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Thread: My sweet boy is sick!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation My sweet boy is sick!

    My squirrel peanutty, who is about 7, started having strange symptoms last week. He was sitting in one corner of his cage with his head down. He cried when I touched him and he was not eating or drinking or sleeping. We went to the vet, did xrays and bloodwork that were both clear. I made the decision 3 days later to put him down, worried he was in pain despite his pain medication. When I woke up, he was better. No more head pressing, started eating and drinking. Fast forward 3 more days and his symptoms have returned. The vet thought he was neurologic, like he had a stroke, brain lesion or had consumed something toxic. The only difference in his diet has been some acorns my dad brought in, we float tested them before giving them to him. This has been an emotional rollercoaster of a week, and I'm confused and sad and have absolutely zero answers. Any advice would be so appreciated. I've contacted my vet again but I believe she has gone to sleep and I'm terrified of waking up to find him gone.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    I don't know what his diet is, but is MBD - metabolic bone disease - a possibility? If he has not been regularly eating rodent block of some kind, it is very possible. Unless your vet had earlier X-rays to compare the new ones to, he likely would not see a problem.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)

    This is our protocol for MBD treatment. Do you have any Tums? I would start this regardless of what your vet said - there is no downside to the treatment. If it is not MBD it will not hurt him.

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    How much calcium is in the squirrel's diet? What foods does he eat most often? The post above this one suggests treatment for Metabolic Bone Disease which I believe results from a lack of calcium, so let's do a calcium inventory. If it is not that, perhaps, "the solution to pollution will be dilution?" Like a healthy snack he will eat, probably like a fresh sweet potato chopped into nut sized pieces and a bowl of water. Going back to finding the cause, is there any chance he ate something he shouldn't have, poison, an object, etc?

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButter View Post
    . The only difference in his diet has been some acorns my dad brought in, we float tested them before giving them to him.
    Acorns can carry a mold that releases a toxin that can make indoor squirrels sick. Aflatoxin or mycotoxin, if you want to look it up.

    The float test doesn't always tell you if they are fine. Cutting them open helps but most folks avoid giving them altogether.

    Do his symptoms coincide with giving him acorns?

    Also, this is a link to a healthy diet for indoor squirrels: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

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    Question Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky1 View Post
    How much calcium is in the squirrel's diet? What foods does he eat most often? The post above this one suggests treatment for Metabolic Bone Disease which I believe results from a lack of calcium, so let's do a calcium inventory. If it is not that, perhaps, "the solution to pollution will be dilution?" Like a healthy snack he will eat, probably like a fresh sweet potato chopped into nut sized pieces and a bowl of water. Going back to finding the cause, is there any chance he ate something he shouldn't have, poison, an object, etc?
    He gets lots of fresh fruit, bananas, strawberrys, greens, nuts, berries, seed, veggies etc. I've read about mbd but it seemed like it had more symptoms before hand like drowsiness etc. We were downhill all in one night. How are the calcium scuttle bone perches for these guys?

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    If he's not eating a rodent block and you are giving a lot of nuts and seeds this definitely could be MBD. I'd treat for it and see if you see any improvement. Treating for it if he doesn't have it won't do any harm. It would at least rule it in or out. Here's the healthy food chart if you haven't seen it.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

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    Sammy's TSB Thread Marvin and Charlie's TSB Thread Sadie's TSB Thread

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButter View Post
    We were downhill all in one night.
    Yes, this can happen all in one night; specifically the appearance of symptoms can happen in a matter of hours.

    I cannot tell you how often people wake up in the morning to a dead squirrel lying in the bottom of the cage because of MBD. There are probably hundreds of threads on TSB about the "sudden appearance" of MBD symptoms caused by weeks and months of improper diet. They appeared fine the night before, but dead in the morning. All too sad... this is why too many people ignore the healthy diet advice. Until it is too late.

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    We are going to try starting the mbd treatment, unfortunately I have work and school all day but my poor mom is doing her best. He's so out of it I think she can handle it. I found a cuddle bone last night on chewy that's for birds as a source of calcium, would that be okay for him if he does get better again?

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Also, sidenote, I know mbd Is serious and can happen after months of bad diet, but I've had him for 6 years going on 7. He's always been healthy, we made sure to feed him lots of fruits and veggies and nothing he isn't supposed to get. Is it logical that he could have the bone disease and it not show up until now? The people who had him his first 7 months of life only fed him birdseed and kept him in a parakeet cage.

  15. #10
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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    On the mbd treatment page, it says 600 to800 mg a day one Tums has 750 but it says spread out throughout the day does that mean one whole one several times a day or a whole one once a day, spread out.

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Sounds like 600-800/day would be 1 tums a day/ broken up. I would cut it in 4s and give every 4-5 or so hours.

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Yes, MBD is possible! We see it develop in younger squirrels and sometimes in older squirrels too. Fruits, seed and some veggies may (IS not) not be sufficient. You have given him a varied diet but as squirrels age (actually this applies to humans as well), their bodies become less efficient at processing calcium and so their bones start to weaken. That is what we sometimes see a squirrel that appeared fine on a certain diet but as it ages, problems develop. We ALWAYS recommend that a good rodent block be the cornerstone of a squirrel diet, augmented by veggies, some fruits. Nuts and seeds should only be treats given a few times per week at most.

    I can't say with 100% certainty that your squirrel has MBD, it is possible that he had a stroke or a fall or ate something toxic. But with his age and diet, MBD is certainly a possibility. The treatment (MBD protocol) is not generally harmful so it should not hurt him at all to try it. If it is MBD, you should see him start to improve within a week or two. Just know that if this happens (symptoms respond to MBD protocol), it will take ~6 months for his bones to really heal and the condition to reverse itself. A diet with daily rodent block and following the MBD protocol are the only thing that will help MBD.

    Good luck, I hope your boy recovers!





    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButter View Post
    Also, sidenote, I know mbd Is serious and can happen after months of bad diet, but I've had him for 6 years going on 7. He's always been healthy, we made sure to feed him lots of fruits and veggies and nothing he isn't supposed to get. Is it logical that he could have the bone disease and it not show up until now? The people who had him his first 7 months of life only fed him birdseed and kept him in a parakeet cage.
    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)!

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Cut it up into several pieces and try to give over the course of a day in multiple servings. This will provide more consistent Ca levels. If you see his poops start turning a bit whitish, that is unprocessed calcium that he is excreting. Some squirrels like the taste of tums, he might just eat the pieces if you give them to him before any food.


    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButter View Post
    On the mbd treatment page, it says 600 to800 mg a day one Tums has 750 but it says spread out throughout the day does that mean one whole one several times a day or a whole one once a day, spread out.
    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)!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    My guy willingly takes tums. I give him one each week just to help make sure he gets the calcium he needs. None of my squirrels have ever really touched a cuttle bone.

    “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan



    Sammy's TSB Thread Marvin and Charlie's TSB Thread Sadie's TSB Thread

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    We started mbd treatment with no success. He's now curled into a stiff ball in his cage and refuses to move and he seems to not be able to swallow well. I'm at a loss, I'm afraid of putting him down because he got better the first time last week right before I was going to do it but I'm also scared he is suffering.

  25. #16
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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Im a vet tech, I'm going to get some fluids in him tomorrow and probably more metacam just so I know he's not in to much pain. If it was the acorns that did this maybe fluids will help his system recover.

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    Unhappy Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    Thank you so much for your help. Bloodwork was perfect, xrays were clean. I pushed fluids but it wasn't enough. Maybe it was his time. He was an older guy. He passed away.

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    Default Re: My sweet boy is sick!

    I am so sorry to hear about Peanut passing. Did you continue with the MBD treatment? His diet sounded good except for the most important part, he needed to be eating Henry’s HHB or a good rodent block.

    R.I.P good buddy Fly with the angels....
    redwuff
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    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

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