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Thread: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

  1. #1
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    Default Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Hi,

    I have a dwarf young squirrel and have been reading all the posts here on what to do but I'm having a tough time getting him to eat anything other than formula. Question - how do you get them to chew on hard things to file their teeth down? I don't think I can find a vet to file/clip his teeth as he should be euthanized by state law if he is NR. So far he will take formula and a little applesauce. I've only had him 2 days so this is all new. Hard to tell age - maybe 7-9 weeks. Short tail is bushy. He doesn't really walk or move. Sleeps all day and night. If I force him to walk, he shuffles a few inches. Moves backwards a bit. He is very odd. I don't have photos yet. Legs are very short and as soon as I saw his face I knew. I haven't tried HHB yet but I have them so I'll try. No food in his basket has been touched. He is on heat as I've read about the thermo-regulation problems. I have a feeling he is not one of the high functioning dwarf squirrels but he did survive out in the wild this long. He weighs about 170 which is a lot for his small size. He is a little tank with a big belly. He wouldn't pee or poop for a day but once we started to stimulate him we got it started and he is doing it on his own now.

    How long should I anticipate he can live? I know it isn't a long life.

    Tips on how to get him to eat solids and what to do about his teeth. Maybe he is just too young yet and will develop eating skills at a slower rate. He doesn't touch the zupreem or cheerios. He was slightly interested in a half of fresh acorn and nibbled but didn't swallow it.

    It sounds like a lot of people have had these squirrels and I've been reading a lot of accounts so thank you all. Any tips and ideas are welcome. I'll try to get photos today.

    Sharon

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    A dwarf IS very odd. Check “so you think your baby is different” under “ Downes or Achondroplastic dwarfism. A dwarf is a rare and wonderful creature. Because of the structure of it’s face, it’s tongue is a little too big. That can give the little guy trouble swallowing or eating. They aspirate VERY easily. My fourth dwarf, Four, was a very good eater when she was younger. At almost 7 months old she eats very few solids now. She gets formula three or four times a day—as often as she will take it. I add baby food and ground Harland Teklad 18 blocks. She is NOT fond of the blocks. Recently she was constipated. My biggest fear was megacolon. Thank heaven Redwuff suggested Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. Four poops now—every morning on her walkabout. She will drink from a waterbottle but I think she needs to drink more. I haven’t had to trim Four’s teeth but did have to trim the teeth of her predecessor, Punkin. A dwarf doesn’t walk like a normal squirrel. It’s joints are fragile and often abnormal. When they walk they “bumble”—kind of a bunny hop, and when holding things (IF your baby holds things) it looks more like he’s holding with his wrists rather than his fingers. Your baby will not mature sexually and you will have a short blessed life with him. They just don’t live long enough. I think the oldest dwarf I ever heard of was almost 5. The average is half of that. I have loved and lost too many babies but never mourned any like I mourned my dwarf babies. That being said, I will ALWAYS take in a dwarf. There is so much magic packed into the short precious life of a dwarf squirrel, how can I not. If you want to talk about your baby, please pm your phone number.

    This is my Four early last summer
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Hi sabelson, welcome back. Its good to see you again.

    I cant help at all with a dwarf but I wanted to make sure you have heard about the issues with Esbilac.
    It has been a nightmare. I hope youre using FoxValley.

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Hi sabelson, welcome back. Its good to see you again.

    I cant help at all with a dwarf but I wanted to make sure you have heard about the issues with Esbilac.
    It has been a nightmare. I hope youre using FoxValley.
    Yes I have heard about the Esbilac. I use a a conbination of Esbilac goat's milk and Fox Valley depending on age and diarrhea status. Thank you for the warning. I've never liked Esbilac regular puppy formula and have mostly used Fox Valley for all my rehabbibg,

    Sharon

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Thank you so much for the information! It is really helpful. I just looked and he has his lower teeth but not upper. No wonder he doesn't eat. I could feel them but they aren't in yet which is odd for 2-3 months but that is how he is going to be - slow development. I was thinking about baby food too. I'm going to try that with and without the formula. I guess it is all trial and error with these guys. I appreciate the help and I'm sure I will have a million questions to ask you along the way. Thank you for helping with "Sleepy". Did yours sleep a lot?

    Sharon

    Quote Originally Posted by Chickenlegs View Post
    A dwarf IS very odd. Check “so you think your baby is different” under “ Downes or Achondroplastic dwarfism. A dwarf is a rare and wonderful creature. Because of the structure of it’s face, it’s tongue is a little too big. That can give the little guy trouble swallowing or eating. They aspirate VERY easily. My fourth dwarf, Four, was a very good eater when she was younger. At almost 7 months old she eats very few solids now. She gets formula three or four times a day—as often as she will take it. I add baby food and ground Harland Teklad 18 blocks. She is NOT fond of the blocks. Recently she was constipated. My biggest fear was megacolon. Thank heaven Redwuff suggested Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. Four poops now—every morning on her walkabout. She will drink from a waterbottle but I think she needs to drink more. I haven’t had to trim Four’s teeth but did have to trim the teeth of her predecessor, Punkin. A dwarf doesn’t walk like a normal squirrel. It’s joints are fragile and often abnormal. When they walk they “bumble”—kind of a bunny hop, and when holding things (IF your baby holds things) it looks more like he’s holding with his wrists rather than his fingers. Your baby will not mature sexually and you will have a short blessed life with him. They just don’t live long enough. I think the oldest dwarf I ever heard of was almost 5. The average is half of that. I have loved and lost too many babies but never mourned any like I mourned my dwarf babies. That being said, I will ALWAYS take in a dwarf. There is so much magic packed into the short precious life of a dwarf squirrel, how can I not. If you want to talk about your baby, please pm your phone number.

    This is my Four early last summer

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

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    Here he is! Mr. Sleepy

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    What a Cutie! I had a dwarf named Joey. He passed away the end of March at 3.5 years old. He was a joy...but not without some medical issues. He had mega colon and required two different medicines twice a day. He was fed by syringe 4-5 times a day. I found Envigo Harlan Teklad 2018 worked better than HHB’s because it ground into a fine powder. I mixed the powder with veggie/fruit combo baby foods and then thinned it with FV 20/50 and Ultraboost. He also ate chicken. I bought Pure Bites dehydrated chicken from the pet store or gave him cooked chicken when we had it. Try cheese and scrambled eggs, too.

    He was a pretty high functioning dwarf and could climb and play with toys. He did sleep a lot, though. He loved to go outside and sniff around in the garden. He loved to climb large rocks and I allowed him to climb the base of my oak tree, but always had my hands ready to catch him if he let go. I think it was good for him to think he was just like any other squirrel.

    Dwarfs are indeed a joy! I miss my little man.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Joey was a miracle—but then all dwarf squirrels are. I am in love with Sleepy. My Four sleeps a lot. She had a loooooong walkabout this afternoon. My girl has been a little under the weather. She was constipated. Now that she’s feeling better she’s a lot more active and I’m sure that helps in the pooping department. Redwuff has a little dwarf named Rippley. Every one of our dwarf babies are special gifts. Like Mel said, a dwarf is a challenge. Your Sleepy is different from my Four or Rippley or any other dwarf. In the case of a dwarf baby, it really does take a village.

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    We have a very low functioning downs dwarf that is the love of our life. Ripley is now 19 months old and his hair is not as full as it used to be. He does not drink or eat on his own and we love him more each day.

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Rippley is absolutely precious. Hold Rippley and peace just enfolds you. Hes THAT special.

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Thank you for letting me know what he ate and ideas of things to try. I would never think to try chicken or scrambled eggs. I just wish I knew how old he was. I just can't tell. He has bottom teeth but no top teeth. I hope they come in. I will take him outside and get him some sunlight next time the sun comes out. I like the idea of trying him on the tree. Maybe he can gain some strength. He just don't move around much.

    So sorry Joey has passed. He sounded like a very special boy!

    Thank you for your help!

    Sharon

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    What a Cutie! I had a dwarf named Joey. He passed away the end of March at 3.5 years old. He was a joy...but not without some medical issues. He had mega colon and required two different medicines twice a day. He was fed by syringe 4-5 times a day. I found Envigo Harlan Teklad 2018 worked better than HHBs because it ground into a fine powder. I mixed the powder with veggie/fruit combo baby foods and then thinned it with FV 20/50 and Ultraboost. He also ate chicken. I bought Pure Bites dehydrated chicken from the pet store or gave him cooked chicken when we had it. Try cheese and scrambled eggs, too.

    He was a pretty high functioning dwarf and could climb and play with toys. He did sleep a lot, though. He loved to go outside and sniff around in the garden. He loved to climb large rocks and I allowed him to climb the base of my oak tree, but always had my hands ready to catch him if he let go. I think it was good for him to think he was just like any other squirrel.

    Dwarfs are indeed a joy! I miss my little man.

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  21. #12
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by redwuff View Post
    We have a very low functioning downs dwarf that is the love of our life. Ripley is now 19 months old and his hair is not as full as it used to be. He does not drink or eat on his own and we love him more each day.

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    Is he still on formula? What else do you feed him? Do you give him fluids orally?

    Mine is taking cherry Pedialyte (diluted) during the day because he looks dehydrated a lot. So far he takes it out of a syringe but that is instead of formula so not sure if I should be working on hydration or calories. It is a learning curve...

    Rippley is a cutie!

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Ripley mostly sleeps. Every once in awhile I can take him for a walk around the world (I follow him around the house). Twice in his life he gave us a little play with him going after fingers. One time he smelled an acorn in my pocket but would not take a piece of it when offered.

    For food I make a slurry out of ground hhbs, Harlan teklad, a green veggie baby food, an orange baby food, and a teaspoon of critical care. I wet that using fv 20/50 and applesauce. After mixing it up, I put it through a strainer so it will go through a syring easily. He weighs around 370 g. Through trial and error I have figured out how much he needs to eat to stay at a certain weight. I think he was around 8 to 10 weeks when he came in. But who knows, he could have been twice that. It truelly is an adventure that you don't know where you are going owning a dwarF.
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabelson View Post
    Is he still on formula? What else do you feed him? Do you give him fluids orally?

    Mine is taking cherry Pedialyte (diluted) during the day because he looks dehydrated a lot. So far he takes it out of a syringe but that is instead of formula so not sure if I should be working on hydration or calories. It is a learning curve...

    Rippley is a cutie!
    What do you mean that you are giving him pedialyte instead of formula? You need to work on both hydration and calories. As a baby, once he is hydrated, he should stay hydrated with the proper amount of formula.
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    As babies go, these dwarfs are pretty much like any baby. They seem to love their formula, eat it well, tho a bit slower than the average baby.
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Hello everyone babies are so adorable.

    You said you are giving cherry Pedialyte. Do you flavor it or sies it come that way? read the ingredients because every flavor I have come across is sweetened with artificial sugar wich is no good for them.

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    I offer Four a waterbottle. Sometimes shes thirsty for a plain ol drink of water. I want her to drink because I DONT want her stoppered up OR to have a UTI. Have you tried a waterbottle? Id go with that before pedialite.

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chickenlegs View Post
    Rippley is absolutely precious. Hold Rippley and peace just enfolds you. Hes THAT special.
    Yes.
    We live in a heaven created by our virtues --- Muktananda

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  30. #19
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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    Thank you all for your suggestions and insight into dwarf squirrels. "Sleepy" is now Yoda. The ears are just too much like Yoda's not to call him that. He is advancing very well. He is walking forward now and climbing the hardware cloth of his little cage. He is really doing so much better. He actually climbed up my pant leg yesterday. Back legs are still not strong. Not bad for a squirrel that wasn't even walking 10 days ago. We go outside when it is warm and sunny. He is getting lots of time out of his cage to strengthen his muscles and walk around. He is now going pee in a litter tray too. He is loving formula and baby food mixed together with yogurt. He is staying at 170 gm and being fed 3 times a day. He might just stay this tiny I guess. Top teeth are cutting through and he is loving to nibble on avocado. He is really making progress in 10 days. I'm so pleased as I thought he might just sleep all the time. I think he didn't feel well for a few days and wasn't well hydrated when I got him.

    Pooping seems to be an issue and he strains for a long time before a tiny poop comes out. I am giving him prune and pumpkin baby food but I don't see that helping. Can you give squirrels Miralax in tiny doses? It draws fluids into the intestines to help constipation.

    Do you stick with the 5% of body weight for how much you feed them? He is so hungry and doesn't ever stop on his own. I'm giving him more like 6% and he seems fine with that but would take even more if I let him.

    I will set up a water bottle to see if he take it that way. Good idea. Still afraid to give him a water bowl. He takes a little water from a syringe sometimes but I mix water into his formula/baby food concoction to get him more fluids.

    Sharon

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    Default Re: Dwarf squirrel - What to feed?

    I never limited my dwarf to a certain amount of food. I fed him as much as hed eat. At one point he was a little chunky but it was good because he got sick and the extra fat reserve was a big help in his recovery.

    These guys can develop megacolon. My Joey had it and took two Rx drugs (cisapride and metoclopramide) twice a day to keep his bowel movements regular.

    Its good to hear that hes climbing. Because theyre pretty uncoordinated be careful that he doesnt fall...they land like squishy rocks and can easily injure themselves. eek

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