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Thread: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

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    Question Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    So, it looks like my 8 year old Gia has MBD. It’s been about a week since she fell ill. Yesterday I began giving her calcium carbonate following HHP emergency treatment and she is active again but, only in the early morning. She’s been sleeping the rest of the day. So, after the initial dose it says to give 100mg every 4 hours but I have been giving her 200mg since it’s calcium carbonate and not elemental calcium. Is this correct? Thank you.

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olly&Gia View Post
    So, it looks like my 8 year old Gia has MBD. It’s been about a week since she fell ill. Yesterday I began giving her calcium carbonate following HHP emergency treatment and she is active again but, only in the early morning. She’s been sleeping the rest of the day. So, after the initial dose it says to give 100mg every 4 hours but I have been giving her 200mg since it’s calcium carbonate and not elemental calcium. Is this correct? Thank you.
    Hi Olly&Gia:
    Thanks for coming to TSB! I'm sorry to hear the Gia has MBD. How was this diagnosed or what has been going on that makes you suspect MBD? What has been Gia's diet prior to this point? What are you providing Gia for nutritional support now? Henry's recommend Henry's Healthy Blocks (HHBs) and this is a great option!? What species of Squirrel is Gia or actually, more to the point, what is Gia's weight?

    To answer you question about the Calcium. You mentioned that you are following Henry's Emergency Treatment Protocol for MBD. That is very good! It is safe and even if this proves to not be MBD, it is harmless but if this is MBD, it can literally be life-saving! Henry's recommends 500mg of Elemental Calcium each day for the initial treatment of MBD. This includes a daily maintenance dose of Elemental Calcium that for the "average" size Squirrel is around 250mg plus additional Elemental Calcium which is given to replenish the Calcium that has been lost in the disease process. Calcium carbonate contains 40% Elemental Calcium so if you are giving pure Calcium Carbonate as the only source of calcium for Gia, it would require 250mg of Calcium carbonate to provide 100mg of Elemental Calcium (250 x 0.4=100)!

    If you are using the HHBs as part of Gia's MBD treatment plan, it contains approximately 250mg of Elemental Calcium in 10 Grams which is 2 blocks. HHBs can NOT be free-fed and 2 blocks provides a full daily nutritional requirement including calcium for the average healthy Squirrel! Since 10 Grams is quite the small amount it will not be enough to satisfy hunger in a normal Squirrel but decreased hunger is a common finding in Squirrels with MBD so using HHBs is a great way to get the most bang from the proverbial buck! Soon, as appetite improves, Gia will need other healthy foods and/or Blocks that can be free-fed such as Mazuri Rat and Mouse Diet or Envigo (Harlan-Teklad) 2014.

    Once Gia is taking the HHBs or other blocks, you will need to decrease the total dose of Elemental Calcium supplied by your Calcium carbonate by the amount of Elemental Calcium contained in the Blocks! Since 2 HHBs contain approximately 250mg of Elemental Calcium; once Gia is eating 2 (or 3 at the most if she seems to be wasting some as many Squirrels do); You would need to provide only 250mg of extra Elemental Calcium from your Calcium carbonate source each day.

    Gia should also have clean, pure water (don't put calcium or anything in the water) available 24 hours a day! Gia must ingest adequate if not somewhat more fluids during the period of time where Calcium supplementation occurs. Formula such as Fox Valley 20/50 can also supplement fluids as well nutrition and calcium and can be considered an option for further supplementation.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Olly&Gia (05-11-2023)

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Thank You SamtheSquirrel2018 for your time and answer.
    Excuse my English it’s not very good.
    Gia is a fox squirrel. Initially, when I found her she was about 2 weeks old and the intention was to rehab and release so she was never raised as a pet. She won’t let me handle her therefore, I cannot get her weight. We built a big cage around a pecan tree connected to her room’s window. She has the freedom to be out in the wild or at home. Then, about 4 years ago a neighbor cut down an Arizona ash tree that connected the backyard to the oak trees she enjoyed spending time in. Ever since, she’s been inside and now enjoys time in her backyard cage, she has many pecans trees planted, a tree house and grass. In the morning, she gets Henry’s block then boo balls I make for her using envigo 2018 block, little coconut oil, apple sauce, and some calcium.For lunch, vegetables and later about 3 or 4 pumpkin seeds and fruit. For dinner, some leafy greens then finally treats my husband gives. On Thursday morning, she was visibly sick, in bed, not moving, white fluid in her eye. I thought she must be hurt or dehydrated but she has 2 water dispensers available. I checked her for bites didn’t find any injuries then thought she must be dehydrated so gave her pedyalite diluted with water. So, she must have eaten something that grew in her cage or a bite. Went to clean up her cage, to the surprise finding a stack of Henry’s blocks with many in shell nuts we give to her to bury at the end of the day. This is what led me to think it must be MBD. Yesterday, gave her calcium initial dose. She was up this morning, first time since Thursday. She ate a Henry’s block, piece of watermelon covered in calcium and some crape myrtle leaves. Overnighted fox valley formula 20/50 but she won’t take it. Tried different nipples but no change. I don’t want to force it and stress her out. For lunch she got piece of watermelon covered calcium again since she won’t take anything else. then, piece of avocado and little bit of broccoli and 2 ml of water with syringe then left her alone to sleep.

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olly&Gia View Post
    Thank You SamtheSquirrel2018 for your time and answer.
    Excuse my English it’s not very good.
    Gia is a fox squirrel. Initially, when I found her she was about 2 weeks old and the intention was to rehab and release so she was never raised as a pet. She won’t let me handle her therefore, I cannot get her weight. We built a big cage around a pecan tree connected to her room’s window. She has the freedom to be out in the wild or at home. Then, about 4 years ago a neighbor cut down an Arizona ash tree that connected the backyard to the oak trees she enjoyed spending time in. Ever since, she’s been inside and now enjoys time in her backyard cage, she has many pecans trees planted, a tree house and grass. In the morning, she gets Henry’s block then boo balls I make for her using envigo 2018 block, little coconut oil, apple sauce, and some calcium.For lunch, vegetables and later about 3 or 4 pumpkin seeds and fruit. For dinner, some leafy greens then finally treats my husband gives. On Thursday morning, she was visibly sick, in bed, not moving, white fluid in her eye. I thought she must be hurt or dehydrated but she has 2 water dispensers available. I checked her for bites didn’t find any injuries then thought she must be dehydrated so gave her pedyalite diluted with water. So, she must have eaten something that grew in her cage or a bite. Went to clean up her cage, to the surprise finding a stack of Henry’s blocks with many in shell nuts we give to her to bury at the end of the day. This is what led me to think it must be MBD. Yesterday, gave her calcium initial dose. She was up this morning, first time since Thursday. She ate a Henry’s block, piece of watermelon covered in calcium and some crape myrtle leaves. Overnighted fox valley formula 20/50 but she won’t take it. Tried different nipples but no change. I don’t want to force it and stress her out. For lunch she got piece of watermelon covered calcium again since she won’t take anything else. then, piece of avocado and little bit of broccoli and 2 ml of water with syringe then left her alone to sleep.
    Hello again Olly & Gia:
    Thanks for your response. Gia seems to be much loved! It appears that you learned first hand about the possibilities of stashes and certainly those have the potential for interfering with a normally planned diet but with Henry's Block and other foods without preservatives, these stashes can spoil very quickly and the Squirrel can ingest this material and have issues such as diarrhea or worse. Also, with stashes, as you apparently realized, much of what we may have thought was going into the Squirrel actually did not! It is best to check for stashes preemptivly and do so daily.

    All that being said, moving back to the problem at hand; just knowing the Gia is a Fox Squirrel suggests that she is a relatively large Squirrel and should be fed and supplemented as the "average" Squirrel without any modification of what Henry's recommends for the Henry's Blocks and the MBD emergency protocol. Gia may have MBD and I would recommend continuing the treatment. Decreased appetite and decreased activity are major differences in her behavior and definitely consistent with MBD but you have also noticed "white fluid in her eye." (By the way, is is just one eye or both?). I have another concern that is also a relatively common problem with Squirrels and that is a dental problem. As you may have read in other of my posts, white fluid to me suggests pus and when seen coming from the eye region, is often a sign of a dental infection and a draining abscess (pus pocket). Has Gia had any breathing difficulties as often dental problems can eventually impact breathing through the nasal passages that literally pass over the tooth root regions?

    It would be a good idea in light of the fact that you cannot handle Gia; to safe-trap her have Gia examined by a Veterinarian who both Squirrel friendly (someone who will NOT confiscate or euthanize Gia!) and Squirrel or at least rodent experienced! A Vet can utilize light inhaled anesthesia for sedation and examine Gia with among others, focus on her teeth and mouth and also obtain x-ray films. The Vet can also perform a general exam and help rule-out other potential problems such as a pneumonia. There may be a developing odontoma, a dental infection or abscess or a malocclusion (misalignment of the incisors). To help Gia with he eating of the Henry's blocks, you can soften them with a small amount of Baby Food fruit or other tastes that Gia likes and you can adjust the consistency of the Blocks even to a paste that Gia may find more to her liking and if there is some sort of dental issue, a softer food would definitely facilitate it being eaten!

    Do you have any antibiotics available? I would also recommend checking to see what you do have available or can obtain from friends of family, "just in case." Please post this and the strength. Dosing, if antibiotics are eventually utilized is based upon the weight of the Squirrel and it will be at least somewhat inexact without being able to actually weigh Gia.

    I am at work and my time today on TSB will be intermittent and irregular. Others are here however and I will get back with your thread as my schedule permits.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Good Morning SamtheSquirrel,

    We do love her very much and want the best for her. She has a big enclosure with a house built inside. I go once a week to rake and clean up. My husband built her house with all screws and no hinges making it hard to access. She gets inside of it every time I go in to clean up. She never sleeps in it or spends much in there. It is more like a hideout whenever she’s active outside. We live in south Texas so the heat and humidity can be unbearable. She prefers to spend most of the time in her room with air conditioning. I never thought she would hide the blocks in there! From now on, she will have to finish her block before she goes outside.

    There is no more white fluid in her left eye. Last Thursday when I found her sick there was fluid on both but mostly on the left. When I cleaned up her enclosure, noticed teeth marks on a piece of the branch which was very wasted, and a deck-like piece of wood where she likes to lay was also chewed up. I haven’t notice anything unusual about her breathing. It would be good to have a vet look at her but I live in Texas and I'm afraid she will be taken.

    I don’t have any antibiotics available or have any family in the country. I can ask my husband if he can get some. But, not sure if this would be necessary, she’s super active today anxious to go outside (had to lock her pet door so she doesn’t go outside). I gave her Henry's Block first thing in the morning, she ate half and drank water. I will check on her soon to see if she finished and give her more calcium. Thank You again SamtheSquirrel and have a nice day.

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olly&Gia View Post
    Good Morning SamtheSquirrel,

    We do love her very much and want the best for her. She has a big enclosure with a house built inside. I go once a week to rake and clean up. My husband built her house with all screws and no hinges making it hard to access. She gets inside of it every time I go in to clean up. She never sleeps in it or spends much in there. It is more like a hideout whenever she’s active outside. We live in south Texas so the heat and humidity can be unbearable. She prefers to spend most of the time in her room with air conditioning. I never thought she would hide the blocks in there! From now on, she will have to finish her block before she goes outside.

    There is no more white fluid in her left eye. Last Thursday when I found her sick there was fluid on both but mostly on the left. When I cleaned up her enclosure, noticed teeth marks on a piece of the branch which was very wasted, and a deck-like piece of wood where she likes to lay was also chewed up. I haven’t notice anything unusual about her breathing. It would be good to have a vet look at her but I live in Texas and I'm afraid she will be taken.

    I don’t have any antibiotics available or have any family in the country. I can ask my husband if he can get some. But, not sure if this would be necessary, she’s super active today anxious to go outside (had to lock her pet door so she doesn’t go outside). I gave her Henry's Block first thing in the morning, she ate half and drank water. I will check on her soon to see if she finished and give her more calcium. Thank You again SamtheSquirrel and have a nice day.
    It's good to here how concerned and caring y'all are about little Gia and also that Gia appears to be doing much better. A couple of comments if you don't mind.
    1) I would recommend continuing the MBD protocol. This will actually take several months to finally reach the point where no extra calcium is given and only regular maintenance calcium is continued (again, approximately 250mg per day of elemental calcium for maintenance),
    2) if Gia did have MBD as a cause for her changes in behavior, she still has MBD. It extremely common and really expected for a Squirrel to have a remarkable improvement in their behaviors within 1-5 days after beginning treatment but it is very important to know that resolution of the condition (the bones back to normal mineral content. strength and functionality) can take up to a year, give or take! Fractures (broken bones) are much more likely to occur in an animal with MBD or while recovering from MBD than for a "normal" animal!
    3) I would suggest that for at least 3 months, give only Quality Rodent blocks, if at all possible; along with the necessary supplemental Calcium per Henry's treatment protocol. Two, with a maximum of 3 (especially if there seems to be some waste) HHBs would be very good but you will need additional food so that Gia can "feel full!" While 10 Grams (2 HHBs) provides full nutritional support for a Squirrel, this relatively small amount will not easily satisfy hunger. My suggestion would be to get either Envigo 2014 Rodent Block or Mazuri Rat & Mouse Diet Blocks to supplement the HHBs or even transition to one of these gradually once Gia's appetite has returned in full. HHBs are great but they are expensive and they are concentrated and must NEVER be free-fed. The Mazuri or Invigo (also called Harlan-Teklad) Blocks can be free-fed (BUT keep up your regular search for stashes!). By the way, I make my own blocks but I use Envigo 2014 (for mature Squirrels such as Gia) or 2018 (for younger still maturing Squirrels) as a base. I order them from eBay from a seller named EcoSandy. She will sell a relatively small amount as opposed to getting them from Envigo or a feed store as you will need to purchase a huge bag. Here is a link to EcoSandy on eBay where you can check out the options for Envigo Blocks:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/23385020909...814e%7Ciid%3A1

    Please keep us updated on how little Gia is doing!
    Regards,
    SAmtheSquirrel

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    Olly&Gia (05-12-2023)

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Greetings Samthesquirrel,

    First of all thank you so much for time and valuable information to continue Gias recovery.
    She is doing so well, she’s Eating, drinking, alert, active, even playing!
    Today she ate 2 Henry’s blocks. Veggies and 3 small boo balls I make for her adding 600mg calcium carbonate total. I split the 600mg into 3 servings added to the boo balls this way she gets the 250mg elemental daily dose along with Henry’s healthy blocks. I use the envigo 2018 it is what I have available right now but I will be replacing that for the 2014 ones, will order them from EcoSandy.

    She did lose a lot of weight and muscle mass from being sick. But she now has big appetite. What do do you recommend feeding her at the moment for very recovery and bring her weight back up, or would this happened naturally? I’m giving her butternut squash, white mushrooms, cucumber, bok choy, and tiny portions of fruits such as watermelon, banana, blueberry. She’s a picky eating.

    Can you share your booballs recipe? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you so much once again.

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    Default Re: Calcium carbonate dose help for MBD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olly&Gia View Post
    Greetings Samthesquirrel,

    First of all thank you so much for time and valuable information to continue Gias recovery.
    She is doing so well, she’s Eating, drinking, alert, active, even playing!
    Today she ate 2 Henry’s blocks. Veggies and 3 small boo balls I make for her adding 600mg calcium carbonate total. I split the 600mg into 3 servings added to the boo balls this way she gets the 250mg elemental daily dose along with Henry’s healthy blocks. I use the envigo 2018 it is what I have available right now but I will be replacing that for the 2014 ones, will order them from EcoSandy.

    She did lose a lot of weight and muscle mass from being sick. But she now has big appetite. What do do you recommend feeding her at the moment for very recovery and bring her weight back up, or would this happened naturally? I’m giving her butternut squash, white mushrooms, cucumber, bok choy, and tiny portions of fruits such as watermelon, banana, blueberry. She’s a picky eating.

    Can you share your booballs recipe? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you so much once again.
    Hi Olly & Gia:
    I'm glad little Gia is doing well! MBD can result from the obvious, and that is not enough Calcium but it can also result when a Squirrel is provided excessive phosphorus. There are animals who develop MBD that have been fe adequate amounts of calcium but they were also being fed excessive phosphorus which will interfere with the body "processing" the calcium! As I mentioned, I would concentrate Gia's food on two HHB's daily and when those are eaten, offer some of the Envigo Blocks. The 2018 will be fine for Gia until you get the 2014 or you can even continue the 2018. The difference between the two is the amount of protein and relatively elderly Squirrel may very well have some compromise to their kidney function and a little less protein may be advisable. Again, I would just Blocks and the calculated supplemental Calcium for at least 4 week and then if you want, begin some of the Healthy Vegetables as extras as shown on Henry's Food Pyramid:

    https://henryspets.com/healthy-diet-for-pet-squirrels/

    The food at the wide bottom of the pyramid are the Blocks and the items at the tip are treats such as nuts and other treats. I know that you are already giving some vegetables and fruits but please let me encourage you follow the Pyramid and limit "regular" extras to the Healthy Vegetables. Recovery from MBD takes months so a conscientious and calculated diet is essential and really is so even with totally normal Squirrels. Gia is eating the HHBs so two of these is as full nutritional intake for the day. Start with the Henry's Blocks and then provide some Envigo Blocks and a then some of the Healthy vegetables. I don't believe you need to do anything to enhance weight gain and Gia will gradually reach what is going to be her relatively stable adult weight. I will send my recipes to you once a little more time has gone by. You already have a very good system suggested for Gia with that being starting the day with the goal of eating both HHB's, then Envigo Block and some Healthy Vegetable and of course don't forget the supplemental Calcium and begin decreasing it as mentioned in Henry's MBD Treatment Plan. Henry's say every two weeks reduce the Elemental Calcium by 50mg until Gia is only getting 50mg of supplemental Calcium and then after 2 months, stop the supplemental Calcium. With the 3 Squirrels I have treated for MBD I used 3 weeks for each decrease and 3 months with the 50mg supplement before stopping the supplements altogether. In reality, you are also giving extra Calcium with the Envigo Blocks but that should be ok!

    You are doing a great job with Gia! Thanks again for your concern and love for this Little One!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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