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Mochi&Mocha
09-13-2012, 01:54 PM
So my NR Mocha has been gaining a lot of weight lately. She is HUGE. She has a very healthy diet. HHB's and veggies from the healthy food chart. She's always had a stalky/chubby look but she's gotten pretty fat lately. She eats the same amount of food as Mochi and Mochi has a really good shape to her. They are both 1 year old. They get the same amount of exercise too. Can this become a problem?

treeman
09-13-2012, 05:52 PM
Picture! Picture! :poke We always tease our Spicy that she is getting a pot-belly, but I've seen some wilds that look pretty darn portly...especially some of the Northern ones. She's about 1yr. I'm not really sure what is fat and what is normal. Aren't squirrels supposed to be a little squishy and soft and huggable?! Spicy looks good stretched out but has a little pooch when she sits. IMO, she's not fat...but what do I know?! :dono :D

astra
09-13-2012, 08:38 PM
yes, it can.
Overweight animals, just like overweight humans risk certain illnesses,
some are more sensitive to this than others, just like humans

But is she overweight?

What species is she?
If she is a foxer, they tend to be "rounder" than others

Does she gain weight before winter and loses it by summer? - if so, then, it's seasonal

Does she get enough exercise?
Maybe, she needs more activities
Sometimes, humans need to get involved in their squirrels' activities with games that would encourage running and jumping (I remember how some people here shared: after they increased physical activity level of their squirrel, the latter slimmed down)

If she has always been on a chunky side, she might need more exercise (just like humans ;))

I am sure others will chime in

Mochi&Mocha
09-14-2012, 02:45 AM
Here are some photos!

Mochi&Mocha
09-14-2012, 02:47 AM
We made this for Mochi and Mocha to play on!

Mochi&Mocha
09-14-2012, 02:55 AM
yes, it can.
Overweight animals, just like overweight humans risk certain illnesses,
some are more sensitive to this than others, just like humans

But is she overweight?

What species is she?
If she is a foxer, they tend to be "rounder" than others

Does she gain weight before winter and loses it by summer? - if so, then, it's seasonal

Does she get enough exercise?
Maybe, she needs more activities
Sometimes, humans need to get involved in their squirrels' activities with games that would encourage running and jumping (I remember how some people here shared: after they increased physical activity level of their squirrel, the latter slimmed down)

If she has always been on a chunky side, she might need more exercise (just like humans ;))

I am sure others will chime in

She is a grey squirrel. She does seem to gain weight in the winter. Maybe that is it. I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with her. She has a very healthy diet and I don't feed her anymore than Mochi and Mochi looks fit. I have been a little busy lately since school has started so she hasn't been getting as much play time with me. Ryan lets them out everyday though to play.

The only reason I'm really concerned though is because she's had a lot of problems from day 1. She's just one of those squirrels. I didn't think she was going to make it when she was a baby. She's a fighter though :Love_Icon

Is there any type of medical reason on why she is so big?

astra
09-14-2012, 12:13 PM
She is a grey squirrel. She does seem to gain weight in the winter. Maybe that is it. I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with her. She has a very healthy diet and I don't feed her anymore than Mochi and Mochi looks fit. I have been a little busy lately since school has started so she hasn't been getting as much play time with me. Ryan lets them out everyday though to play.

The only reason I'm really concerned though is because she's had a lot of problems from day 1. She's just one of those squirrels. I didn't think she was going to make it when she was a baby. She's a fighter though :Love_Icon

Is there any type of medical reason on why she is so big?
If the weight gain is mostly in the winter - that should be ok

I do not think there is anything seriously wrong, and she is very young, too. Just like in people, some issues straighten out with time, weight issues come and go, just fluctuate etc.
As for the medical reasons, there can be a number, just like in people:

1. perhaps, she sustained some kind of brain trauma when she fell out of her nest. Not necessarily neuro trauma, but, maybe, the areas of her brain that affect/connected with endocrine system might have been affected etc etc etc.
2. Then, she could just be born with a predisposition to weight gain (just like people)
3. She could have some genetic problems with her endocrine system or fat metabolism, or metabolism in general

if she had difficulties when she was a baby,:Love_Icon that could be an indication that something in her little system is a bit off (again, just like in people), so her being heavier may have something to do with that (and it may not).

It can be anything - just like in people.

And just like in people - some are healthy and fine, simply have a stocky built and tend to gain weight easier, you know.

Whatever the reason, there is not much you can do about the reason/cause of it. Unless you would like to put her through tests to do a thorough medical check up (checking hormones etc).
But that might be traumatic and risky for her, b/c she will have to be gassed for that, besides that it will be super expensive for you.

But it is also unnecessary, at least at this point, b/c if that is something genetic or result of trauma, there is not much you can do.

So, don't worry about reasons/causes.

Just like people, who tend to gain weight easily, a lifestyle adjustment is all that's needed, which includes healthful diet - and that is taken care of already, and more activity - that's doable.

It's great that they get out of cage play time.
And if you could include more personalized play sessions with her, even if not every day, that will be even better.
I remember reading on here how someone added that to their squirrel's routine and the weight went down (sorry, just don't remember who it was).

Although, being slightly chunky is nto a problem, especially, if it is mostly in the winter, still monitoring it is important.
Because again, just like in people, when animals become seriously overweight, that may result in health issues, such as diabetis, heart/cardio problems, liver issues etc. I know that this is true for domestic animals, so I assume it is similar in wild animals as well.

BUT PLEASE Do not be scared, she is not even close to being there!
I am just explaining why monitoring weight is important.

Again, if she is slightly chunkier - that's fine.
Maybe, that's just how she is - "curvier" in a squirrel way ;)maybe, she is just bigger boned
Just make sure she does not become truly overweight.

And to monitor her weight: keep her diet healthful, as you've been doing,
and see if you could fit some extra activities where she would need to jump, run and move more.

And don't worry about it too much - as long as her diet is healthful and she gets daily exercise + extra activities whenever possible = she should be fine
:grouphug :)

astra
09-14-2012, 12:22 PM
Gosh, what a face! She is adorable!!!!:) :Love_Icon The look on her face - "why am being held like that????????Awkward!" :)
And she looks fine right now. On a fluffier side, but still - fine.
Nothing to worry about.

Looks like they have a lot to play with.

You can also add something so that they can jump from one thing onto another etc.
Say, a cat tree and around it - a couple of boxes different size for them to jump on and off.

Also, I think people came up with different games.
You can contact CritterMom - she was describing different games she plays with her Mr P a while ago.

Mochi&Mocha
09-14-2012, 05:55 PM
If the weight gain is mostly in the winter - that should be ok

I do not think there is anything seriously wrong, and she is very young, too. Just like in people, some issues straighten out with time, weight issues come and go, just fluctuate etc.
As for the medical reasons, there can be a number, just like in people:

1. perhaps, she sustained some kind of brain trauma when she fell out of her nest. Not necessarily neuro trauma, but, maybe, the areas of her brain that affect/connected with endocrine system might have been affected etc etc etc.
2. Then, she could just be born with a predisposition to weight gain (just like people)
3. She could have some genetic problems with her endocrine system or fat metabolism, or metabolism in general

if she had difficulties when she was a baby,:Love_Icon that could be an indication that something in her little system is a bit off (again, just like in people), so her being heavier may have something to do with that (and it may not).

It can be anything - just like in people.

And just like in people - some are healthy and fine, simply have a stocky built and tend to gain weight easier, you know.

Whatever the reason, there is not much you can do about the reason/cause of it. Unless you would like to put her through tests to do a thorough medical check up (checking hormones etc).
But that might be traumatic and risky for her, b/c she will have to be gassed for that, besides that it will be super expensive for you.

But it is also unnecessary, at least at this point, b/c if that is something genetic or result of trauma, there is not much you can do.

So, don't worry about reasons/causes.

Just like people, who tend to gain weight easily, a lifestyle adjustment is all that's needed, which includes healthful diet - and that is taken care of already, and more activity - that's doable.

It's great that they get out of cage play time.
And if you could include more personalized play sessions with her, even if not every day, that will be even better.
I remember reading on here how someone added that to their squirrel's routine and the weight went down (sorry, just don't remember who it was).

Although, being slightly chunky is nto a problem, especially, if it is mostly in the winter, still monitoring it is important.
Because again, just like in people, when animals become seriously overweight, that may result in health issues, such as diabetis, heart/cardio problems, liver issues etc. I know that this is true for domestic animals, so I assume it is similar in wild animals as well.

BUT PLEASE Do not be scared, she is not even close to being there!
I am just explaining why monitoring weight is important.

Again, if she is slightly chunkier - that's fine.
Maybe, that's just how she is - "curvier" in a squirrel way ;)maybe, she is just bigger boned
Just make sure she does not become truly overweight.

And to monitor her weight: keep her diet healthful, as you've been doing,
and see if you could fit some extra activities where she would need to jump, run and move more.

And don't worry about it too much - as long as her diet is healthful and she gets daily exercise + extra activities whenever possible = she should be fine
:grouphug :)

:thankyou for all of the information!

I went through some pictures last night and I do think the weight gain has really started now that Winter is coming. (She has also started shedding like crazy). She is definitely a little bit of a fatty normally but I'm okay with that seeing as how small of a squirrel she was when she came to me! I wouldn't put her through a bunch of tests unless I knew something was definitely wrong with her, and even then I would be a bit weary. Last time we went to the vet she turned into a flying squirrel! :rotfl My vet was used to it but his poor assistant/intern looked like he was going to have a heart attack lol.

I will definitely keep an eye on her though! Hopefully I'm just being an overly worried squammy. She is my little lap squirrel after all :Love_Icon.

Mochi&Mocha
09-14-2012, 06:00 PM
Gosh, what a face! She is adorable!!!!:) :Love_Icon The look on her face - "why am being held like that????????Awkward!" :)
And she looks fine right now. On a fluffier side, but still - fine.
Nothing to worry about.

Looks like they have a lot to play with.

You can also add something so that they can jump from one thing onto another etc.
Say, a cat tree and around it - a couple of boxes different size for them to jump on and off.

Also, I think people came up with different games.
You can contact CritterMom - she was describing different games she plays with her Mr P a while ago.

Thanks for the input! She has always had somewhat of the kitten fur syndrome, more so when she was a baby though. I've been wanting to get a cat tree but they are so expensive! Ryan said he would make me one when we get a house next year. We're living in an apartment right now. 4 squirrels, 2 ferrets and a kitten takes up a lot of room! :sanp3 The squirrels have there own room though to play in though. I'll make sure to try and schedule more play time :wahoo. They have that toy that we made them and then they jump from futon to cage to cage in their room as well.

treeman
09-14-2012, 09:06 PM
OhmaGosh!! What a cutey! And look at that expression on her face LooooL! :thankyou Thank you for sharing your pics, Mochi&Mocha, and that great info, astra.

My coonie has taught me how EASY it is for tame wildlife to become over-weight and how important it is to get them started on a healthy diet as soon as they start solid food. Squirrels and coons ideally have a very varied diet and it is easy to get into the habit of giving them what they WANT instead of what they should have. Once, they are older it is a hard thing to change. Boo-Coon has been on a diet for 2-years LoL! I've learned my lesson and I don't want a fat squirrel to go with my fat coon.

squeakersmommy
09-14-2012, 11:55 PM
Hello. We have had this squire for two days now. First night was touch and go. Squeaker made it and today he looks great. He's at least a good two months I think. I have been nursing him with warm milk and my question is he has his front chompers so can he eat more solids and wht kind.. he is about as big as the palm of your hand gwen he cuddles. He loves granola and has no prob eating it..
What should I be doing different if anythin g. Thanks for your input. Also is it illegal in Chicago to keep these. How do I find I utility.

astra
09-15-2012, 01:27 PM
Hello. We have had this squire for two days now. First night was touch and go. Squeaker made it and today he looks great. He's at least a good two months I think.
Could you post pics?


I have been nursing him with warm milk and my question is he has his front chompers so can he eat more solids and wht kind.. he is about as big as the palm of your hand gwen he cuddles. He loves granola and has no prob eating it..

Nutrition is one of the major issues with raising squirrels, so here are the important questions:
1. when you say you give him warm milk, do you mean a formula or cow's milk?
if it is cow's milk, please discontinue it.
It is nutritionally unsuitable for babies.
In order to develop correctly and healthy, they need to eat the right things.
Fox Valley is the formula for squirrels.
They thrive on it.
It is available either at www.foxvalleynutrition.com or www.henryspets.com

Babies should eat formula for as long as possible.
Never wean them.
Allow them to wean themselves.
Formula is their insurance against MBD - a crippling and deadly disease.
Since formula should be given to them for so long - it's important that he gets the right kind.
So, Fox Valley is important.

And if you are feeding FV already - just ignore my explanations :)

He should be eating a correct amount.
You need to weigh him in grams and feed 5-7% of his body weight.
How much do you feed him?
And how often do you feed him?


As for solids,

Please stop granola - too much sugar, too many carbs and not enough nutrients for him.

In addition to Fox Valley formula, his other next important food is a quality rodent block.
In fact, rodent block should be the first solid food introduced to them in order to ensure that they will like it and will eat it for the rest of their lives.
Introducing other foods often "spoils" their taste buds and it is more difficult to re-train them. BUT it is possible and has been done.

Rodent block will take place of formula as their staple when they do eventually stop eating formula.

The best block designed specifically for squirrels is Henry's Healthy Block or HHB, available at www.henryspets.com

People also use commercial block available at pet stores, such as Kaytee forti diet for rats and mice (blue bag, not green bag), Mazuri
Harlan Teklad is available from www.thecraftyrat.com
When giving commercial block, you most likely will have to supplement with extra calcium.

Daily portions: HHB - 2 per day only, commercial block - a lot more per day, in fact, most rehabbers keep a bowl filled with block in the cage all the time.
So, in the long run, for a singleton especially, HHBs are much more cost-effective

Since he has not been eating block, it may take some time for him to get used to it - you will have to be patient and firm.
But some squirrels like it right away, while others are just picky eaters by birth.
But in either case it's important to teach them eat block daily.

Then, once the block eating habits are established,
you can start adding good green healthful veggies.
There is a Healthy Diet for Pet Squirrels sticky in Squirrel Nutrition forum - please read it: http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32218

Then, after he eats block and veggies happily, you can start giving him a piece of fruit or a nut PER DAY as a TREAT ONLY.



What should I be doing different if anythin g. Thanks for your input. Also is it illegal in Chicago to keep these. How do I find I utility.

Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by "utility"
Yes, unfortunately, as far as I know it's illegal to keep them where you are.
So, keep it low profile, do not show him to other people.
As Jackie in Tampa says: " Squirrels are not for show and tell."

There have been situations when "good citizens" reported people and squirrels were confiscated and euthanized.
Also, if he accidentally bites someone - that will end up in him being seized and euthanized.
Besides, it's best for him to be exposed to as few people as possible so that he does not get used to people - not good for his future release

As for other things...

1. if you have house pets - make sure that they are COMPLETELY separated: http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28790
So that there is not a chance that they can meet.
Not only because house pets - dogs and cats - are predators (and even the sweetest pooch is still a predator),
but also because your little guy needs to retain his natural fear of dogs and cats.
If he gets used to the idea that it's safe to be around them - that will be his death sentence when he is released.
He should not even see you interact with them safely, b/c he will take his cues from you since you are his mother right now.

2. When you start giving him out of cage time, please make sure the room is squirrel-proof :
ALL cords and wires securely covered, no house plants, no narrow spaces behind/under furniture and appliances;
toilet seat ALWAYS covered (too many tragedies) get a ladder like this: http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30728;
always watch your back when you close the door - they sneak up fast and quietly and there is a risk of slamming him with the door, no pills/supplements/vit/lotions etc within his reach (and trust me, unless it's in another room pretty much everything can get within a squirrels' reach ;)), nothing that can topple over on him...
I might have forgotten something...
but please - ask about it in a separate thread, so that people can chime in in case I missed anything.

Also, do not sleep with him in your bed - there is a risk of rolling over

3. If he is a healthy baby, start thinking about his release.
Where, how, release cage etc etc etc

I think, this should do for now, or you will get too overwhelmed.
There is a lot to learn about them, so please never hesitate to ask questions.

Ask as many questions as you need to.

And please - start your own threads with your own questions. This way you will get faster and personalized attention.
When you post your question in someone else's thread, it often gets overlooked.

:grouphug

Mochi&Mocha
09-15-2012, 03:53 PM
.

And please - start your own threads with your own questions. This way you will get faster and personalized attention.
When you post your question in someone else's thread, it often gets overlooked.

:grouphug

Looks like Astra covered all of the basics! She's right though. Old threads get over looked. Start a new thread when you have a question. You'll get a quicker answer :)