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Thread: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

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    Default Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    I live in Minnesota, my husband recently live trapped a squirrel and relocated it to State Forest land. Several days later a baby who was crying crawled up on my foot for help, then it's sibling. I'm feeding with Esbilac in a syringe (the proper way) and I yesterday I ordered some formula from Fox Valley for squirrels a little older. I can't find a rehabber near me, I tried the DNR offices near me, one never answered me, the other one told me to "put them back outside and let nature take its course." I was horrified with this answer. They do eat other foods but I don't know if I'm feeding them enough, formula or food. I want to be able to let them go in my yard eventually so I don't want them to be dependent on me. I just need some advice. I talked to a vet tech who declined to tell my veterinarian because she said I would get in trouble. She recommended this site and said I could either find help here or find a rehabber here. They are in a hamster cage with paper bedding and a water bottle with warm water in a sock for them. They use the hamster water bottle. They are doing much better than when I got them 2 days ago. Please help.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrellymama View Post
    I live in Minnesota, my husband recently live trapped a squirrel and relocated it to State Forest land. Several days later a baby who was crying crawled up on my foot for help, then it's sibling. I'm feeding with Esbilac in a syringe (the proper way) and I yesterday I ordered some formula from Fox Valley for squirrels a little older. I can't find a rehabber near me, I tried the DNR offices near me, one never answered me, the other one told me to "put them back outside and let nature take its course." I was horrified with this answer. They do eat other foods but I don't know if I'm feeding them enough, formula or food. I want to be able to let them go in my yard eventually so I don't want them to be dependent on me. I just need some advice. I talked to a vet tech who declined to tell my veterinarian because she said I would get in trouble. She recommended this site and said I could either find help here or find a rehabber here. They are in a hamster cage with paper bedding and a water bottle with warm water in a sock for them. They use the hamster water bottle. They are doing much better than when I got them 2 days ago. Please help.
    Orphaned babies, this is one problem with relocating squirrels especially around baby season.
    Hopefully a member closer to your area will see this and can help you place them or know who to contact.
    In the meantime I'm attaching below the link to baby squirrel care, go to this link it can be a HUGE help.
    It's 6 pages long with the next button on the top right corner.

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-basic-setup/
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Thank you Stepnstone, hubby is no longer allowed to relocate any critters!

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    Grinderhead (09-06-2020), HRT4SQRLS (09-06-2020), island rehabber (09-06-2020), Mel1959 (09-06-2020), Mialouise (09-09-2020), Nancy in New York (09-06-2020), stepnstone (09-06-2020)

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Please post some photos of the squirrels. This allows the members to assess their age, which is critical to determining appropriate care, and their general health.

    Can you tell us how much they weigh?

    Major development events include, eyes opening, being able to sit easily on hind legs alone, pooping on their own etc.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    I don't know how much they weigh. The littlest one that I found crying is a boy and his body is 5 inches long, his sister is almost 6 inches and she's very bossy and rambunctious. There was another baby that was found dead :'(.Name:  squirrels1.jpg
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Size:  101.1 KB

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrellymama View Post
    Thank you Stepnstone, hubby is no longer allowed to relocate any critters!

    .......... ..... ...


    Quote Originally Posted by squirrellymama View Post
    I don't know how much they weigh.
    Knowing the weight on these babies is essential to know that they are being fed properly between 5-7% of their body weight. Knowing the babies weight is also very important to know for medicating if the need should become necessary as all medications are dosed according to their body weight.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Gram scales can be purchased at Walmart, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. They are found in the kitchen section and usually cost around $20.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Thanks for posting the photograph.

    The scale is a very useful. You can tell if they are gaining weight at an age appropriate rate. You can tell if they are underweight for their age.

    It is used to weigh out the appropriate amount of food given their size, which is critical.

    The food scale can be found in the food utensils section of Walmart. I think I paid $14.

    Be sure to feed the two separately. It is a very primal instinct to crowd out the other. Food is survival.

    Watch out for them eating so fast that they start to choke. They should never be allowed to feed unobserved. They will snarf it down in a minute or two at the most.

    Be sure to monitor inputs and outputs. It is one of the best ways to know how they are doing.

    Stool problems with squirrels.pdf

    Make sure the boy is peeing. Sometimes a litter mate with mom missing will suckle on a male litter mate leading to scabbing, preventing urination. If he can't pee he will become very, very ill. Organ failure is possible.

    Be sure to review the list of squirrel appropriate foods and what is not appropriate, even if the reason for the categorization isn't obvious, because captive squirrel nutrition is a little complicated.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    It is a little hard to tell, for me, from the photograph, but the male may be dehydrated, which will prevent proper digestions of foods given, if that is the case. I would pay close attention to him.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    He looks somewhat emaciated.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    My husband found a dead baby in the yard and this morning we found another little male one that looks the same size as the first male. He was infested with fleas and I had to wash them off with flea shampoo-he seemed to really like the warm water. I fed him and he is in a box with a hot water bottle sleeping. I am feeding them separately as the female is bossy and did try to push him away to get at the food. The female peed and pooped on me while I was feeding her, the male pooped on me when I fed him. I have to check on the other little baby boy right now. They are very needy. I will post more pics soon

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrellymama View Post
    My husband found a dead baby in the yard and this morning we found another little male one that looks the same size as the first male. He was infested with fleas and I had to wash them off with flea shampoo-he seemed to really like the warm water. I fed him and he is in a box with a hot water bottle sleeping. I am feeding them separately as the female is bossy and did try to push him away to get at the food. The female peed and pooped on me while I was feeding her, the male pooped on me when I fed him. I have to check on the other little baby boy right now. They are very needy. I will post more pics soon

    I'd be sure to check their ears for fly strike (eggs) and / or maggots.

    The little boy in the picture does look a little spike (dehydrated), it can only help to give him some extra water in between feeding times. Put a bit of honey in it if he is reluctant to drink the plain water. Even putting honey on the nipple can make him drink the water.

    Cardboard boxes can actually be dehydrating, the cardboard tends to draw moisture into it.


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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    New baby found today
    Name:  new baby.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  84.5 KB

    I cut a small patch of fur off the new baby boy's tail so I could tell them apart. He is definitely the skinniest and was infested with lice. Here are the 3 of them.
    Name:  3 babies.jpg
Views: 54
Size:  128.9 KB

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    The nuts should be kept to a minimum for captive squirrels, a small piece after the main meal has been eaten. In the long run it can cause calcium depletion in their bones.

    Eventually, try to find someone who has tree (no acorns due potential deadly fungus issues) with pecans or hickory nuts or black walnuts. Learning how to open a nut efficiently is a skill learned by trial and error.

    Sweet potato and butternut squash, cooked or uncooked are good mainstay foods. Cooked will be easier to digest, so I would start with that given their current challenged status. Those foods have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio and ample amounts of water to aid digestion.

    I had good results with Cabot's Plain, Whole Milk Greek Yogurt. It has added heavy cream (they need the fat) and Vitamin D to facilitate the uptake of calcium, which is important because Vitamin D is made in response to unfiltered (no window glass) sunlight. Captive squirrels often do not get direct sunlight.

    Suggest you do a little reading about dehydration because if that is present it trumps most every other concern.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    It is very good that they have each other to cuddle with.

    Ultimately, I think you will find this a very rewarding, heart-touching experience. They are precious.

    Also, beware of loud or unusual noises and never yell at them. I can say from personal experience that only makes things worse. The calmer you are, the calmer they will be.

    If you talk to them they seem to read you better emotionally. Avoid prolonged direct eye contact. That is what predators do.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Also, be on the look out for inhalation pneumonia, use proper, recommended feeding technique. Control the pace of food given.

    This pneumonia can kill very quickly. If you hear clicking when they breathe act immediately, sign on to the forum and make an entry under the Emergency (Life Threatening) forum. Antibiotics will need to be administered.

    Also, move slowly in their vicinity. For one thing, predators move fast. Also, they move fast so it is easier for them to leap to a slow moving target. Nonetheless, they will occasionally miss.

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    Talking Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    Thank you RockMonkey, the baby I found this morning seems to be okay. I know the lice are gone, I can't really see in any of their ears real well but they seem to be okay. Any suggestions to be sure? I regularly put all the babies up to my ear (I've had guinea pigs and birds for pets) to check for clicking, they seem okay. The newest baby pooped on me while I was feeding him but I don't know about peeing yet. They are all in the cage and cuddled up to each other and with a hot water bottle. I have a puppy mill rescue dachshund with diabetes so I've been able to pull the needles out and use the syringes to feed. The bottle I got at fleet farm just flows too quickly and I ended up having to hold the squirrel upside down and tapping on it's back ever so slightly to make sure they didn't get aspirated-so that is no longer used. I have an order from Harry's coming, hopefully soon of feeding syringes and formula. It has been cooler than average and I was reading that I should keep these babies through the winter-is that true? I am not qualified and just super worried about them. I am also raising monarchs right now to tag and release them. They are in a large, tall reptile cage so once the chrysalides all hatch I could use that reptile cage but, that's not a good life for them to be stuck in there all winter.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    If they are 8 weeks old as you say, yes you should be keeping them over the winter. They are the same age as my two that I rescued at 3/4 weeks old.

    Another note, if you have a dog, you should keep the squirrels away from the dog if at all possible. You don't want them getting used to dogs/cats/ other natural predators when it comes time to release them.

    I'm glad you ordered from Henrys, I did as well and it's been a life saver. Just be wary that the syringes are 3ccs each and at 8 weeks the babies can suck the syringes really well. (leading to taking to much and aspiration).

    You should 100% get a gram scale so you know they are being fed the right amount. My female was being just slightly underfed before i got a scale and started sucking on the males penis causing it to scab over. Pay close attention to your babies that way that doesn't happen.

    As far as the cage is concerned, I have no idea how to advise you. I am in the same boat. I make sure to let them roam around a closed room I've squirrel proofed as best as I can for an hour at the very least every day. I have structures for them to climb, things for them to jump to and from, things from outside for them to explore (birch wood, pear tree wood, and other squirrel safe wood/sticks.) I let them wrestle each other and chase each other around, and make sure I sit VERY Still so I don't spook them. Someone else might have some better ideas or advice than I on that subject. Especially seeing as I am learning on the go.

    You've got this!!!

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    You are these babies only chance of survival unless you can find a qualified person that can raise them and over winter them. They cannot be let out to return to the trees at this age or even before winter in the state you live in. Your winters are too cold and these babies are not equipped to be able to survive. They have to have a cache of stored food and a safe and warm place to sleep.

    Folks that overwinter their babies have to be creative about keeping them entertained for the winter. But allowing them some out of cage time helps to keep them happy.

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    Default Re: Found a pair of 8 week old orphaned babies-need help!

    I am afraid they will be like pets when winter is through. I don't want that, is there a rehabilitator in Minnesota that can take them for me? I'm about 37 miles North of the twin cities. I can meet somewhere in between if I'm too far away. I just don't have anywhere they can run around free at all, I have 2 small dogs that live downstairs during the day and I put the cage in the guest room/husband's work office at night before the dogs come upstairs at night. I just want what's best for them and I'm not sure I can provide that. They all seem so much better today, nobody is sick or not eating, etc.

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