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Thread: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

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    Default Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    I have a 3 year old male squirrel. I keep him indoors in a 3 ft wide by 4 ft tall cage. I have been feeding him nut squares & veggie squares which are complete with calcium as well as other vitamins & minerals needed for healthy diets. In addition i give him sweet potatoes, avocado, apples, water melon, walnuts, pecans ( when I can get them), pumpkin when its in season.About a week ago i switched out branches in his cage that had become too small for him for a larger branch. I had thin branches in the bottom of the cage but the big one was up high. Well he fell off. And then about 3 days later his behavior changed. He stopped eating, and started sleeping in the bottom of the cage rather than in his pouch. He wobbled as he walked and his legs werent working right. I read up on metabolic bone disease and worried if he wasnt getting enough calcium, but I was told by the company I buy the nut & veggie treats from they contain all the calcium needed. Watermelon is all he will eat so I immediately started giving him crushed tums then i rolled a piece of watermelon in the tums. After the first one he started crawling in his pouch again. So today I stupidly put something soft in the bottom of his cage so he didnt have to lay on the cedar in the bottom of the cage. Well he doesnt like change so he crawled up on his branch that i lowered to about half the height of the cage. He stayed there for a bit but i could see he wanted in his pouch so i raised the pouch and he lowered himself into it. Not long after he climbed out of his pouch and crawled over the branch in th bottom of the cage, lost his balance and ended up on his back. He couldnt right himself he lay there and kicked. I thought he was having a seizure but he finally rolled over. Is that normal?
    I also know it is the second mating season of the year and he could just be displaying this behavior as a result of hormones.
    My problem is I dont know if hes hormonal & moody, if hes hurt from his fall last week.
    He doesnt act like hes in pain, at all. He does put his face in the corner of the cage sometimes. Being hormonal he wont let me handle him without trying to bite me.
    Today I put a tiny stuffed animal in the cage and was trying to get him to play with it and he started squealing at me and ran to the other side of the cage, like he didnt want to be bothered. He has begun eating pecans and walnuts but still prefers watermelon.
    When he fell I was standing right there and I dont believe he hit anything on the way down. He continued climbing for about 3 days then the strange behavior began. He still climbs up the side of the cage when he wants to get in his pouch.
    I have removed the branches or anything he can stumble or fall over. He is walking better, and i cover most of his cage to give him some quiet time.
    Im just looking for some guidance. I have had him since before his eyes were opened. Not by choice but DNR said nothing they could do. I have not had any issues until now other than hormonal at mating seasons. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    It certainly sounds like MBD to me, and it is very likely that he has also hurt himself by falling on top of it. Weakness is one of the first signs people really notice, and your description of him on his back could certainly be a seizure, which is another sign. There are lots of companies that sell bad food out there.

    I would begin him on the MBD protocol at 500mg of calcium per day, spread out into many small doses, not one large one. I would also give him some help for the pain. If you can get some infant ibuprophen - make sure it is iburophen, nothng else - and give us an idea of his weight, we can give you a proper dose for it.

    You obviously need to do something to prevent further falls, too. If you can get his pain taken care of he may become easier to deal with, too.

    MBD Treatment: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-MBD-Treatment

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    It certainly sounds like MBD to me, and it is very likely that he has also hurt himself by falling on top of it. Weakness is one of the first signs people really notice, and your description of him on his back could certainly be a seizure, which is another sign. There are lots of companies that sell bad food out there.

    I would begin him on the MBD protocol at 500mg of calcium per day, spread out into many small doses, not one large one. I would also give him some help for the pain. If you can get some infant ibuprophen - make sure it is iburophen, nothng else - and give us an idea of his weight, we can give you a proper dose for it.

    You obviously need to do something to prevent further falls, too. If you can get his pain taken care of he may become easier to deal with, too.

    MBD Treatment: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-MBD-Treatment
    Not sure of his weight, and I was giving him crushed tums on watermelon but he stopped liking it. As far as giving him anything, I can barely touch him right now. The guy I buy tge nut & veggie squares makes the mixture himself and has been rehabbing squirrels for 30 years. I get them on (deleted the link - Spanky).

    Thank you for your reply tho, i just need as many opinions as possible....
    Last edited by Spanky; 08-27-2019 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Removed the link to bad squares...

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    Not sure of his weight, and I was giving him crushed tums on watermelon but he stopped liking it. As far as giving him anything, I can barely touch him right now. The guy I buy tge nut & veggie squares makes the mixture himself and has been rehabbing squirrels for 30 years. I get them on squirrelnutrition.com.

    Thank you for your reply tho, i just need as many opinions as possible....
    We get several people every year that use the same products you're using. All of their squirrels are suffering the same fate. We've proven it time and time again.

    Please do everything possible to follow exactly what people here are telling you. This isn't ego related, your little buddy is sick and it's only going to get worse. It can and will kill him. Please follow the MBD protocol. He's in pain that's likely the reason he's being so mean or meaner than normal. Wear heavy gloves, just please follow the protocol.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    Not sure of his weight, and I was giving him crushed tums on watermelon but he stopped liking it. As far as giving him anything, I can barely touch him right now. The guy I buy tge nut & veggie squares makes the mixture himself and has been rehabbing squirrels for 30 years. I get them on squirrelnutrition.com.
    Thank you for your reply tho, i just need as many opinions as possible....

    Your boy's nut & veggie squares are not the nutrition you thought them to be.
    He has mbd, he hurts and continuing to feed him nuts is continuing to rob his
    body/bones of calcium. You have a chance to turn it around and you really
    need to heed this advice
    * and start the mbd protocol.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo's Mom View Post
    We get several people every year that use the same products you're using. All of their squirrels are suffering the same fate. We've proven it time and time again.
    Please do everything possible to follow exactly what people here are telling you. This isn't ego related, your little buddy is sick and it's only going to get worse. It can and will kill him. Please follow the MBD protocol. He's in pain that's likely the reason he's being so mean or meaner than normal. Wear heavy gloves, just please follow the protocol.
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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    You have gotten the absolutely perfect advice from our members above, Hillbillygirl. If you want to save your little guy you will begin the protocol immediately. MBD hurts, and MBD kills. Please do not feed him any more of those nut square things! We have been down this road before. We want your squirrel to be among the many that we have saved from a painful death.
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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    I agree this is almost certainly MBD. The MBD protocol can save his life and even if this is not MBD, the protocol will not be harmful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    I have a 3 year old male squirrel. I keep him indoors in a 3 ft wide by 4 ft tall cage. I have been feeding him nut squares & veggie squares which are complete with calcium as well as other vitamins & minerals needed for healthy diets. In addition i give him sweet potatoes, avocado, apples, water melon, walnuts, pecans ( when I can get them), pumpkin when its in season.

    Just as important as the diet including enough calcium is ensuring the diet does not contain too many "calcium depleting" foods; nuts and seeds are the biggest culprits in depleting calcium. It is simply not possible to include enough calcium in a captive squirrel's diet that will allow large quantities of nuts and seeds.

    Be certain to eliminate all nuts and seeds from his diet while on the MBD protocol.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo's Mom View Post
    We get several people every year that use the same products you're using. All of their squirrels are suffering the same fate. We've proven it time and time again.

    Please do everything possible to follow exactly what people here are telling you. This isn't ego related, your little buddy is sick and it's only going to get worse. It can and will kill him. Please follow the MBD protocol. He's in pain that's likely the reason he's being so mean or meaner than normal. Wear heavy gloves, just please follow the protocol.

    I got some help from my sister and got about 250 mg in baby cereal down him. She will be back again at 5 pm and around 8 pm ( she lives next door) I also switched him to a smaller cage until he shows some positive signs of improvement. It just dawned on me that I had only been giving him the nut & veggie squares for about 4 months so the Damage was well on its way to being done. There is very little help out there, because in Texas having a squirrel is illegal, so a vet ( even an exotic pet vet) cant treat them by law until you have a permit for them which you have to take rehab courses. I was told by the DNR not once but twice they were too busy and just let nature take its course. I am more than willing to do my part and become certified but i cant get any information or even a return call.
    Could someone recommend to me what foods I should be giving this boy, and how long mating season lasts, what is best way to keep calcium levels healthy? I have been alone in this and what I dont know about raising a boy squirrel could fill a book. I did not ask for this responsibility but im committed to giving him the best life I can.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    I got some help from my sister and got about 250 mg in baby cereal down him. She will be back again at 5 pm and around 8 pm ( she lives next door) I also switched him to a smaller cage until he shows some positive signs of improvement. It just dawned on me that I had only been giving him the nut & veggie squares for about 4 months so the Damage was well on its way to being done. There is very little help out there, because in Texas having a squirrel is illegal, so a vet ( even an exotic pet vet) cant treat them by law until you have a permit for them which you have to take rehab courses. I was told by the DNR not once but twice they were too busy and just let nature take its course. I am more than willing to do my part and become certified but i cant get any information or even a return call.
    Could someone recommend to me what foods I should be giving this boy, and how long mating season lasts, what is best way to keep calcium levels healthy? I have been alone in this and what I dont know about raising a boy squirrel could fill a book. I did not ask for this responsibility but im committed to giving him the best life I can.
    First and foremost, please follow this MBD Treatment: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-MBD-Treatment It will save his life. It's really not an option, there isn't an alternative. This and a good diet will fix MBD.

    As for food. Here is the Healthy Diet Chart. https://www.henryspets.com/healthy-d...pet-squirrels/

    Here is a link to a very good block that your squirrel will most likely find tastey and eat willingly. https://www.henryspets.com/squirrel-diet/ Hazelnut or Picky blocks are the most tastey...at least that's what the squirrels say.

    Henry's also offer an MBD Kit. You may want to look into this as the treatment is long term....he didn't get like this overnight and he's not going to be cured overnight (even though he may appear to be). https://www.henryspets.com/mbd-treatment-kit/

    MBD is his body taking calcium from his bones. The brain needs calcium to function. If the body can't get it from the food it takes it from the bones. This is why it's so painful. His bones are soft and weak since the body is sending the calcium to his brain so it can run the rest of his body. Following this treatment exactly as it's written will give his body what it needs to function AND enough to begin repairing the damage that's been done.

    Please ask as many questions as you have. We will do our best to respond with concise accurate info to lead you both through this.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    I have given my little man 3 separate doses now of crushed tums in baby cereal. He would hardly take one syringe full the last time, but there was only 3 hours between the last 2, gave them at 1, 5 & 8 pm. Hes sleeping now. Im afraid hes stressed or upset with me. Im going to leave him alone the rest of the night and start in the morning. Maybe he will be a little hungry. When I talk to him he squeals at me. I hope when he starts feeling better he doesnt hate me forever.
    Can anyone tell me the symptoms of stress? And how I help with that?

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Here is a thread about Tiger squirrel with a severe case of MBD, he made a full recovery.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...uirrel-has-mbd

    It's a difficult journey, but with a strict diet, a good rodent block (Henry's picky blocks) and the correct amount of daily calcium your little guy has a chance of a full recovery too.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    Can anyone tell me the symptoms of stress? And how I help with that?
    Symptoms of stress in a squirrel are:

    *alarm call (chatter followed by a high-pitched whine, repeatedly)
    *teeth chattering If doing this while any part of your body is near the squirrel, remove it! This is like a rattlesnake's rattle -- a warning!
    * white tears. When in pain or very stressed, squirrels cry milky white tears.

    To minimize stress, you might cover the cage, providing darkness and less stimuli. Remove kids and pets from the squirrel's area. Try Bach Rescue Remedy, available in any health food store or online, behind his ears and on the pads of his feet. If you can't touch him, put some in a spray bottle and mist him. Works with about 3/4 of all squirrels I've tried it on.
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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    It certainly sounds like MBD to me, and it is very likely that he has also hurt himself by falling on top of it. Weakness is one of the first signs people really notice, and your description of him on his back could certainly be a seizure, which is another sign. There are lots of companies that sell bad food out there.

    I would begin him on the MBD protocol at 500mg of calcium per day, spread out into many small doses, not one large one. I would also give him some help for the pain. If you can get some infant ibuprophen - make sure it is iburophen, nothng else - and give us an idea of his weight, we can give you a proper dose for it.

    You obviously need to do something to prevent further falls, too. If you can get his pain taken care of he may become easier to deal with, too.

    MBD Treatment: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-MBD-Treatment
    @CritterMom I held him this morning and it feels like he weighs about a pound. Going to the store for Baby Ibuprofen. Could you please provide dosing instructions?

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by lukaslolamaus View Post
    Here is a thread about Tiger squirrel with a severe case of MBD, he made a full recovery.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...uirrel-has-mbd

    It's a difficult journey, but with a strict diet, a good rodent block (Henry's picky blocks) and the correct amount of daily calcium your little guy has a chance of a full recovery too.
    I did get the Henrys Healthy Blocks and the nut logs. I will orde4 the picky blocks immediately, thanks for the link.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo's Mom View Post
    We get several people every year that use the same products you're using. All of their squirrels are suffering the same fate. We've proven it time and time again.

    Please do everything possible to follow exactly what people here are telling you. This isn't ego related, your little buddy is sick and it's only going to get worse. It can and will kill him. Please follow the MBD protocol. He's in pain that's likely the reason he's being so mean or meaner than normal. Wear heavy gloves, just please follow the protocol.
    Its been a complete 48 hours now following the mbd emergency protocol, and the secnd day of infant ibuprofen ( Going to discontinue after dinner time dose today)
    My boy is still sleeping but awake more. Hes getting his strength back given the way he hangs on to the cage when its time to get him for his treatment. He seems to be walking with more control as well.
    He is also tearing up the small latch hook rug i put in the cage for him to lay on.
    I want to thank you all for your guidance and knowledge...I will keep you posted on his progress.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Oh, that is good. Do keep us posted. In a week (maybe) or so, it will be time to very gradually start to step down the additional calcium you are giving him. Watch his poops. If they begin to have a whitish, powdery appearance, that is unused calcium in his system being pooped out, and means you can begin doing this very slowly. Bear in mind that he is always going to try to LOOK better than he feels when you are judging how he is doing.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Wonderful to see him improving!
    I answered your question inTiger's thread on how I got him to take and like the calcium.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilbillygirl View Post
    Its been a complete 48 hours now following the mbd emergency protocol, and the secnd day of infant ibuprofen ( Going to discontinue after dinner time dose today)
    My boy is still sleeping but awake more. Hes getting his strength back given the way he hangs on to the cage when its time to get him for his treatment. He seems to be walking with more control as well.
    He is also tearing up the small latch hook rug i put in the cage for him to lay on.
    I want to thank you all for your guidance and knowledge...I will keep you posted on his progress.
    Excellent! Keep at it Momma! You are getting excellent experienced help, you're following it, and you're seeing improvement. Just keep following the info provided. Yes, please please do keep us posted. All of these babies (big or small) take a piece of all of our hearts.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Oh, that is good. Do keep us posted. In a week (maybe) or so, it will be time to very gradually start to step down the additional calcium you are giving him. Watch his poops. If they begin to have a whitish, powdery appearance, that is unused calcium in his system being pooped out, and means you can begin doing this very slowly. Bear in mind that he is always going to try to LOOK better than he feels when you are judging how he is doing.
    My concern now is that he has no interest in eating anything besides an occasional piece of watermelon and the baby food i give him with the calcium...He doesnt like being pulled out of the cage to be fed in fact he whimpers until he actually starts eating but without him eating on his own i see no other way to get food or calcium in him.

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    Default Re: Odd behavior in male adult squirrel

    Hopefully he will like the Henry's food. A lot of folks have gotten their squirrels over this issue with short term feeding of Ensure - the food replacement shakes for people. They even have butter pecan flavor, though any of them will help because they are really nutrient and calorie dense - you get a lot from a small amount. Try warming it up a bit - like formula.

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