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Thread: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

  1. #1
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    Default Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Hi guys, I read a lot of post of Squirrel Board however never needed to post before.
    We have a 3.5 yr old Townsand Chipmunk 🐿 named Hershel.
    In September Hershel started sneezing occasionally. This was understandable because our area was socked in with wildfire smoke.
    All seemed fine until Thanksgiving Weekend. Hershel top lip was swollen and his nose sounded full of snot. We took him to a vet who trimmed his top teeth and started him on baytril.
    Hershel responded well at first but after a couple weeks the congestion is back.
    Im worried its an odontoma (spelling). The vet can not do imaging until hes stable enough to withstand sedation.
    I need help/advice. Hershel can live 8 yrs if we address the situation. My main problem is he is losing weight rapidly.
    On 11/28/20 Hershel weighed 107 grams today weight 1/2/21 was 79.06 grams. I need to find a calorie replacement formula that taste good and is high in calories. Today I blended avocado w/ greek yogurt and feed by syringe. As of yesterday the vet has changed his medications to Metacam for swelling/pain and TMS/SMZ (ditrum) twice daily.
    Any suggestions would be helpful. Hershel is our baby, We love him SO MUCH. He runs the show at our house. Name:  DF3DBC7C-76A8-4A93-9B2C-A130A952B7D8.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    There is a product that can be purchased from vet offices and online called Critical Care. There is a fine grind version and a regular one....get the fine grind. This product is for herbivores that are recuperating or ill. It provides lots of nutrients, but I’m not sure how great it really tastes. I’ve fed it by syringe to my dwarf squirrel when he was ill just to get calories in him.

    Another product folks have used is pecan flavored Ensure. It seems to be well liked.

    I fed my dwarf squirrel ground up Harlan Teklad 2018 rodent block mixed with assorted veggie/fruit baby foods and thinned with Fox Valley 20/50 formula for years. I gave it by syringe 3-4 times a day.

    The images will be what you need to confirm odontoma. If you and your vet find they need additional medical knowledge there is a vet here in Florida who has done many, many odontoma surgeries. She has been known to review xrays and confer with folks via phone regarding treatment. You or your vet could reach out to her if needed. Dr. Alicia Emerson, Ravenwood Vet Clinic, Port Orange, FL 386-788-1550.

    My understanding with odontomas is the teeth stop growing outward and begin to grow inward. If your baby had a teeth trimming then it sounds as though his teeth are still growing outward. I hope your baby just has congestion. Be on the look out for white tears. That is another sign of odontoma due to pain.

    Some antibiotics affect their intestines more than others and discourage eating. I believe Baytril is one of those and SMZ-TMP is gentler on the stomach. I hope this switch will help him and his willingness to eat. Baytril tastes terrible.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Thank you so much for the reply!!
    Hershels top teeth were actually growing backward. They were flush with the roof of his mouth! Hes so tiny I had no idea that could be an issue. After seeing a post here on SB about it I looked in his mouth and sure enough he had a dental issue. To date his eyes/ears are clear. This infection is such a rollercoaster. 1 min he seems to be crashing and after several min of momma holding and loving on him he will jump up and clean himself. Today he found a nut and tried to take it to his nest but mom said NO! Hershel is normally very affectionate but not cuddly.
    Fun fact. Hershel normally wags his tail like a puppy everyday when dad gets home then the kisses start! We havent seen the tail wag in a couple weeks. Once we see that we will know were on the road to recovery!
    My vet is wonderful and is emailing me twice a day. She sees big squirrels a lot but only 1 other Chipmunk so I will forward the Florida Vets info.
    We also have a 6 month old Fox Squirrel so I will be sure to come here when I have questions!!!Name:  22905213-38B0-4CA9-A6C1-3DE665555C4A.jpg
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Also just so there is no worry.. Lola and Hershel are kept separate! Im strict about keep things separate and sanitary! Ive made it clear no virus or bacteria better make it inside the house to Squirrels or our French Bulldog! Ill include a pic of Lola as well.Name:  765C681A-A8CE-4C26-B1C3-361F3A4CEFA6.jpg
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    I’m glad to hear your vet is familiar with squirrels and dedicated to helping your little guy. I think it would be helpful for her/him to confer with Dr. E about treatment. I know there are certain antibiotics that she has found work well...Amikacin is one that comes to mind. She also uses steroid antibiotic eye drops to be applied in the nose to reduce swelling.

    Please keep us updated on your sweeties.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    I’m glad to hear your vet is familiar with squirrels and dedicated to helping your little guy. I think it would be helpful for her/him to confer with Dr. E about treatment. I know there are certain antibiotics that she has found work well...Amikacin is one that comes to mind. She also uses steroid antibiotic eye drops to be applied in the nose to reduce swelling.

    Please keep us updated on your sweeties.
    I just spoke to my vets office. They would like to know the name of the steroid antibiotic eye drops for swelling. Im honestly scared were going to loose him. We cant imagine life without him

  11. #7
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection


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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Wonderful!! Thank You!! Im so grateful for your help!!!

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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by GretleTheRed View Post
    Wonderful!! Thank You!! Im so grateful for your help!!!
    I have the Meds!!! My vet also called and left a message for the vet in Florida!
    He now prescribed
    Neopolydex Ophthalmic susp drops ( for nose)
    Baytril 20 0.4 ml every 12 hrs
    Clavomox 0.2 ml every 12 hrs
    Poor guy its seems like Im constantly forcing medication down.. As soon as he feels better hes going to be mad at me lol

  15. #10
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by GretleTheRed View Post
    I have the Meds!!! My vet also called and left a message for the vet in Florida!
    He now prescribed
    Neopolydex Ophthalmic susp drops ( for nose)
    Baytril 20 0.4 ml every 12 hrs
    Clavomox 0.2 ml every 12 hrs
    Poor guy its seems like Im constantly forcing medication down.. As soon as he feels better hes going to be mad at me lol
    These dosages are way too high!
    Please check dosage with your prescribing vet again asap!

    For example: at the recommended strength of Baytril @ 22.7mg
    a squirrel weighing 1000 grams would be prescribed 0.4

    Reading back on your baby's higher weight of 107 grams
    by normal calculations, Baytril dose 0.4 likely should be 0.04
    Clavamox 0.2 likely should be 0.02


    If you have already dosed the amounts you have written above
    I would highly recommend you do not dose again until after you
    confer with your prescribing vet.


    Edit: email also sent to member.
    Last edited by stepnstone; 01-06-2021 at 05:16 AM.
    Step-N-Stone
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    These dosages are way too high!
    Please check dosage with your prescribing vet again asap!

    For example: at the recommended strength of Baytril @ 22.7mg
    a squirrel weighing 1000 grams would be prescribed 0.4

    Reading back on your baby's higher weight of 107 grams
    by normal calculations, Baytril dose 0.4 likely should be 0.04
    Clavamox 0.2 likely should be 0.02


    If you have already dosed the amounts you have written above
    I would highly recommend you do not dose again until after you
    confer with your prescribing vet.


    Edit: email also sent to member.
    Totally in agreement with stepnstone. 0.04 is the 4th tiny line at the tip of a 1cc syringe, NOT the "4". For reference, a 1000gram squirrel would weigh over 2 lbs.
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


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    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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  19. #12
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    These dosages are way too high!
    Please check dosage with your prescribing vet again asap!

    For example: at the recommended strength of Baytril @ 22.7mg
    a squirrel weighing 1000 grams would be prescribed 0.4

    Reading back on your baby's higher weight of 107 grams
    by normal calculations, Baytril dose 0.4 likely should be 0.04
    Clavamox 0.2 likely should be 0.02


    If you have already dosed the amounts you have written above
    I would highly recommend you do not dose again until after you
    confer with your prescribing vet.


    Edit: email also sent to member.
    Oh my Goodness Im sorry to have scared you!! Thank you for the quick action. I wrote it wrong! Its just a couple drops in a tiny insulin syringe which is mls.
    The dose reads as
    Clavamox 0.02 ml every 12 hrs
    Baytril 20 0.04 ml every 12 hrs

    Update breathing is still labored however Hershel ate several bite of food today! Not a lot but enough to show progress

    Thank you for messaging me about the medication!!

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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by GretleTheRed View Post
    Oh my Goodness Im sorry to have scared you!!
    Thank you for the quick action. I wrote it wrong!
    I couldn't be happier you were wrong...
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    I couldn't be happier you were wrong...
    Me either!
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "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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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    I couldn't be happier you were wrong...
    Squirrel Board is amazing! The state I live in offers no help for Squirrels or Chipmunks. Babies in my state are euthanized when orphaned. Ive been working with Squirrels alone.. without a network which at times is scary.
    Hershel update: Im seeing progress. Breathing is less labored today. He is now eating small amounts of food ( finger dips )of yogurt and broccoli cheddar soup which he loves. He also took a min marshmallow to bed with him. I know its not squirrel blocks but at this point Im just happy to see him eat something! Also he had no interest in cuddling today ( National cuddle day today btw WhName:  471FDCD8-97B9-477E-A4B3-0BDA50C70ED1.jpg
Views: 52
Size:  72.6 KBich is also a good sign! Chipmunks are affectionate but not cuddly when they are healthy adults.

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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    We have a member who has a Rehabilitation facility in Vancouver, WA. I don’t know how close you are, but you can reach out to him at the facility if you need assistance or want to discuss anything. Refuge # 360-836-0955. His name is Michael.

    I’m glad to hear that Hershel is doing better.

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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Keeping Hershel in my prayers for continued progress! It's so great that you have a vet who will help you with your chippy. I'm in the same boat here in this great State. Have been hesitant to approach any vet because Tinkerbelle is 'illegal' and it would be a shame if she were taken away from me only to be euthanized.

    So far I've been dealing with her tooth issue on my own - Trimming lower incisors since she's missing a top one and the other one is worn completely down. But, she does not tolerate being held down and trimmed. I don't think it hurts, as I've learned they don't have nerves in the teeth (she's a ground squirrel). But she struggles like it's life or death and then hates me for a couple days afterwards. I've tried some different natural remedies to help her relax.... not as successful as I hoped so far.

    I will check back here for updates on Hershel - again, best of luck and just love on him as much as you can while he continues his treatment!


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  31. #18
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Thank you for all the support. Ive always wanted to have some “Squirrel Friends” I was really lucky to find a good vet.. Ive learned the trick is to call and ask if they will see squirrels..Most Exotic vets in our area will. Hershel’s vet got him in the same day which Im sure saved his life.

    Question
    The Neomycin/Polymyxin B/Dexamethasone ophthalmic drops.. 1 drop every 8 hrs in each nostril/eye.. What Im wondering is if the drops open his airway similar to “Affrin” or is the point to absorb the steroids into his system by mucus membrane? He has been mouth breathing. 1 (4) drop makes him feel like Im drowning him. Can I just rub it on his nose??? or does he actually need the liquid in his nasal cavity? Hes really mad at me today.. So many meds and he not much bigger then a walnut.

  32. #19
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    We have a member who has a Rehabilitation facility in Vancouver, WA. I don’t know how close you are, but you can reach out to him at the facility if you need assistance or want to discuss anything. Refuge # 360-836-0955. His name is Michael.

    I’m glad to hear that Hershel is doing better.
    Thats so funny you mentioned the Rehab in Vancouver. Ive been in contact with them about volunteering during baby season!! Small world! We live in Portland Oregon

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  34. #20
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    Default Re: Battle with an unknown respiratory infection

    Michael is wonderful - he is a member here, posting as Duckman. Washington does not have the laws concerning introduced species and we always try to get people to contact them when they have issues. I would not hesitate to contact him. I will PM you his cell number.

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