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Thread: Help! Possible aspiration

  1. #1
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    Default Help! Possible aspiration

    Hello please help me I'm really worried about my baby squirrel rescue. Sonny is about ten weeks old and he just drank his formlua too fast and choked a little. He started sneezing, some milk came out, and I tried hanigng him upside down and gently swinging to avoid aspiration. Ive never seen him act like this, he's laying flat on his belly with his tail curled over his back, not moving, closed eyes. What should I do? Should I bring him to the animal hospital right now?

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsay&Sonny View Post
    Hello please help me I'm really worried about my baby squirrel rescue. Sonny is about ten weeks old and he just drank his formlua too fast and choked a little. He started sneezing, some milk came out, and I tried hanigng him upside down and gently swinging to avoid aspiration. Ive never seen him act like this, he's laying flat on his belly with his tail curled over his back, not moving, closed eyes. What should I do? Should I bring him to the animal hospital right now?

    Aspirating formula is the cause of AP, but aspirating will not result in AP every time...
    A constant, non-stop clicking would be a sure sign of AP,
    also loss of appetite and lethargy are indicators.
    You will want to keep an ear out for a "clicking" noise in his breathing with both inhale and exhale.

    If it winds up aspiration pneumonia, antibiotics is the only answer to treatment.
    Squirrels can be treated with human antibiotics, all it would take is a pill or two.
    Preferred medications is Baytril which is an antibiotics for animals, Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is the human form.
    Clavamox, Augmention. Other antibiotics can be used in lieu of these, if you tell us what you could come up
    with we can tell you if it could be used for AP. If needed, once we know the med being used we can tell you
    how to break down and dose.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post

    Aspirating formula is the cause of AP, but aspirating will not result in AP every time...
    A constant, non-stop clicking would be a sure sign of AP,
    also loss of appetite and lethargy are indicators.
    You will want to keep an ear out for a "clicking" noise in his breathing with both inhale and exhale.

    If it winds up aspiration pneumonia, antibiotics is the only answer to treatment.
    Squirrels can be treated with human antibiotics, all it would take is a pill or two.
    Preferred medications is Baytril which is an antibiotics for animals, Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is the human form.
    Clavamox, Augmention. Other antibiotics can be used in lieu of these, if you tell us what you could come up
    with we can tell you if it could be used for AP. If needed, once we know the med being used we can tell you
    how to break down and dose.

    Hi thanks so much for getting back to me.
    He got up after a little while and ran around, displayed some normal Sonny behavior, then promptly went to sleep after 10-15 minutes or so of play. I just checked on him and he's normally very alert and curious when his sleep is disturbed, but he is out cold.
    I am still concerned though because I'm hard of hearing and have hearing aids. Can you describe this "clicking" in a little more detail so I know what I'm listening for?

    I also actually preemptively ordered some bactril around his 6 week mark just to have on hand in case of a UTI (etc.), so I have some. Regarding getting him checked out, I called the nearest animal hospital and they don't treat squirrels, but they gave us the contact info for another hospital that does really close by. Should I take him in anyway to get checked out? Should I wait for the general lethargy and loss of appetite, should that happen to him?

    If I do end up needing to use antibiotics, can you help me figure out what the dosage should be? I know his weight in grams and age, etc. Thank you! I sincerely appreciate your help. <3

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    I would not take him to an animal hospital to be checked out. In most cases it is not safe. It is illegal in most states for the public to have wildlife in your possession if youíre not a licensed rehabber. With that said, there are some vets that will see wildlife but you have to know for sure that they are safe.

    Snorting formula doesnít always result in pneumonia. Of course, it can cause it but not always. I would be watchful for a couple days. I would recommend that you put him against your ear like a telephone. Clicking associated with aspiration pneumonia will be a rhythmic audible click with each breath. It is constant including when they sleep. They are also lethargic and lifeless. They lose their appetite and wonít eat. I feel certain you will know. They appear very ill.

    Iím glad you have the Baytril on hand. Thatís exactly what you need. We can dose it for you. We would need the weight of your baby and the concentration of the Baytril. If itís a pill, we need the mg. If itís a liquid, we need the mg/mL.

    If you see any of the symptoms describes, let us know ASAP and we can dose it.

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to HRT4SQRLS from:

    stepnstone (10-04-2021)

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Thank you -- I'm so grateful for the advice about the vet. That make total sense to me, and he's much safer here than anywhere else right now.

    I will definitely keep a close watch on him. I'll check his breathing before he wakes up and report back with his weight and the baytril concentration after I weigh him in the morning. That way i'll be ready if he gets sick.

    One thing I want to mention -- I wouldn't describe it as snorting the formula and want to make sure the details are right in case they change anything! All was going very smoothly, his mouth and face were neat and dry. I was dialed in with full attention, but it was the first time we used a larger syringe. He was sucking pretty hard, but no harder than usual. It seems that bigger syringe = bigger plunger, faster feeding. He jerked away suddenly making tiny cough and sneezing noises followed by a wet face and milk bubbles from his nose. The big guy syringes are a little scary.

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsay&Sonny View Post
    Thank you -- I'm so grateful for the advice about the vet. That make total sense to me, and he's much safer here than anywhere else right now.

    I will definitely keep a close watch on him. I'll check his breathing before he wakes up and report back with his weight and the baytril concentration after I weigh him in the morning. That way i'll be ready if he gets sick.

    One thing I want to mention -- I wouldn't describe it as snorting the formula and want to make sure the details are right in case they change anything! All was going very smoothly, his mouth and face were neat and dry. I was dialed in with full attention, but it was the first time we used a larger syringe. He was sucking pretty hard, but no harder than usual. It seems that bigger syringe = bigger plunger, faster feeding. He jerked away suddenly making tiny cough and sneezing noises followed by a wet face and milk bubbles from his nose. The big guy syringes are a little scary.
    Hrt gave you good advice and you are in an illegal State to have possession of a squirrel without a license.

    What size syringe are you using?
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    I would not take him to an animal hospital to be checked out. In most cases it is not safe. It is illegal in most states for the public to have wildlife in your possession if youíre not a licensed rehabber. With that said, there are some vets that will see wildlife but you have to know for sure that they are safe.

    Snorting formula doesnít always result in pneumonia. Of course, it can cause it but not always. I would be watchful for a couple days. I would recommend that you put him against your ear like a telephone. Clicking associated with aspiration pneumonia will be a rhythmic audible click with each breath. It is constant including when they sleep. They are also lethargic and lifeless. They lose their appetite and wonít eat. I feel certain you will know. They appear very ill.

    Iím glad you have the Baytril on hand. Thatís exactly what you need. We can dose it for you. We would need the weight of your baby and the concentration of the Baytril. If itís a pill, we need the mg. If itís a liquid, we need the mg/mL.

    If you see any of the symptoms describes, let us know ASAP and we can dose it.

    Stats for the record:
    • Weight 10/4/21 (today) - 348 grams
    • Baytril concentration - 10% oral solution
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    Hrt gave you good advice and you are in an illegal State to have possession of a squirrel without a license.

    What size syringe are you using?
    Hi Stepnstone. I am ashamed to say. I was using 5ml syringes and found a 20ml syringe, never used, in my medical supplies. I won't use it again. We're back to the 5ml.
    Sometimes he gets distracted or won't continue eating when I'm swapping nipples, I just ordered more, lessons learned.

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    I wouldnít even use a 5. Go to the pharmacy as ask for a 1cc syringe and a 3 but that might be pushing it. . They will usually give you one. Just tell them you are feeding an orphaned animal. No need to tell them itís a squirrel. I never use greater than a 3cc stringe.

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsay&Sonny View Post
    Hi Stepnstone. I am ashamed to say.
    I was using 5ml syringes and found a 20ml syringe, never used, in my medical supplies. I won't use it again. We're back to the 5ml. Sometimes he gets distracted or won't continue eating when I'm swapping nipples, I just ordered more, lessons learned.
    No wonder you feared you aspirated him...
    The only use I've found a 20ml good for is measuring out from one container to the next
    the exact amount of formula I want to be warming up.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    No wonder you feared you aspirated him...
    The only use I've found a 20ml good for is measuring out from one container to the next
    the exact amount of formula I want to be warming up.
    Right. Yes. Thanks for the idea. I usually make the exact amount at the time of each feeding, but if I ever go back to making it ahead of time, I will put it to good use w/ the container to container method. Have a good one!

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    Default Re: Help! Possible aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsay&Sonny View Post
    Right. Yes. Thanks for the idea. I usually make the exact amount at the time of each feeding, but if I ever go back to making it ahead of time, I will put it to good use w/ the container to container method. Have a good one!
    You really should make the formula in advance. Studies were done by a wildlife center and a lot of the problems with formulas is the powders tendency to repel water. It appears that the powder has gone into solution but in reality it has not. The study showed that a certain percentage of the powder will rise to the top and not go into solution. If you feed this right away you are feeding a small amount of dry powder in the formula. This is part of the problem with commercial formulas and has caused many digestive problems. The only fix for this is to make the formula in advance and let it sit so that it adequately goes into solution. We usually recommend that the formula be made the night before. Make just the amount you would use for the following day.

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