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Thread: Dehydration question

  1. #1
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    Default Dehydration question

    Hi all, you have a great bunch of people here so I am coming to you for some advice. My wife and I live in Florida and successfully raised several orphaned grays about 15 years ago but none since. Six days ago our firefighter paramedic grandson called us from the station and said they found a baby squirrel on the ground and tried to reunite him with his mother, without success. They warmed him and tried rehydration with pedialyte as per instructions on this forum and then my wife took him and continued rehydration for about 7 or 8 feedings Tuesday afternoon and that night. Wednesday morning he failed the pinch test but I read here that wasn't always accurate on very young squirrels and he was about 2 weeks old and had nothing but pedialyte for about 16 hours so we started him on weak Esbilac. We slowly increased the formula to the label directions with six feedings during the day and one at night, total of seven, at two ml per feeding. The expiration date on the Esbilac is 7/2022 so I assume it is the improved stuff. He weighed 41 grams Thursday, 4 days ago, then 43 Friday and the past couple of days he is going up 5 grams a day to 53 today so he seems to be thriving. Now here is what is worrying me, he still seems to fail the pinch test and he has been peeing good all along but not much poop, just a little about twice a day for the first 2 days. Then Friday, day 3, he had one big big poop then back to just a little, twice a day, then Sunday, day 5, he had another good poop and then so for the past 24 hours back to just a little. He must be about 3 weeks old now because his lower front teeth just popped out yesterday. I think he may be a little dehydrated and constipated and I thought about putting him back on pedialyte or a weaker formula for a day but my wife says he is doing fine and growing so leave him alone. What do you think? Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    I would give him a cc or 2 of plain water in between feedings for a day or two. If he will not take the water, add just a little molasses / honey / syrup / sugar (my order of preference) to make it more enticing for him...

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Spanky from:

    island rehabber (11-18-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy16x View Post
    Hi all, you have a great bunch of people here so I am coming to you for some advice. My wife and I live in Florida and successfully raised several orphaned grays about 15 years ago but none since. Six days ago our firefighter paramedic grandson called us from the station and said they found a baby squirrel on the ground and tried to reunite him with his mother, without success. They warmed him and tried rehydration with pedialyte as per instructions on this forum and then my wife took him and continued rehydration for about 7 or 8 feedings Tuesday afternoon and that night. Wednesday morning he failed the pinch test but I read here that wasn't always accurate on very young squirrels and he was about 2 weeks old and had nothing but pedialyte for about 16 hours so we started him on weak Esbilac. We slowly increased the formula to the label directions with six feedings during the day and one at night, total of seven, at two ml per feeding. The expiration date on the Esbilac is 7/2022 so I assume it is the improved stuff. He weighed 41 grams Thursday, 4 days ago, then 43 Friday and the past couple of days he is going up 5 grams a day to 53 today so he seems to be thriving. Now here is what is worrying me, he still seems to fail the pinch test and he has been peeing good all along but not much poop, just a little about twice a day for the first 2 days. Then Friday, day 3, he had one big big poop then back to just a little, twice a day, then Sunday, day 5, he had another good poop and then so for the past 24 hours back to just a little. He must be about 3 weeks old now because his lower front teeth just popped out yesterday. I think he may be a little dehydrated and constipated and I thought about putting him back on pedialyte or a weaker formula for a day but my wife says he is doing fine and growing so leave him alone. What do you think? Thanks for any advice you can give.
    Feeding between the recommended 5-7% at 5% he should be eating 6.5 mls at his current weight.
    6% = 3.1 - 7% = 3.7
    Pedialyte should not be given over 24hours. When hydration is still a concern it is recommended to
    give hydration in- between normal formula feedings. It does not have to equate to full feeding amount.
    Below is the recommended recipe for the home made hydration. and the age/feeding chart.

    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 tablespoon sugar (1-1/2 teaspoons)
    8 oz water


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  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to stepnstone from:

    island rehabber (11-18-2020)

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    This is a wonderful chart. Thank you, Step. I will say that reviewing the weights given, this chart is probably geared more toward northern squirrels, which get much bigger than Florida squirrels. I wanted to at least bring this to your attention, Jimmyx16, because you may think your little one doesn’t weigh what it should. Florida squirrels usually reach a maximum weight of 300-400gr when full grown. My pregnant female weighed a little more than 350gr when she was about ready to deliver 3 babies. You are in the northern middle of the state so your squirrels might be a little bigger than the ones around here, but probably not by much.

    I think your wife is right. If your baby is steadily gaining weight, poops and pee are good, then I wouldn’t change a thing....except offer water IN BETWEEN scheduled feedings, like Step and Spanky suggested. Rarely can you go wrong with extra hydration.

    We pics!

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    island rehabber (11-18-2020), stepnstone (11-16-2020)

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    Thanks for the great advice folks, I feel much better now. We'll give him some water between feedings. Mel I agree with you about the Southern squirrel thing and I have seen info that suggests he is within the normal weight range for southern babies. We are originally from the Tampa area and the squirrels where we are now, close to Brooksville, are the same size as they are in Tampa but at our place in North Carolina they are noticeably larger. Thanks again.::

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    Mel1959 (11-17-2020)

  10. #6
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    Excellent chart -- thanks, step!
    jimmy16x, the squirrels get bigger and bigger as you head north. Adults here in NYC are typically 450-500g. By the time you get to Maine they are the size of cats.
    Island Rehabber
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  11. Serious fuzzy thank you's to island rehabber from:

    stepnstone (11-18-2020)

  12. #7
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    Default Re: Dehydration question

    I am wondering if the increasing size is related to the length of the winter and the need to store greater amounts of body fat to ensure enough insulation and calories to get through the long winter until plants start to green up during the spring.

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