Feeding Infants & Pups

Joan
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Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby Joan » Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:52 pm

Infants
There is no research available on the content of flyer's milk, but we do have some on gray squirrel's milk compared to cow's milk:
Milk composition table, in percentages, from Borden, Inc. research:

Species .......... Solids ..... Fat ..... Protein ..... Carbohydrates
Cow ................. 11.9 ........ 3.6 ......... 3.0 .................. 4.6

Gray Squirrel . 26.6 ...... 12.6 ........ 9.2 ................... 3.4


Cow's milk is NOT rich enough for most animals, and diarrhea from feeding it is common due to its lactose content. To see the tragic results of feeding squirrels a straight cow's milk diet, http://www.squirrel-rehab.org/pictures/ ... rdiet.html

To prevent formula from upsetting the pup's digestive systems, start with the formula 1/4 strength of package directions the first day or two, 1/2 strength a day or two, and so forth until your are feeding the formula per package instructions. The gradual increase in formula strength usually prevents problems. Feeding too much or too often can cause problems also. If the stomach isn't empty between feedings, they can get runny stools from not digesting the formula properly. As a general rule, they are actually beter off left a little hungry than to be over fed .

"There has been lots of discussion of what formula to feed baby squirrels on a lot of boards and e-mail groups. The best and most recommended formula is Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer. It has been proven to be the best by fat content, protein content, and years of use. Not one thing needs to be added to it. If using the powder, it can be mixed 1 3/4:1 instead of 2:1 to increase its fat content and strength for weak, underweight squirrels. No cream, ground nuts, ground monkey chow, etc., ever needs to be added."
......... Dennis Quinter 10-30-03


Initially, feed 2 to 3 week old pups every 3-4 hours from about 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM. No over night feeding should be needed unless the pups act very hungry in the morning. Four to 5 week old pups should be fed four times a day. As they start nibbling solid foods, go to three time a day. They don't need to be fed any time during the night at 5-6 weeks old. Young pups, 5 weeks and younger, need the formula to be heated to about 90 degrees. At 6 weeks old, room temperature is OK.

Formula Calculation:
The amount you feed is about 25% of their body weight per day.
Here is a way to figure the approximate amount to feed a 2 oz.
baby if you are feeding 4 times per day.

2 oz. x 28 = 56 grams. Assume 56 grams = 56 cc
56 cc x .25 = 14 cc = the amount to feed per day.
If feeding 4 times a day: 14 cc divided by 4 = 3.5 cc per feeding.

Weights:
1 gram = 0.035274 ounce
1 ounce = 28 grams

Nursing Teats:
Elongated nursing teats can be purchased on line at
http://www.jefferspet.com/ssc/product.a ... pf_id=4064
or
http://www.thesquirrelstore.com/categor ... ategory=31

Results of Improper Diet:
http://www.squirrel-rehab.org/pictures/ ... rdiet.html
http://www.squirreltales.org/sq-pics.htm

Feeding:
Babies that are not weaned (under age 8 weeks) need to be fed Esbilac puppy formula or Fox Valley. If you use the powder form, mix it to package instructions. Their stomach should be empty before feeding again. Keep a lookout for the milk line and don't feed until it's gone. Overfeeding can be worse than under. Having pups stretch out for the nipple can help prevent aspiration. Keep them warm ... around 90-95 degrees to digest the formula properly.

The liquid formula can be frozen in an ice tray and a cube thawed out for feeding.
DO NOT add vitamins to water or formula of pups not yet weaned. They can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration.

At age 4 weeks they need to be fed 4 times per day. Be very careful that they don't aspirate the formula. If it gets in their nose and especially lungs, it can be fatal. They can drown, get pneumonia, or a sinus infection. They can be offered formula in a spoon to lap to avoid aspiration from syringe feeding. Feed pups whenever they stir and as much as they want without forcing any. If using a syringe without nipple or an eyedropper, put a droplet on the cleft of the muzzle and let the pup draw the droplet in instead of putting a syringe or eyedropper into the pup's mouth: viewtopic.php?t=5146
viewtopic.php?t=5147

At this age, the eyes are open and, in addition to formula, they can be offered soft solid foods. They can begin to gnaw on pecans and pine nuts although they continue to nurse until they are 8 - 10 weeks. Give pups pecan halves -- split to make pecan quarters and pine nuts and hazelnuts broken in half. All out of the shell. Apples and pears are well received, as are grapes. Offer Cherrios.

As they start eating solid foods, the formula can be decreased to 3 times per day. Usually before work or school, after work or school, and at 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM works well. Good starter foods are peeled grapes, diced apple, Cherrios, banana, and crunchy peanut butter. The grapes should be peeled because the baby can't chew it and it can get caught in their throat.

Use 16oz and 32oz Cola lids for food bowls at first. They are the right size for a baby flyer and it is easy to tell how much and what they are eating. As they start eating solid foods, the stool needs to be watched to make sure they don't get diarrhea. This can cause them to dehydrate and that is a serious problem.

After they are eating the starter foods (apples, pears, and grapes)broccoli, cauliflower, shelled raw peanuts, shelled "hard shell" nuts and a high quality wild birdseed mix can be added to the diet.

When all of these types of foods are being eaten regularly, add a water bottle. The best water bottle to use has no ball in the tip. Use a "hamster" water dispenser that looks like a test tube and has a glass drinking tube. It is easier for them to learn to drink from these. It is best to not use chlorinated water, softened water, or any other "treated" water. When they start drinking water, the formula can be cut back to twice a day.

During the weaning process, as the formula gets cut back, calcium should be added to the diet. ReptoCal, PetCal, etc., that has Vitamin D3 also can be used. The Vitamin D3 is required to get the calcium absorbed by the body. This prevents Metabolic Bone Disease and is VERY important. Squirrels are rodents and have the same basic dietary needs as mice and rats. Rodent blocks are made to cover all the dietary needs of rodents including having calcium, in the correct ratio of 2:1 to phosphorous, to prevent MBD.

If in powder form, lightly dust food with the supplement three times per week. If you use too much, they may reject the food and not get the needed calcium.

At 5 weeks they can take 3-5 cc three times a day. At 5 1/2 weeks, they can eat pumpkin and sunflower seeds and gnaw on hard shelled nuts. (They don't get them opened, of course, but they do work on them!)

At 6 weeks old they can be offered Cherrios, peanut butter, banana and banana chips, blueberries, peeled diced apple, grapes, and pears as well as Dannon yogurt. (Dannon has a live bacteria culture and can be good for the digestive system. This is also good during weaning as a source for calcium).
The apple, grapes, and pears are peeled because they can't chew the peel at that age and can choke on it. Split the grapes. Feed small amounts so you can tell how much is getting eaten.

From this they can graduate to pecan and walnut meat (unsalted), pine nuts, broccoli, cauliflower, shelled raw peanuts, along with any of the above. Meal worms (2- 3 per day) can be offered. Pups seem to prefer dried worms ... adults, live.

Wean at 8-10 weeks:
At 8 weeks, they can open pine nut shells, and although it might take them a night, they can gnaw holes in hazelnuts and work at the meat. Flyers tend to wean themselves at about 8 weeks. They lose interest in the formula.

During the weaning process, calcium and phosphorous rich foods should be included:

Foods high in calcium are collard greens, kale, broccoli, Dannon yogurt, and cottage cheese to name a few.
Foods high in phosphorous are apple, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, orange, cucumber, lettuce, grapes, honey dew, celery, cabbage, dandelion greens, mushrooms, lima beans, oatmeal, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and Brazil nuts.
Eventually, you will need to get them to eat hard shelled nuts. Shell them first, then just crack them, but eventually they need to gnaw them open. Their front teeth grow their entire life, gnawing nuts open helps keep them worn down. If the teeth get over grown, the squirrel cannot eat.

Elimination:
Initial stools can be pasty and mustard colored. Babies need to be stimulated to go to the bathroom. You may use a warm damp cotton ball, Q-tip, or cloth for very tiny babies or tickle the genital/anal area with wet Kleenex.
Failure to stimulate can cause uremic poisoning and death. Stimulate after every feeding. Urine of all baby squirrels should be clear. As they mature and begin eating solid foods around 10 weeks, the urine may change color.
Feeding too much at a time or too often can cause loose stool and
dehydration. Nothing needs to be added to the Esbilac to make it
better, it is fine by itself.
At 4 weeks old and eyes open, a pup is probably able to "go" on its own -- although stimulation won't do any harm. Putting toilet tissue in the nest box sometimes helps because you'll be able to see droppings and wetness.

How to Read Droppings:
Golden-brown, soft, peanut butter consistency: Normal if on formula.

Golden-brown suddenly loose: Too much formula.

Pale green: Over feeding, too much bile.

Black: Possible internal bleeding or parasites.

Brown, bulky, semisolid: Normal during weaning.

Brown, firm, well-formed: Normal for weaned animals.

Babies should be kept at 85-90 degrees for them to digest the formula properly. This can be dropped as they get to 8 weeks old.

Baby Squirrel Hygiene Tips:
*** Gently remove all spilled formula from the baby's fur after each feeding. If the formula is allowed to harden, the fur will fall out.
*** If you wipe the entire body of a baby squirrel with a damp cloth, make sure you dry the squirrel completely. Do not return to cage chilled.
*** If urine burns appear in the genital area, apply corn starch after washing and drying. Do not use any other type of powder.
*** Baby squirrels frequently attempt to nurse each other's genital area. This is a serious problem for males. Apply a few drops of Bitter Apple on the genital area of both sexes. It will quickly discourage the inappropriate nursing. If they continue the nursing, separate to prevent damage.
*** Keep all feeding equipment clean. A bleach solution of 1/2 teaspoon bleach to 2 cups water may be used to sterilize the feeding equipment occasionally. Rinse well in hot water.

Treating Severe Diarrhea in a Pup:
1. Esbilac is the preferred formula.
2. Take off the formula. Pedialyte only for 24 hours. Dehydration
can very quick set in with runny stools. To test for dehydration,
"pinch" the skin between the pup's shoulders and hold it up for
a second or two in a peak. Then let it go. If it stays "peaked" up,
then the pup is dehydrated. Give only Pedialyte until the "pinch"
test results in the skin falling out of the "peak" quickly. Then
return the pup to formula, but use Pedialyte to hydrate the
formula for a day or two.
3. When back on the formula, use it 1/4 strength the first day. 1/2
strength the second day, etc., until pup is drinking it full strength.
4. Their stomach needs to be empty before they eat again. At about
5 weeks, they only need to be fed 3-4 times between about
8:00am and 11:00pm. No feeding through the night. Feeding too
often or too much can cause the diarrhea
5. Vitamins do not need to be added to the formula. Too much
vitamin supplementing can upset the system also.
6. Start offering solid food. Cheerios, banana, peanut butter, peeled
split grapes, peeled diced apple, etc.

DANGER SIGNS - SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION:

Mouth Breathing/gasping for air/ "clicking" sound may indicate aspiration.
Seizures
paralyzes
dehydration

If your squirrel experiences any form of paralyzation of the hind legs or extreme shaking, a veterinarian should treat it. These conditions can be life threatening if left untreated.

Phases in the life of squirrels who are NOT being fed properly:
8 to 9 weeks: (still on formula) that "tricky stage" when they start having seizures.

3 1/2 months: Screaming, having a seizure at 3 a.m., dying, or "unexplained death" in the morning after being normal the night before.

4 months: To the trained eye, this is when the first outward symptoms of rickets begin appearing, symptoms that steadily increase as aging continues.

5 ½ months: a seizure or death can occur, or an inability to handle stress, having a stroke, going down in back legs or other muscular degeneration caused by a severe lack of magnesium

6 to 9 months: quietly going down in back legs, having a seizure and ending up unable to use any of the limbs (arms, legs) or tail. This situation needs to be caught and treated quickly in order for complete recovery to occur.
Last edited by Joan on Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:09 am, edited 6 times in total.

jodylin
Juvie Pup
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new addition

Postby jodylin » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:07 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your wonderful feeding instructions. My daughter didn't mention that these pups are 7-8 weeks old already and is it okay to start the veggies, nuts (shelled) and fruit , etc. or does it still need the formula?

Thanks
jody

jodylin
Juvie Pup
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:17 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: lake worth, florida
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Postby jodylin » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:15 pm

:oops:

how embarassing....i didn't read all the way to the "weaned section."

I am printing this out for my daughter and myself so we can spoil our new baby.....we are going to name him "Selby" after a storybook about a squirrel named Selby and his adventures which I bought her when she was four years old...The book came with a tiny stuffed squirrel which I still have on my desk.....Whoever knew that we'd actually be getting one someday!!! i guess everything happens for a reason!

I'm not sure how often to fill the food dish with a mixture of lettuce and such.
jody

Joan
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Postby Joan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:31 pm

[quote="jodylin"]:oops:

how embarassing....i didn't read all the way to the "weaned section."

If he wants it, let him have it. He can probably drink from a spoon or small dish.

.....we are going to name him "Selby" after a storybook about a squirrel named Selby and his adventures which I bought her when she was four years old...

Cool.

I'm not sure how often to fill the food dish with a mixture of lettuce and such.

Just once and change it every day. You'll get an idea of how much he eats and can increase or decrease the amount accordingly.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

pattersondt
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How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Montana

Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby pattersondt » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:48 pm

We are going to be new parents again to 2 pups in Oct. Of course we are just as excited as the first time. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the goats milk for babies from exotic nutrition? We used esbilac with our Mimsy but I was wondering if this is a better alternative. Only the best for flyers you know. Any advice is welcome. Thank You, Toni and Daniel

Joan
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Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby Joan » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:18 pm

"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

fsalter53
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How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Inglis Florida

Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby fsalter53 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:26 pm

I have been reading all your when to feed what instructions but I have a question, do I need to wake them to feed them
I have a male and female, they will be 2 months old jan 30. still on formula, they like to sleep and I have been going in waking them,
letting them go potty and get the milk ready, some time I will wake them and let them potty and when I return they go back to sleep,
they eat when I wake them some time they just eat a little, I feed them about every 4 hours. start about 730 and finish about 1100
at night, they arent wanting it as often, I do have cherrios and these little tiny fruit looking things from the pet store,
and 1 half pecan but they are not really into nuts yet. I want to know should I wake them or let them wake and eat when they get
hungry. :popcorn:
SADIE ^ SAGE

Joan
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Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby Joan » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:51 pm

Most of my pups are weaned and on a full adult diet by 8 weeks. I certainly wouldn't wake them up for formula. As a matter of fact, I put formula in a small dish every night and let them take it or not as they desire. Since they are eating solid foods, they often ignore the formula.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

AmeliasMommy
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Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby AmeliasMommy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:28 am

Hi there,

I have been using this to feed my little Amelia after hearing horror stories about some of the esbilac formulas. She has done VERY well so far!

http://www.henryspets.com/categories/Rehab-Supplies/

Joan
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Re: Feeding Infants & Pups

Postby Joan » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:57 am

Esbalic formula is corrected.
"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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