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Thread: Age and other questions

  1. #1
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    Default Age and other questions

    Hello! My brother brought a baby squirrel home after itís mother died horribly. They are tree trimmers and didnít see the nest. My brother had the squirrel for about a day before he brought it to me. He tried to feed her cows milk and she wouldnít drink it which is how I ended up with her when he realized it was too much for him.
    I did pedialyte for 24 hours while I waited for Fox valley to arrive and I have her on that now. I think she is at least 5 weeks but wanted a better estimate. She weighs 3oz and sleeps most of the time.
    I do have a cat and keep them separate. The squirrel stays in a cage in my closet with the door shut for the most part. I do take her out to let her roam around when the cat is sleeping in another room.
    Now for all the questions
    How old do they need to be for soft release? When should I start giving her rodent block, fruits, or vegetables? I live in Florida so we donít have true winters here but Iím concerned it would still be too cold for her before spring. The first feeding we did was a little rough (wrong syringe and a learning curve) and she ended up with a lot of formula on her face with some sneezing. I wiped her nose, held her upside down to see if any more would drain from her nose. How quickly would signs of aspiration pneumonia start showing after that feeding?Name:  9876EA95-C94D-40A4-9831-77F9656EE2DC.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    [QUOTE=Tristianelizabeth;1326248]How old do they need to be for soft release? [QUOTE=Tristianelizabeth;1326248]

    14 weeks minimum, always better for singletons to be a few weeks older than that though... They open their eyes at 5 weeks, so if you know when that happened, that is be best way to determine. I will guess this one is about 8 weeks because of the tail over the head....

    [QUOTE=Tristianelizabeth;1326248]When should I start giving her rodent block, fruits, or vegetables? [QUOTE=Tristianelizabeth;1326248]

    Now. Start with Blocks and only blocks until they are eating... actually eating.. the block well then introduce veggies... fruits should be introduced last. Here is a link to the healthy squirrel diet and Henry's Block (the best of the best):

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    https://henryspets.com/picky-blocks-...rats-and-mice/

    Aspiration Pneumonia (AP)... watch for lethargy, loss of appetite and a persistent "click" with each breath. Start now to try and locate antibiotics and have them at the ready in case they are needed. AP can kill very quickly (hours) so best to have this on-hand. Cipro / Baytril (Human / Animal med) and Augmentin / Clavamox are the best but others will work.

    I'll abstain about the release part and defer to FL members...

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

    Tristianelizabeth (12-22-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    This baby looks like it might have some dwarf characteristics. Dwarf squirrels never grow the way other squirrels do. They have limited abilities and cannot be released. How does your baby move when she’s allowed to walk around? Does she bumble walk or run and attempt hops? Dwarf squirrels joints are not attached correctly so their rear legs can be sorta be pigeon-toed or bow-legged. The condition they suffer from is called achondroplasia. There is a special section on this forum under “Caring for Special Needs Squirrels” that discusses the condition and has posts from many folks who have had a dwarf squirrel.

    Dwarf squirrels have different level of ability. Some can climb and eat solid food well. Others don’t climb at all and have to be fed baby food or formula their entire lives. All of them fall like a box of rocks so if she’s a dwarf you must always be careful that if she can climb there’s something under her that will provide a soft landing. My new girl likes to sit on my shoulder, but I always keep a hand on her so she doesn’t fall.

    Keep a chart of her weight gain. If you notice that you’re feeding the appropriate amount of food (5-7% of her weight) 3-4 times a day and she does not appear to be growing then that’s a sure sign she’s a dwarf.

    I just got my second dwarf squirrel from a rehabber in your area. I live east of you on the coast.

    Are you prepared to keep her forever if she is a dwarf? They have a much shorter life span than normal squirrels because of all their physical anomalies. My last dwarf lived 3.5 years which is rather long by dwarf standards.

    If you have any questions, you can send me a private message. I’m happy to help. If you are are uncertain about keeping her I know of a wonderful squirrel mommy in Orlando that might be willing to take her.

    As for the AP. Hold her up to your ear like a phone and listen for any clicking sound with each breath. Some dwarf squirrels seem to have thicker tongues which makes swallowing a challenge. Go slow and follow her lead if this is the case.

    If she grows well and you discover she’s not a dwarf, I definitely wouldn’t release her till March some time. The older singletons are when released the better their chance of survival. You’re colder in Orlando than we are here on the coast and I don’t release until March. January and February are our coldest months.

  5. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    island rehabber (12-22-2020), Tristianelizabeth (12-22-2020)

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    Using a one cc syringe with o-rings will help to minimize the chance of formula going down the wrong way in the future. With a larger syringe, without o-rings, the plunger often hangs up and then the user pushes harder and too much formula comes out, overwhelming the squirrel's capacity to swallow properly.

    The link below contains some good tips for feeding young squirrels with a syringe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLjR...relsandmorellc

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

    Tristianelizabeth (12-22-2020)

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    Thank you all for your help. Iíve posted in the dwarf squirrel section to see if someone can help with identifying if she has dwarfism or not.

    I have rodent block ordered and will start feeding her that as soon as it arrives.

    I do not hear a clicking when she breathes just her heart beat. Where can I find antibiotics if I need them?

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    Call friends and family to see if they have the antibiotics that Spanky mentioned. Usually only one or two pills will be required. In most instances, it is okay if they are a little past date. If you acquire some an Administrator can provide you with proper dosing and technique for administering the antibiotic. In this process you will provide the admin all of the info on the antibiotic that you have acquired.

    It is better to have these on hand, if possible, since AP can progress very, very fast in squirrels and is the number one cause of death of young squirrels cared for by novice caretakers.

    At this age a squirrel requires supplemental heat. There fur is thinner and biologically their systems do not provide all of the necessary heat. They spend most of the day snuggling, sharing heat, with mom and siblings.

    If they AP or at risk for AP this supplemental heat becomes even more critical. If they are struggling to stay warm and struggling to fight off an infection their chances decline substantially.

    See the basic care guide at Henry's regarding the proper use of the heating pad under half of their enclosure.

    Alternatively, some people tuck the animal between layers of clothing on their torso. Thus, becoming a human heating pad and provides constant feedback on the squirrel's state of well being. This mimics their snuggling in the nest. At this age, they are wonderful snugglers and doing so profoundly strengthens the bond between the two.

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Age and other questions

    Thank you for this info. I will reach out and see if I can find any.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Call friends and family to see if they have the antibiotics that Spanky mentioned. Usually only one or two pills will be required. In most instances, it is okay if they are a little past date. If you acquire some an Administrator can provide you with proper dosing and technique for administering the antibiotic. In this process you will provide the admin all of the info on the antibiotic that you have acquired.

    It is better to have these on hand, if possible, since AP can progress very, very fast in squirrels and is the number one cause of death of young squirrels cared for by novice caretakers.

    At this age a squirrel requires supplemental heat. There fur is thinner and biologically their systems do not provide all of the necessary heat. They spend most of the day snuggling, sharing heat, with mom and siblings.

    If they AP or at risk for AP this supplemental heat becomes even more critical. If they are struggling to stay warm and struggling to fight off an infection their chances decline substantially.

    See the basic care guide at Henry's regarding the proper use of the heating pad under half of their enclosure.

    Alternatively, some people tuck the animal between layers of clothing on their torso. Thus, becoming a human heating pad and provides constant feedback on the squirrel's state of well being. This mimics their snuggling in the nest. At this age, they are wonderful snugglers and doing so profoundly strengthens the bond between the two.

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