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Thread: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

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    fensgate Guest

    Default Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Hi. I am looking for information about groundhogs. since they are the largest of the squirrel family and i cant seem to find a groundhog forum, I
    thought I would try here for some info. I rescued a very young baby hog from dogs who had just killed his mother and started to attack him. I happened to pull into my drive when i saw the ghastly sight, I blew my horn and jumped out on the dogs and they ran off. Leaving the injured little boy. Well I gathered him up, him a warm box to sleep in and super glued his little torn skin back together. went to purchase infant animal formula , bedding, bottles etc. I did'nt think he would live at first. sorry i ramble on. He is now a beautiful 3 yr old male whistle pig. And we love him very very much. about two weeks ago he started wheezing and breathing somewhat heavier than he ever use to. Of course this scares me badly. We would be heart broken if he were to pass. I have access to several antibiotics . He still gets around very well and climbs, runs, plays, whenever he feels like it. again i ramble. any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. also its winter and he doesn't eat as much as he does in the spring, summer, fall. he loves corn, green beans, cucumber, a few almonds from time to time, lettuce, kale, and i scald him milk a few times a week and give him when its cooled down. I am sorry to go on, and on. but i am worried about my pretty boy. He's the best pet I've ever had!

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by fensgate View Post
    Hi. I am looking for information about groundhogs. since they are the largest of the squirrel family and i cant seem to find a groundhog forum, I
    thought I would try here for some info. I rescued a very young baby hog from dogs who had just killed his mother and started to attack him. I happened to pull into my drive when i saw the ghastly sight, I blew my horn and jumped out on the dogs and they ran off. Leaving the injured little boy. Well I gathered him up, him a warm box to sleep in and super glued his little torn skin back together. went to purchase infant animal formula , bedding, bottles etc. I did'nt think he would live at first. sorry i ramble on. He is now a beautiful 3 yr old male whistle pig. And we love him very very much. about two weeks ago he started wheezing and breathing somewhat heavier than he ever use to. Of course this scares me badly. We would be heart broken if he were to pass. I have access to several antibiotics . He still gets around very well and climbs, runs, plays, whenever he feels like it. again i ramble. any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. also its winter and he doesn't eat as much as he does in the spring, summer, fall. he loves corn, green beans, cucumber, a few almonds from time to time, lettuce, kale, and i scald him milk a few times a week and give him when its cooled down. I am sorry to go on, and on. but i am worried about my pretty boy. He's the best pet I've ever had!
    Well you came to the right place! I am also a Prairie Dog rescuer and they are very similar with both being ground squirrels. A couple of questions... Is the corn fresh or dried and how much do you give him? Do you give him access to unlimited timothy hay or orchard grass on a daily basis? Has he gone into torpor (hibernation) yet? Do you give him tubers like turnip, rutabaga, carrot? What kind of bedding is he in?

    Also cut out the scalded milk entirely, it's not good for him - just fresh water on demand.

    Please post a photo so I can see his weight.

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    First I just want to thank you for rescuing this poor creature in need.

    If a baby it is best you take it to a local wildlife rehabber:

    "If you find an injured or orphaned baby groundhog, secure the baby and call your nearest wildlife rehabilitation center. Baby groundhogs need special feeding schedules, feeding techniques, diet and care in order to survive. Do not attempt to rehabilitate or feed a baby groundhog yourself...."
    If an adult this may be the best choice also.

    As for considering this animal as a pet, they can take off your finger, so know if you haven't raised them a a baby it is not a wise choice for one who hasnot dealt with this species to take them on as an adult. Even if raised from a baby what is noted on them is that due to their digging and chewing habits keeping them indoors is a nightmare that can lead to the loss of the animals life. In spite of this some have kept them as pet in their yard, which requires an enormous amount of preparation and cost to do.

    For temporary support of an adult only I would check out what these websites have to say on ground hogs
    http://animals.mom.me/groundhogs-diet-5125.html
    http://petcaretips.net/keep-groundhog-pet.html https://sciencing.com/do-baby-ground...t-8392869.html
    http://petcaretips.net/care-orphan-groundhog.html
    https://petponder.com/is-it-wise-to-...ndhogs-as-pets
    https://sciencing.com/do-baby-ground...t-8392869.html

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Sorry I didn't get through reading all you wrote, I was in the middle of something here. Obviously not a pup anymore, but a much loved pet! If you have a vet I would take him in to e checked out, as the wheezing is of concern since the cause could be an odontoma blocking his nazal passage, which is very common for prairie dogs, a similar species, to develop in captivity.

    Also check online, as Gena Seaberg has formulated a diet specifically formulated for Prairie dogs, which is very similar diet to the ground hog.

    Sorry SophieSquirrel, I was writing when you posted and didn't see that you had posted before I put on mine. DF

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Sorry I didn't get through reading all you wrote, I was in the middle of something here. Obviously not a pup anymore, but a much loved pet! If you have a vet I would take him in to e checked out, as the wheezing is of concern, it could be an odontoma blocking his nazal passage, which is very common with prairie dogs that are a similar species.

    From what I'm reading you need to get him on a good chow that will support him with sufficient minerals and vitamins. Check online with Gena Seaberg online, who has formulated a diet specific for Prairie dogs, as that diet is far more suitable for this ground rodent than the rat diets used as defaults for tree squirrels.

    Sorry SophieSquirrel, I was writing when you posted and didn't see that you had posted before I put on mine. DF
    No worries Diggie's Fr . Here is the diet and it works with all Marmots! It says formulated with Lynda Watson who is Gena's partner in PD rescue. I know Lynda and discussed this at length with her. Gena actually had a hand in this formulation. Unlike Teklad / Mazuri which is our Gray's base diet, this pellet is a supplement with a good quality Timothy hay being the base diet for PD's / Marmots.

    Without further adieu - the Brisky PD Diet! http://brisky.com/exotic-pet-diets/p...airie-dog-diet

    Great PPl at Brisky!

    Here is Lynda in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcTjGcm7-7A

  10. #6
    fensgate Guest

    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    sorry to be such a noob, but how do you post a picture / upload ? thanks in advance to everyone who's helping me out , i appreciate the help greatly!

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by fensgate View Post
    sorry to be such a noob, but how do you post a picture / upload ? thanks in advance to everyone who's helping me out , i appreciate the help greatly!
    When you go to post a message up on the top bar is an envelope and a film strip. In between them is a square photo icon. Click on "from computer" then "browse", select the source (photos, USB etc), select "open", then click on "upload file". It takes a few minutes to load.

  12. #8
    fensgate Guest

    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

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    Pictures of my lovable boy!!

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Holy Groundhogs Batman - he is a big boy! Handsome guy too! Is he this large all year long? They normally put on weight before torpor. He might be wheezing due to his size.

    Here is a good diet for him:

    Oxbow timothy hay available free choice (at all times)
    Brisky Prairie Dog Pellets (supplement) or Gena recommends Oxbox Essentials Adult Rabbit Food (14% protein) <Petsmart>
    Only a handful of pellets daily
    Carrots, Turnips (remove wax), Parsnips, Organic Romaine or Red Leaf Lettuce, Dandelion Leaf,
    In the summer: Unsprayed Clover (+ flowers), Dandelion (+ flowers), Alfalfa (limited), fresh Corn only (SMALL amounts) NO dried Corn, organic apples, berries (unsprayed)
    An OCCASIONAL almond or Hazlenut is OK. All Marmots keep their teeth worn properly by mainly eating grasses that contain silicas, not chewing through nuts like tree squirrels.

    FRESH water on demand at all times (no milk, juice)

    Organic/unsprayed is better because rodents have higher metabolisms than humans and cancers from carcinogens develop quickly. Also the % of sprays on vegetables builds up quicker in organs/fast than humans due to smaller body size.

    During torpor if he is in a deep sleep have hay and water available at all times in case he gets up to feed. Once he is up full time in the spring it's game on in the kitchen!

    He needs approx 1/3 of his weight in vegetation daily,

    Watch and make sure he doesn't climb too high as a fall from human shoulder height can break bones or damage his jaw/teeth due to his build and size. He is a ground squirrel and cannot take long falls like tree squirrels.

    Welcome to the Squirrel Board! Hang out with us - after all he IS a squirrel!

    Sophie's Dad

    Here is prairie dog care, similar nutritional needs: http://www.weloveprairiedogs.com/pra...gnutrition.htm

    Here is my Prairie Dog

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Welcome to the Squirrel Board! Hang out with us - after all he IS a squirrel!
    Big,For sure he is a big, big Squirrel!

    I've seen the hoggies in MN, and marmots near Crater Lake, and the really big yellow marmots in Yellowstone; cool critters and very curious! I read that in some areas Marmots hibernate for 5 months, after porking up on grasses, etc. from the time they come out of hybernation till they go into it again.

    Does he hiberate? If not you should consider putting him on a weight reduction diet; for excess weight that is not used up in hybernation is not healthly to have all year long.

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Does he hiberate? If not you should consider putting him on a weight reduction diet; for excess weight that is not used up in hybernation is not healthly to have all year long.
    A while back I assisted someone to get vet access with their four year old house kept pet GH with my veterinarian. He was a quite large (fat) groundhog and my vet also stated the above concerns. That and it's improper /inadequate diet was a major issue that caused Hepatic Lipidosis which obesity is known to increase the risk.
    This is what he had to say about a GH's diet verbatim:

    "A healthy diet for a groundhog would include mostly grass hay or fresh grasses, weedy vegetables (dark greens such as dandelion, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, and local weeds such as burdock, mints, plantain, coltsfoot and others). A high fiber rodent block can also account for a large portion of the diet, and these three components should account for 80-100% of the diet. The remaining 20% can include root vegetables (carrot, turnip, parsnip, celery root, tulip bulb, dandelion root, thistle root, and others), ~5% berries or other fruit, ~5% nuts, grubs and insects, or other protein sources. A mineral mix or multivitamin is generally not needed if they are on a rodent block for at least 30% of their diet, but a mineral block or mineral + vitamin block can be offered."
    Step-N-Stone
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    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    I am SO glad we have folks who know their groundhog stuff here to help fensgate, as I have never had the pleasure of rehabbing one. Thank you Sophie Squirrel, DF and step!
    Island Rehabber
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    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: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    [I]"A healthy diet for a groundhog would include mostly grass hay or fresh grasses, weedy vegetables (dark greens such as dandelion, collard, mustard, and turnip greens, and local weeds such as burdock, mints, plantain, coltsfoot and others). A high fiber rodent block can also account for a large portion of the diet, and these three components should account for 80-100% of the diet. The remaining 20% can include root vegetables (carrot, turnip, parsnip, celery root, tulip bulb, dandelion root, thistle root, and others), ~5% berries or other fruit, ~5% nuts, grubs and insects, or other protein sources. A mineral mix or multivitamin is generally not needed if they are on a rodent block for at least 30% of their diet, but a mineral block or mineral + vitamin block can be offered."
    I'm not sure what he meant by a "high fiber rodent block". A concern with Teklad, Mazuri or Zupreem is the higher protein and dried ground corn which can cause gall bladder issues. A Woodchuck is more closely related to the Prairie Dog (Marmota) than the Gray Squirrel. Dr Seaburg the rodent nutritionist expresses alarm in feeding Prairie Dogs and their kin any pellet with dried corn.

    Here is an excerpt from http://www.weloveprairiedogs.com/pra...gnutrition.htm

    "All pellets you consider purchasing should list timothy hay or another grass hay (not alfalfa) as their first ingredient for best results over time and improved longevity. They should not list dried corn or maize in their ingredients either as that can cause their gall bladder to fail".

    I would say this is the way to go for Mr. Woodchuck: http://brisky.com/exotic-pet-diets/p...airie-dog-diet

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    Is there a label available to view of the list and amounts/proportions of the ingredients of the Brisky diet?
    I'm always interested in the diet is why I ask.

    A local rehabber gave the superworms to gophers and ground squirrels in rehab, which really went for them from this source. http://vita-mealie.weebly.com/ Should this and other grubworm and insects be included in the diet in a smaller measure, due to the obese state of this hog for reason of the nutrients that it supplies, or not at all till weight is sufficiently reduced to a healthy level?

    I would encourage you fensgate to jot down this link for future reference, for this source produces a highly healthly source of grubworms and insects (easier to use the dried ones).

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    I know Gena advocates using limited mealies but I don't feed them to my PD. I have concerns about freshness and quality of dead worms.

    I will ask Brisky to send me a list of ingredients. I have the label somewhere but they really should put it on the website so shoppers can compare.

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    This is a home run company, not a monster operation, so that the freeze dried worms are fresh, and the lives ones not wiped out, as they ship them quickly. The lady who owns the company is friendly, and helpful when it comes to questions on her products. They even have freeze dried worms stuffed wiih calcium and nutrients if one wants them that way. I know of no organic source available in the US other than this one that produces as good a product at a reasonable price. http://vita-mealie.weebly.com/

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help

    How is your groundhog doing?

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    Default Re: Concerned about my Groundhog plz help


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