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Thread: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

  1. #1
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    Default My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    I am heartbroken when I think about having to give Sebastion up but I am even more torn up knowing that he is very sad & lonely !! Its even worse each day I hold on to him mostly because I don't want to let him go & I do know that he will miss me for a little while as well. He is a Northern Flying Squirrel that I had raised since I found him w his eyes still closed & missing patches of fur & he is now about 2 1/2 yrs old ... But its clear that he is very lonely and I want him to enjoy his life. I am in NYC and I found him in Rye NY. I don't want him to end up with someone who may just sell him & I'm nervous about handing him over to someone that would do that .... Is there any kind of sanctuary or safe place that he might be able to enjoy the rest of his life with other Squirrels ? I would greatly appreciate any help that will help him live a happy life

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    I'm so sad for both of you... can you post a picture of Sebastian and the cage he is accustomed to?
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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Thanks & Ill give it a try on my phone. I'm afraid it has a bit to do with his enclosure because although he always had come out & play for around 4 months he wasn't even ever locked up but had constant freedom to just hang out with me ! But at the end of March I had moved back to NYC and he could no longer do that. He's ok with his enclosure but no longer seems like he wants to come out to play anymore & just keeps kinda cleaning his front paws as if he was nervous & he just seems very lonely - there are tree branches throughout & he has a house on the upper level & a smaller house on the second level. And that light is not mept on.Name:  PicsArt_02-22-12.43.11.jpg
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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    This is him about 2 weeks after I found himName:  2016-12-15-16-06-33.jpg
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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Aw. Here is the problem. He doesn't miss being with other flyers. He misses YOU. He doesn't know about other flyers, and the chances of an adult being able to join others successfully is pretty rare. Likely he fights with males and impregnates the females. They naturally live in large colonies that are essentially family groups and are together forever. He hasn't had that, and socially doesn't even understand it.

    Is there no way you can arrange for him to have a couple hours of playtime with you? That and adding some enrichment to his cage - a Stealth wheel would probably be appreciated and will burn a LOT of energy off.

    Can you tell us about his diet? It can cause a lot of problems and I am wondering if it is...

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Thank you so much for letting me know that ! I knew this was true if he had been wild but was unaware of him not being able to do this with other N F Squirrels in captivity. Of course I can give him those cpl hrs a day and I had planned on a total change in his enclosure tomorrow already & this evening I had already made certain that I had went to him several times to pet him and spoil him with a few whole wallnuts & almonds to add to his stash ! I have had wheels in with him a couple times & he never seemed to care for them at all but he does love his branches that go all the way from the floor to the cieling in his enclosure. At this time of the year I start feeding him alot of the natural things growing outside like his favorite maple tree seeds, several types of acorns as well as those long curly brown pods with seeds that all the squirrels seem to love. Otherwise pine nuts his favorite and a mix of other nuts shelled & unshehelled ... Apple slices & dried fruits such as raisins,cranberries,apricots not each every night but i like to mix things up. And I try to give him a leaf of lettuce or other greens such as broccoli or. A ear of corn every now and then .Occasionally treats such as a little dab of peanut butter or if I have pie or loaf bread I might give him a piece the sz of my pinky nail & I keep a calcium piece like the ones used for pet birds to sharpen their beaks with and I keep his water bottle fresh as well as keep a dish that perhaps if he wanted to bath in he would have the option but I have never seen him make use of it ... I just started using a mixture of cedar chips with torn paper towel peices .. I dont usually use cedar because I've read mixed comments on them & I don't like that they have such a strong
    odor to them
    .He also has wood swings hanging in his enclosure

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Welcome Sebastian. I’m pretty sure that Sebastian is a Southern Flying Squirrel. The range of Southern flyers extends very far north. One way to tell is the fur on the belly. Northern flyers have dark roots to the fur whereas the southern has the creamy colored fur on the belly and chest all the way to the skin. Northern flyers are somewhat darker in color. Northern flyers are larger. They can be 50% larger to as much as twice the size of a southern.

    I totally agree with CritterMom. At this age Sebastian could not be integrated into a wild colony. Flyers are not at all like grey squirrels that tend to be solitary. Flyers live in colonies and depend on the colony for survival. A human raised flyer bonds to their human and can be quite content as part of a human family. It is one of the reasons flyers do make good pocket pets for those that can make the commitment to a nocturnal critter.

    How can I say this ... it is quite possible that Sebastian’s changing behavior (appearing lonely) might actually be the start of declining health due to an inadequate diet. The red flag is the nuts and especially pine nuts. I have 2 flyers that are 8 and 6 years old. Nuts are extremely unhealthy for captive squirrels and flyers. Pine nuts are the worst of the worst. I am so afraid of pine nuts that my boys don’t even know they exist. Later I will post some links so that you can see why nuts are so bad. Briefly, nuts and especially pine nuts are high phosphorus foods. Phosphorus and calcium are in direct competition in the body. When a diet is high in high phosphorus foods like nuts, seeds and corn the body will strive to maintain the proper balance of the 2 minerals. The metabolic balance is a ratio of 2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. The best foods are those that are near the 2:1 ratio (Ca: P). Calcium stores in the body are in the bones. When the diet is heavy on nuts (P) the body will pull calcium from the bones. This leads to a condition called Metabolic Bone Disease. It is like osteoporosis in humans but SO much more than just brittle bones. It is also a metabolic syndrome that is fatal if the diet is not corrected. The first visible symptoms of MBD are hind end paralysis, seizures and then death. We see MBD almost every day because most aren’t aware of the problems associate with feeding captive squirrels an abundance of nuts.

    A part of the healthy diet is a rodent block. My boys eat a picky eater block made my Henry’s Healthy Pets. https://www.henryspets.com/picky-blo...ers-rats-mice/ They get a single block each per day. Flyers are omnivores and require a diet higher in protein that Grey squirrels. In nature they eat insects and grubs. We feed flyers meal worms or wax worms. I also feed my boys a dried dog treat called PureBites dehydrated chicken. They get mushrooms for Vitamin D. They get an assortment of veggies and usually a small piece of fruit. At most, they might get 1/2 of an almond.

    This is a link to the healthy diet for pet squirrels. It is specific to tree squirrels but I like it for flyers also because it lists some of the veggie choices and also shows the diet pyramid. A flyers diet is similar with the addition of a protein source and mushrooms for Vitamin D.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    The last link I want to post is the calcium to phosphorus chart of different foods. I think this chart explains so well why nuts are harmful. An example of a good food is kale. (2.4:1) calcium: phosphorus. Pine nuts are 1:35.9. That gives you an idea of just how much calcium would be needed to offset the extremely high phosphorus level in pine nuts. That calcium comes from the bones. You will notice that all nuts are high in phosphorus. Of the nuts, almonds and hazelnut are somewhat better but still not great. This is why we give nuts only as a treat.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...7&d=1232419601

    I really didn’t want to overwhelm you with diet information but to be honest with you, diet is critical for squirrels and especially for flyers because they are so tiny. Flyers do sleep more as they get older but really 2.5 isn’t that old. You might be seeing the effects of all those pine nuts and other nuts. My recommendation would be to alter the diet and see if you see a change. MBD is a painful condition so it’s not unusual to see subtle symptoms (sleeping more/aggression/biting/withdrawing) BEFORE the devastating symptoms (paralysis/seizures/death) appear.

    PS.. that is a gorgeous pic of Sebastian. Did you paint that?

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    You have gotten wonderful advice here and I agree 100%. I just want to let you know that I am in your area: I work as Animal Care Specialist for the Weinberg Nature center in Scarsdale and I release squirrels there as well as at the Read Sanctuary in Rye NY. So if you ever need local help with Sebastian, please don't hesitate to call. I will PM you my phone. If Sebastian was a grey squirrel I would say let's try a soft release but flyers are a whole different story. Anyway you have a rehabber nearby.
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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Sorry I forgot something. Please donít use cedar chips. Although they smell nice to us from a distance, they can cause respiratory damage in small mammals that are living near/on them. Someone can correct me but I think aspen chips are OK. I had thick fleece cage liners made. When they get nasty I roll them up, take them outside, shake them and then launder them. They work perfectly and are easy to manage.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Aspen chips are fine. Sophresh Co makes very nice inexpensive Aspen chips and they really keep odor and wetness to a minimum
    Island Rehabber
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    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: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to educate me on all this !! I had misread things in the past from other sites and obviously messed up big time and will be removing all his nutts " be will not be happy about this " Ive always made sure to not take his stashes away when I clean up. I have always included mushrooms & will stick to those !! He seems to be fine physically so I'm just praying I havent hurt him with his diet !!! I am on this after I finish with this. Is cooked chicken ok or stick to that dog food you recomended ? I will be looking into all you have given me & reverse this immediately !! I'm having a heart attack now thinking that he has a inclosure full of everything he shouldnt !! Thank you once again you probably saved his life for me ! That picture of him was just worked on in a couple editors until I got the result i wanted ...

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    You have gotten wonderful advice here and I agree 100%. I just want to let you know that I am in your area: I work as Animal Care Specialist for the Weinberg Nature center in Scarsdale and I release squirrels there as well as at the Read Sanctuary in Rye NY. So if you ever need local help with Sebastian, please don't hesitate to call. I will PM you my phone. If Sebastian was a grey squirrel I would say let's try a soft release but flyers are a whole different story. Anyway you have a rehabber nearby.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Well I got him out of that enclosure & into a older one that he used to stay in ! Nut & Cedar free
    Again thank you everyone & hopefully he will be on a quick road to Healthy ... Happy & with me !Name:  20190517_193317~2.jpg
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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    A couple quick ideas for his cage that will make a big difference:

    Throw a bed sheet or the like over that cage and cover the top, back, sides and leave just the front open. In a wide open cage they are surrounded by what feels like many fronts a predator can attack them from. Leave them just one and they feel so much more protected. Also, make him a little platform and put it at the top of the cage with maybe 6 or 8 inches of headroom in one of the back corners. Pile up some pieces of fleece and other soft fabric that does not ravel into threads on his little platform and I betcha he begins to sleep there. The more places he has to hide, the happier he will be.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabastion View Post
    Is cooked chicken ok or stick to that dog food you recomended ? .
    Oh yes, they can have cooked chicken. They can even have the bones. Early on I used to bake chicken wings for my boys. They were not big fans so I stopped buying them. I'm a vegetarian so I wouldn't be cooking them for myself. Anytime you cook chicken definitely give Sebastian some. I know a rehabber that regularly gave hers cooked chicken and they really liked it. Don't worry about the bones. They don't swallow bones. They scritch tiny holes in the bone with their tiny teeth.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabastion View Post
    Well I got him out of that enclosure & into a older one that he used to stay in ! Nut & Cedar free
    Again thank you everyone & hopefully he will be on a quick road to Healthy ... Happy & with me !Name:  20190517_193317~2.jpg
Views: 43
Size:  100.3 KB
    Very strange but perhaps he prefers his smaller enclosure as well because he's acting like his old playful self & has been wanting to play non stop ! It's definitely nice seeing him like this again ! He's enjoying watching Ghost Whisperer right now .. Lol

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    https://www.alotofhome.com/product/k...mineral-treats

    This is a calcium source that you should buy. It is the ONLY calcium item that my boys really like. They like the yellow/white one the best. They are small (about 2 inches). One cone would literally last him the rest of his life. I have never seen my boys chew it but the cone is covered in tiny teeth marks.

    Mine have a cuddle bone and antlers also but I have never seen them chew them.
    Someone said that they are more likely to chew shed antlers so if you can find one it would be good. We don't have sheds in central FL. I've also heard that they like weathered antlers as opposed to fresh sheds.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabastion View Post
    Very strange but perhaps he prefers his smaller enclosure as well because he's acting like his old playful self & has been wanting to play non stop ! It's definitely nice seeing him like this again ! He's enjoying watching Ghost Whisperer right now .. Lol
    You're probably right. It was his home for his entire life and he feels secure in it. He is probably like me... he doesn't like change.

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    Default Re: My little boy needs to be placed preferably in a sanctuary

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    A couple quick ideas for his cage that will make a big difference:

    Throw a bed sheet or the like over that cage and cover the top, back, sides and leave just the front open. In a wide open cage they are surrounded by what feels like many fronts a predator can attack them from. Leave them just one and they feel so much more protected. Also, make him a little platform and put it at the top of the cage with maybe 6 or 8 inches of headroom in one of the back corners. Pile up some pieces of fleece and other soft fabric that does not ravel into threads on his little platform and I betcha he begins to sleep there. The more places he has to hide, the happier he will be.
    I will do that this evening !! Ive also always made him homes with removable tops ... ThanksName:  20190519_173815.jpg
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