (but have to find a special fixture, as I got the 48" bulb). I do believe they need exposure to UV rays and since Peanut refuses to go anywhere near the outside (he would probably have a heart attack if I tried to force the issue, cannot even get him near a window), I bought a light. Peanut goes through very strange and specific fur loss (his underbelly, he does not have lice, mites, etc). It grew back in (without doing anything different) and he has lost it again, so will see if the light will do anything.

Gussie
11-10-2013, 05:55 PM
There is some very interesting and useful information here! I was thinking about this recently and wondered, since my red's cage has wheels and is easy to push outside, if that would that be a good idea now, in the colder weather? His cage is near a window but I do know that the sunlight through the glass is not helpful. He is about 9 weeks old now, I have had him for about 5 weeks. And maybe some mushrooms for him? The information that I have courtesy of a helpful re-habber (a printout from a wildlife organization) says that at his age he should get a nut,a veggie or a fruit only 2-3 times a week. He is on HHBs and still also on formula. Thanks.....Gussie

LeilaNami
01-29-2014, 10:26 PM
I know I'm late to the party here, but I just wanted to be clear: If you are feeding them a block (such as Henry's), they do not require a UVB light, correct? The point of getting D is to metabolize calcium but the bag of HHBs already states that it contains 100% DV for Vitamin D. So are HHBs a sufficient source of Vitamin D? I just want to make sure that I understand this right and this would make sense to me in my biology-oriented head.

farrelli
01-29-2014, 11:13 PM
Yes, HHBs provide sufficient D. Some people use the light anyway, but they seem to be few.

Rhapsody
01-30-2014, 12:20 AM
My Marven (3 yrs old) has been eating HHB since he was 8 weeks old and his large size cage
is placed by the window where he is able to get daily sunlight exposure --he is doing marvelous
and has never had any medical problems or bones issues.

Plus I always make sure that Portobello Mushrooms is the first food given to all my baby squirrels, so
they will develop a taste for them and want to devour the mushrooms for their Vitamin D.

Kristi S
01-26-2015, 02:44 PM
There seems to be a little confusion between Ca and Vit D in some posts. Few foods are naturally high Vit. D, which is necessary to metabolize Ca. You can feed an animal as much Ca as you want, but without Vit D it will be wasted.

Whether they get enough Vit. D from HHB would depend on how much of their diet comes from the blocks. Food makers aren't likely to add extra Vit. D for fear of toxicity. One poster said she fed her squirrel Vit D as a supplement, and this is dangerous for the same reason.

Indirect bright sunlight is better than nothing, as long as it's not through glass.

Personally, if buying a UVB light I would opt for the ZooMed 5.0 or equivalent. The 10.0 are made for desert reptiles, and might over time be too much for the eyes of temperate mammal species. That's just a gut feeling, though. (I'm a reptile keeper.)

CritterMom
01-26-2015, 03:39 PM
There seems to be a little confusion between Ca and Vit D in some posts. Few foods are naturally high Vit. D, which is necessary to metabolize Ca. You can feed an animal as much Ca as you want, but without Vit D it will be wasted.

Whether they get enough Vit. D from HHB would depend on how much of their diet comes from the blocks. Food makers aren't likely to add extra Vit. D for fear of toxicity. One poster said she fed her squirrel Vit D as a supplement, and this is dangerous for the same reason.

Indirect bright sunlight is better than nothing, as long as it's not through glass.

Personally, if buying a UVB light I would opt for the ZooMed 5.0 or equivalent. The 10.0 are made for desert reptiles, and might over time be too much for the eyes of temperate mammal species. That's just a gut feeling, though. (I'm a reptile keeper.)

I just replied to one of your other posts regarding the Henrys, and gave you a link so you can do some reading on them.

Despite feeding these blocks which are supplemented with the correct amount of Vit D per day, I also use Zoomed 10.0 lamps over my enclosure. I do NOT use the compact fluorescents due to the eye issue - the "point" lights like those can be hard on the eyes and in my case, with a 14' long enclosure, they would be absurdly small! I use 1 4' fluorescent Zoomed 10.0 (there are a total of 6 4' tubes over the enclosure - the single herp bulb is in the fixture over a favorite basking spot for him. He lays under it or not as he wishes.

I will say however that this is likely me being overly careful - we have yet to see a single case of MBD in a squirrel being fed the Henry's blocks PROPERLY. The link I sent you has all sorts of nutritional information on it. MBD is not just about calcium and D - I has a huge amount to do with the quantity of phosphorus in the diet. Almost all of the "intuitive" foods that people feed squirrels - like corn and peanuts and sunflower seeds - are enormously high in phosphorus.

Kristi S
01-27-2015, 04:40 PM
Like I said, it's just a gut feeling when it comes to the 10.0 UVB bulbs and squirrel eyes. The Zoo Med site recommends that humans wear eye protection when checking UV light sources, but I use the 10.0 bulbs for my reptiles, it's not that I have anything against them per se.

Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to MBD!

I've been doing a lot of reading about squirrel nutrition in a rehab setting, and investigated HHB long before I found this forum. They are obviously a very good way to get captive squirrels the nutrition they need as long as the diet as a whole is considered.

island rehabber
01-27-2015, 05:41 PM
I've been using HHB's for my rehab squirrels probably since the first month they came out. During that time I have had overwintered babies and long-term rehabs, as well as NR's, and never has there been a case of MBD under this roof. Granted I have not had anyone for longer than 18 months so far, but I still think it speaks well for HHB's. I don't use lights but it hasn't been a problem so far. Just my .02 :grin2

Akashia
07-24-2015, 03:49 AM
Hey I'm new to this but reading about the hit D how young can you start with either the bulbs or sunlight? I have 3, 3 week olds and am wondering if I should be letting them get some sunlight.

Squirells
04-02-2017, 11:22 AM
Sunlight filtered through glass won't cut it. The glass filters out a lot of the UV rays (even screen filters out a lot). I wheel my cages outside every day I can. You can also purchase UV bulbs at PetSmart. Look for "Repti-sun 10" (about 35 dollars) or "Repti-glo 10" (about 20 dollars), and keep them on during the day within two feet of the cage.


Could it be in a room with vented "windows" not strait in the light? Maybe this way more shines thru? :dono:dono:dono:nutty
:w00t ��

SandyC
08-10-2017, 07:47 PM
Do Squirrels Need Daily Sun Exposure?

It is recommended by many that squirrels get at least one hour per day of natural sunlight to help provide vitamin D as well as other health benefits. If you choose to do this, use careful judgement, common sense, and these guidelines:

1. Never place a caged squirrel in direct sunlight.
2. Always provide water and shade.
3. On hot and/or humid days, indoor squirrels should be kept inside.
4. To-be-released squirrels need to be slowly acclimated to summer temps.
5. Never leave indoor squirrels (or unacclimated to-be-released squirrels) unattended outdoors.
6. Make sure your squirrel is in a secure cage (they can chew through screening), safe from predators, and not exposed to mosquitoes.

Symptoms of Heatstroke
Mild--Damp fur, appears to be sweating, rapid heartbeat and breathing
Moderate--Drooling or "foaming at the mouth," labored breathing, vomiting
Severe--diarrhea (may contain blood or mucous), uncoordination, seizures, collapse

If you see any of these symptoms, bring the squirrel indoors immediately and begin Emergency Cool-Down Procedures.

A squirrel can develop heatstroke in as little as 10 minutes, even in the shade!
I just bought vitamin d3 for my nyka. How many mgs should she get daily?

squirrelmamaofthree
04-04-2018, 04:48 PM
I noticed that when ever I take my Squirrel's out for some sun, and bring them back inside they get extremely hyper. Is this normal?!