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Thread: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

  1. #1
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    Question Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Hi everyone!! I'm new to Squirrel Board so I wanted to take the time to introduce myself. My name is Nicki and I love with my husband Andy l, along with my seven cats and squirrel b. We have lived in St Pete for 7-7-8 years now and love it here!! My squirrelly is acting funny so someone around my area told me to contact y'all to see what you think about the situation and who might be a good Veterinarian in the Tampa/St Pete/Largo area to take him.

    Ok so here's a kinda brief history on Grunter the squirrel. I acquired him when I was a Veterinary Technician at 4 weeks of age. He was super tiny, but otherwise super healthy. The vet that convinced me to wean/foster gave me a diet sheet and these print up sheets and stuff. Fast forward to now, he is 6 years old, neutered male and for the last few months he has been not really eating as much, eventhough he will still go for his treats and nuts. He has also been sleeping alot and not coming out of his happy hammock. He would usually come out and greet us and want to play, now he doesn't do that. I'm feeling worried that something might be wrong or if he could be in some kinda hibernation mode? Squirrels don't really hibernate here in Florida though.Although it has been extremely weird weather for us.
    Anywho. Was wanting advice or to see if anyone else had experienced this with their squirrel?In the meantime, I will be researching and trying to get him to a true exotic vet who has a ton of experience with squirrels to have him examined etc etc. Any suggestions????
    Here is what Grunter likes for food
    I usually change up his veggies and fruit to give him a variety. He has always been a very picky squirrel since he was a baby.
    Most of his diet is made up of Forti diet rat pellets
    Veggies he likes: broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, carrots, squash ( yellow and butternut), cucumbers. I change and try new veggies all the time. He does not like spinach, kale, mushrooms, celery, etc. He is so picky.
    I give him fruit sparingly because I don't want him to have too much sugar. Fruits he likes: strawberries, blueberries, oranges, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew etc. There are probably more veggie and fruits that I give him but I can't remember all of them. He gets sunlight through a window all day. I do see him come out and lay out in his cage in the sun. His cage is actually a big ferret cage and when we are home he gets free range of the entire room. There's nothing dangerous in there. No plugs or wires or anything he can get to.
    Now we also have seven cats, all strictly indoor with claws, but when he is out of his cage, the room is off limits and the door is closed so the only ones in there are me or my husband. Lately I have noticed him foraging alot. We let him out and instead of playing, he will look for food he has hidden. Either in his toy bag or my husband's over the door laundry basket that he threw old socks and shirts into so he can roll around and play and also he hides pellets in there.
    If any other info is needed let me know- I am one worried mommy and I have no children of my own (besides the ones I teach) so he is my baby!!
    Please PM me if you can. Help Help Help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    to TheSquirrelBoard

    It sounds like your diet is good. At his age you might want to consider a better rodent block. You can try Henry's squirrel blocks from Henry's Healthy Pets (online). My guys like the picky eater block. These are supplement blocks so 1-2 blocks per day is all that is needed. https://www.henryspets.com/diets/

    I would definitely take him to a vet. He probably needs the teeth Xrayed and examine to rule that out as a problem.
    Here is an excellent squirrel vet.
    https://avianandanimal.com/about-our-clinic/our-team/ (Dr. Nicole Zelner) She is in Largo and sees many squirrels.


    I don't know how you manage all those cats and a 'rodent' in the house.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Hi and welcome to TSB. . I am not sure what might be going on with your little guy. Six is not too old, but might be old enough for him to begin to slow down. I'm sure there are others on here that will chime in about the age of your little guy and whether this is normal behavior. I do know that most people on here feed some sort of block like Oxbow regal rat, Zupreem or Harland Teklad and especially Henry's blocks. The Henry's blocks are fortified and you only need to feed 2 a day along with healthy veggies.

    As for a vet, I know there are lots of rehabbers a little north of you that probably can recommend a good vet. You could try sending a private message to Crazy4sqrls, she might be able to recommend a vet in that area. There is a wonderful vet with lots of squirrel knowledge located in Port Orange. Her name is Dr. Alicia EMERSON at Ravenwood Vet Clinic 386-788-1550. I know it's quite a drive for you, but if you can't find anyone, I highly recommend her. Keep us posted.

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    nmschrader82 (03-20-2017)

  6. #4
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    Unhappy Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping it is nothing serious, but I came home after a week of Spring Break vacation ( and he had a sitter feeding and watching him) and she had told me she didn't see him come out and he was eating very little. Update last night I came home. Shook the great bag and he wouldn't come out. This is extremely unusual. So I pulled all the stuffed papers and puff in his happy hammock and he appeared lethargic and weak so I took him to Blue Pearl Emergency. I talked to two docs and both said he is bright, alert and responsive, he is slightly dehydrated and they will give SQ fluids as needed through the night. I really thought I would lose him. So far no call from last night's Doc told me last night no news is good news, but Grunter will have a consult in the morning with an avian and exotic team to see what's ailing him. I am crossing my fingers it is nothing serious. I am so worried. Couldn't sleep all night. I went ahead and bought those Henry's pellets. U have never had problem with Forti diet and that is what the veterinarian recommended so maybe a change will be good for him. I will do whatever it takes for my little guy. Keep him and us in your thoughts and prayers. We are both really scared.

  7. #5
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    Wink Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    to TheSquirrelBoard

    It sounds like your diet is good. At his age you might want to consider a better rodent block. You can try Henry's squirrel blocks from Henry's Healthy Pets (online). My guys like the picky eater block. These are supplement blocks so 1-2 blocks per day is all that is needed. https://www.henryspets.com/diets/

    I would definitely take him to a vet. He probably needs the teeth Xrayed and examine to rule that out as a problem.
    Here is an excellent squirrel vet.
    https://avianandanimal.com/about-our-clinic/our-team/ (Dr. Nicole Zelner) She is in Largo and sees many squirrels.


    I don't know how you manage all those cats and a 'rodent' in the house.

    I truly don't know how I do it either, but I have no children and they are my babies.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Prayers for you and Grunter. Please keep us updated.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Sending best wishes to you and Grunter, would love to see some pics of him in his 'happy hammock'...

  10. #8
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    Exclamation Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    So here's an update and again the Doc is taking it a day at a time to not stress him. He received fluids under his skin last night and had a second checkup by another doc. This morning he has a consult with Dr. Helmer and he thought it best to take x-rays and do diagnostic blood work. As of now, the blood work shows good values (still waiting on WBC and RBC counts), he also had some x-rays don't that are being sent for a radiographer to look at because it appears he has some kind of fluid or mass in the lung. Doctor says he did great with anesthesia ( thank God that always makes me nervous) and they are starting him on some antibiotics (Baytril) and are going to just let him relax the rest of the night. He thinks it may be pneumonia but he still isn't sure. When we get the blood work and get the okay from the radiographer, he wants to do a thoracosynthesis which is when you sedate and animal and take a fluid sample from the lungs and examine it under a scope. Then we will better know what we are dealing with. I am feeling so down about it. I know it is hard to tell when an animal is sick, but I feel so mad at myself. I just want him to be happy and comfortable. The doc said he did eat a little and he is still getting fluids under the skin. Has anyone ever had a squirrel get pneumonia or heart disease? Is there something that can be done to help? I am so so sad. I miss my baby. His friend Biscuit kitty misses him. She was meowing at his door this morning and all I could do is cry. I haven't stopped. Please say a quick prayer for my baby.

    I appreciate allbkind words, tips and thoughts. It is good to know there are other crazy squirrel owners like me.

  11. 5 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to nmschrader82:

    Cubby (03-20-2017), lennysmom (03-21-2017), Mel1959 (03-21-2017), Scott (03-22-2017), TubeDriver (03-20-2017)

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Sounds as if he is in expert hands; you are very fortunate to live where you do! Many prayers going out for you and him
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    You sound on top of this, I hope everything turns put alright! Please keep us updated!
    The adventures of Sir Max and Explorer Millie!
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...e-the-Explorer!

    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    See the sisters Pip and Nip!
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-(Pip-and-Nip)!

    “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    I will pray for your friend.

    We have definitely seen squirrels with pneumonia, at least one with heart disease and several with tumors. Let's stay positive. Dr Helmer is excellent. He will do all he can to save your baby. You are in good hands. When the Henry's blocks arrive see if he will take one. They are usually well received because the base is pecans. They have no preservatives.

    I would switch from the Forti blocks. There are concerns about one of the preservatives in the Kaytee blocks.

    If he finds any abnormalities with the teeth, as in odontoma, we can refer you to the best vet in the country for that problem. She is in FL.

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    It sounds like the Dr. is covering all the bases. Prayers for Gunter and you.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Saying prayers for you and grunter . I know how much these little one take a hold of your heart. You are so fortunate to live in florida. I live in a not friendly vet state. Please keep us posted. My heart aches for your pain and worry

  19. #14
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    Default Re: Need help/advice for Eastern Grey who isn't eating much and sleeping alot

    Any word on grunter???? Worried over here

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