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EMERGENCIES ONLY! Please state your emergency with every details possible and somebody will assist you as soon as possible.


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  #1  
Old 09-05-2008, 07:56 AM
bugbrownlee bugbrownlee is offline
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Default Sick Squirrel won't eat! HELP!

so ive had this squirrel since january and suddenly she won't eat, she has a sister that she shares a huge cage with and i separated them for fear the sister was eating all her food and she ate a good deal yesterday but won't today. she was born in january so is weaned but i was desperate yesterday and offered formula and she took it then, but won't today, and is turning down her faves like carrots, kiwi and her ultimate fave, dry cat food. please help! she is so thin and won't move around and i'm really afraid she will die soon if she has no care!

Jesse
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:34 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Sick Squirrel won't eat! HELP!

Hi bugbrownlee, welcome on board.

I have a few questions: why are the squirrel in a cage and not free? Is the cage inside or outside? Have you tried taking the animal to a vet or licensed rehabilitator who knows what they are doing? Do you see any other symptoms such as diarrhea, blood in the urine, discharge from the nose? What is the typical daily diet?
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:46 PM
bugbrownlee bugbrownlee is offline
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Default Re: Sick Squirrel won't eat! HELP!

Well, she has since passed but as neither i nor the vet has any idea what caused her death i will answer your questions to get to the bottom of this. i have raised sq's in the past and these 3 were foisted on me by a construction worker who killed their mom accidently in january and after watching the nest for the rest of the day and no sq. came back brought them to me because they would surely die. they still had their umbilical cords. after they were weaned in may they were released and the boy never came back but both the 2 girls kept trying to get back in, and the one who died actually chewed thru a door to get back in and wouldn't leave. so i kept them. they have a 3x4x6 cage that they share to sleep in and an entire sq-proof room that is their own in my house, where when they are supervised they are free to roam. they eat a high-calcium veggie diet supplemented with dandelion greens, acorns and pinecones when in season and their cage is situated so they get sun if they want, and shade if they want to make their vitamin d. every so often they get vitamin supplements, and since i'm (mostly!) vegetarian they eat what i do, no high-sugar fruits for them tho and nuts only in moderation cuz of the high phosphorus, but lots of greens and other veggies. i had a sq die of metabolic bone disease once and it broke my heart, so now i am fairly careful of what they eat and get into. they do like my cat's food a lot tho, and the vet said the only trouble with that is they will get fat if they eat too much so it's more of a treat kind of thing. when she first started acting strange i separated the sisters and the next day i took her to the vet because she wouldn't eat or drink ANYTHING i offered (and i know her favorites!). None of the symptoms you gave were present at all, and her sister seems fine (a bit chunky, tho!) but she seems to keep looking for the one that died. the vet gave her 3 subcutaneous liquid injections because she was dehydrated and also gave me some seriously high-powered formula mojo called Critical Care, but she died not quite 2 hours after bringing her home from the vet. the only thing i noticed other than her not taking nutrients and the subsequent lack of bowel movements was that her breathing was very rapid and shallow, even for a sq. she died in my hands as i cuddled her (she always liked the heartbeat sound, especially as a baby) and i was actually on hold with the vet's office freaking out when she took her last breath on my chest. the last 2 mins of her life almost seemed like she couldn't get enough air in her lungs, like there was fluid or something and i don't think a blockage b/c her chest was rising and falling. maybe the vet injected her to much? or in the wrong spot? she's so small and 3 injections seemed like a lot but he didn't ask me, that's his job to know i guess. i'm kinda tore up about it, and i keep telling myself she was only a sq and i still have her sister but i guess i was more attached than i thought. raising something that labor-intensive could only have been a labor of love, i reckon. sorry this is so long-winded but for the life of me i can't figure out what caused it so naturally i'm afraid for her sister, because if the same thing were to happen to her i would still have no idea how to treat it. any insight possible would be most appreciated, and if you have any tips or ideas on their care that would help as well, as people are constantly bringing me random animals (wild or not- now i'm nursing an injured baby mockingbird brought by a coworker) to nurse to health or adulthood, whichever comes first. thanks so much, again.

jesse
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:54 PM
bugbrownlee bugbrownlee is offline
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Default Re: Sick Squirrel won't eat! HELP!

just another question- how does one get to be a liscensed wildlife rehabber? i'm an environment bio major and lord knows i have rehabbed my fair share of animals, but it's been mostly a trial, error, love, care and intuition kind of thing. there's CERTAINLY a demand for it in my growing city where it seems like humans are constantly harming an animal in some way (whether knowingly or inadvertantly) and for sure a liscense would be a good thing to have. i daily log animal weights, diet and behavior and look up what is the required cage size for captivity when i get a new charge, so if anyone tried to take them from me i have proof of proper care and sanitation. thanks again- jesse
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:31 PM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: Sick Squirrel won't eat! HELP!

Let me start backwards about the rehab permit. You need to go to your State's parks and wildlife website or fish and wildlife, and find out how it works there. It's different from State to State.

You need a State permit for the mammals, but you need a State PLUS a Federal Permit for songbirds and raptors (cuz they cross state lines, seriously! lol)

There's more about it under the Rehabber's Corner..

From what I have been reading, you did all the right things with your squirrel, but the way she passed is pretty much the same way all of them go..this gasping for air..to me it's either pneumonia or kidney failure.

2 things stuck out: one was that you said they get sunlight but the cage was inside, so I assume it was through closed windows? Most window glass filters out the UV rays, which are the point of the sunlight.

The other thing was that you said you didn't give them many nuts. How do they keep their teeth short?

Anyways, none of these 2 things qualify for the cause of death, otherwise you'd notice it long before it would have caused trouble, I believe, or the vet would have.

My guess: either the squirrel got a hold of something it shouldn't have or there was something wrong from birth on that showed now. I don't think it was anything contagious.

By the way..your girls were simply released a bit too early and not quite the way they should have been. They need to get used to the outside slowly and learn how to find food on their own etc etc. Being weaned doesn't mean they are ready to go yet.

There are 2 ways of releasing: one is to let them move out slowly at the place they were raised, which is called a soft release. The other one is to bring the animals to a place that is suitable after they are used to the outside and where they won't find their way back, preferably away from people.
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