Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2024
    Location
    Co
    Posts
    2
    Thanked: 0

    Default Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Hi,
    Juniper is a 9 months old Chipmunk and was given to me when she was about 10 days old. She has been doing great and then started a modified hibernation , where she would come out and eat for an hour in the morning and then return to her tipi. Yesterday she came and sat in her little donut bed and ate. She stayed there all day. She fell off her ramp and I caught her. She is on the bottom floor of her enclosure in her digging box and seems unable to climb out like she usually does. She fell over and seemed unable to right herself and was very distressed. Her diet consists of Blue Berries,Juniper berries, Black berries, green apple, mandarin oranges, grapes,
    Pine nuts, walnuts and cashews, lettuce, Basil , cucumber, zucchini, oats, millet, sunflower seeds and an occasional peanut.
    I don't know what to do for her. Can someone please advise me? She is such a happy little soul.
    Thanks,
    Siobhan
    Last edited by CritterMom; 03-30-2024 at 04:35 AM. Reason: removed phone #

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    20,176
    Thanked: 9564

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Is she eating? Now? I would give her some sugar water by syringe - I am wondering if this is hypoglycemic in nature - low blood sugar from not eating for long periods. I have little experience with the littles that hibernate but your description of symptoms and the nature of hibernation would be worth a try. It certainly won't hurt her and if it is what the problem is, it will help.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    Siobhan (03-29-2024)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Southwestern USA
    Posts
    1,424
    Thanked: 1145

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Hi Siobhan:

    Thank you for finding The Squirrel Board! I am going to make two posts as my usual verbosity is no longer being permitted and there is a limit to the characters of anyone's posts. I am the only one that is affected as I am the only one that must use four words to express what anyone else can express in one word or even a shrug of the shoulders!

    POST 1 of 2:
    I'm sorry about Juniper's predicament! Although I have no real experience with Chipmunks, they are Squirrels albeit they are ground Squirrels! Captive Squirrels must be fed an entirely different diet than what you may find listed on various websites as foods that Squirrels, including Chippys consume as their "regular" diet. What you have listed for Juniper's diet is certainly consistent with what might be found on many websites as being the usual diet of Chipmunks BUT there is one major difference and that is the Juniper is not out in the wild and is a captive Squirrel and the dietary requirements are quite different! I strongly suspect that Juniper has developed Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which is caused by an absolute deficiency in calcium or and excess of phosphorus or in many cases, elements of both (as I suspect is the issue with Juniper)! Captive Squirrels require at least 80% of their diet to be quality Blocks such as Teklad 2018, Mazuri Rat & Mouse Diet! You can get Mazuri at many pet-shops but the Teklad must be ordered on-line. My recommendation for getting Juniper started on quality Blocks is to purchase the Picky Blocks from Henry's Pets. This is a concentrated nutritional source and one of the common problems associated with MBD is decreased appetite so Juniper can get a full diet including MAINTENANCE Calcium (extra Calcium is still needed!) by consuming only 2 blocks!

    I would recommend that you immediately begin treating Juniper for MBD! Virtually all of the seeds, nuts, and other enticing and seemingly healthy elements of her diet must be at least temporarily discontinued and she must be given not just an adequate maintenance amount of Calcium daily, she must for quite some time receive additional Calcium to make up for loss of Calcium in bones and decreased functionality of various metabolic functions of her body. I would strongly recommend that the Emergency Protocol for MBD that is on Henry's Pets Website be started immediately! If this proves eventually to not be MBD, the treatment protocol is harmless and if this should be MBD as I suspect it is; the treatment can be literally life-saving!

    Do have a very recent and accurate weight of Juniper and if not, please obtain that.

    Please go immediately to Henry's Pets website in order read their Information about MBD ( https://henryspets.com/what-is-metabolic-bone-disease/ ) and their Treatment protocol for MBD ( https://henryspets.com/emergency-treatment-for-mbd/ )! You will also find the Henry's Blocks sold there!

    Again, MBD is caused by an absolute inadequacy of Calcium in the diet or an excessive amount of phosphorus in the diet or what is oftentimes the case; elements of both. When an animal has developed MBD they have lost significant Calcium and this Calcium is lost from bone. Bone normally contains at least 99% of the body's total Calcium and it takes a while for clinically evident (development of signs of MBD) to develop and it will ordinarily take months for it to resolve!

    The complete consumption of two Henry's Blocks daily will provide full nutritional support including Calcium for maintenance (normal daily requirements) BUT two or even three (which should be considered the maximum number (even for large Squirrels which Juniper is not) of Henry's Blocks will NOT provide the needed SUPPLEMENTAL Calcium that a Squirrel must have to recover from MBD! That is why extra Calcium beyond what is contained in two Henry's Blocks must be given and for a relatively long time! I do not ordinarily use Henry's Blocks for Squirrels in my care because they are relatively expensive BUT with the three Squirrels that have been placed in my care with definitive MBD, I welcomed the availability of the Henry's Blocks because of the fact that two full Blocks will provide a full daily complement of nutrition as one of the common problems associated with MBD is decreased appetite and feeding two relatively tasty (all my Squirrels attest to this!) Henry's Blocks (this is an average of only 10 grams) is much easier than trying to feed 50 or so grams of other Blocks to a Squirrel who doesn't have an appetite!

    So, giving two Henry's Blocks daily is great but it is not all that Juniper needs when it comes to Calcium. For one thing, as Juniper's appetite improves during recovery or if her appetite was not affected by the MBD, 10 Grams of food will NOT satisfy hunger and she will need other foods! That is the basis for Henry's Food Pyramid ( https://henryspets.com/healthy-diet-for-pet-squirrels/ ). Foods toward the wide bottom base of the pyramid are the most healthy with Blocks being at the lowest (healthiest) level and the treats toward the tip (there you will recognize much of what you have been feeding Juniper!).

    Hence, you will need to provide additional food sources along with EXTRA Calcium for months! It is essential that minimal phosphorus be given as well as an excess of phosphorus in Juniper's diet will potentially negate the extra Calcium your provide and prolong recovery or make recovery from MBD impossible! I would suggest that you eventually transition to the use of Quality blocks such as Teklad 2018, Mazuri Rat and Mouse Diet or Oxbow Regal Rat but I would recommend Henry's Blocks (the Squirrels usually prefer the Picky Blocks) as the primary diet for now. My preference for a young Squirrel would be Teklad 2018 as the manufacturer provides a very detailed itemization of the nutritional constituents used in formulation of their products but Mazuri Rat and Mouse Diet is great and more readily available.

    In the general care of Juniper while recovering from MBD, I would suggest minimizing risks of falling and stick to the "ground floor" as neuromuscular weakness and brittle bones may have developed and a fall could result in fractures or other injuries!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to SamtheSquirrel2018 from:

    CritterMom (03-29-2024)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Southwestern USA
    Posts
    1,424
    Thanked: 1145

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Hello again Siobahn:

    Post 2 of 2:

    Now for rounding out the plan for recovery; two Henry's Blocks contain around 250mg of Elemental Calcium. For the "average Squirrel utilizing Henry's MBD Treatment Protocol, Juniper will need about 250mg of ADDITIONAL ELEMENTAL Calcium beyond what is already in the Henry's Blocks as a means to replenish the integrity of his bones and this will require months (oftentimes around a year for a maximum possible recovery).

    It will be necessary to determine how to fairly accurately deliver the necessary additional Calcium to Juniper. Formula will help and consideration of the use of a recognized healthy formula such as Fox Valley 20/50 might also be a tasty means to supplement Calcium! Also, it is ELEMENTAL calcium that needs to be assessed and provided. For instance, Calcium Carbonate is a widely used Calcium source and it provides the greatest percentage of Elemental Calcium per unit weight but this is only 40%. In other words and as an example only; giving 100mg of Calcium Carbonate will provide only 40mg of Elemental Calcium. I would suggest obtaining a reputable source of Calcium Carbonate and use this according to Henry's Protocol. Henry's sell Calcium Carbonate but it is readily available elsewhere. It is essential that you do NOT use any Calcium source that contains Vitamin D! Juniper will be getting plenty of Vitamin D from her Henry's Blocks and most of the Calcium supplements on the market are made for humans and contain a huge and potentially harmful quantity of Vitamin D for a Squirrel!

    The only deviation from Henry's Protocol I have made in the past is when Henry's says that every two weeks to reduce the Elemental Calcium by 50mg until the Squirrel is getting only 50mg of supplemental Calcium and then after 2 months, stop the supplemental Calcium altogether and observe for "recurrence" of problems. With the 3 Squirrels I have treated for MBD I have used 3 weeks for each decrease of 50mg of Elemental Calcium and 3 months continuing with the 50mg supplement before stopping the supplements altogether. I am very concerned about ensuring that a Squirrel with MBD has truly recovered and if you think about what it really means to observe for a recurrence is that if signs of MBD develop again while the treatment protocol is being weaned toward discontinuation; it means that there was never an adequate amount of Calcium being provided during the entire treatment program and this obviously must not be the case!

    Please get Juniper started on a Calcium Supplement such as Calcium Carbonate WITHOUT Vitamin D! Initially, assuming that Juniper is consuming two Henry's Blocks, she should have 250mg of additional (supplemental) Elemental Calcium daily. When using the Calcium carbonate, it will require 625mg of the Calcium Carbonate to provide 250mg of Elemental Calcium (250 is 40% of 625). This can be divided into 4 or 5 portions given throughout the day. The Calcium carbonate can be mixed with water, baby food, small amounts of nut butter (my favorite to use is pecan butter but peanut butter is ok) or whatever to make into a thick paste and this relatively small amount of Calcium paste will hopefully be acceptable to Juniper.

    A couple of additional notes; Juniper should also have clean, pure water (don't put calcium or anything else in the water) available 24 hours a day as she must ingest at least a normal amount of fluids daily if not somewhat more fluids during the period of time where Calcium supplementation is occurring. Also, formula such as Fox Valley 20/50 will also supplement fluids as well nutrition and further calcium supplementation if you decide to use this. Also, I would suggest if at all possible to try to limit Juniper's foods to the Henry's Blocks, other quality blocks, and possibly formula for at least three months and certainly NO nuts (yes, nuts for a captive Squirrel are treats and if given at all, it must be only as a rare treat!) or other treats (most of what she has been eating) during this same time-frame! By the way, I am NOT trying to be accusative, hurt your feelings or cause you any distress whatsoever, Siobahn by my stating these concerns about Juniper's diet! As I mentioned, the optimal diet for a captive Squirrel is much different from what might commonly be found as descriptions of the "normal" diet of a wild Squirrel! Quality Blocks should comprise at least 80% of a Squirrels diet and there is truly nothing wrong with making 100% although most Squirrels (as most humans) would probably prefer some variation in their diets! Regardless, please stick to the lower levels of the Henry's Food Pyramid for the first 3 months (at least)!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  7. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to SamtheSquirrel2018:

    CritterMom (03-29-2024), Stevelisa (03-29-2024)

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2024
    Location
    Co
    Posts
    2
    Thanked: 0

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hello again Siobahn:

    Post 2 of 2:

    Now for rounding out the plan for recovery; two Henry's Blocks contain around 250mg of Elemental Calcium. For the "average Squirrel utilizing Henry's MBD Treatment Protocol, Juniper will need about 250mg of ADDITIONAL ELEMENTAL Calcium beyond what is already in the Henry's Blocks as a means to replenish the integrity of his bones and this will require months (oftentimes around a year for a maximum possible recovery).

    It will be necessary to determine how to fairly accurately deliver the necessary additional Calcium to Juniper. Formula will help and consideration of the use of a recognized healthy formula such as Fox Valley 20/50 might also be a tasty means to supplement Calcium! Also, it is ELEMENTAL calcium that needs to be assessed and provided. For instance, Calcium Carbonate is a widely used Calcium source and it provides the greatest percentage of Elemental Calcium per unit weight but this is only 40%. In other words and as an example only; giving 100mg of Calcium Carbonate will provide only 40mg of Elemental Calcium. I would suggest obtaining a reputable source of Calcium Carbonate and use this according to Henry's Protocol. Henry's sell Calcium Carbonate but it is readily available elsewhere. It is essential that you do NOT use any Calcium source that contains Vitamin D! Juniper will be getting plenty of Vitamin D from her Henry's Blocks and most of the Calcium supplements on the market are made for humans and contain a huge and potentially harmful quantity of Vitamin D for a Squirrel!

    The only deviation from Henry's Protocol I have made in the past is when Henry's says that every two weeks to reduce the Elemental Calcium by 50mg until the Squirrel is getting only 50mg of supplemental Calcium and then after 2 months, stop the supplemental Calcium altogether and observe for "recurrence" of problems. With the 3 Squirrels I have treated for MBD I have used 3 weeks for each decrease of 50mg of Elemental Calcium and 3 months continuing with the 50mg supplement before stopping the supplements altogether. I am very concerned about ensuring that a Squirrel with MBD has truly recovered and if you think about what it really means to observe for a recurrence is that if signs of MBD develop again while the treatment protocol is being weaned toward discontinuation; it means that there was never an adequate amount of Calcium being provided during the entire treatment program and this obviously must not be the case!

    Please get Juniper started on a Calcium Supplement such as Calcium Carbonate WITHOUT Vitamin D! Initially, assuming that Juniper is consuming two Henry's Blocks, she should have 250mg of additional (supplemental) Elemental Calcium daily. When using the Calcium carbonate, it will require 625mg of the Calcium Carbonate to provide 250mg of Elemental Calcium (250 is 40% of 625). This can be divided into 4 or 5 portions given throughout the day. The Calcium carbonate can be mixed with water, baby food, small amounts of nut butter (my favorite to use is pecan butter but peanut butter is ok) or whatever to make into a thick paste and this relatively small amount of Calcium paste will hopefully be acceptable to Juniper.

    A couple of additional notes; Juniper should also have clean, pure water (don't put calcium or anything else in the water) available 24 hours a day as she must ingest at least a normal amount of fluids daily if not somewhat more fluids during the period of time where Calcium supplementation is occurring. Also, formula such as Fox Valley 20/50 will also supplement fluids as well nutrition and further calcium supplementation if you decide to use this. Also, I would suggest if at all possible to try to limit Juniper's foods to the Henry's Blocks, other quality blocks, and possibly formula for at least three months and certainly NO nuts (yes, nuts for a captive Squirrel are treats and if given at all, it must be only as a rare treat!) or other treats (most of what she has been eating) during this same time-frame! By the way, I am NOT trying to be accusative, hurt your feelings or cause you any distress whatsoever, Siobahn by my stating these concerns about Juniper's diet! As I mentioned, the optimal diet for a captive Squirrel is much different from what might commonly be found as descriptions of the "normal" diet of a wild Squirrel! Quality Blocks should comprise at least 80% of a Squirrels diet and there is truly nothing wrong with making 100% although most Squirrels (as most humans) would probably prefer some variation in their diets! Regardless, please stick to the lower levels of the Henry's Food Pyramid for the first 3 months (at least)!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    Hi Sam, Thank you so much for your help. I printed out the protocol and by 2 this afternoon she had her first dose of calcium (without vitaman D) It was amazing at first she didn't want to take it but then she perked up and started drinking it. I've already cleaned out her stashes and fall proofed her space. I ordered the Henry's Blocks and picked up the Marzuli ones locally. I get our water from a water store so it is fresh and clean : ) I am completely dedicated to feeding her the correct way and am super grateful to have your advice and quick response. Is there a way I can remove my phone number from the post? I am new to all of this and didn't realize that it is dangerous : / With love , Aloha and Light, Siobhan

  9. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Southwestern USA
    Posts
    1,424
    Thanked: 1145

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    Quote Originally Posted by Siobhan View Post
    Hi Sam, Thank you so much for your help. I printed out the protocol and by 2 this afternoon she had her first dose of calcium (without vitaman D) It was amazing at first she didn't want to take it but then she perked up and started drinking it. I've already cleaned out her stashes and fall proofed her space. I ordered the Henry's Blocks and picked up the Marzuli ones locally. I get our water from a water store so it is fresh and clean : ) I am completely dedicated to feeding her the correct way and am super grateful to have your advice and quick response. Is there a way I can remove my phone number from the post? I am new to all of this and didn't realize that it is dangerous : / With love , Aloha and Light, Siobhan
    Thanks for the wonderful update, Siobhan, and please continue to provide them! Thanks to you as well for your love and care for this little Squirrel! Juniper is very fortunate to have you and I'm certain that there is a vice versa to this statement as well!

    Did you determine Juniper's weight? If it is "significantly" below 500 grams you can cut the recommended dosing of supplemental Calcium to half of what Henry's recommends but don't do this yet! Just get the calcium into Juniper for the next 12-24 hours just as directed and then we can make any adjustments in the protocol necessary to adjust for a weight below 500 Grams. Just post her weight as soon as you get it and then let one of us give you further advice based upon Juniper's accurate weight in Grams obtained from a digital scale.

    Also, if "significantly" less than 5oo Grams I would suggest that once the Henry's Blocks arrive; that you limit Juniper's daily consumption to 2 blocks. Only IF there is considerable waste of the blocks, should any more than 2 blocks be considered for a "small" Squirrel.

    Other important considerations in regard to the Henry's blocks is that they have no preservatives and when you receive them, Siobhan; immediately store them in a freezer. You can take out the next day's "dose" or the next 2 day's "dose" of the Henry's Blocks from the freezer and keep them in the refrigerator until needed. Put out only one at a time and let Juniper deal with that and then later put out another block once the first is consumed or turned into flakes! Also, you should remove any and all leftovers of the Henry's Blocks (and any other perishables or treats [when these can be given much later down the road]) at the end of EVERY day as the Henry's Blocks can spoil quickly when left out in room temperature!

    As far as your phone number being removed; this is something an ADMIN will be able to do for you as they are the only ones who can edit posts. Hopefully that will be accomplished ASAP! I did send a PM to an ADMIN with your request. I will be at work for most of the next 24 hours but I will monitor your (Juniper's) thread as I am able. Others are here for you as well!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Southwestern USA
    Posts
    1,424
    Thanked: 1145

    Default Re: Need help immediately. Chipmunk

    One other thing Siobhan; I mentioned Henry's Healthy Foods Pyramid for Squirrels but I inadvertently neglected to post a link to it so that you will be able to view and print it for later use. The Pyramid is arranged in levels; the lowest levels are the healthier food and at the tip of the Pyramid are the nuts and other treats. The lowest level, at the base of the Pyramid are quality Blocks. Here is the link; https://henryspets.com/healthy-diet-for-pet-squirrels/

    Ordinarily in cases of MBD, even very serious cases where there may be paralysis or seizures; there is usually a significant and relatively rapid improvement in many if not all of the worrisome signs that were present to begin with and which prompted the making of the presumptive diagnosis of MBD BUT don't let any improvement be a temptation to detract in any way from the treatment program! Just be glad there is improvement. The reason for sticking with the protocol is as previously mentioned and that is that for resolution of the MBD to occur and for there to be complete or best recovery from the effects of MBD; it will require most of a full year for this to occur! Please stick with the program!
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •