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Thread: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

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    Default My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Hello. I have my pet squirrel, Bejo, a plaintain squirrel for almost five years. I'm from Indonesia.

    Bejo's behavior suddenly changed overnight: He's avoidant, or even aggressive if we're getting too close to him. He also seems agitated, and refused to sleep. He's still eating and drinking, no noticeable changes in his feces and pee. Just yesterday he's still energetic and jumping around. When I found him this morning, he's very quiet and the behavioral changes I mentioned is already taking place. Just a few hours ago I noticed he's squeaking non-stop and very lethargic, but not the pneumonia click. I immediately took him to a vet and was given some vitamins, supplement, and antibiotics. After I took him home, it was such a hard effort to handling him as he's both very aggresive and avoidant when normally he's so calm, I could even give him a long belly rub. But I managed to give him a dose of his medicine. He's now frantically moving around in his cage -still lethargic, and his squeaking is more often now. He refused to go back to his bed. I decided to take him to his traveling cage and put it my room so I can constantly watch him. He's very agitated and refused to sleep, as this is way over his bed time.

    His diet consists of fruit (as Henry's is practically unavailable in Indonesia), mostly avocados, banana, papaya, or other fruits, and greenery like peas and leafy vegetable. At times I give him treat (but in a small amount, a baby rusk) and also small insects. Drink consisted of coconut water or sometimes honey water.

    His cage is on my porch, but still covered with roof and totally protected from weather (Indonesia is a tropical country so we have no cold weather here), and another cage, which is outside and usually I took him there during daylight, but not everyday. His bedding consisted of towels or old, thick fabric.

    Two years ago I suspected him of MBD and three visit to vet -twice to regular vet and once to exotic vet, he managed to get better quickly. I don't think this time he's having another MBD as the symptoms are quite different compared to his condition now. And as his behavior changes, it is now become notoriously difficult to administer the medicine, I wish someone can give me some advices for this too.

    I am quite helpless now as his condition appears very quickly- less than 24 hours and he's constantly squeaking, agitating, and lethargic. And to hear him like that is heartbreaking.

    Thank you for the opportunity to become a part of this forum, and I hope he gets better very soon.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    It's good that you have the antibiotic. What were you given, what form is it in, and how were you instructed to give it to him?

    The squeaking suggests distress, so does the aggressive behavior.

    Is it possible that he ate something which is bad for him? Maybe some food that had gone bad or something toxic?

    If he is struggling with some sort of toxin keeping him well hydrated will be important. You would want to dilute the toxin as much as possible.

    Look around with a strong light to see if he chewed up something that he shouldn't have.

    To cover all bases you might put some plain calcium carbonate in his avocado, in case the MBD is somehow manifesting differently. The fact that he is getting sunlight should help counteract that tendency to get MBD.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Is it possible that he was stung or bitten by something poisonous?

    Keeping a close eye on him as you are doing is a good idea.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Can you post a picture or two of him? That will help the forum members to assess his condition as well as put a face to the name, generating more interest and sympathy.

    Also, do his teeth and nails seem okay, normal? Sometimes the claws will get snagged on something as they move about quickly. Is he avoiding using any one limb or altered the way he moves?

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    It's good that you have the antibiotic. What were you given, what form is it in, and how were you instructed to give it to him?

    The squeaking suggests distress, so does the aggressive behavior.

    Is it possible that he ate something which is bad for him? Maybe some food that had gone bad or something toxic?

    If he is struggling with some sort of toxin keeping him well hydrated will be important. You would want to dilute the toxin as much as possible.

    Look around with a strong light to see if he chewed up something that he shouldn't have.

    To cover all bases you might put some plain calcium carbonate in his avocado, in case the MBD is somehow manifesting differently. The fact that he is getting sunlight should help counteract that tendency to get MBD.
    Thank you for the response! For his last food before the sudden changes, it was papaya and a bit of baby rusk. Then I played with him, nothing unusual, then went to sleep. The very next morning the symptoms came.

    About the sunlight, we have a very constant raining so taking him to get sunlight is quite a challenge -mostly it's the dim cloudy weather. It's been like this for more than two months, so probably I will get him the suitable light fixture to simulate the sunlight and to keep him warm.

    I will keep him hydrated with honey water (as it's midnight here and that's the only available thing, but tomorrow I'll give him coconut water). Thank you for the suggestion. And about the avocado and calcium, I will do that as soon as possible.

    For chewing, I found him multiple times he's chewing his behind legs -no signs of physical injuries.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Is it possible that he was stung or bitten by something poisonous?

    Keeping a close eye on him as you are doing is a good idea.
    Thank you for the reply! I don't think that's possible as both of his cages are either hung (standing 4 feet high from the ground (the other cage).

    I can't sleep because he's constantly moving around, squeaking, and now I observe he's also rubbing his head to the towel. Not because of the noise, though, but it's sad and worrying to see him acts like this

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bejo227 View Post
    now I observe he's also rubbing his head to the towel. Not because of the noise, though, but it's sad and worrying to see him acts like this
    Have a close look at his teeth. A photo of his teeth would also be helpful. He could have cracked a tooth or a tooth may be pressing on the roof of his mouth or there could be odontoma.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Do you see any swelling on his head? It might be helpful to quickly look at a few old photographs to see any changes.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Also, which antibiotic did the vet give you?

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bejo227 View Post
    His diet consists of fruit (as Henry's is practically unavailable in Indonesia), mostly avocados, banana, papaya, or other fruits, and greenery like peas and leafy vegetable. At times I give him treat (but in a small amount, a baby rusk) and also small insects. Drink consisted of coconut water or sometimes honey water.

    I would not rule out mbd, this diet alone can not replenish the calcium his body uses and requires.
    Mbd is very painful! The symptoms you describe avoidant, aggressive, agitated, squeaking, right
    down to chewing on his hind legs indicates mbd and he is in pain.


    https://henryspets.com/what-is-metabolic-bone-disease/

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)
    Step-N-Stone
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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    When you treated him previously for MBD, in what form was the calcium given? Do you have any of that leftover?

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Can you post a picture or two of him? That will help the forum members to assess his condition as well as put a face to the name, generating more interest and sympathy.

    Also, do his teeth and nails seem okay, normal? Sometimes the claws will get snagged on something as they move about quickly. Is he avoiding using any one limb or altered the way he moves?
    Thank you for the reply! I wish I could take a still photo of him, but he's moving constantly or burying his head in the bedding. I will post a video if that might helps.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Have a close look at his teeth. A photo of his teeth would also be helpful. He could have cracked a tooth or a tooth may be pressing on the roof of his mouth or there could be odontoma.
    Thank you for the response! I tried to take a look at his teeth or anything, but he's too agitated to be handled and moving constantly -I will post video, as my photograph attempts resulted in blurry photos. But he does grinding now, I presume it's related to his teeth? Next morning (it's past midnight here) I'll take him to the exotic vet.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Do you see any swelling on his head? It might be helpful to quickly look at a few old photographs to see any changes.
    Thank you for the reply! Nothing changes in particular to his head region

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bejo227 View Post
    Thank you for the response! I tried to take a look at his teeth or anything, but he's too agitated to be handled and moving constantly -I will post video, as my photograph attempts resulted in blurry photos. But he does grinding now, I presume it's related to his teeth? Next morning (it's past midnight here) I'll take him to the exotic vet.
    Yes, a video would help. If he is chattering his teeth that is often a warning. It may mean he is angry and wants you to back off. It can be a prelude to biting if you don't give some space. Talk to him in a soothing way. Try to be as relaxed as possible. This should help him to calm down and to remind him of your bond.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bejo227 View Post
    Thank you for the response! I tried to take a look at his teeth or anything, but he's too agitated to be handled and moving constantly -I will post video, as my photograph attempts resulted in blurry photos. But he does grinding now, I presume it's related to his teeth? Next morning (it's past midnight here) I'll take him to the exotic vet.
    Grinding teeth can also be an indication of pain.
    An antibiotic will not treat Mbd.
    Replenishing calcium to restore his levels and allowing a
    medication to manage his pain is what would be called for.
    Step-N-Stone
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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Thank you for all of the responses! It soothe me a bit to know that I'm not all alone now.

    I will reply all the questions here, as I am lost track and to make it easier for us to read the comprehensive answers.

    About his teeth: He started to grind his teeth an hour ago, or an hour after I gave him the medicine. He constantly look for something to bite, so I put a wooden stick around. But from a quick glance, I don't see his mandibular teeth being too long or anything suspicious. I can't take a look directly because it's impossible now to even touch him.

    About his diet: based on the view response here, I started to get suspicious with MBD, as now he's trying to climb, but his behind legs are just hung, almost like a limp.

    About his medicine: his previous MBD meds were prescription, so I only given a drip bottle. He got better days after the meds. His current meds (prescribed by a regular vet) were also a prescribed med, so it came in two drip bottles, and I was only told that they're vit + supplements, and also antibiotics. He took the current med an hour ago and he's now FRANTIC. I will attach the link to the video, and you can hear his squeaks and see his behaviour.

    About his behavior: he was quite docile, though became aggressive and avoidant if someone got closer. An hour after his medicine, he became frantic as if he's in pain: running around, writhing, squeaking, rolling around. Sometimes he stops but then continues again.

    Here's the link for the video. Sorry for the low quality.

    https://youtube.com/shorts/IFnACv8hc7Q

    Thank you for all the responses.

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post

    I would not rule out mbd, this diet alone can not replenish the calcium his body uses and requires.
    Mbd is very painful! The symptoms you describe avoidant, aggressive, agitated, squeaking, right
    down to chewing on his hind legs indicates mbd and he is in pain.


    https://henryspets.com/what-is-metabolic-bone-disease/

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)
    I will take this into consideration, thank you so much for your response

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    Grinding teeth can also be an indication of pain.
    An antibiotic will not treat Mbd.
    Replenishing calcium to restore his levels and allowing a
    medication to manage his pain is what would be called for.
    My brother will go to the closest drugstore now to get some calcium pills. Thank you for the response

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    Default Re: My squirrel suddenly is lethargic, aggressive-avoidant, and constantly squeaking

    If that is his response to the meds you were given by the vet, they may well have increased the distress. If there is a direct correlation between the meds and supplements being given and his current behavior I would be inclined to discontinue them.

    Do they sell Tums where you live?

    Or just plain calcium carbonate tablets with no other vitamins added?

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