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Thread: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

  1. #1
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    Default 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Good day everyone!

    My little girl Pebbles seems very off and I'm not sure what it could be. She seems to be in discomfort and is looking so thin and disheveled (like she's been scratching/rubbing her hind end). She did eat this morning, so her appetite seems okay. I noticed the bowl looked quite full when I went in, so I offered her the HHB and she ate it right away. So it made me think she wasn't feeling well enough to climb down to the bowl (which I've been keeping on the floor in their room), but was interested in eating when she had it. I also saw her pee and it looked like it was done with no effort and it looked normal, no blood. The fur around her bottom did look wet, so I'm not sure if it might in fact be a urinary issue?

    She had her uterus and ovaries removed two years ago by Dr. E. She has had UTI's in the past, but they were usually obvious by her "dripping" when she tried to urinate. I'm pretty sure I have some antibiotics left from her previous case, but not sure if I should try to dose her? It usually causes stomach upset for her and stress (because she hates being wrangled!). I'm just so worried, not knowing what it is.

    She seems to be moving more cautiously so I also wondered if it could be arthritis or some kind of joint pain? She'll be 11 years old this year and I've worried about her and her brother declining and when I would know it was time for them, if it didn't happen naturally. Seeing her like this breaks my heart, not knowing what to do for her. I'd like to avoid stressing her with a 4 hour round trip ride to the vet... at this age. But I'm not sure if that's the best for her right now.

    I took some pictures and a video of her to show how frail she looks and her movement. She's using all 4 legs to move around, but seems slower and more cautious.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts.


    FYI- her diet consists of a daily salad of mostly greens (kale, lettuces [red/green], endive, bok choy), broccoli, cauliflower, button mushrooms and 2 HHB's. I sometimes add a cherry tomato, winter squash, avocado; but most days it's just the greens. She also gets as much 2014 Harlan Teklad as she wants. I leave a bowl in their room to free feed.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    So given her age, first, why don't you boost her calcium intake. You have been here a while so I am assuming you know about MBD. You are doing everything right diet-wise but frankly, at 11, she is very old and certainly humans experience issues with their bones later in life, why wouldn't squirrels? I would add one more HHB to her diet, AND, begin adding another 200mg of elemental calcium in addition to that. If you begin to see improvement, then you will gradually phase out the additional calcium but continue with the 3 blocks a day. Given that we have gotten so good at taking care of these little guys that they are living to advanced ages, I think it would be worth people's while to start gradually increasing calcium intake and paying close attention to not caving on treats as they become seniors.

    You can also give her some infant ibuprophen which would help with arthritis pain...however, if you can start the extra calcium right away, it would be really instructive to know whether she improves because of it and not the ibuprophen. Maybe see how she is after a couple days getting the extra block and the supplemental calcium. If you see improvement with it we know that we are on the right track, and you can go ahead and give her the infant ibuprophen just to make her feel better. If you can supply her weight I will send you the dose so you have it.

    What has Dr. E given her for the UTI's? Amox/clav or SMZ-TMP? I know she favors the amox/clav.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Thanks so much CritterMom!! I will start this ASAP. Going to purchase some calcium now.

    I will try to get a weight on her, it's been a while since I've had one and she's thinner these days. We previously had her on Cipro. I just checked and what I have expired 8/2022. I can get an Rx from my doc if needed though!

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Quote Originally Posted by hladyv View Post
    Thanks so much CritterMom!! I will start this ASAP. Going to purchase some calcium now.

    I will try to get a weight on her, it's been a while since I've had one and she's thinner these days. We previously had her on Cipro. I just checked and what I have expired 8/2022. I can get an Rx from my doc if needed though!
    Your Cipro is fine.

    Calcium WITHOUT vitamin D added. It is difficult to find - Henry's has it. Tums will work - they are calcium carbonate with flavoring. Get a fruit flavor - she may just like it. When you find it, let us know what you have.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Great to know, thank you! I ordered some from Henry's earlier today. In the meantime, I do have regular tums (1000) and the smoothies (750). I also have some calcium from Henry's that's probably over .... 3 or 4 years old but never opened. Does it expire?! It was kept in the cabinet most of that time but ended up in the fridge.

    I used to make them formula here and there which they have always loved, but haven't in a while!

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Quote Originally Posted by hladyv View Post
    Great to know, thank you! I ordered some from Henry's earlier today. In the meantime, I do have regular tums (1000) and the smoothies (750). I also have some calcium from Henry's that's probably over .... 3 or 4 years old but never opened. Does it expire?! It was kept in the cabinet most of that time but ended up in the fridge.

    I used to make them formula here and there which they have always loved, but haven't in a while!
    Hi hladyv:
    Please post photos of the ingredients labels from your Tums and Smoothies (whatever those are). Figuring out the actual Elemental Calcium to coincide with you dosing requirements can be a bit unclear and the labels (front and back) can appear inconsistent and are often unnecessarily misleading because the amount of Calcium that is being referenced on the back under Drug Facts which is the detailed "Ingredients label" SHOULD be per tablet but may with some manufacturers be in regard to what the manufacturer somewhat arbitrarily designates as a particular Serving Size. In addition, if the Calcium is listed as Calcium Carbonate on the back under the Drug Facts ingredients label, the Serving Size contains only 40% of this amount in Elemental Calcium. If the ingredients label states on Calcium and then give an amount, this the true Elemental Calcium contained in the designated serving size. So please just post photos and let us take a look!

    As far as Calcium Carbonate "expiring," it doesn't as it is basically rock! Henry's states that their preparation is "pure" Calcium Carbonate so there should not ne any other chemicals in this that might interact or retain hydration and if the package feels soft and it is actually sealed, it would seem to me to useable. When you open the sealed bag, ensure that there is only a soft white powder within. The powder should NOT be in hard clumps, discolored in any way or have an odor.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    I would use the Henry's because the little amounts table where it tells you that 1/4 teaspoon is "X" amount of calcium, etc., is expressed as elemental calcium and nobody else does that. It is the actual amount of calcium in that amount. Your 1000mg Tums only have 400mg of calcium, and that means many people end up underdosing. And it doesn't really expire.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Are you seeing any changes in either direction with your girl today?

    I never got her weight - if you post that I will send you infant ibuprofen dosing.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Apologies, between working full time, taking care of my 1.5 year old and morning sickness from this pregnancy, then taking care of my little girl- I've been totally zapped!!

    I think she seems to be feeling better! She's been out a lot more today. She's moving around the room and has gone to her food and water! She eats her HHBs right up, so her appetite is great.

    I've been unsuccessful at getting a weight on her. She hops off the scale so quickly and has always hated being grabbed so that in itself is a challenge. I will try again tomorrow when I I'll have help and can dedicate more time to trying.

    Should I continue the extra calcium daily going forward? Also, her brother has had no issues at all, but given he's the same age, should I supplement him as well, preventatively?

    Thank you for your time and help!

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Yes and yes. I would start your boy on the same protocol - a third Henrys and the additional powdered calcium. After about a week (pending her continued improvement), I would slowly start to reduce the powdered calcium over the next few weeks until they are both on 3 Henrys and then stay there. I would keep an eye out though, and if you start to see signs of this returning, you push the powdered again. It may take some time to find the exact right amount based on their behavior.

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    There is also a significant likelihood that your squirrel's kidney function is an issue. MBD is indeed promoted by aging. This due to both the kidney function lowering over the lifespan, where the kidneys progressively retained more and more phosphorus. Also progressive with aging, as has long since been confirmed in rat research, bone calcium retention lowers. These concurrent changes together, alter the in-body Calcium to Phosphorus ratio supported by the same diet that in younger years supported a healthy Ca:P ratio, to what is closer near equal or inverted. The diet as it stands for older squirrels, requires an adjustment of both the calcium and phosphorus, the latter the main share of being contained in the rodent block diet. By lowering the block by a third, for example if you feed 2 blocks daily, lowering it to 1 1/2, and if 3 blocks a day for the larger subspecies of N.A. tree squirrels, to 2 blocks a day, if then the squirrel isn't significantly obese. Then adding in Calcium citrate, as this form of calicum supplement found to improve kidney function in elderly rats, yet not the other forms also tested that included Calcium carbonate, not found to improve kidney function in rats. In humans of advanced age with lowered kidney function, Citrate forms of Calcium were likewise found to improve kidney function, yet not Calcium carbonate.

    In calculating the amount of calcium

    Important here to note, that Calcium carbonate, Calcium citrate and some other common forms of calcium supplements were tested in rats with advanced kidney disease; yet only Calcium citrate was found to improve kidney function, not the carbonate or other forms likewise tested.

    This product of Calcium citrate has a fine, but not super fine grind as "NOW" that has a bit of a off soapy taste to it, and when sprayed with water is pasty. From, "Swanson" the grind is gritty.
    From "Pure Bulk", t, no taste, just right!

    https://purebulk.com/products/calcium-citrate-usa

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Quote Originally Posted by hladyv View Post
    I've been unsuccessful at getting a weight on her. She hops off the scale so quickly and has always hated being grabbed so that in itself is a challenge. I will try again tomorrow when I I'll have help and can dedicate more time to trying.
    Hi HLady:
    There are a couple of very easy ways to weigh even the "jumpiest" Squirrel with a digital scale!

    # 1) Find a container that has high sides or has a lid with air holes that will fit on your scale and is large enough to hold your Squirrel. Weigh that container with the lid if you are going to utilize a lid and make a not of that weight. Then, put you little Squirrel in that container and weigh the container with the Squirrel. Next step is to subtract the weight of the container alone from the combined weight of the container plus Squirrel and you will have the weight of the Squirrel.

    #2) Some digital scales have a tare function and that can be used instead. What you would do with this method is place the container upon the scales and then push the Tare button. The weight indicated on the scale should then be 0.0 (zero). Next would be to place your Squirrel into the contained and the weight indicated by the scales will be the Squirrel's weight and no subtraction is necessary!
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    What may also aide in reducing the scariness of the scale, is to cover up the base up leaving just the digital reading area uncovered in view. There is a low fat organic peanut butter powder than can be made into a liquid consistency that is not sticky and/or thick as regular PB is (potential choking hazard) .This source also low in salt; the better choice, for salty foods should not be fed to rodents either.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Betty-Lou...CABEgJEv_D_BwE
    .

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    I'm back, unfortunately! Looking for some help, please!

    Pebbles isn't doing well once again. She did seem better when we increased her calcium, but I'm concerned that maybe she has a UTI. I have seen her pee a regular stream today, but when I went to check on her just now she was dripping and had a thick drop hanging on her urethra. She seems so uncomfortable... eyes very narrowed and hunkered down

    We have been keeping up on her calcium. I wasn't sure if that could instigate a UTI? She's been prone to them over the years.

    Should I/Can I treat her for it in case that's what it is? If so I need some guidance for how I can get my hands on antibiotics and dosing help. I'm 17 weeks pregnant, so my PCP and OB will require me to go in to be tested if I try to imply I have the UTI... which is what I did previously via telehealth (still during the height of COVID so it worked out).

    I have some old CIPRO but it expired August 2022.

    I called Dr. E's office but was told she's unable to prescribe any meds for her since it's been over 2 years since she's been seen. We're in DE, so it isn't feasible or safe for us to get her back down there for one visit :/

    Please help!

    Thank you, as always!

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Quote Originally Posted by hladyv View Post
    I'm back, unfortunately! Looking for some help, please!

    Pebbles isn't doing well once again. She did seem better when we increased her calcium, but I'm concerned that maybe she has a UTI. I have seen her pee a regular stream today, but when I went to check on her just now she was dripping and had a thick drop hanging on her urethra. She seems so uncomfortable... eyes very narrowed and hunkered down

    We have been keeping up on her calcium. I wasn't sure if that could instigate a UTI? She's been prone to them over the years.

    Should I/Can I treat her for it in case that's what it is? If so I need some guidance for how I can get my hands on antibiotics and dosing help. I'm 17 weeks pregnant, so my PCP and OB will require me to go in to be tested if I try to imply I have the UTI... which is what I did previously via telehealth (still during the height of COVID so it worked out).

    I have some old CIPRO but it expired August 2022.

    I called Dr. E's office but was told she's unable to prescribe any meds for her since it's been over 2 years since she's been seen. We're in DE, so it isn't feasible or safe for us to get her back down there for one visit :/

    Please help!

    Thank you, as always!
    Hi HLadyv:
    Welcome back to TSB! The Cipro from 2022 will be fine! We will need the strength of the Cipro (just as an example, 250mg) and we will also need a current and accurate weight of Pebbles from a digital scale and preferably in Grams. I only have a moment being at work and may not be able to get back in a timely manner to dose this for you but there are others here on TSB who can help with that. Please ensure that Pebbles has fresh water available at all times and is indeed drinking regularly.
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Thanks so much Samthesquirrel!

    She's 395g, I was able to get her weight this morning. They've been nesting in a fluffy chair I left in their room so it's impossible to get them out unless they want to venture out themselves!

    I do see their water bottle level lowering throughout the day, but I don't know how much of it she's drinking vs her brother. They have their own dedicated bedroom, so I don't have eyes on them most of the day to witness it. She's been spending most of her time in her nest these days and isn't often out when I check on them, unfortunately. Thankfully she's been out these past few mornings at least so I know she's eaten her blocks and some food I leave close to her.

    😔

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Quote Originally Posted by hladyv View Post
    Thanks so much Samthesquirrel!

    She's 395g, I was able to get her weight this morning. They've been nesting in a fluffy chair I left in their room so it's impossible to get them out unless they want to venture out themselves!

    I do see their water bottle level lowering throughout the day, but I don't know how much of it she's drinking vs her brother. They have their own dedicated bedroom, so I don't have eyes on them most of the day to witness it. She's been spending most of her time in her nest these days and isn't often out when I check on them, unfortunately. Thankfully she's been out these past few mornings at least so I know she's eaten her blocks and some food I leave close to her.

    😔
    Thanks for the weight! Still need the strength of the tablet such as 250mg! I am back at work and will dose this if able but others are available and will dose this for you probably much sooner than I can get back here!
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Ugh sorry! They're 500mg

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    Default Re: 11 Year Old Girl - Something is off

    Since STS isn't around, went ahead and sent you dosing info by PM.

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