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Thread: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

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    Exclamation Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Help! I took in two orphaned fox squirrels about three weeks ago after their mother's nest was raided by feral cat. They were fine, no injuries, but mama didn't come back. At the time of rescue, eyes were open, bottom teeth in and they were moving but not sitting up. Maybe 5-6 weeks? So maybe 8-9 weeks now? Following the introduction of solids guide and nutrition triangle on Henry's pets I've been introducing veggies (romaine, cilantro, baby corn, carrots) and feeding them with Fox's Valley formula. Once I introduced Avocado, which is local to where they will be released, they. went crazy for it and sort of stopped eating much of anything else. Formula decreased and most other solids have been ignored. I have yet to introduce fruits or nuts and though I give them Henry's picky blocks they mostly ignore them. Maybe a few bites.

    The girl is still doing great and thriving but the boy has been taking less formula and becoming lethargic, barely leaving the den/squirrel box at the top of their crate. I'm worried he's not getting enough food. Should I stop giving avocado? Should I introduce tastier things like nuts and fruit to keep his strength up? Should I remove all but formula? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. He's always been the smaller of the two but this feels different.

    They have lots of warmth in their cage too, if helpful.

    Thank you kindly.

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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    OK, avocado is an occasional treat, not a diet. The calcium to phosphorus level is not good. Given that they are not eating formula now, they aren't getting calcium anywhere else, either.

    I would treat them both as if they have MBD (metabolic bone disease). This time in their life is when we see it most - when they have gone off formula which has everything they need, to a deficient diet.

    Right now, read this:

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Disease-(MBD)

    This treatment is calculated around a 1 pound squirrel. If you give us the weight of your babies we can likely reduce the amount of calcium per day.

    The babies need to be eating their Henry's blocks and those need to be consumed BEFORE treats. If they are hungry, they can and should, at their age, have some more formula.

    It is also possible that your lethargic baby aspirated formula and is suffering from aspiration pneumonia. That will require antibiotics. Human antibiotics can be used. Find out what you have available - 1 pill is fine - from friends or family that maybe didn't listen to their doctor and finish their meds. Cipro would be an excellent find. Amoxicillin clavulanate would be as well. Other will work - see what you can get.

    So which is it? I don't think it matters. If diet is as you have described, even if the other isn't showing symptoms, I would bet good money that they both are working on MBD at a time they need calcium the most due to growing. They should BOTH be put on the MBD regimen and the diet fixed stat, regardless of whether the other baby has A/P.

    If they were in my care they would both get MBD treatment and the lethargic one would get antibiotics.

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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Have you ruled out aspiration pneumonia (AP)? Does he have a persistent clicking sound when he breaths?

    The Henry's is critical... this is why they should be the first and only food until they are eating (actually eating) the block. I'd suggest you give them the block first, before they get any other foods and not given any other foods until they eat the block. It is good they are still taking formula.

    My kids being raised for released rarely get any nuts until they are in the release cage (so mere weeks before they are free). Nuts are terribly bad nutritionally for captive squirrel, but lead to picky eaters and more aggressive behavior.


    As for the avocado, everything in moderation. While avocado is a healthy food for them, too much of anything is a bad idea. Limit the avocado and I promise they will not starve themselves to death with perfectly edible veggies (and / or block) available to them... though they might go a long ways in convincing a person they are hungry and starving... like a spoiled child trying to skip right to dessert without eating their healthy dinner.

    Edit: I agree with CM's recommendation of MBD treatment.
    Last edited by Spanky; 03-31-2024 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Agree with MBD Suggestion
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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Thank you for rescuing 👍
    At that age I only give foxvalley 20/50 blocks are ok but no nuts and no fruit, they are treats. I'd stop the avocado and try pushing the formula. If the boy isn't eating try just a time or two giving a little honey water, or molasses water. Sometimes that will get their appetite going.
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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Spanky I see we postponed at the same time👍
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Thank you all for your assistance here. I think it's not AP, no clicking at all and he doesn't seem to have any aspiration symptoms when feeding - I think you're right it's the MBD. I'm running out now to get a calcium pill or tums. Is unflavored tums best? It seems to indicate any kind on the page.

    I'm also stopping all food less blocks and formula for quite awhile.

    I'll be back to you shortly with weight.

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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Quote Originally Posted by Charley Chuckles View Post
    Thank you for rescuing 👍
    At that age I only give foxvalley 20/50 blocks are ok but no nuts and no fruit, they are treats. I'd stop the avocado and try pushing the formula. If the boy isn't eating try just a time or two giving a little honey water, or molasses water. Sometimes that will get their appetite going.
    Thank you. I'll add honey water too. I'll search here to look for appropriate mix but if there's something specific please do let me know.

    Thanks agian.

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    Default Re: Fox Squirrel becoming Lethargic, not taking much formula

    Quote Originally Posted by Simmerpop View Post
    Thank you all for your assistance here. I think it's not AP, no clicking at all and he doesn't seem to have any aspiration symptoms when feeding - I think you're right it's the MBD. I'm running out now to get a calcium pill or tums. Is unflavored tums best? It seems to indicate any kind on the page.

    I'm also stopping all food less blocks and formula for quite awhile.

    I'll be back to you shortly with weight.
    No, get the flavored ones - fruit flavor, not mint.

    Wen calculating how much of the Tums to give daily, you need to know how much elemental calcium (actual calcium) is in the pill. There is a lot of other stuff - flavoring, stuff to stick it together into a pill, etc. The milligram amount (1000mg!!!) on the front is NOT the actual amount of calcium (I know...). Of you flip the bottle over and read the back, somewhere there it will tell you the number. I have a "1000mg" bottle and the back tells me that each tab has 400mg of calcium (on mine it is in the "Other Information" box.

    I am guessing your squirrels are quite a ways below a pound, so tell us how much elemental calcium you end up with per pill and their weights and we can get you a daily amount to shoot for for week 1. Too much isn't good, either, so don't go crazy with it - the desire to FIX IT NOW will make you want to give more...don't listen to it!

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