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Thread: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

  1. #1
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    Default Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    My wife found a tiny baby flying squirrel the first week of September in the grass and we’ve been raising it ever since. He only weighs 23oz still and we’ve been feeding him the special squirrel formula, fruits, vegetables and added supplements. We’re not sure if he suffered an injury when we found him, if he’s developmentally stunted and was pushed out, or if we’re doing something wrong. We’ve had to trim his teeth several times because they were so long, but other than that he seems good and happy. He runs/hops around his cage, is very friendly and loves to be handled, but he doesn’t seem to be growing to an adult size. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    He’s not 23oz, he’s 23 grams lol!!

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Just off the top of my head, this kid is a minimum of 120-150 days old. He needs to get on solid food. Vegetables are OK, fruit in small amounts. It is time to wean off of the formula. A couple of suggestions:

    1. Solid squirrel-appropriate block. Henry's Health Pets carries them, and they carry the whey protein and vitamin packs that you need to make your own if you are so inclined. It is essential to get your kid on these blocks now - the formula provided the appropriate nutrition for an infant, but is insufficient for a teen/adult squirrel - flyer or otherwise.

    2. Your squirrel needs things to chew on to keep his teeth at the right size. Apple branches are a big hit around here.

    3. While shelled nuts are really only for treats (rare treats) tree nuts in the shell (Hazelnuts and Almonds are great for little guys) are excellent for chewing and keeping the teeth healthy and the right length.

    Your little guy is very hungry, and he needs good solids to be really happy and healthy. Imagine dreaming of a giant cheeseburger with fried onions and only ever getting carrots and milk. He will undoubtedly gain considerable weight with a solids diet. Here is a recipe for making your own block. If you can find Teklad 2018 (or 2014 if 2018 is not available) rodent food at your pet store or agricultural supply store (think Tractor Supply or Farm and Fleet) while you're waiting for Henry's materials to arrive, your little guy will be a very, very happy camper.

    Squirrel Block Recipe
    Squirrel Refuge Version

    Preheat oven to 205 degrees Fahrenheit
    Prep time 25 Minutes, Bake time 90 Minutes

    Ingredients:
    · 3 cups nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, filberts, or a mix of these. Mixing Pecans and Walnuts with one of the other nuts ensures balanced Vitamin E.)
    · 150 grams or 1/3 bag Henry’s Healthy Protein powder
    · 3 Large Eggs
    · 2/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    · 2 tsp Vanilla
    · 2 tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
    · 1 to 2 Tbs water
    · 33 grams or 1/3 bag Henry’s Vita-mins

    Required Recipe Tools
    · Grinder or food processor to finely grind nuts
    · Electric Mixer (standing mixer works great with the bread hook)
    · Gram scale and or measuring cup
    · Rolling Pin
    · Plastic sheet or pastry cloth (preferred) or oiled surface
    · Parchment paper (preferred) or lightly greased cooking sheet
    · Pizza cutter (preferred) or sharp knife

    Preparation
    1. In bowl number 1, measure out whey protein and set aside.
    2. In bowl number 2, break open the three eggs and add vanilla.
    3. In bowl number 3, add the baking powder and Vita-mins.
    4. Grind the nuts as finely as possible (without turning into nut butter).
    5. In bowl number 4, add whole wheat flour and ground nuts.

    Mixing
    5. Place the contents of bowl number 2 into the mixer and mix on medium-high speed until eggs and vanilla are thoroughly combined.
    6. Add the contents of bowl number 3 into the mixer.
    7. Mix medium-high speed, scraping the sides as needed, until smooth.
    Note: the baking powder will begin to bubble when added to the wet ingredients and tend to clot until fully combined.
    8. Add the contents of bowl number 1 to the mixer and mix on medium speed until mixed well and fairly smooth. Mixture should be sticky.
    9. Slowly add the contents of bowl number 4 to the mixer, mix on low speed, scraping the sides. The mixture will be dry. If too dry, add a small amount of water.

    Rolling
    10. Roll out dough to 1/3” to 1/2” inch thick and shape into rectangle with your hands. The dough is very thick and somewhat stiff. You did it right if the dough is difficult to roll and shape!
    11. Place the dough on parchment paper or lightly greased baking sheet. Tip: Roll it out on a plastic sheet so it easily transfers to the baking sheet.

    Baking
    12. Bake in oven at 205 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. The low baking temperature helps keep the vitamin and mineral chemical structure intact making a healthier block.
    13. When done, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
    14. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut lengthwise 1/2 to 3/4 in apart.
    15. After making all lengthwise cuts, turn and cut crosswise until small cubes are formed.
    16. After cutting, let cool for two hours.
    17. Place on a paper towel to help absorb additional nut oils, if desired.
    Storage
    18. Once completely cool, place block in bag or closed container in the refrigerator (lasts for two to three weeks) or the freezer for longer storage.

    It is good that you have asked. Thank you for caring about your little guy.

    Jamie

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by wcotyjr View Post
    He’s not 23oz, he’s 23 grams lol!!
    HaHa! At 23oz he'd need an airplane to fly!
    StS

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    The issue is, he doesn’t eat solids. We have fruits, veggies and have tried worms also, but he doesn’t seem to eat them or be able to eat them. He doesn’t make any sound either, other than little squeaks when we try to get sticky off him. He does drink water and the formula we leave in his cage for him, but I know he’s supposed to be bigger!
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Can you take more pics of him with his fur dry?

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Could this be a dwarf flyer?

    How does he act in general? Is he able to run around the cage? Flyers are quite fast…is he fast?

    What formula did you feed him when you got him? Will he take formula now?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    OK, lots of possibilities here. We need to share more specific information in order to narrow things down. Dwarfism is a certainly a possibility. It is a thyroid condition, and first zeroing in on nutrition may give us more "bang for our buck" on a diagnosis. It will also help confirm or rule out thyroid concerns if the nutrition route doesn't get your little guy where he needs to be.

    So, please help us.
    • What is the exact name of the formula you have been using?
      • At this point in his life, and given his weight, if formula is all he will take now, please use Fox Valley 20/50. Supplement that with Fox Valley Ultra Boost, which is formulated for weight gain. If you don't have access to Ultra Boost, Add small amounts of full-fat yogurt and whipping cream to the 20/50, and gradually ramp up the yogurt and whipping cream in subsequent feedings. It is essential that your squirrel transitions to solid food. The Henry's Healthy Blocks (try "Picky Blocks") are your very best bet for getting your squirrel to make this transition. Just as with the yogurt and whipping cream, go slow with the block. A little to start, and ramp it up at each subsequent feeding. Once he gets going on those, he'll eat like a 17-year old child after football practice.

    • You mentioned trimming his teeth. How was this trimming carried out? Is there any sign of chipped teeth or exposed nerves?
      • If the trimming caused any issues, a little children's Ibuprofen will help a lot. Slip it into his formula. Get his weight to us and we will PM you the correct dosage. Generic is fine, but be careful to not use a different type of pain reliever. You shouldn't have to trim - solid foods and things to chew on (branches, a sparing amount of Hazelnuts and Almonds in the shell, a cuttle bone from the pet store, etc.) should be all he needs to keep his teeth in top shape.

    • It will be enormously helpful to have current pictures of your squirrel. He needs to be dry and look as he normally does. I'd like to see his eyes and the teeth that have been trimmed. Again, please be specific with all the information you share with us. We want your squirrel to be well, and for you to no longer be worried. We look forward to hearing from you. By the way, of all the dozens of flyers I've cared for, the only time I've heard much out of them is when they alert for nearby danger and when they're annoyed. It is not abnormal for your squirrel to be mostly silent.


    Jamie

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Can you take more pics of him with his fur dry?
    Those are pics with dry fur lol! He had lost almost all of the hair on his head last month, but it has since grown back.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Looking forward to your answers so we can help!

    Can we start with a weight so we can give you information on Ibuprofen dosing?

    Jamie

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    So let's start here. There is something wrong with your baby and we would like to help. He appears to either be suffering from some sort of metabolic issue, or he appears to be malnourished. We can't do much for metabolic so lets work on what CAN be fixed.

    First, WHICH formula have you been feeding him? Brand name, pic of container, whatever. Not all baby animal formulas are the right ones, and baby flyers have their own needs.

    I would forget his calendar age just right now. Get a 1cc syringe or 3 and some nipples for it, and begin hand feeding him with the correct formula like he is a bitty baby. We need to know what you are using in order to make changes if needed.

    A pic of him sitting on something rather than being held clutched in your hand would be great. Taking that pic with a ruler or tape measure next to him would be wonderful so we can gauge his actual size.

    This is pretty much a "hair on fire" situation. You have a bunch of people here who REALLY want to help you figure this out. But since we can't see what he is doing and how he looks, we need your input to guide us so we can.

    WHAT FORMULA??

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  14. #12
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    I sent you a Private Message

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by TomahawkFlyers View Post
    Looking forward to your answers so we can help!

    Can we start with a weight so we can give you information on Ibuprofen dosing?

    Jamie
    Ok, here it goes:

    We’ve been feeding him Esbilac Goats milk formula that was recommended on another squirrel page since we found him, starting with a syringe and now we leave it in a small dish in his cage. He drinks the formula no problem and also some water. He will eat fruits and veggies if they are very soft, but he won’t eat anything hard at all. We put squirrels calcium on the food and in the formula. We’ve had sticks, nuts in the shell, a chewing block, seeds and he has no interest in them at all. Tonight he weighs 25g.

    He is very playful and will run/hop around his cage, but spends most of the time sleeping under a little towel. We have a heating pad under him that stays on for warmth, which is covered with something so his nails don’t get caught. He will run right to the door in the cage to get picked up and loves running around on our couch. He won’t even pee in your hand if we’re holding him.

    We trimmed his teeth with nail clippers as directed on an other forum, because the bottom teeth were cutting into the top of his mouth and the top teeth into the bottom. I’m sure they are cut shorter than people here would like, but we did what we thought was right before we found this forum. I tried to get a picture of his teeth tonight but he wasn’t cooperating lol.
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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Thank you for posting some more pictures. The teeth issue and not gaining weight is very concerning. If his teeth are mallocluded they may always need trimmed as they may never line up to be worn down normally. The problem with this is that unless you know what you’re doing they can be cut too short where they still don’t line up correctly for him to be able to eat correctly. Also cutting incorrectly can result in the teeth splintering which can cause another issue altogether.

    The lack of weight gain might be attributed to the formula you’re feeding as it’s not an ideal formula for this little guy. He could also be a dwarf squirrel. I’ve had a couple of dwarf gray squirrels and it’s a condition called achondroplasia. It entails a whole host of medical issues that these guys can have. It affects their fur, their gastrointestinal tract, their heart and their thyroid…..and sadly their lifespan.

    My little guy required feeding by syringe his entire life because he never consumed enough food on his own. I had to mix up ground rodent block with baby food and formula so that he would get the proper nutrition. He suffered from megacolon and was on two prescription medicines to keep his upper and lower GI tract moving.

    There is a trusted TSB member who is a rehabber and is very close to you. Her facility is called Acorn Acres. I think your little guys best chance is for you to reach out to her and have her take him. She has experience with dwarf squirrels and flying squirrels which is what this little guy needs.

    Please give her a call.

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Hi Wcotyjr
    Thanks for finding The Squirrel Board and thank you for your concern and care for this little Squirrel.

    I am in complete agreement with Mel and that is that I believe this tiny Flyer should be thoroughly evaluated and treated as appropriate and needed at a facility that is Squirrel Friendly and Squirrel experienced! Acorn Acres is ideal! All of us on TSB know the individual who runs Acorn Acres and she is not just an extremely competent and experienced Squirrel Rehabber; she possesses all the equipment and supplies necessary to perform an assessment and then provide for nutrition, fluids, temperature regulation and comfort for your Squirrel and this can begin the second your Squirrel arrives there! I know that you love this Little One but I believe from what I have seen and read that your Flyer needs the expertise that only a specialized Squirrel Rehabber can offer. Not even a Vet can offer the care that will be provided at Acorn Acres! Please permit your little Flyer to benefit from all that Acorn Acres has available and arrange transfer immediately!
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    First, we all believe that you have done what you have believed to be in the best interest of this flyer. We are grateful for your efforts!

    Caring for flyers is different from caring for ground squirrels. When it comes to flying squirrels with special needs, care is even more specialized and difficult for all but the most experienced people. Having seen the latest pictures and taken in your latest information, (thank you for that, by the way,) I am in complete agreement with MEL and StS. Your squirrel needs the help of a highly experienced rehabber. There is none better that the woman who has been recommended to you.

    Now, as painful as it is to say so, your baby squirrel will likely soon die without proper care. He needs, in the worst way, care that you cannot give him. This is not your fault - it is purely the nature of the situation. The terribly difficult choice is before you: Keep him with you for the next few days/weeks until he passes (he is suffering now - the jumping around is built in to them to hide weakness from predators' eyes); or, get him to Acorn Acres where - if he has any chance at all - he will be brought to full health and live a long, happy, flyer life.

    You took him in. You are clearly kind people. I pray that you choose to give this baby squirrel the amazingly selfless gift of a chance at life at Acorn Acres.

    We're with you,

    Jamie

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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    I spoke to the wife of the OP. They are planning on bringing her to Acorn Acres Friday evening, which is the first time our schedules worked.
    Thank you #teamTSB 😊

    Top-quality custom cage gear, accessories, blankets, & toys.
    Boutique items are fun, unique, and anything but ordinary.

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    Default Going to Acorn Acres Friday

    This is Wcotyjr spouse and the one who found the baby flyer. I have spoken to Betsy at Acorn Acres and we will be taking her there Friday evening. I am very happy to find there is a rehabber closeby and how to get in touch. All my efforts to find someone early on were dead ends and no vet call backs when I left a messages. This flying squirrel wants to live obviously if she has made it this far on what we have been doing, but it is time for her to go where someone knows what is needed. After speaking with Betsy, I trust she will be in good hands.

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    This is really an excellent outcome. I know Betsy and Acorn Acres well, and your baby could not be in a better place!
    Island Rehabber
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    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

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    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

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    Default Re: Baby Flying Squirrel Help!

    Oh, I am so glad you made the decision. It is a hard one to make - baby fliers may be the cutest things in the world and once you look into their eyes the thought of giving that up seems impossible. You, however, are doing the right thing even though it is hard. They are not easy to raise to begin with and I believe the cosmos handed you one with some problems that are going to make it even harder. It is like going from preschool directly into medical school with no preparations in between.

    Thank you for doing this right, no matter how hard it is.

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