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Thread: Emergency Treatment of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Default Emergency Treatment of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

    Emergency Treatment for Metabolic Bone Disease (updated 3-31-09)

    Get calcium into the squirrel IMMEDIATELY, not later, not tomorrow, NOW. Delaying treatment can cause death or permanent paralysis.

    You will need:

    --Tums or calcium pills (any kind)
    --a syringe, eyedropper, or spoon

    Crush one Tums or calcium pill and add a little water or fruit juice. Use the syringe, eyedropper, or spoon to force-feed the mixture, a little at a time, until it is all gone. Feed a total of 600-800 mg of calcium, and spread it out through the day and night to keep his blood calcium levels as steady as possible.

    If the squirrel is having seizures, weakness, or paralysis, the symptoms will usually improve within a few hours, but this does not mean the squirrel is cured. It will take many months to rebuild the calcium in the bones.

    Long-Term Treatment for MBD

    The next step to curing MBD is to fix the diet.

    1. Remove ALL seeds, nuts, corn, and treats.

    2. Follow the Healthy Diet For Pet Squirrels, which can be found at the top of the “Squirrel Nutrition” forum. ( Your squirrel MUST eat rodent block or squirrel blocks every day. If your squirrel doesn't like rodent blocks, you can try crushing them up with peanut butter or avocado temporarily. You can also make a tastier version of squirrel blocks using the recipe at the top of the Squirrel Nutrition forum.

    3. In addition to the Healthy Diet, you will need to continue giving extra calcium every day for several weeks. Either use the syringe/eyedropper or you can try putting the calcium on a small piece of fruit.

    Week 1: calcium = 500 mg per day
    Week 2: calcium = 250 mg per day
    Weeks 3-8: calcium = 100 mg per day

    The cause of the acute symptoms—weakness, lethargy, seizures, paralysis—is a drop in blood calcium levels. If these symptoms return at any time, you will need to give another emergency dose of calcium.

    More Tips
    MBD causes brittle bones that break easily. Try to keep your squirrel away from high places, where he might jump and break a bone. Also, if he is in a tall cage, either place him in a smaller cage, or pad the bottom very well.

    Heat is very soothing for a squirrel with MBD. A heating pad turned to low and placed so they cannot chew the pad or cord, or a rice buddy (a sock filled with dry rice/beans and microwaved for about 20 seconds) will work.


  2. 5 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Administration:

    frankc (11-13-2019), LR (09-27-2017), Miss Suzy Joy Button (08-10-2019), prism (10-03-2019), squirrelman#100 (02-20-2023)

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