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Thread: Beautiful Baby Bo, a Costa Rican Princess

  1. #1
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    Default Beautiful Baby Bo, a Costa Rican Princess

    Hi!
    Iím Agustina.

    I live in Costa Rica, on the pacific coast.
    A few days ago we found a baby squirrel under a tree after a horrible storm.
    It was all by herself (Well... we believe sheís a girl), clearly in shock and a bit damaged.

    We couldnít find any professional help in the area. I live in a rural area with almost no vets and no professional rehabilitators.
    The only vet that felt like giving me some advice told me to feed the squirrel with delactosed cow milk, and thatís what Iíve been doing since then.

    I believe I did a good job keeping her hydrated the first few days, and also keeping her warm and helping her peeing/pooping: Sheís peeing amazingly and no diarrhea at all. I nursed maaaany many puppies (cat and dogs) so I had some experience from that.

    But then I started to do some research online and finally found some helpful profesional insights. Apparently I SHOULD NOT be feeding her with cow milk 😩 Iím gonna get some puppy formula at the vet tomorrow first thing.

    I was able to find out sheís around 3 weeks. Iím feeding her according to this (I mean amount of cc and times a day). She looks like sheís growing healthy since I found her 9 days ago.

    I will post some pictures/videos of the day we found her and some from just a few minutes ago.

    I would like to get some advice, and would love to now is sheís developing alright.

    Iíve read about the gaping when nursing and I felt very relieved. She does that all the time. Apparently no inhaling, never seen her nose bubbling or any weird noise. Sheís getting way more curious and active lately, making it a bit harder when feeding her.

    Also, Iím little concerned because today I realized her ribs show a bit. Is this normal?

    Of course now I know cow milk is a NO, I will be switching to formula right away.

    Please Iíd be happy to get some advice to help her grow happy and strong for her future released life.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Aw, she is gorgeous! What is her name:

    This: https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/ is an EXCELLENT no nonsense guide to helping to care for these babies. It is 6 pages - read through it and I know you will find it helpful. It is written based on the US but is still very important.

    I have sent private messages to a couple who are members here who live on the Pacific coast of CR as well and may be able to help you too.

    If you have trouble finding puppy milk, a homemade formula can be made from goats milk, yogurt, heavy cream and egg if you can find the ingredients.

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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Thanks so much for your kind reply!

    Her name is Bo ❤️ We were not sure of her gender at first (Well, still arenít much &#128514 So we went for something that could be both male/female.

    Sheís really beautiful right?

    Iíve just read the entire guide you sent me. SUPER useful. I think Bo might be a little bit dehydrated, not extremely. But Iím starting with hydration process right now.

    Iím also positive about the fact that the milk Iíve been feeding is not helping her develop AS healthy as she should. Iím switching to homemade formula today. Luckily, Iíll all be able to find all the ingredients easily.

    Again, thanks for your help.

    Iíll be touching base frequently to show how Boís doing.

    ❤️

    Agustina

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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Take a photo of the pertinent parts and we will sex her for you. I am saying "her" because usually if people are unsure, it is a girl. Both of them have "outies" but boys really advertise!

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Here it goes!
    Excited to know

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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Agustina! As I was starting to read this thread and scrolling down, I see your baby Bo and in my head I said "Aww, she is gorgeous!" scroll down some more to find that CritterMom beat me to it with those exact words . I know you have two varieties of tri-color variegated squirrels there, and Bo's deep gold coloring is the more unusual.

    Sounds as if you are right on point with what you're doing for her, and the puppy milk will definitely be better than any type of cow's milk. See if you can find Esbilac with an expiration date of 10/2021 or later -- OR, Royal Canin puppy formula. There is so much information here and also on that excellent Henry's Pets site, you should be fine -- but keep asking questions and we will keep responding.

    PS: Yep, SHE is a beautiful little girl!
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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Oh I feel very happy Iíve found this forum. I really really needed some expertise help and the kind words are such a motivation!

    Thanks to all of you ❤️

    Oh... So baby Bo is -for fact- a beautiful baby girl! Thanks for this confirmation.

    Iím already working on finding some of those puppyís formula, or getting some goat milk in the next few hours.

    Iíll keep you all posted.

    Thanks once again!

  14. #8
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Quote Originally Posted by agustinanavarro View Post

    Iím already working on finding some of those puppyís formula, or getting some goat milk in the next few hours.

    !

    Remember if you do find Esbilac, it MUST have an expiration date of 10/2021 or later. This is what I used this season and it was fine. Certain lots of Esbilac, prior to that date, were extremely problematic and you don't want to use it. Good luck!
    Island Rehabber
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    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    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. '

  15. Serious fuzzy thank you's to island rehabber from:

    Chirps (06-12-2020)

  16. #9
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Great! Thanks for that tip. Iím running to town and see what I can find, Iíll keep that information in mind when getting something!

    Oh thanks thanks thanks so much!!!!!!! ❤️

  17. #10
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    HOLA Amiga...
    Welcome to the BEST place for Squirrel Lovers and INFO. If you go to the top of this page --under the WHAT'S NEW ?---you will see "Private Message". Click on that and respond (to me ) in another private message. Do not post your phone # or address info on line-- on the public forums. We have been on TSB since 2010. I'm glad to help and answer questions--You will have PLENTY of those...ha.
    We will talk on the phone later today...and we will get you aimed in the right direction. Your BO is a BEAUT...different coloration from our Golden ones here.

    The golden (Oscuro) was released and returned for treats.
    The baby (Mancha) was released (much later )and disappeared into the trees.
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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    I see the ears have "popped out" from being flat against the head--the open eyes are next...

  20. #12
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Hi again!

    I made it to town and couldnít find any place (pet shop-vet) with puppy formula. All out of stock 🙈

    So, Iím going for the homemade formula. Already got some fresh goat milk, yogurt, cream and eggs. Formula is ready now. Any advice on this? Should I just mix the ingredients, leave it rest for a while and it will be ready?

    Iím using the recipe from Henryís.

    Can I keep this formula on the fridge for a couple days/hours? I will warm it up a bit before feeding baby Bo.

    She will be ready to eat soon, Iím excited to start feeding with formula. Seems like delactosed cow milk was not feeding her with the right amount of nutrients/vitamins/proteins she needs. I trust she will grow stronger from now on.

    Oh, and Iím happy I found somebody in this forum whoís from the pacific coast in CR as well, and with a lot of experience with squirrels from what I can tell 🤓
    Iíll keep you all posted

    Thanks once again.

  21. #13
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Keep the formula refrigerated - discard after 2 days. You can freeze the formula by the way - pour into an ice cube tray, freeze, then pop out into a plastic bag and return to freezer. That way there is way less mess and you can do a fresh one every day which is best.

    If your baby was pooping normally with the lactose free milk, I would be more comfortable having you do a slower transition. Mix up half of the new formula and half of what you were using before and feed that for two feedings. Then do 3/4 new formula and 1/4 old stuff and if all is still looking good in the poop department, go to the full strength new goatsmilk formula and none of the lactose free milk.

    If she is having loose poops or other stomach related issues right now, let us know.

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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Hi!
    It's me and Bo again. Now that I found TSB I'm gonna be asking sooo many questions!

    So, we started with the homemade formula feedings. Did as I was told, and started progressively mixing 50% delactosed milk and 50% formula. Let's see how it goes.

    I've been reading some posts, and something got me thinking. Is the baby supposed to poop right after every feeding? Because she's actually not doing that. She poops probably every day around two times, a small amount. Let's say around 2 pellets a day. Now I'm thinking maybe this is not enough. Pee is perfect tho, she pees a lot right after every feeding when we do the massage in her belly and genitals.

    I'm also wondering about my syringe. You'll see the one I'm using in the photo. I will get a 1cc syringe tomorrow in town as I think that would be more appropriate. The first days I was using the dropper seen on the picture, but then gave up on that cause I read it could cause inhalation. She actually did better with the old dropper, seems like feedings got extremely slow with the new syringe. Is this normal? Just wanna make sure I'm doing things right for my Bo.

    Last but no least, I'm attaching some shots of a video from the last feeding. After every drop of formula she makes this weird movements. I was thinking those were the gaspings/spasms I've read about, but still don't feel sure about it. I hate when she does that, it scares me. This spasms usually last a few seconds and then she's totally back to normal, looking for the syringe or the human touch again. And me, I get my breathing back after those panicking seconds...The movements are some sort of contraction, she starts pushing with her hands, and the she goes into total fetal position for a while.

    I'm also attaching a photo of the day she was found so you can see the progress, and a photo of those 2 brand new teeth...the sweetest thing I've ever seen ...

    Thanks to everybody
    On behalf of myself and especially Bo.

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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    OK...Absolutely--do not use that 10 cc/ 10ml syringe...WAAAAY too large... and way too easy to screw up. Start with (1 cc / 1ml ) syringe and after her eyes open-- and feedings are regular and easier...you can go to a 3 cc. Make sure the squirrel's head is above the nipple during feedings--NEVER below. Make sure the formula is warm to your touch...NOT hot. A squirrel's body temp. is a few degrees above ours.
    When you get your syringes get several of the 1 ml/cc and one or two of the 3 ml/cc. it makes feeding easier when you can have the syringes full, warm and ready to feed.
    What is Bo's weight in grams today-- and what was it (in grams) when you got her ? Has it been 10 days ? Hopefully you will see the weight rise each day...once the proper formula is located. I recommend you start a small journal with daily weight notations, feeding amounts, and any issue that arises and how you solved it. It will be so much easier to review ----than it is to remember---trust me. I used LACTOL powdered puppy formula for my first couple of squirrels and they did OK on it. Avoid ANY formula that mentions kittens--not good at all for squirrels. With the mail in Costa Rica being on hold...there is no way to get any supplies from the US. (bummer).
    Poop will be sporatic, As small as Bo is, she is absorbing everything she eats and probably doesn't have much to poop out. The regular pee is a good thing. Massage / stimulate at every feeding. I use a sheet (one square)of soft toilet paper twisted into a "cone" and tickle the genitals ...and stroke up and down. As she pees-- you will see the tissue change color-- so rotate the paper to a dry section,,,and replace with a new one when it is all wet.--Stimulate the anus also. Sometimes I could actually see that it caused my babies to work their butt muscles ---and pellets appeared. First pellets will usually be black from Mom's milk and will gradually go gold or brown with formula feedings.Good Luck.---and-----------------Thank you so much for saving this little one. She will grab hold of your heart and you will NEVER be the same.
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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Poops: If you were feeding just lactose free milk, they baby likely wasn't really getting enough fat and solids to need to poop after every meal. She should start doing that soon with formula change. Do you have a way to weigh her? A gram scale is a really good thing to have so you make sure you are feeding enough - but not too much. If you hold her in front of you under the armpits with her legs dangling down after feeding, her tummy should be the shape o a teardrop and if you feel it, it should feel like a half filled water balloon - soft and squishy, never drum tight.

    The 1cc syringe is best at this point and I don't ever use anything larger than a 5cc when they are big and nearly weaned. You need to be able to control the flow of the formula because they are more than happy to suck way more in than they can swallow which is what leads to aspiration. She is still small and frail - once those eyes open, feeding becomes more of a full contact sport, and you need equipment that prevents them from sucking the syringe dry. Smaller syringes give you that control.

    I do NOT know what is happening with these spasms - but they are NOT what we refer to as feeding spasms. That is when they begin to gape their mouths open - they look like goldfish at the surface of a pond - it is phantom nursing behavior. Hopefully once she starts getting more correct formula this will cease.

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  28. #17
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    At this age and this small size, even a cardboard box will serve as a nest box. They need to feel safe so get fleece for them to bury themselves under. NO TOWELS or wash cloths, The thread design on all terry products (towels) can cause their tiny claws to catch and as they struggle to get loose--- broken limbs are not uncommon. A soft t-shirt will work...but fleece is best and doesn't hold moisture like other fabrics.. A sealed plastic bottle with warm --to very warm-- water, wrapped in a tee shirt and placed in one end of the nest box allows Bo to seek warmth when she wants and she will crawl away when she is warm enough. It will stay warm for about 45 min to an hour ..Then re fill with more warm water.
    Feedings at this age are EVERY 4 hours---6 times a day--all through the night. After eyes open the feedings can be spread out a little...but for now...she needs regular nourishment...her Mom would be giving night feedings --and now YOU'RE her Mom......
    LOW noise LOW light are important.
    ..--eating and sleeping would be ALL she did if still in her outside nest....
    No animals to interact with Bo...EVER...if she is to be released when she gets older. Do you have a dog or cat in the house???




    76

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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    agustinavarro, she is truly a stunning baby girl! She's almost bronze....never seen a CR squirrel who was quite that color before. I must gently disagree that what you describe are not feeding seizures -- I believe they ARE, and have seen that exact repetitive motion with the pushing of little paws and then curling under, so stiffly that you cannot uncurl her for a second or two. Fortunately this is a rare (for me, having raised about 270 squirrels) type of feeding seizure and can drive you INSANE, but it WILL stop. Eventually. Sometimes blowing in her face gently or lightly tapping the top of her head will bring her out of it.
    Last edited by island rehabber; 06-12-2020 at 07:51 AM.
    Island Rehabber
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    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    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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  32. #19
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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    agustinavarro, she is truly a stunning baby girl! She's almost bronze....never seen a CR squirrel who was quite that color before. I must gently disagree that what you describe are not feeding seizures -- I believe they ARE, and have seen that exact repetitive motion with the pushing of little paws and then curling under, so stiffly that you cannot uncurl her for a second or two. Fortunately this is a rare (for me, having raised about 270 squirrels) type of feeding seizure and can drive you INSANE, but it WILL stop. Eventually. Sometimes blowing in her face gently or lightly tapping the top of her head will bring her out of it.
    Wow! I have never seen nor heard of that! And I thought Mister P was going to drive me nuts with the guppy mouth thing - I would have had a breakdown with that! Thank you for pointing that out!

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    Default Re: Hi! Iím new to the forum and could really use some help :)

    Hi y'all!

    Sorry for not touching base with you earlier.

    Things are looking quite good! But of course, I still have some worries I'll share with you

    First of all, thanks for all the advice on the syringe thing. I already got some 1cc syringes, and they blowed my mind. God! Such a difference when feeding. Almost no chances of screwing it up, way easier to handle, and Bo seems to love them as well. We are now feeding on the homemade formula, and with new syringes. Believe it or not, she's doing her seizures A LOT LESS.

    I hate when she does that, it scares me to death. I'm relieved it's some way of weird seizure, and I feel positive that it will eventually go away, as it's starting to fade right now.

    Bo is eating with so much enthusiasm. Also, I'm hydrating her every few hours in between meals. I think she's a bit dehydrated...not sure why... But I can see her ribs a bit and her skin looks quite attached to her body, kind of "raisin-like". That worries me. I did the pinching test and it actually does take a few seconds for her skin to go back to normal. Any suggestions on this?

    She's still peeing a lot and frequently, and yesterday night she did poop during her massage It was just one small beautiful pellet. Nothing more so far.

    She's still very active and curious. She really seems to feel OK.

    Here are some pictures from a couple minutes ago.


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