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Thread: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

  1. #1
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    Default 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Hello- I have a 3 1/2 year old red squirrel whom I have had since he was 3 weeks old (eyes closed, ears pinned back when found). He always dripped when peeing -never a full stream of urine. However, he seemed to be doing great until mid Jan. As of Jan., he would get bloated after eating and then started to pee blood. Followed a course of clavamox for 14 days, seemed to clear up . During this time, his energy levels never waned and his appetite was great - but the blood in urine returned after 2 weeks off the antibiotic. He is now on a course of Cipro (since last Wed) but his appetite is not there and he sleeps most of the day. I am using a 1 ML syringe and he is getting a bit past 0.1 ml Cipro (500 mg tab watered down with 11 ml water). The blood in urine is gone but for him to not have an appetite and be so sleepy is not the norm! I live in MA and am having a tough time finding someone to see him.
    Up until this point, he was eating 1 1/2 - 2 Henrys blocks, yogurt in am and yogurt in pm (cranberry juice 100 % mixed in as I always felt he had a urinary tract issue and wanted to be sure he didn't run into problems), always fresh veggies (carrots, summer squash, brocolli, cauliflower & avocado occasionally) and a couple pieces of apple and or\blueberry.
    I really hope that someone on this board can view and advise. I feel like I am trying everything but to not have the help to have him seen is frustrating. I feel so sad for my little guy and just want some help for him. Please if anyone has any ideas\suggestions, I would be very appreciative. Thanks

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    It sounds like your doing everything right.
    By any chance are you giving him acorns, not sure if you have them in your neck of the woods at this time of year?
    Only reason I ask is acorns make the urine look red brown like blood. I never give them anymore and it's advised not to.

    That said I'm hoping to bump your thread so others can be off assistance 👍
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    It says youíre in New England. If you want to send me where the area you live in is Iíll see if thereís someone that can help. We have members in Connecticut, Maine. Maryland and NY, as well as some other states close by.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    What is his weight? I would like to check the dosing. If correct, you should be able to discontinue it at this point.

    Also, the loss of appetite and lethargy could be pain induced. From what I don't know. If you can pick up a bottle of infant ibuprophen and with his weight we can dose it for you. If he suddenly improves after a dose or two it gives some more information - something that is likely inflammation related is hurting him...plus he will feel better and start eating and interactng again.

    I am in Maine and don't know of any vets who will see squirrels up here.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    thank you! His weight as of last week was 269. I don't believe it has changed too much since then but can get another weight on him when i pick up some ibuprofen. Hopefully tomorrow (?) I live in MA. He does not eat acorns. I am so appreciative of any help.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Cipro dosing looks good. I will send you the infant ibuprophen dosing by private message. Make sure you get just that - INFANT strength, not childrens, and IBUPROPHEN, not acetaminophen. Don't mess with all the "sugar free, color free" - get the store brand which is normally either cherry or grape flavored and they really like it, which makes things easier.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Cipro dosing looks good. I will send you the infant ibuprophen dosing by private message. Make sure you get just that - INFANT strength, not childrens, and IBUPROPHEN, not acetaminophen. Don't mess with all the "sugar free, color free" - get the store brand which is normally either cherry or grape flavored and they really like it, which makes things easier.
    Thanks so much!

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Did you use a whole 500mg ciprofloxacin with 11ml water? Was the .1 dose once per day or twice?
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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Hello! Thanks so much for reaching out. It's 500 mg tablet watered down with 11 mg water. dosing at once per day. and sorry (!) he gets 1 line over 0.1 ml
    Last edited by Pixiedust; 02-13-2024 at 08:49 AM. Reason: added in the dosing amount

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    oh, and yes, sorry (!) just 1 line over 0.1 ml...

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    my apologies and new to this forum! I am dosing his with 500 mg tab Cipro (cut in half) and then watered down with 11 ml of water...Sorry for any confusion. Today 6 days in...he is actually coming out of his hammock to eat and seems a bit more energetic (!) maybe the cipro is starting to take effect? His belly stills seems swollen and he was wet this morning but I will monitor this. My concern is that this is more bladder\kidney related and not so much of a UTI but maybe the antibiotic helps with this?

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    It says youíre in New England. If you want to send me where the area you live in is Iíll see if thereís someone that can help. We have members in Connecticut, Maine. Maryland and NY, as well as some other states close by.
    Hello-I live in MA. It certainly has been very challenging to find someone (trustworthy) who can see him. I thank you very much if you are able to find someone who might be able to see him.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Hello to everyone who has reached out to help! My little guy seems to be feeling better. He is more energetic and he is back to eating on his own - back to HH rodent chews, yogurt, a couple of pieces of fruit. I have held off on the veggies cause his belly still gets quite swollen\bloat even with the little bit that he is eating. The Cipro (7 day course) seems to have helped to clear up the UTI (no blood in urine) but the bloat is concerning. He continues to dribble (has always dribbled since a baby-there has never been a steady stream of urine). I continue to mix a bit of 100% cranberry juice in with his yogurt cause I think this can't hurt (?) If anyone has any suggestions as to what might be the cause of this bloat, I would really appreciate it. As previously mentioned, he went through a course of antibiotics (Clavamox) for 14 days and after a brief time of recovery-the symptoms were back and were worse. I should also mention that this could be due to residual nerve injury as he does not use his tail and has never used his tail. He is unable to lift this over his head and wonder if this relates to a bladder problem? I continue to search for a vet locally or close enough by who is willing to see him but until I find someone, I really would appreciate any advice or feedback Thanks and sorry for being so long winded!

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Have you ever expressed his urine manually? This may be the answer to the problem.

    There are youtube videos showing how to do this on a variety of animals. Be very gentle. He may simply be incapable of thoroughly emptying his bladder - it is even possible that he doesn't even have a sense of needing to urinate. He may need you to help him with that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Cf0CwuDvlM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utgeGFod8r4

    Both very reputable people here - the second video is from an long time ago member here at TSB.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    Hi! Thanks and yes, I express his bladder 2x's sometimes 3 (when I am home and on the weekends). On days when I am at work-it's twice but it almost seems as though his stomach swells up so quickly and his urine seems endless. I am always amazed at how much urine he is able to store. It does seem as though it helps. The fact that his stomach sometimes feels so hard-is that because he is so filled with urine? I have wondered if it is a urine or gas problem? It almost seems that the two go together. Gas drops seem to help him a bit and once he starts to poop, the urine seems to flow a bit easier.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    They do pee quite a bit. I would express him any time you think of it.

    Has he always had this issue with bloating up after eating or is this new? Does it correlate with a new food, or something else that has changed in his diet? Is he constipated?

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    The bloating is newer, I am going to say that I noticed this probably end of November. This is when I started to notice he was straining to pee. I actually wasn't sure what he was doing at first...because he always dribbled-it took a couple of days for me to realize that he wasn't dribbling any more. So that's when the straining started and the bloating. Warm water soaks would help but then the red tinged pee started (Jan) and I knew it was a bigger problem. Thats when we started 1st treatment with Antibiotics for UTI. He seems better today and the belly seems better but do they swell so much if their bladders are no longer working properly ? Should I watch how much food\fluid he is getting so he doesn't over fill? Is there anything that can be done to correct this issue?

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    No, I don't think that would be a good idea - he needs food and water and if there are kidney issues, the water part is important.

    I don't know what is wrong here and the only way I can think of to try to figure it out, especially not being able to see him, is to pepper you with a million questions and see if anything you say produces an "a ha" moment for me. I will have more I am sure.

    I don't know if there is a correlation between the bloating and the fluid retention given that things like simethicone and warm water baths have helped relieve it in the past - that is gas bloat. I wonder if there are two different problems going on here. U wish you could get him in to a vet.

    Please keep us posted on his condition - he has been improving some and it would be instructive to see if that continues.

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    I appreciate so much your help and don't mind answering any\all questions if this can help us to get to the bottom of this! Again this morning, upon waking - he was very bloated (stomach was firm\very round) ....but the pee was dribbling out and in fact so much that he wet himself (again). The poop comes out but the belly rubs and gas x seems to help expedite both pee and poop. When it seems like I can't get a drop of pee and he seems to be so bloated and firm\the warm soaks seem to help (these instances are not as often - thankfully!) I feel that the soaks help when his stomach feels that firm and I don't want to add any additional pressure to his belly\bladder area. I would imagine that would be painful for him. The soaks seem to be a bit more gentle but he hates them! These "wetting" occurrences are becoming more frequent. Its probably better that the pee is coming out rather than staying in though.
    Incidentally, this used to happen when he was just a baby. He was always wet. I would give him routine baths, and then desitin to prevent diaper rash. He had a bout of metabolic bone disease at approx 5 mos. but then I learned about the HH blocks (and supplemented him with the calcium) No MBD ever since. The calcium was only used to treat the MBD and he was on this for awhile but weaned off . The blocks also helped with hair growth in the stomach area which up until this point was so difficult (not sure if his being wet all the time had something to do with it or if it was more of a nutritional thing?) but once he was on the HH blocks, the wetting stopped but he still continued to drip (always a drip).

    I was not expressing his bladder until November when he started to have the straining\bloat issues. I had no idea that the dribbling was an "issue". He seemed, happy, energetic, playful but feel horrible if this situation was caused by me not doing this way back when....
    Again, I can't thank you (and everyone who has responded to my messages) enough!

    I may have found a vet willing to see him and hope to get him in next week. No weekend hours unfortunately but might be getting closer so this is a good thing!

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    Default Re: 3 1/2 year old squirrel \ ? UTI or something else

    That is just fantastic news.

    Make sure they are completely clear about the physical issues you know he has from a baby. I would hope they are going to do some imaging.

    These are some things I have been thinking about - this is all blue sky obviously, me not being a vet, and never having seen the little guy, but they might be things you want to bring up to the vet.

    First, I would want to know he doesn't have any stones. As I know from being a graduate of the University of Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet, the teeny stones, the ones like sand grains, can be the worst because they can get down into and block the opening of the urethra through which they pee. The accumulated urine could cause the swelling you see in the abdomen. If that is the problem, you may be dislodging them every time you express the bladder at this point. That is good.

    But again, that doesn't account for the fact that things that assist gas problems - like warm soaks, tummy rubs and simethicone are having a positive effect on the bloating issue, which would make it unrelated to the urine problem. Are there two completely independent problems with this guy?

    And by the way, I don't think you did ANYTHING to cause this. I think it is ALL related to nerve damage from whatever injury he sustained as a wee one before you got him.

    Regardless, x-rays will answer all of that. The other thing I might look at RE: the issues with his poop and gas is something called megacolon. I do know it can happen to squirrels. Some of what is happening sounds a little like that.

    Again, I might be a little right, totally wrong, who knows. I haven't seen anything quite like this and have been on the board forever...

    So I would feed him as much as you can get him to eat, make sure he stays well hydrated, express his bladder with whatever frequency you are able until vet day.

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