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Thread: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

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    Default Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    I work as a vet tech at an animal hospital and on Wednesday a baby squirrel was brought in after falling from a tree. The baby squirrel had blood around its nose and one of its bottom front teeth fell out. The baby was slightly dehydrated as well. I took the baby home and have slowly worked on rehydrating it and have been feeding it esbilac puppy milk replace (mix 1 part powder with 2 parts water). She had a normal solid poop the first night I brought her home and she is peeing on her own. She has gotten used to the formula and is now eating it very well. This morning she started having softer more orangey/light tan colored stool. I fed her bout 8mls this morning at 9Am and since then I have held off on feeding her because of the diarrhea. I have been offering her water from a syringe about every hour but she doesnít like it. I am wondering if maybe I fed her too much or too often. I was feeding her every 2-3 hours at first because she would only eat about 1-2mls. Know that she has started to eat more I began spacing it out more to 4 hours. I was also giving her some pedialyte yesterday but stopped today because I read that you werenít supposed to give it for more than 24 hrs. If anyone has any advice that would be greatly appreciated. I donít know how old she is, but her eyes are open, she is fluffy, and has teeth. I would guess 7-8 weeks maybe.I know hoe fast diarrhea can lead to issues so I am trying to do whatever I can to prevent this.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    I work as a vet tech at an animal hospital and on Wednesday a baby squirrel was brought in after falling from a tree. The baby squirrel had blood around its nose and one of its bottom front teeth fell out. The baby was slightly dehydrated as well. I took the baby home and have slowly worked on rehydrating it and have been feeding it esbilac puppy milk replace (mix 1 part powder with 2 parts water). She had a normal solid poop the first night I brought her home and she is peeing on her own. She has gotten used to the formula and is now eating it very well. This morning she started having softer more orangey/light tan colored stool. I fed her bout 8mls this morning at 9Am and since then I have held off on feeding her because of the diarrhea. I have been offering her water from a syringe about every hour but she doesnít like it. I am wondering if maybe I fed her too much or too often. I was feeding her every 2-3 hours at first because she would only eat about 1-2mls. Know that she has started to eat more I began spacing it out more to 4 hours. I was also giving her some pedialyte yesterday but stopped today because I read that you werenít supposed to give it for more than 24 hrs. If anyone has any advice that would be greatly appreciated. I donít know how old she is, but her eyes are open, she is fluffy, and has teeth. I would guess 7-8 weeks maybe.I know hoe fast diarrhea can lead to issues so I am trying to do whatever I can to prevent this.
    The black / dark poops are from mom's milk. The Esbilac poops will be a lighter color, usually golden or mustard (I am not good with colors, there are only 5 in my world). If it is "whitish" that is usually a sign of over-feeding.

    We feed by weight, 5-7% of body weight per feeding... so a 100gm baby would get fed 5 - 7ml per feeding. If you can weigh here, and post pictures, we can provide more precise advice on amounts and frequency of feeding. My guess is she should not be fed more than 4 times a day right now.

    She should also get started on rodent block (Teklad, Mazuri... or you can use Henry's which is a supplement (2 blocks a day) in addition to veggies). No nuts or seeds, block only to start.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    I have to go into work tonight and was going to bring her with me this way I can get a weight for her.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Also what kind of veggies should I offer her and how much?

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
    The black / dark poops are from mom's milk. The Esbilac poops will be a lighter color, usually golden or mustard (I am not good with colors, there are only 5 in my world). If it is "whitish" that is usually a sign of over-feeding.

    We feed by weight, 5-7% of body weight per feeding... so a 100gm baby would get fed 5 - 7ml per feeding. If you can weigh here, and post pictures, we can provide more precise advice on amounts and frequency of feeding. My guess is she should not be fed more than 4 times a day right now.

    She should also get started on rodent block (Teklad, Mazuri... or you can use Henry's which is a supplement (2 blocks a day) in addition to veggies). No nuts or seeds, block only to start.
    She is 119 g

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    Also what kind of veggies should I offer her and how much?
    First and only solids should be rodent block. After she is eating (actually eating) the block, here is the healthy food chart:
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    She is 119 g

    At 119grams she should take 6ml - 8.5ml of formula per feeding. I would feed her 4 - 5 times a day.

    She looks dehydrated a bit. You are correct about not continuing the pediatlye, but you can give her some sweetened water for hydration. Just a bit of honey to get her interested in the water. Another trick is to dip the nipple into the the honey (or syrup) to get her interested. Give her water in between feedings.

    I'd recommend you order some Fox Valley 20/50 for her.. you can switch that our for the Esbilac, or use a 50% Esbilac and 50% Fox Valley formula.

    Is she exhibiting any sort of head trauma issues... tilting her head or circling?

    Also, if you are not familiar with Aspiration Pneumonia (AP) listening to her breathing often... you don't want to hear a persistent "click" noise with each breath. You might hear a "mouth click" occasionally, especially after eating, but this is not the chest clicking of AP.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post

    At 119grams she should take 6ml - 8.5ml of formula per feeding. I would feed her 4 - 5 times a day.

    She looks dehydrated a bit. You are correct about not continuing the pediatlye, but you can give her some sweetened water for hydration. Just a bit of honey to get her interested in the water. Another trick is to dip the nipple into the the honey (or syrup) to get her interested. Give her water in between feedings.

    I'd recommend you order some Fox Valley 20/50 for her.. you can switch that our for the Esbilac, or use a 50% Esbilac and 50% Fox Valley formula.

    Is she exhibiting any sort of head trauma issues... tilting her head or circling?

    Also, if you are not familiar with Aspiration Pneumonia (AP) listening to her breathing often... you don't want to hear a persistent "click" noise with each breath. You might hear a "mouth click" occasionally, especially after eating, but this is not the chest clicking of AP.
    I don’t see any signs of head trauma. I was going to give her some fluid under the skin while at work. Any recommendations on how much I should give her? I am also not hearing any clicking with her breathing.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    I gave her 10 mls of fluid under her skin. Also have her a feeding at 3 and another at 9. Will continue to give her water via a syringe tonight and then she will be coming back to work with me tomorrow. Will consider giving her some more fluids under the skin if necessary. I also ordered the rodent blocks and the recommended formula so hopefully I can start using those soon.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    I gave her 10 mls of fluid under her skin. Also have her a feeding at 3 and another at 9. Will continue to give her water via a syringe tonight and then she will be coming back to work with me tomorrow. Will consider giving her some more fluids under the skin if necessary. I also ordered the rodent blocks and the recommended formula so hopefully I can start using those soon.
    Hi Squirrelbaby: If you don't mind some comments; 1) Subcutaneous fluids should ordinarily be used only if your Squirrel is unable to ingest fluid orally. The very best means of fluid intake by far is by mouth! There have been several studies that demonstrate that oral rehydration is at least as effective as even intravenous rehydration! Without regular oral intake there can also be changes that take place in the lining of the intestines that can result in problems and oral nutritional intake will prevent this from occurring. While Subcutaneous fluid administration is usually safe, there are well recognized risks which include; a) pain and discomfort associated with the puncture itself and from the fluid flowing and collecting under the skin, and b) risk of infection; among others. I would like to encourage you to use only oral means of hydration and feeding and to follow the recommendations for that posted for you previously by Spanky. Please discontinue the fluid administration under the skin and reserve that only if your Squirrel is truly unable to take in fluids orally. By the way, what is your Squirrel's name?
    Thanks and regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hi Squirrelbaby: If you don't mind some comments; 1) Subcutaneous fluids should ordinarily be used only if your Squirrel is unable to ingest fluid orally. The very best means of fluid intake by far is by mouth! There have been several studies that demonstrate that oral rehydration is at least as effective as even intravenous rehydration! Without regular oral intake there can also be changes that take place in the lining of the intestines that can result in problems and oral nutritional intake will prevent this from occurring. While Subcutaneous fluid administration is usually safe, there are well recognized risks which include; a) pain and discomfort associated with the puncture itself and from the fluid flowing and collecting under the skin, and b) risk of infection; among others. I would like to encourage you to use only oral means of hydration and feeding and to follow the recommendations for that posted for you previously by Spanky. Please discontinue the fluid administration under the skin and reserve that only if your Squirrel is truly unable to take in fluids orally. By the way, what is your Squirrel's name?
    Thanks and regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    I have yet to name her since I am trying to not get too attached in case she doesn’t make it. The first squirrel I rehabbed didn’t make it and it was really hard on me. If she makes it past a week, I will start think of names. She weighed in at 126g today and I have been feeding her every 5 hours (about 7 mls). Her hydration has really been a struggle. She pretty much refuses to take the water orally from a syringe or from anywhere. The only way I have gotten her to drink anything is by putting 0.2 mls of formula with 0.8mls of water and mixing that together and then syringe feeding her. She tolerates that but not for long (only will take about 0.5-1ml). She is still having soft stool so I am concerned about the hydration. I did offer her some of the rodent blocks today and she has seemed interested in them. She does seem to be having a hard time with chewing and biting the blocks but she is starting to figure it out. She loves the formula and eats it very well for me. I ordered the other formula previously recommended and it should be here shortly. I gave her 10 mls of fluid yesterday and that seemed to help. I understand the dangers, but my previous squirrel struggled with hydration which led to her death and I am extra worried about keeping this one hydrated. Overall she is doing well, just worried about the soft stool and the hydration.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

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    This was her most recent stool. It was definitely more formed but still extremely soft.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    I have yet to name her since I am trying to not get too attached in case she doesnít make it. The first squirrel I rehabbed didnít make it and it was really hard on me. If she makes it past a week, I will start think of names. She weighed in at 126g today and I have been feeding her every 5 hours (about 7 mls). Her hydration has really been a struggle. She pretty much refuses to take the water orally from a syringe or from anywhere. The only way I have gotten her to drink anything is by putting 0.2 mls of formula with 0.8mls of water and mixing that together and then syringe feeding her. She tolerates that but not for long (only will take about 0.5-1ml). She is still having soft stool so I am concerned about the hydration. I did offer her some of the rodent blocks today and she has seemed interested in them. She does seem to be having a hard time with chewing and biting the blocks but she is starting to figure it out. She loves the formula and eats it very well for me. I ordered the other formula previously recommended and it should be here shortly. I gave her 10 mls of fluid yesterday and that seemed to help. I understand the dangers, but my previous squirrel struggled with hydration which led to her death and I am extra worried about keeping this one hydrated. Overall she is doing well, just worried about the soft stool and the hydration.
    Thanks Squirrelbaby. I can understand all of your concerns and you are not alone. All of us, even those of us like me who rehab on a small scale have had some heartbreaking events occur with our Little Ones! It never gets easier but one thing I have learned about the sad side of rahabbing is that it makes the wonderful side even more meaningful! I know that you have concerns about your current Little Squirrel that are amplified by the sad loss of your first Squirrel. Please know that there are some very encouraging signs indicating that things are going better for your Squirrel. She has gained 7 grams over one day! This indicates that she is retaining fluids and since you are giving formula, she is also getting adequate nutritional support. I am a little confused by a couple of your comments that seem to contradict each other. You said that "she pretty much refuses to take the water orally from a syringe or from anywhere. The only way I have gotten her to drink anything is by putting 0.2 mls of formula with 0.8mls of water and mixing that together and then syringe feeding her" and later you stated that "she loves the formula and eats it very well for me!" If you meant that your Squirrel is not drinking much plain water but she is freely drinking her formula, that is truly great! You do not need to push further plain water and really should not do so. She should have a source of supplemental plain water available but you do not need to make a special effort as you seem to be doing to get her drink plain water. If she is drinking an adequate amount of formula (5-7% of current body weight), she will be getting adequate fluids through her formula and additionally, she will be getting needed electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, minerals such as calcium and general nutritional support as well and there is no need to try to push additional plain water and pushing additional plain water or any other rehydrating fluids should really be avoided. Again, this was said only in light of what seem like your Squirrel's adequate intake of formula. If she is not taking formula or fluids voluntarily, then other means of nutritional intake is necessary, but again, it should be orally if at all possible.

    Please use caution if you must feed with a syringe and nipple; the Squirrel should be held upright and only one or two drops should be placed on her tongue at one time and then allowed to be swallowed. Please avoid putting the fluid or food toward the back of the tongue, forcing the material into her mouth or throat or giving more than a drop or two (or 3 or 4 if she avidly swallows the stuff) as these cautionary actions will help prevent aspiration (sucking the fluid or food into the lungs) which can cause an inflammation in the lungs called aspiration pneumonitis or an actual infection called aspiration pneumonia. Both of these conditions are potentially very serious and can easily be avoided by careful oral feeding practices.

    Please weigh every morning and adjust your formula volume to reflect the current weight just as Spanky has explained earlier.

    If it seems that your Squirrel is interested in the blocks but might have some dental issues or she is just not quite ready to chew the blocks, you can soak the blocks in the formula for a short time and when they are softened somewhat, you can offer those to your Squirrel and see if this softer consistency and/or the familiar taste and smell of the formula might be all it will take to get her to eat some of the blocks as well.

    Thanks for the update! Please continue to post them.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    I have yet to name her since I am trying to not get too attached in case she doesnít make it. The first squirrel I rehabbed didnít make it and it was really hard on me. If she makes it past a week, I will start think of names. She weighed in at 126g today and I have been feeding her every 5 hours (about 7 mls). Hlyer hydration has really been a struggle. She pretty much refuses to take the water orally from a syringe or from anywhere. The only way I have gotten her to drink anything is by putting 0.2 mls of formula with 0.8mls of water and mixing that together and then syringe feeding her. She tolerates that but not for long (only will take about 0.5-1ml). She is still having soft stool so I am concerned about the hydration. I did offer her some of the rodent blocks today and she has seemed interested in them. She does seem to be having a hard time with chewing and biting the blocks but she is starting to figure it out. She loves the formula and eats it very well for me. I ordered the other formula previously recommended and it should be here shortly. I gave her 10 mls of fluid yesterday and that seemed to help. I understand the dangers, but my previous squirrel struggled with hydration which led to her death and I am extra worried about keeping this one hydrated. Overall she is doing well, just worried about the soft stool and the hydration.
    I hear what your saying and I too have had losses with babies that couldn't maintain their hydration. With lessons learned, those losses have saved many more lives by reverting to the addition of subqing. Oral hydration may be the best route to stay hydrated but with diarrhea the body can lose more fluid than it can take in and the body doesn't have the fluid it needs to function properly. Dehydration is a slippery slope, when a baby starts "crashing" it's generally too late to turn it around as kidneys and other organs have already started to shut down. Subqing can help bring those levels up faster and to where it then can be maintained orally. I would continue to offer oral hydration in between regular feedings to whatever amount he will take. (without bloating)

    I personally have only had to subq 2-3 times on serious babies to get them stable... but... you need to also work on stopping the diarrhea.
    Diarrhea and dehydration go hand in hand with one aiding the other.
    Has this baby been given anything to address the diarrhea?
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    I hear what your saying and I too have had losses with babies that couldn't maintain their hydration. With lessons learned, those losses have saved many more lives by reverting to the addition of subqing. Oral hydration may be the best route to stay hydrated but with diarrhea the body can lose more fluid than it can take in and the body doesn't have the fluid it needs to function properly. Dehydration is a slippery slope, when a baby starts "crashing" it's generally too late to turn it around as kidneys and other organs have already started to shut down. Subqing can help bring those levels up faster and to where it then can be maintained orally. I would continue to offer oral hydration in between regular feedings to whatever amount he will take. (without bloating)

    I personally have only had to subq 2-3 times on serious babies to get them stable... but... you need to also work on stopping the diarrhea.
    Diarrhea and dehydration go hand in hand with one aiding the other.
    Has this baby been given anything to address the diarrhea?
    Iím not sure what to give her to help with the diarrhea. I ordered the formula recommended (fox valley 20/50) and am hoping that when I start using that it will help form the stool better. If you have any recommendations on what I can do to help with the diarrhea that would be much appreciated.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Thanks Squirrelbaby. I can understand all of your concerns and you are not alone. All of us, even those of us like me who rehab on a small scale have had some heartbreaking events occur with our Little Ones! It never gets easier but one thing I have learned about the sad side of rahabbing is that it makes the wonderful side even more meaningful! I know that you have concerns about your current Little Squirrel that are amplified by the sad loss of your first Squirrel. Please know that there are some very encouraging signs indicating that things are going better for your Squirrel. She has gained 7 grams over one day! This indicates that she is retaining fluids and since you are giving formula, she is also getting adequate nutritional support. I am a little confused by a couple of your comments that seem to contradict each other. You said that "she pretty much refuses to take the water orally from a syringe or from anywhere. The only way I have gotten her to drink anything is by putting 0.2 mls of formula with 0.8mls of water and mixing that together and then syringe feeding her" and later you stated that "she loves the formula and eats it very well for me!" If you meant that your Squirrel is not drinking much plain water but she is freely drinking her formula, that is truly great! You do not need to push further plain water and really should not do so. She should have a source of supplemental plain water available but you do not need to make a special effort as you seem to be doing to get her drink plain water. If she is drinking an adequate amount of formula (5-7% of current body weight), she will be getting adequate fluids through her formula and additionally, she will be getting needed electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, minerals such as calcium and general nutritional support as well and there is no need to try to push additional plain water and pushing additional plain water or any other rehydrating fluids should really be avoided. Again, this was said only in light of what seem like your Squirrel's adequate intake of formula. If she is not taking formula or fluids voluntarily, then other means of nutritional intake is necessary, but again, it should be orally if at all possible.

    Please use caution if you must feed with a syringe and nipple; the Squirrel should be held upright and only one or two drops should be placed on her tongue at one time and then allowed to be swallowed. Please avoid putting the fluid or food toward the back of the tongue, forcing the material into her mouth or throat or giving more than a drop or two (or 3 or 4 if she avidly swallows the stuff) as these cautionary actions will help prevent aspiration (sucking the fluid or food into the lungs) which can cause an inflammation in the lungs called aspiration pneumonitis or an actual infection called aspiration pneumonia. Both of these conditions are potentially very serious and can easily be avoided by careful oral feeding practices.

    Please weigh every morning and adjust your formula volume to reflect the current weight just as Spanky has explained earlier.

    If it seems that your Squirrel is interested in the blocks but might have some dental issues or she is just not quite ready to chew the blocks, you can soak the blocks in the formula for a short time and when they are softened somewhat, you can offer those to your Squirrel and see if this softer consistency and/or the familiar taste and smell of the formula might be all it will take to get her to eat some of the blocks as well.

    Thanks for the update! Please continue to post them.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    She will eat 7 mls of formula every 5 hours and does so very eagerly and willingly. I am very careful while feeding her and let her dictate the pace. We go slow and she is always in a safe position when I feed her. I have been trying to offer some straight water by syringe between feedings to help with the hydration and diarrhea. She loves the straight formula but will not tolerate the water only between feedings. She was slightly dehydrated today (her skin was slightly tented when I pulled it up) so that is why I have continued with the water in between feedings. I would like to continue with some water just until I can get the diarrhea under control.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Give the squirrel a small amount of pepto Bismol or kaopectate. The pepto will cause the stool to be dark. When that happens you will know itís made it through her system. You can repeat dosing if the diarrhea doesnít improve.

    Fox valley makes a product called dia-stat that rehabbers swear by. It controls diarrhea while still providing nourishment.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Give the squirrel a small amount of pepto Bismol or kaopectate. The pepto will cause the stool to be dark. When that happens you will know it’s made it through her system. You can repeat dosing if the diarrhea doesn’t improve.

    Fox valley makes a product called dia-stat that rehabbers swear by. It controls diarrhea while still providing nourishment.
    Just ordered the diastat on Amazon. It should be here on Monday. Thanks so much for the suggestion. How much pepto would you suggest giving. I don’t want to give her too much.

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    Default Re: Help baby squirrel is having diarrhea

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelbaby99 View Post
    She will eat 7 mls of formula every 5 hours and does so very eagerly and willingly. I am very careful while feeding her and let her dictate the pace. We go slow and she is always in a safe position when I feed her. I have been trying to offer some straight water by syringe between feedings to help with the hydration and diarrhea. She loves the straight formula but will not tolerate the water only between feedings. She was slightly dehydrated today (her skin was slightly tented when I pulled it up) so that is why I have continued with the water in between feedings. I would like to continue with some water just until I can get the diarrhea under control.
    I understand your concerns. Please weigh your little one in the morning before her first feeding of the day. Hopefully the loose stools will be fully resolved in the next 24 hours or less!
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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