Profile
Memberlist
Calendar
Search
Today's Posts  
Pets and Wildlife Forum
Register
Go Back   Pets and Wildlife Forum > Wildlife > Squirrels

Squirrels Talk about squirrels.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #21  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:04 PM
Nadine's Avatar
Nadine Nadine is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 67
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

We get dried cereal from the health food store, things like cheerios, shreaded wheat, granola and it's all organic so I will give her some little snacks in a few minutes. I will go get her some baby food fruits and veggies in the morning but how do I feed them to her? In a little dish or with a spoon? I would never give her any kind of people food containing preservatives, even the people here don't eat chemicals! Neither do the dogs and cats although I am worried about my birds' food (I made a post about bird food in the pet bird section a few minutes ago).
Sunlight? Oh my. I didn't know she needed sunlight, Sheila is in a cage on top of my dresser in the bedroom but I will move her tonight so she can be next to the window. I will also start taking her outside in her cage, just tell me how much daylight and outdoor time she needs a day.
Thanks for everything and I will send pictures very soon.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:14 PM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

I should have mentioned that earlier with the sunlight..let me explain now.

Sunlight has the necessary vitamin D to distribute the calcium to the bones, as you probably know. Without that metabolic bone disease occurs pretty fast. I suggest you get a Full Spectrum Light.

Sunlight that shines through closed windows is not enough!

Eventually she will have to be outside to get used to it..to keep it as natural as possible for her.

Now here's some detailed info on the MBD:

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease, or MBD, is a preventable problem that can occur in animals we rehabilitate. MBD has also been seen in wild animals with no prior human contact, though this is rare. A knowledge of this condition, and it's causes, can help us care properly for those species particularly at risk.

MBD is most often caused by improper diet. Vitamin D, which under normal circumstances the body produces on it's own (needing sunlight to do so), is vital to the body's ability to absorb calcium.

Sun received through windows and window screens is not adequate because these filter the important UV rays necessary for this to take place. Professionally formulated milk replacers have vitamin D in them, but as the animal is weaning they are receiving less and less of this vital nutrient so 20 minutes of full sun a day is recommended, or all spectrum or full spectrum bulbs can be used if the former is not possible. Because the formula we feed is balanced with *all* the vitamins necessary, the weaning diet is critical.

Since MBD can get started in as little as 5 days time, an animal that is not eating needs to be monitored closely. Often the signs are slight, and by the time it is obvious what is going on, correcting it becomes more difficult. MBD also affects the internal organs as well; so what we see on the outside is just the tip of the iceberg.

Some of the more subtle signs of MBD are excessive sleeping, not wanting to move around or jump and climb. MBD hurts! The bones (being effected the most), and muscles become weak and the animal is in pain. Swollen joints and improper bone growth (legs splaying in or out) are also sign of MBD's progression. In more drastic cases there are seizures and lack of use of the back legs. Because MBD is the thinning of the bone, a fall that would not normally have any effect can cause a leg or the spine to fracture or break.

One way to tell if you are dealing with MBD is a radiograph (advance cases) however the stress factor on the animal must be taken into account. The other is to watch how they move and observe their abilities. Can they hang upside down without discomfort? Are they using the full extension of their legs and body, (in other words moving *freely*)? It is important for you to know what *normal* is so that you can identify the possible onset of MBD in the early stages.

In rare cases, MBD is not caused by incorrect diet but by genetics. The body doesn't synthesize sun properly to create vitamin D, or the body doesn't process calcium correctly. While this is extremely rare, it has happened. Another possible cause of MBD, when a correct diet is being fed, is hierarchy. Even young animals have a pecking order and often the one at the bottom doesn't get the adequate food needed to keep calcium/phosphorus at the proper levels. Again, a good commercial diet that makes up 80% of their daily food will go a long way in preventing this. Monitoring weight gain, growth and overall heath will let you know if this is happening.

MBD can be treated, but the sooner it is caught the better. Correcting the diet, if that is the problem, is the first order of business. Adding additional calcium, along with making sure there is adequate access to vitamin D through natural sunlight or lighting mentioned above has proven to work well. Supplementing with actual vitamin D should only be done under the supervision of veterinarian, vitamin D is a fat soluble and can build up and become toxic, more is *not* always better. The most important thing to remember is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In a perfect world Ca/pH should be at 2:1 and a good commercial diet, that is balanced, is the place to start. For the other 20% of the daily foods there are many dietary books on the market that will help you in keeping the Ca/pH ratios close to the acceptable level.

These are just the very basics and, depending on the severity of the MBD, other steps may also be necessary. If you have never dealt with MBD before it is important that you check with your veterinarian and/or another rehabilitator that is familiar with the problem and procedure.

It is important that we understand what part calcium and phosphorus play in the body. Below is a straight forward explanation of the very important rolls these two minerals, (also known as macroelements) have in bone growth and overall development of the animals in our care.

"They are major mineral constituents of the animals body and are largely associated with skeletal formation. Calcium is also important in blood clotting, excitability of nerves and muscles, acid-base balance, enzyme activation and muscle contraction, whereas phosphorus is involved in almost every aspect of animal metabolism, such as energy metabolism, muscle contractions, nerve tissue metabolism, transport of metabolites, nucleic acid structure, and carbohydrate, fat, and amino acid metabolism." Robbins, Wildlife Feeding and Nutrition Second Edition.

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) is a deficiency of calcium in a squirrel’s diet. It is caused by an improper diet wherein seeds, nuts, and corn are the major, or only, components of a diet. The condition will kill the squirrel. This is not a theory - it is common because some people ignore the warnings, do not follow the dietary instructions, give the animals a diet high in seeds, nuts, and corn, and low in calcium bearing foods. In addition to bone development, calcium is needed for all organic functions, including heart, respiration, blood circulation, muscle, and eyesight. Do not think you and your squirrel will be the exceptions if you feed a diet composed of seeds, nuts, and corn. This deadly diet is often sold in stores under the descriptor “Squirrel Feed”.

Seeds, nuts, and corn are high in phosphorous and contain low, or no, calcium (almonds and hazelnuts do have a small amount of calcium, but also contain phosphorous). The body needs phosphorous as well as calcium, but when phos ratios exceed calcium ratios, the phos blocks the absorption of calcium, making it unavailable to the body. If one feeds a low amount of high calcium foods, and a high amount of phos foods, it will cause mbd. Therefore, calcium foods must be the major component of the diet. Squirrels love nuts, seeds, and corn and will eat those foods exclusively if given the opportunity. When these foods are the major component of the diet, they are the nutritional equivalent of candy. When given as small portions of a diet, with high calcium foods being the major item on the menu, seeds, nuts, and corn become just one more nutritional element, in this case a positive element. Again: a diet of seeds, nuts, corn will cause metabolic bone disease if they are the major, or only, components of a diet.

Symptoms of MBD: general body soreness, activity levels decline, lethargy, sometimes a drop in appetite, sometimes labored breathing, increasing in severity to seizures and or paralysis, then death if not treated. The symptoms usually manifest around the age of 10 weeks; the caretaker may not see the symptoms, or recognize what he or she is seeing, until the symptoms become severe and the animal goes down. This is the point at which people usually call me crying, “something is wrong with my baby, he is paralyzed (or having seizures).” Some babies are dying in the person’s hands as we talk. This anguish is so preventable if one feeds a high calcium diet.
__________________
MissDolittle
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:28 PM
Nadine's Avatar
Nadine Nadine is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 67
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

I think we have some full spectrum bulbs and will go check in a minute, if we don't I'll go buy Sheila a bulb or lamp or whatever she needs. Will also take her outside for sunshine.
Thanks for helping us and please keep the info coming; I'm new at this and appreciate all the advice and support.
When I feed her the baby food fruits and veggies, do I feed her with a spoon or put her food in a dish and let her eat on her own? Or can I start by mixing the puree in some formula and feed her through her bottle?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:50 PM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

Good questions! You are doing such a good job!

I usually start by mixing a spoon full of apple sauce with the formula once a day..then just put some on the finger or on a spoon, because if you put it into a bowl, she'll bathe in it lool. It can get real messy!

I saw your post in the bird section..unfortunately I don't have an answer for that, but I use parrot food to mix with my squirrel food..just to start them out. Most important for them is to learn to open nuts, hard shelled nuts, to keep their teeth short enough.

This is what happens when a squirrel's gets only peanuts and sunflower seeds:



This is a quote from a fellow rehabber, the owner of the Squirrel Store. She literally wrote the book on squirrels:

Quote:
"Peanuts are a legume, not a nut. Squirrels need hard shelled nuts such as filberts, walnuts, acorns, etc. Another problem with feeding squirrels in the wild the peanuts, is they tend to become dependant on them.

They are very easy for the squirrels to open. If squirrels do not work their teeth than they will over-grow eventually leading to maloclusion. If a squirrels teeth become to long they will need to be clipped or they will end up dying of starvation or infection from the teeth growing up into the roof of the mouth.

The end result was not good. Though the squirrel was able to survive in captivity it would never have survived back into the wild due to the severe infection that she had developed due to the teeth being grown into the top teeth which eventually killed the route of the teeth and they were now non-existent. It was necessary to clip this squirrels bottom teeth every three weeks. Therefore, I do recommend only feeding hard shelled nuts."
__________________
MissDolittle
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-19-2007, 10:57 AM
Fluffytial's Avatar
Fluffytial Fluffytial is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 281
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

Since we're talking about squirrel diets I have a question. Many people have told me that squirrels should have rodent blocks as a main part of their diet. Our little girl will not really eat the stuff. She will nibble on it sometimes but she doesn't really like it. Is that real important? Our other squirrels didn't get them. Is there anything I could try instead of them?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:37 AM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

PET Squirrel Diet
  • Rodent block or monkey biscuits as the basic diet
  • Natural sunlight or a full-spectrum light (at least 2 hours a day)
  • A slice of orange or other citrus will aid calcium absorption
  • A hard boiled egg with shell provides protein, calcium, PLUS one of the very few dietary sources of Vitamin D.

Good Calcium Sources (high-calcium/low-phosphorus):
collard greens, mustard spinach, papaya, turnip greens, tofu w/calcium sulfate, fresh parsley, beet greens, dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, looseleaf lettuce, figs (fresh), kale,

Moderate Calcium Sources
yogurt, low-fat, plain or fruit flavored, chickory, dried figs, green cabbage, watercress, endive, grapes, celery, green beans, red cabbage, crabapple, radish, swiss chard, tofu, pear, apple, with skin, pineapple, winter squash, watermelon, honeydew melon, cucumber, cherry, romaine lettuce, strawberry, broccoli, apricot

Low Calcium Foods (Treats only)
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, cantaloupe, summer squash, apple without skin, seedless raisins, almonds, pumpkin, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts, peach, asparagus, banana, sweet potatoes, walnuts, nuts of any kind

Notes: The calcium in some foods, such as beans, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and spinach, contain substances (oxalates and phytates) that decrease calcium absorption. This makes these foods poor sources of calcium. Although dairy contains high calcium, because of their moderate phosphorus levels they are only moderately good calcium sources. Avoid pumpkin seed kernals and sunflower seeds! They are very high in phosphorus and will cause calcium loss.

Source
__________________
MissDolittle
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-19-2007, 11:45 AM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

I forgot to say that the paralyzed squirrel I had for a year, she wouldn't eat the mazuri rodent block either, but only because I had all the other good stuff available. Once I removed the other food and only left hard shelled nuts around and the rodent block, she ate it.

Everything else I offered by hand as a treat and what she didn't eat right there and then, I removed again.

They are just like children, if you'd have bread and chocolate around all the time, guess what they would eat? lol
__________________
MissDolittle
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-20-2007, 09:14 AM
Fluffytial's Avatar
Fluffytial Fluffytial is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 281
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

Thanks for the suggestions. All we have offered her are shelled nuts (hazelnuts, black walnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.) and rodent blocks. She does also get sunflower seeds, peanuts, carrots, pear, apple, and craisins, but those are not given all the time. Of course she also gets alot of tree branches from outside and eat the buds or seed pods etc.
I will keep trying to get her to eat those rodent blocks though. I had thought of trying the monkey biscuits but anyone I have talked to says they won't eat them.
I didn't know you had a paralized squirrel. We had a male fox squirrel who was injured and his hind legs became paralized. He was recovering from that when he started having seizures. He passed away a few months later.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-22-2007, 07:44 AM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

Aaw, sorry to hear that about the fox squirrel. Missy was actually adopted by a vet who put her through physical therapy and actually released her, or rather let her run wild in her yard at the age of 2. She's still around doing great, but in another city, so I can't see her.
__________________
MissDolittle
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-22-2007, 06:13 PM
Nadine's Avatar
Nadine Nadine is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 67
Default Re: Baby Squirrel Present from my cat

Hi and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Here are the newest pictures of Sheila that we took last night. If this picture thing doesn't work for me, I will ask Miss D for some help.


and



Isn't Sheila a darling little thing?
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 PM.


Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Squirrel Rescue - Puppy Education - Lost & Found Pets - St Augustine Florida pet friendly vacation rentals

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.