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Thread: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

  1. #1
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    Default Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    I have an approximately 7 year old male round tail ground squirrel who was fine up until yesterday. Last evening, I noticed he was moving erratically about his cage, bumping into things and breathing heavily. It seemed that the movement was taking all his energy. I do not have an exotics vet available in the area. Kai has been extremely healthy his entire life (we got him as a not-quite weaned youngster when he was abandoned by his mother in our garden). There is not much information available on the web concerning home care for these squirrels. Could he have had a stroke? He refuses to eat or drink and just lies in his nest breathing heavily with tired eyes. My son is already crushed anticipating the passing of his first squirrel friend. If anyone can lend some helpful advice (or even just knowledge for future reference, as we also have a female who is several years younger but in perfect health).
    Thank you in advance !!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    What does his diet consist of?

    Can you post a picture of Kai? It helps the members to assess his health.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Cbeasinger (09-25-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    He has always had access to fresh greens, fruit, seeds and nuts in shell (hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts). I just took a few photos of him but cannot figure out how to attach them to this message. He is so listless. And cold, now. I have him in my carry pouch around my neck to help keep him warm and comfortable. But he does not seem ok

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    Additionally, Kai and our other squirrel, Queaky, typically get mesquite bean pods during the summer (their typical wild fare in the summer here in AZ). They do not get those year round, but he also hasn't had any in a month or more.

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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    I note that at the bottom of the forum it says that I am not permitted to post attachments. Can anyone help?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    First thing, do you give him a supplemental diet source, pellets, block diet?

    If you do adding more than a small amount of nuts will lower the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio in the diet. Overtime, since as rodents age their ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients in their diet progressively lowers; concurrent with this change, the kidneys' ability to filter out sufficient phosphorus also progressively lowers. So even if the diet were sufficient in adult youth as they age if calcium isn't increased and excess phosphorus sources like nuts added to the diet with rodent block that duplicates the amount of phosphorus in excess, the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus will lower significantly and may even becomes inverted leading to development of "Metabolic Bone Disease".

    Simply put, this condition has to do with too low calcium and too high phosphorus in the diet. If you feed a pellet diet remove all the nuts and follow the guidelines for giving the MBD treatment posted in the Specific Ailment Forum. and treat immediately.

    I would consider using Calcium citrate not Calcium carbonate, for the citrate form has been found to improve (ameliorate) kidney function in aging rats to a degree, but C. carbonate was not.

    NOW Brand carries powdered Calcium citrate. With this source noting 1 1/2 Tsp. = 600 mg. 1/4 Tsp. powder equal to 100 mg. of elemental calcium 5 times a day using a non needle syringe load the powder mixed into water as noted to deliver it orally at a 45 degree angle onto the tongue as you don't want to shoot it down the throat which may result in aspiration of the calcium.

    In old age this is even more complex for when Chronic Kidney Disease reaches late stage, where even with increases in calcium may temporarily improve the condition using Calcium citrate that improves kidney function in rats with late stage kidney disease, it cannot cure it. With this condition you see lethargy, changes in gait, back leg and tail weakness with paralysis, and strokes leading to end of life.

    Testing the urine for protein excess and mean urine pH. may confirm this; but don't wait though to confirm end stage kidney failure, but treat immediately for Metabolic bone disease. MBD treatment is explained in detail in the Specific Ailments forum, and immediately give him the calcium as noted there. [/B] By raising calcium in the bloodstream lethargy generally lessens. As for a stroke or improvement in gait only time will tell. This age related condition may also present at the same time.

    http://ratguide.com/health/musculosk...oarthritis.php
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 09-25-2020 at 06:09 PM.

  8. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Diggie's Friend from:

    Rock Monkey (09-27-2020)

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Elderly ground squirrel stroke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cbeasinger View Post
    I note that at the bottom of the forum it says that I am not permitted to post attachments. Can anyone help?
    You may not have been fully registered at the time, you are now try again...

    Your story sounds familure to when I had my first squirrel and gave it mbd
    due to a bad diet, I was sure it was a stroke. It was indeed mbd, she recovered
    thanks to TSB.
    Below is the link to the mbd protocol:

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Rock Monkey (09-27-2020)

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