Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

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StarMasayume
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Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby StarMasayume » Mon May 10, 2010 1:12 pm

I have two flying squirrels I've had for a little over a year now besides owning two sugar gliders. I feed my flyers the wild nut and berry bird mix along with a few small pieces of cut up veggies and fruit (I find they don't eat as much fruit and veggies as the gliders normally do).

Well my one little girl, Tsubasa, I believe has developed a Metabolic bone disease. I think I didn't notice it as much right away because when I rescued her she had some broken toes that fell off and I was always a bit worried about her. When I realized she was clearly having trouble moving around I made sure a pouch, food, and water were all on the bottom of the cage for her reach and have specifically given them more yogurt mixed with vitamins and calcium supplements. But now her one hand broke and twisted at a right angle and she can't really use it. She still get's out at night and I see her in the food bowl so she's been hanging on for a long time so I still have some hope for her.

My second squirrel, Mokono, is as robust and healthy as anything! I don't understand the two extremes. Could she be hogging the vitamins and food? A few times I've taken Tsubasa out just to lick the yogurt and vitamins from my finger to make sure she's getting more of it, but I could do that more often. I don't think I'm feeding them the wrong diet. Is there some specific foods I might use that would help?

I don't know if it's too late for her twisted hand - she's walking on the joint of her wrist now. What else could I do for her to make her more comfortable and improve her chances of healing as well as can be? I noticed her fingernails get caught on the material in their pouches a lot. Should I try trimming her fingernails? They're so tiny so I was worried about doing it but I'm more worried about her breaking more toes or another hand. Maybe a better material that won't catch? My gliders and the other flyer don't seem to have as much trouble but I think her condition makes it worse for her.

And finally I remember a squirrel rescue lady trimmed Tsubasa's teeth when I first got her, mentioning that they're like the material of fingernails and that they can't eat if they get too long. How short should they be and should I try clipping them? If so what's the best way to go about it?

That's all I can think of for now. I just hope she can still get better or I can improve the conditions for her.

StarMasayume
Baby Flyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:20 pm

Re: Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby StarMasayume » Mon May 10, 2010 1:51 pm

Perhaps I was over eager to post for help - I just noticed one of the stickies had in depth about MBD a long with some methods to try. I'll have to see what I can find or improvise. I never even gave much though about sunlight so maybe I was blaming calcium too much. I believe I've been using repcal and another general vitamin that was recommended to me for the gliders that I used for the squirrels as well -- I would mix a pinch of each in yogurt around twice a week.

Would it be worth trying to separate my two flyers? Thinking about it, I'm getting more worried about the other healthy one hogging food or the yogurt with vitamins. Or should I just supervise while she's eating? What about recommendation for bedding? Something comfortable like a nesting box that won't catch her nails as bad?

Some of my questions still apply though and I'm worried whether it's too far along -- reading up on it I can confirm some of the worse symptoms of MDB. :( I see a lot of good methods but I'm not sure which to try. I may stop by the pet store later to pick up any extra things that I can.

violetlady
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Re: Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby violetlady » Mon May 10, 2010 8:34 pm

The pros on this forum are busy with baby squirrels, but be patient, one of them will come along & give you sound advice. I'm not qualified to answer your concerns.
HOF to Ziggy

Judy C.

Re: Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby Judy C. » Mon May 10, 2010 11:36 pm

Welcome back - I just wish it was under happier circumstances. As you have found, we have a good section on MBD here. There is also some excellent information about MBD treatment on The Squirrel Board, and you might want to look at that as well. The link to TSB is under my signature. (I post there as Muffinsquirrel.)

With quick, intense calcium treatment, your flyer may very well recover...I certainly hope so.

You asked about a nesting box. Since MBD can be very painful, I would put the box or pouch close to the bottom of the cage, to guard against falls. Use fleece for bedding, as they don't catch their nails in it as easily as in other bedding. A heating pad set on low under half of the cage/container, will probably make her feel better. And unless the flyers object, I would separate them and put her in a small 'hospital' cage, so that she wouldn't have to move around too much. Stop giving the seed mix and feed lots of healthy veggies, yogurt (don't use low fat or lite, and don't use the kind with artificial sweeteners), and a few nuts and fruits. You can check the calcium/phosphorus of different foods in the chart, so that you will know what is best to feed.

Good luck with her. Post here, or on TSB, or feel free to PM me if you have any questions or if you just need to talk.

Judy C.

StarMasayume
Baby Flyer
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:20 pm

Re: Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby StarMasayume » Tue May 11, 2010 10:59 am

Thanks Judy. I've already made her a little nesting box and as soon as I had realized her trouble getting around I made sure all food, water, and necessities were at the bottom of the cage for her in one area. She likes to snuggle inside a wood tunnel by her sleep and food area. She is really the sweetest thing and hopefully she can still pull out of it.

So try and focus more on veggies, fruit and such for her over the seed mix? I can always keep that in a higher dish so the other one gets the seed mix. I figured I might just hand feed her the yogurt mixed with calcium to make sure she's getting it. How should I judge the amount? For calcium I have Rep-Cal, but it's hard to judge the amount since it's a powder.

The only other major question I have is about her teeth. Would it be recommended to trim them if they really started sticking out over her mouth, one curling a bit? I added some more chew stuff for teeth trimming to help keep her teeth down. And if so what's the best way to go about it?

Joan
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Re: Sick Flyer with bone disease :(

Postby Joan » Wed May 12, 2010 9:57 am

StarMasayume wrote:... So try and focus more on veggies, fruit and such for her over the seed mix? I can always keep that in a higher dish so the other one gets the seed mix. I figured I might just hand feed her the yogurt mixed with calcium to make sure she's getting it. How should I judge the amount? For calcium I have Rep-Cal, but it's hard to judge the amount since it's a powder.


Pick one of the methods and stick with it: http://www.nfsa.us/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6933
No one knows the "correct amount", but too much calcium is as bad as not enough.


StarMasayume wrote:...The only other major question I have is about her teeth. Would it be recommended to trim them if they really started sticking out over her mouth, one curling a bit? I added some more chew stuff for teeth trimming to help keep her teeth down. And if so what's the best way to go about it?

'
If she is able to eat OK, I wouldn't mess with them. Hard, unopened nuts are the best trimmers.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


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