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Thread: Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

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    Default Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

    I have had this 4 week old squirrel for 4 days. When I originally got her she was extremely dehydrated and ice cold. I warmed her up and rehydrated her with pedialyte. She bounced back and was very energetic and super excited to eat. She is eating puppy formula every 3 hours according to her weight. Today she crawled underneath her blankets and was sitting directly on the plastic above her heating pad. (It was only on 1/3 of the underside of her container). The last time I had checked on her was 40 minutes before I found her like this. She was sweating, breathing extremely fast, and extremely lethargic. If she wouldn’t have been breathing I would have thought she had passed. I cooled her down with my AC unit as quickly as possible. Once she was chilled I gave her approximately 2-4ml of apple juice. (I was in such a panic I can’t remember exactly). She started to perk up and start moving around in the following hour. I have also given her 3ml of pedialyte of the course of an hour. It has been 5 hours since this incident and she is still moving but noticeable less energetic than she has been. I’m concerned about long term organ damage. Is there anything I can do? I do not have access to a wild rehabilitator in my area (I have called many and none can take her). She also seems to be constipated and slightly bloated. Probably due to the dehydration. I have not given formula since the incident.

    Things I’ve tried:
    -Massaging her abdomen in warm water to try to get her to deficate. (Unsuccessful)
    -Stimulating for more than 2 minutes multiple times. (Only urinated)
    -Pedialyte
    -apple juice
    -making the heating pad area smaller and adding a thermometer.
    - her cool side is 89į Fahrenheit, warm side is 95įF. (Please let me know if this is too high or too cold)

    Any and all help is appreciated!!! Thank you!

    P.S. I am new to this and have no help. I have been researching squirrel care for days trying to find everything I can. This is my last resort.
    Last edited by Squirrelllover; 03-12-2024 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Misspelling

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelllover View Post
    I have had this 4 week old squirrel for 4 days. When I originally got her she was extremely dehydrated and ice cold. I warmed her up and rehydrated her with pedialyte. She bounced back and was very energetic and super excited to eat. She is eating puppy formula every 3 hours according to her weight. Today she crawled underneath her blankets and was sitting directly on the plastic above her heating pad. (It was only on 1/3 of the underside of her container). The last time I had checked on her was 40 minutes before I found her like this. She was sweating, breathing extremely fast, and extremely lethargic. If she wouldnít have been breathing I would have thought she had passed. I cooled her down with my AC unit as quickly as possible. Once she was chilled I gave her approximately 2-4ml of apple juice. (I was in such a panic I canít remember exactly). She started to perk up and start moving around in the following hour. I have also given her 3ml of pedialyte of the course of an hour. It has been 5 hours since this incident and she is still moving but noticeable less energetic than she has been. Iím concerned about long term organ damage. Is there anything I can do? I do not have access to a wild rehabilitator in my area (I have called many and none can take her). She also seems to be constipated and slightly bloated. Probably due to the dehydration. I have not given formula since the incident.

    Things Iíve tried:
    -Massaging her abdomen in warm water to try to get her to deficate. (Unsuccessful)
    -Stimulating for more than 2 minutes multiple times. (Only urinated)
    -Pedialyte
    -apple juice
    -making the heating pad area smaller and adding a thermometer.
    - her cool side is 89į Fahrenheit, warm side is 95įF. (Please let me know if this is too high or too cold)

    Any and all help is appreciated!!! Thank you!

    P.S. I am new to this and have no help. I have been researching squirrel care for days trying to find everything I can. This is my last resort.
    Hi Squirrelllover and thank you for finding The Squirrel Board! What is your Squirrel's name? By the way, urination is a very good sign! She does not need to defecate right away but the fact that she is making urine is truly a very good sign! I am sorry for what has happened to your little Squirrel. Heat Stroke is on a continuum of heat related injuries. I do NOT believe that your little Squirrel has what most clinicians would term heat stroke although she obviously has a heat related condition. With what many call heat stroke, there is an associated inability to regulate temperature and the core temperature climbs. It appears that your Squirrel does not have this going on! I suspect that your is dehydrated and I would recommend STOPPING the Pedialyte IMMEDIATELY as this has a high level of electrolytes such as sodium and chloride and your Squirrel didn't loose much in the way of electrolytes, she lost mostly what is called physiologically; Free Water. This is essentially plain water and that is what I would recommend using to rehydrate her. Warm a cup of plain (preferably bottled water but tap water will do fine) water to approximately 104 degrees (let's say 100-105 degrees) and gently stir it to ensure that it is the same temperature throughout and then add 1 teaspoonful of syrup or molasses for some sweetening if necessary but you can try it without sweetener first as the sooner you get your Squirrel rehydrated, the better her chances for survival! You should use a 1cc syringe (NOT a baby bottle). You can also put the cool water in the syringe and place it in a cup of warm water and the heat will carry through the syringe and heat the water within. Since you can very effectively control the temperature of the cup of water, I would recommend just heating it as mentioned and pull up the warm water (104 degrees or 100-105 for a range) into the syringe. Hold the Squirrel upright (never on her back!) and put the tip of the syringe gently into the baby's mouth pointed toward the roof of the mouth and squeeze the water in drop by drop. The baby will normally try to suck this and if she is doing some reasonable sucking at the syringe you can release more than one drop if this is being sucked in but still do it second by second instead of drop by drop because you still want to control the flow rate so your Squirrel does not aspirate (get the fluid in the lungs. Aspiration must be avoided! I pasted a link to Henry's Baby Squirrel Care Guide and you can quickly read page 2 before you you begin the water rehydration. It a very quick read and will help solidify what I have written to you! For this first feeding (and remember to go slowly), your Squirrel can have as much of the warm, sweetened water as she wants! Please start the plain, warm, sweetened water NOW!

    Beyond this, especially when feeding formula, the amount to be given with each feeding in one day is based upon the morning weight of the Squirrel in grams and you give 5-7% of the weight of the Squirrel in grams as milliliter of formula (example: 100 gram Squirrel would ger 5-7 milliliters of formula with each feeding that day).

    Here are links to some Squirrel Board Feeding guides as to amounts and frequency of feedings:

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...7&d=1683845752

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...6&d=1683845745


    Please weigh your Squirrel on a digital scale and post the weight. Are your Squirrel's eyes open? If so, she is at least 5 week old and she should be with some fur and getting to where she will be able to regulate her own internal body temperature BUT she will still need to be kept warm! Also, please post what you are using for Puppy milk. Ideally for a baby that age should should have transitioned to a formula such as Fox Valley 20/50. A good and readily available formula is Esbilac POWDERED (do NOT use the liquid) Puppy Milk. I have pasted links below to Henry's Website's Baby Squirrel Care. Please give the first dose of the warm sweetened water before you take the time to read what's at the links but this is very important, essential information and should be read ASAP. There are 6 pages, only the first 3 need be read now;

    https://henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

    Please keep us updated on your little Squirrel and how you are doing with his care! Thank you your love of this Little One!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

    Also while i didn't mention this in my initial post because I had made a possibly incorrect assumption; what is the temperature of the heating pad you are using. Ordinarily this should be on the lowest setting and even if the Squirrel should be over the the bare plastic that overlies the heating pad, the baby will not be burned! Is there any evidence of burns to the skin of your Squirrel. Also, when you state "her cool side is 89į Fahrenheit, warm side is 95įF," are you talking about your Squirrel's temperature and the noticing that this is different between her sides? Do you still have the heating pad in use? This or a similar device will still be necessary until your Squirrel is of the age where she is capable of consistently maintaining her own thermoregulation. Please post some photos of your Squirrel.
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

    Thank you for your reply!
    Her name is baby Bella

    It is the next morning and she has bounced back incredibly. She is no longer dehydrated and she seems to have no deficits. She has pooped 4 times since 10pm eastern time.

    And regards to her holding container. I have an acrylic terrarium approximately 12inches by 12inches on the bottom and roughly 15 inches tall.
    I have the heating pad (non auto shut off) on low underneath her container. I have a cloth covering the entire bottom of the cage. And I have some other cloths folded into little squares in different areas of the cage so she can move to whichever heat setting she prefers. (Seems to work really well). And I have some other cloths on top of her lightly. Also as stated before only 1/3 of the bottom of the cage has the heating pad under it.

    Referring back to temperature. I have a reptile thermometer laying on the bottom of the hot side of her cage so that way I can make sure itís not too hot.

    I tried to look for what temperature (besides high and low) to keep her environment but I couldnít find anything. I want to make sure her cage parameters are correct. And as for measuring her temperature. I canít do a rectal temperature. (Havenít tried but she is just too small) and I donít believe an oral temperature would be accurate on her. So how do you recommend I take her temperature?

    Squirrel age: she is 4 weeks old she started her first bottom tooth teething process. She did fine. And her eyes have yet to open.

    Thank you for all the information. I want to make sure this little baby Bella lives and thrives.

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Squirrelllover from:

    MyBushyTail (03-13-2024)

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    Default Re: Heat stroke in 4 week old grey squirrel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelllover View Post
    Thank you for your reply!
    Her name is baby Bella

    It is the next morning and she has bounced back incredibly. She is no longer dehydrated and she seems to have no deficits. She has pooped 4 times since 10pm eastern time.

    And regards to her holding container. I have an acrylic terrarium approximately 12inches by 12inches on the bottom and roughly 15 inches tall.
    I have the heating pad (non auto shut off) on low underneath her container. I have a cloth covering the entire bottom of the cage. And I have some other cloths folded into little squares in different areas of the cage so she can move to whichever heat setting she prefers. (Seems to work really well). And I have some other cloths on top of her lightly. Also as stated before only 1/3 of the bottom of the cage has the heating pad under it.

    Referring back to temperature. I have a reptile thermometer laying on the bottom of the hot side of her cage so that way I can make sure itís not too hot.

    I tried to look for what temperature (besides high and low) to keep her environment but I couldnít find anything. I want to make sure her cage parameters are correct. And as for measuring her temperature. I canít do a rectal temperature. (Havenít tried but she is just too small) and I donít believe an oral temperature would be accurate on her. So how do you recommend I take her temperature?

    Squirrel age: she is 4 weeks old she started her first bottom tooth teething process. She did fine. And her eyes have yet to open.

    Thank you for all the information. I want to make sure this little baby Bella lives and thrives.
    Thank you for the good news about Baby Bella! It sounds as if she is back to her "new" self! As far as the temperature control of the baby's immediate environment goes; neither the ideal temperature nor how to utilize the Squirrel's enclosure to maintain the heat is "cut in stone!" I hope that others with much more Baby experience than I will give their strategies and specific temperature parameters for their babies. I'll share mine but before doing so, I apologize if I somehow implied that I was recommending that you take Bella's temperature directly. Please don't! There are very significant risks to attempting to check a baby Squirrel's rectal temperature or oral temperature for that matter! The Baby should feel warm to you!

    There are many sources of advice for temperature regulation for Babies and there are widely differing temperature ranges that various sources have listed as ideal or at least recommended. One of the my favorite and often utilized sources of Baby care is Wild Mammal Babies 4th Edition but when it comes to temperature ranges, it is my humble opinion that their ranges are on the low side for Squirrel babies! Personally, I do have ranges and I'll share these with you but this really would be a good basis for an entirely new Thread in the Baby Squirrel Care Forum as I would be willing to bet that many of us would like to hear what others use as temperature ranges for a baby's environment and the strategies for attaining this. As an example, if we look at Henry's Website where they sell a very commonly ordered and utilized always-on heating pad; the recommend using the low setting and state that this is 105 degrees F. I believe most everyone would feel that directly exposing a Squirrel to this degree of temperature is excessive! Henry's of course does NOT recommend exposing the Squirrel to this heating pad directly and no one should for several reasons! What they recommend and what most all of us do (unless we are fortunate to have incubators) is to use the plastic bin and lid with some round holes cut in it that is also recommended by Henry's to make what amounts to be an incubator. Here is a link to the page at Henry's that deals with the bins; https://henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

    The heating pad is placed below the bin, the Squirrel is separated (insulated) from direct contact with the heated bottom of the bin by several Layers of Fleece or Flannel and the heat radiates into the bin and is retained there to some degree by the cover while the holes in the cover permit some loss of heat and the overall temperature is maintained less than the 105 degree temperature of the heating pad! Now what should be the ideal temperature inside the enclosure is the other issue that I mentioned has wide variances. One strategy is to not be concerned about the actual temperature within the bin because if this was constructed with as the bin and cover with several "good sized" holes as depicted on Henty's website is utilized, the temperature will be less than 105 degrees within the bin but not so low as to be considered too cold! I do check the temperature within the bin and for babies without fur, I like to see the temperature around 99-100 degrees and for partial fur or fully furred but not yet able to full regulate their temperature, I try to keep the temperature range between 95-98 degrees.

    One of the concerns I have of your aquarium setup is that this is somewhat larger than most of the bins we use and quite a bit higher as well and there is no lid and it will be difficult to regulate a temperature within the aquarium and there will result a warm side to the Squirrel and a cooler side when the Squirrel is inactive as the heat is radiating up from the pad but is not contained in part withing the interior of the aquarium. The relatively low height of the plastic bin along the cover with holes that will allow the interior to reach a steady-state temperature that is in the necessary ideal range. The holes are what allows radiation of heat away from the interior of the bin and plays a big part in regulating the final temperature. If is becomes too hot inside (again, if using a properly functioning heating pad from Henry's on the low setting, the hottest is can be is 105), take the lid off and allow some heat to escape from the bin and while the lid is off, cut a few more hole in it or enlarge some of the holes to permit better radiation of heat away from the inside of the bin. Ideally, this should be worked out before a Squirrel ever gets put in the bin. I have several bins and lids that I have "calibrated" to a specific temperature range and pick an appropriate bin assembly when a Squirrel in need shows up.

    There's my whole (hole) story on this subject!

    Thanks again for the good news about Bella and please keep on with the updates!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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