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Thread: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

  1. #1
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    Question New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Hi! My name is Ashley. I live in Gulfport, MS and I am a momma to 3 human babies Tyler 15, Gavin 13, Ava 11, 4 dogs Millie, Copper, Ladybug, and Leroy, 1 rabbit Holly, 1 guinea pig Buster, 1 potbelly pig Petunia and our newest addition a squirrel who I call my Poochie Baby. Living on the MS gulfcoast allows me to experience a wide variety of wildlife right in my own back yard. This past August I found my myself taking on rehabbing a baby squirrel with the intention of rehab and release. Unfortunately he is not releasable and is now a member of our family. I stumbled across this board many times while researching squirrels and how to care for them, behavior, ect.. I thought I might as well join as I have a ton of questions and most recently have become very concerned and thought ya'll may be able to help me.
    Poochie has always been a very playful, spunky squirrel. He has always enjoyed cuddles with me and has grown to be very comfortable around our house as he gets a lot of time outside of his cage. He is def attached to me the most and cares very little for my husband and children. I feed him Henry's squirrel blocks as well as a mixture of fruits, vegetables and some nuts and the occasional cracker that he swipes from the kitchen before I can catch him. Our usual routine every morning is for me to get him out of his cage and he catches a ride on my shoulder to the fridge to get his breakfast. He runs the house for about 30 mins until the rest of my family gets up and then I put him back in his cage until everyone is off to school. Somedays I get him right back out and then others he's in there until the afternoon, depending on my work schedule. Every evening he gets time out of his cage again until he's ready to cuddle up for bed. He cuddles and nibbles my hands while I pet him and then I put him back in his cage for the night.
    Yesterday our day started as normal. I got him out of his cage for breakfast, instead of his block I gave him a grape and 1 cashew (this is not his normal breakfast but he jumped on his stash so I let him have it). He ran around for about 30mins acting his normal self and then I put him in his cage. When I went back in the room to check on him he was acting extremely strange. Every small movement was spooking him, he was bouncing from one side of his cage to the other to the point I thought he may hurt himself. It almost seems like something is wrong with his vision/depth perception. He will let me pet him If I move very slowly and he's aware it's me any quick movement and he goes crazy and he will not let me pick him up with out freaking out. He is not wanting to play or be held he is only sitting on the top perch in his cage sort of hunched over with his head down. He will take food my hand and nibble a little but will not get down to go to his bowl. The light also seems to be throwing him off a bit, and his balance seems a little off but not to bad. I'm very concerned as this is completely out of his normal behavior and happened so quickly. I'm not sure if he has hit his head and has some sort of mild brain trauma, possibly got into something while out, MBD or is just getting wild. Sorry for such a long post however, and insight would be greatly appreciated. I hate to see my Poochie baby like this, it seems like everything is scaring him.
    Last edited by stepnstone; 04-26-2021 at 12:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    I suggest you begin the MBD protocol immediately. It won't hurt if he does not have MBD and it may well save his life if he does have MBD.

    https://www.henryspets.com/emergency-treatment-for-mbd/

    It would be helpful if you could share his entire diet... what he actually eats. Diet is critical, and difficult to get correct, in order to prevent MBD. 10 months is about the age we'd expect MBD to develop in a adolescent squirrel with a diet that is a but off when it comes to calcium versus phosphorous intake.


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

    stepnstone (04-26-2021)

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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruich713 View Post
    Hi! My name is Ashley. I live in Gulfport, MS and I am a momma to 3 human babies Tyler 15, Gavin 13, Ava 11, 4 dogs Millie, Copper, Ladybug, and Leroy, 1 rabbit Holly, 1 guinea pig Buster, 1 potbelly pig Petunia and our newest addition a squirrel who I call my Poochie Baby. Living on the MS gulfcoast allows me to experience a wide variety of wildlife right in my own back yard. This past August I found my myself taking on rehabbing a baby squirrel with the intention of rehab and release. Unfortunately he is not releasable and is now a member of our family. I stumbled across this board many times while researching squirrels and how to care for them, behavior, ect.. I thought I might as well join as I have a ton of questions and most recently have become very concerned and thought ya'll may be able to help me.
    Poochie has always been a very playful, spunky squirrel. He has always enjoyed cuddles with me and has grown to be very comfortable around our house as he gets a lot of time outside of his cage. He is def attached to me the most and cares very little for my husband and children. I feed him Henry's squirrel blocks as well as a mixture of fruits, vegetables and some nuts and the occasional cracker that he swipes from the kitchen before I can catch him. Our usual routine every morning is for me to get him out of his cage and he catches a ride on my shoulder to the fridge to get his breakfast. He runs the house for about 30 mins until the rest of my family gets up and then I put him back in his cage until everyone is off to school. Somedays I get him right back out and then others he's in there until the afternoon, depending on my work schedule. Every evening he gets time out of his cage again until he's ready to cuddle up for bed. He cuddles and nibbles my hands while I pet him and then I put him back in his cage for the night.
    Yesterday our day started as normal. I got him out of his cage for breakfast, instead of his block I gave him a grape and 1 cashew (this is not his normal breakfast but he jumped on his stash so I let him have it). He ran around for about 30mins acting his normal self and then I put him in his cage. When I went back in the room to check on him he was acting extremely strange. Every small movement was spooking him, he was bouncing from one side of his cage to the other to the point I thought he may hurt himself. It almost seems like something is wrong with his vision/depth perception. He will let me pet him If I move very slowly and he's aware it's me any quick movement and he goes crazy and he will not let me pick him up with out freaking out. He is not wanting to play or be held he is only sitting on the top perch in his cage sort of hunched over with his head down. He will take food my hand and nibble a little but will not get down to go to his bowl. The light also seems to be throwing him off a bit, and his balance seems a little off but not to bad. I'm very concerned as this is completely out of his normal behavior and happened so quickly. I'm not sure if he has hit his head and has some sort of mild brain trauma, possibly got into something while out, MBD or is just getting wild. Sorry for such a long post however, and insight would be greatly appreciated. I hate to see my Poochie baby like this, it seems like everything is scaring him.

    You question mbd, I question daily diet!
    What all is he fed on a daily basics? How many nuts is he fed daily?

    Hunched over head down is never a good sign and suggests he is in pain.
    Flailing from side to side in cage could possibly suggest seizure activity.
    Head trauma or Mbd either could be suspect.

    Please list diet for a starting point and any pain meds you may have on hand.
    If nothing, I would suggest getting some infant liquid Ibuprofen and a weight
    on your squirrel so pain and possible inflammation can be addressed. We can
    help with dosing instruction.
    Also suggest confining him to a smaller area so he can not bounce around and
    cause himself more injury.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


  5. #4
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. He eats about 2-3 Henry squirrel blocks per day. He loves grapes so he gets about 1-2 of those a day or every other day. As well as a variety of veggies and fruits that I swap up like Chayote squash, sweet potato, strawberries, avocado, cauliflower, apples, ect.. I give him a cashew or two per day.(Is that too much?) He does occasionally swipe a cracker or chip from the kitchen which I know is no ideal and we are doing better to make sure those things are not left our but occasionally my children forget. This came on so sudden. He was acting his complete normal self and within about 30 mins was acting fearful of the slightest movements. Almost like he couldn't see far away until you were right up on him. I have looked around to see if he could have possibly gotten into something that could be toxic but I can't find anything. Unless maybe the grapes had insecticide on them and were not washed properly? I've also thought that maybe he bumped his head but I didn't notice him do that. Today he is much calmer but is sleeping in his hammock most of the day he is happy for me to pet him but does not want to be picked up. I have started him on calcium just incase of MBD but can that hurt him if he doesn't need it?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
    I suggest you begin the MBD protocol immediately. It won't hurt if he does not have MBD and it may well save his life if he does have MBD.

    https://www.henryspets.com/emergency-treatment-for-mbd/

    It would be helpful if you could share his entire diet... what he actually eats. Diet is critical, and difficult to get correct, in order to prevent MBD. 10 months is about the age we'd expect MBD to develop in a adolescent squirrel with a diet that is a but off when it comes to calcium versus phosphorous intake.

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. He eats about 2-3 Henry squirrel blocks per day. He loves grapes so he gets about 1-2 of those a day or every other day. As well as a variety of veggies and fruits that I swap up like Chayote squash, sweet potato, strawberries, avocado, cauliflower, apples, ect.. I give him a cashew or two per day.(Is that too much?) He does occasionally swipe a cracker or chip from the kitchen which I know is no ideal and we are doing better to make sure those things are not left our but occasionally my children forget. This came on so sudden. He was acting his complete normal self and within about 30 mins was acting fearful of the slightest movements. Almost like he couldn't see far away until you were right up on him. I have looked around to see if he could have possibly gotten into something that could be toxic but I can't find anything. Unless maybe the grapes had insecticide on them and were not washed properly? I've also thought that maybe he bumped his head but I didn't notice him do that. Today he is much calmer but is sleeping in his hammock most of the day he is happy for me to pet him but does not want to be picked up. I have started him on calcium just incase of MBD but can that hurt him if he doesn't need it?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post

    You question mbd, I question daily diet!
    What all is he fed on a daily basics? How many nuts is he fed daily?

    Hunched over head down is never a good sign and suggests he is in pain.
    Flailing from side to side in cage could possibly suggest seizure activity.
    Head trauma or Mbd either could be suspect.

    Please list diet for a starting point and any pain meds you may have on hand.
    If nothing, I would suggest getting some infant liquid Ibuprofen and a weight
    on your squirrel so pain and possible inflammation can be addressed. We can
    help with dosing instruction.
    Also suggest confining him to a smaller area so he can not bounce around and
    cause himself more injury.
    Thank you so much for getting back to me. He eats about 2-3 Henry squirrel blocks per day. He loves grapes so he gets about 1-2 of those a day or every other day. As well as a variety of veggies and fruits that I swap up like Chayote squash, sweet potato, strawberries, avocado, cauliflower, apples, ect.. I give him a cashew or two per day.(Is that too much?) He does occasionally swipe a cracker or chip from the kitchen which I know is no ideal and we are doing better to make sure those things are not left our but occasionally my children forget. This came on so sudden. He was acting his complete normal self and within about 30 mins was acting fearful of the slightest movements. Almost like he couldn't see far away until you were right up on him. I have looked around to see if he could have possibly gotten into something that could be toxic but I can't find anything. Unless maybe the grapes had insecticide on them and were not washed properly? I've also thought that maybe he bumped his head but I didn't notice him do that. Today he is much calmer but is sleeping in his hammock most of the day he is happy for me to pet him but does not want to be picked up. I have started him on calcium just incase of MBD but can that hurt him if he doesn't need it?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Cashews have a high Oxalate Content, not a desired nut to be feeding captive/pet squirrels.
    The better nuts to feed are Hazel nuts or Almonds. Still, nuts should only be given sparsely as a
    treat, not part of a daily diet. Nuts can delete the body from calcium and be counter productive
    regardless if even a decent diet. It will not hurt him if calcium isn't needed, could only help if it is.
    The one thing to watch for would be grey/white poops which suggests too much calcium.

    With the way a squirrel moves and plays it is possible he banged his head without you witnessing it.
    They can cause themselves a mild concussion the same as we can when we take a bang to the head.
    If this is it his symptoms should get better with time but I would still allow a pain med for his comfort
    and to keep him calm.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


  9. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to stepnstone:

    Buddy (04-26-2021), Rock Monkey (04-27-2021)

  10. #8
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    Cashews have a high Oxalate Content, not a desired nut to be feeding captive/pet squirrels.
    The better nuts to feed are Hazel nuts or Almonds. Still, nuts should only be given sparsely as a
    treat, not part of a daily diet. Nuts can delete the body from calcium and be counter productive
    regardless if even a decent diet. It will not hurt him if calcium isn't needed, could only help if it is.
    The one thing to watch for would be grey/white poops which suggests too much calcium.

    With the way a squirrel moves and plays it is possible he banged his head without you witnessing it.
    They can cause themselves a mild concussion the same as we can when we take a bang to the head.
    If this is it his symptoms should get better with time but I would still allow a pain med for his comfort
    and to keep him calm.
    I cannot thank you enough. You have been so helpful! What dose should I give him of the pain meds. Im heading to the store shortly to get the baby ibuprofen you suggested. Also if this is MBD what can I do to prevent this in the future, since I am giving him a pretty good diet. I will completely remove cashews and limit nuts much more. Anything else?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruich713 View Post
    I'm heading to the store shortly to get the baby ibuprofen you suggested.
    Just in case Step does not check in before you run to the store: Get the Infants ibuprofen, not the children's. Grape and wild berry I have had good luck with them taking without a problem.

  12. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Spanky:

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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
    Just in case Step does not check in before you run to the store: Get the Infants ibuprofen, not the children's. Grape and wild berry I have had good luck with them taking without a problem.
    Hi, I picked up the medicine, I also weighed him. He weighs right at 1 lb. How much should I give him?

  14. #11
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    Default Re: New to the board and have a ton of questions!!

    Ibuprofen dosing sent via PM.

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