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Thread: Possible Aspiration

  1. #1
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    Default Possible Aspiration

    Iím worried that the baby Iíve been caring for just aspirated. I always use either a 1 or 3 ml syringe (3 only if I have to; and still drop by drop). I was using a new syringe that is apparently much more sensitive than the others- I think it got stopped up and the tiny bit of pressure I was applying was enough to make formula shoot out. She kind of sputtered for a second but continued eating, so I thought we were okay. However, when she was finished I noticed a couple tiny bubbles below her nose, at which point I did my best to remedy the situation (tipping, rocking, etc). While I know itís also possible for an episode like this to NOT lead to pneumonia, is the likelihood of her developing it greater? And how long will it take to see symptoms, if that is the case?

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by megs View Post
    Iím worried that the baby Iíve been caring for just aspirated. I always use either a 1 or 3 ml syringe (3 only if I have to; and still drop by drop). I was using a new syringe that is apparently much more sensitive than the others- I think it got stopped up and the tiny bit of pressure I was applying was enough to make formula shoot out. She kind of sputtered for a second but continued eating, so I thought we were okay. However, when she was finished I noticed a couple tiny bubbles below her nose, at which point I did my best to remedy the situation (tipping, rocking, etc). While I know itís also possible for an episode like this to NOT lead to pneumonia, is the likelihood of her developing it greater? And how long will it take to see symptoms, if that is the case?
    Hello Megs:
    Thanks for your care of this Baby Squirrel! Are you experienced with raising Squirrels or are you new to this. Just for the record, please let me post a link to Henry's Pets Webisite where they have an excellent 6 page Guide for Squirrel Care that covers most everything needed:
    ( https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/ ).

    How old is your Squirrel? Is he pinky? Are his eyes open? I would recommend using no larger than a 1cc syringe for feeding of a young Squirrel and really, for feeding even the older ones! It is a safety measure! The smaller the syringe, the less formula that will be expelled if an incident such as what has occurred, happens again and the smaller the syringe, the less formula there will be that is aspirated if an aspiration event should occur.

    It certainly does appear as if your Squirrel has aspirated and IF aspiration pneumonia develops, it is potentially extremely serious and I would urge you to begin right now to try to find antibiotics that you may have available or that friends or family may have available. Good choices are Amoxicillin plus Clavulanate, Cipro (human use) or Baytril (veterinary use), Bactrim (SMZ-TMP) or anything else you can find. Please post the antibiotics and their strengths as you find some. For potential dosing, it is essential to have a recent and accurate weight of your Squirrel preferably in Grams.

    The development of an aspiration pneumonia (A/P) from formula occurs when oral or pharyngeal (from the throat) bacteria get washed into the lungs and set up an infection. I do not want to make light of this occurrence and that is one reason why I am suggesting that you look for antibiotics immediately BUT, aspirations of formula are relatively common and the majority of these aspirations fortunately do not lead to the development of an A/P! Usually, all that happens is that the Squirrel will gasp and choke for a short while and then go back to eating or playing and just acting normal!

    Some of the common signs of development of a pneumonia are lethargy and decrease activity, decreased or loss of appetite and breathing difficulties. If you have a stethoscope or hold your Squirrel's chest up to your ear, you can sometimes hear a clicking that sound a lot like the noise you might hear if you rubbed several of your hairs together in your fingertips. This medical term for this sound is "crackles" and the older term is "rales."

    Since an A/P is so potentially devastating, it may be worth getting your Squirrel started on antibiotics now and then reassess her status several times each and if things seem like they are going well and she is behaving and sounding normal, you can stop the antibiotics in 3 days or maybe less.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    Thank you so much for the response, that makes me feel so much better. Iím completely new- I live in WV and had no luck finding any help with her. Sheís almost 5 weeks old but has not opened her eyes yet (Iím saying 5 weeks because thatís how long Iíve had her- and she looked like she was newly born when I came across her). However, I donít think she looks like other 5 week olds that I see posted here- she looks pretty small for her age. I have definitely learned my lesson and will stock up on 1 mm syringes! I had quite a few 3 mm on hand that Iíd saved from my sonís medicine over the last year. I started using them once she began eating more, thinking that she could handle it. Iíll look for antibiotic later this morning and post it I have any luck- Iím sure I have something. Again, thank you so much for your help! This site has been so incredibly helpful.

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    To clarify, if she does not develop symptoms within those 3 days should I assume that she is okay? Itís been about 10 hours since the incident and so far I havenít noticed anything out of the ordinary. No strange noises, breathing normally, no lethargy. Iím trying to figure out how long I should continue to really monitor her for symptoms.

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    Quote Originally Posted by megs View Post
    To clarify, if she does not develop symptoms within those 3 days should I assume that she is okay? Itís been about 10 hours since the incident and so far I havenít noticed anything out of the ordinary. No strange noises, breathing normally, no lethargy. Iím trying to figure out how long I should continue to really monitor her for symptoms.
    Hello again Megs:
    I will be working today and will try to monitor your thread. Other will be available to help as well!
    There is no definitive time frame that would actually comprise the "window" for development of Aspiration Pneumonia but aspirating what seems like a relatively small amount of formula; 3 days would probably be in "the ball park." One of the greatest risks and a close to worse case scenario is regurgitation of stomach contents which is ordinarily very acidic and then having this "pick up" oral and pharyngeal bacteria and washing this whole mess into the lungs. This commonly sets up an intense inflammatory reaction called aspiration pneumonitis and this can damage the cellular structure of the lungs and breathing tubes. An aspiration pneumonia can follow this. Usually symptoms of an aspiration pneumonitis develop very quickly. This is not a factor with your Squirrel and IMHO, the risk of developing an A/P may not be high but as the condition, if it develops can be very serious, it may be best to give antibiotics for 3 days or some defined time-frame (maybe 3-5 days) and keep reassessing the Squirrel's condition.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    Thank you so much, I was home most of the day and able to check on her a ridiculous number of times. So far so good- nothing out of the ordinary. Hopefully that continues, but I do have a few people searching for an antibiotic that will work better than what I have (I only have plain amoxicillin, which I saw is not recommended). Thank you again for all of your help!

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    Default Re: Possible Aspiration

    This is very scary, so I know your worry.

    This was my single biggest worry with my rescue. I ordered Baytril to have on hand just in case something like this came up.

    Search for Enrofloxacin 10% Liquid

    Another member posted this as a low cost source;
    https://www.springwateravian.farm/pr...xacin-10-50ml/

    Having it on hand alleviates a lot of anxiety IMO!

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