Three Reasons Why Baby Squirrels Die in Captivity

					Did you ever take in a baby squirrel and start to feed and care for it,
then have it go downhill physically and die? You're not alone! The
following are three common reasons why baby squirrels die in captivity:1.
The Wrong Diet.Improper diet is the number one reason why squirrels die.
There's a lot of controversy over what is the correct formula to feed
baby squirrels who are still nursing. Many wild animal rehabilitators
will tell you to buy an expensive puppy formula, and to never feed a
squirrel cow's milk. I've used the expensive puppy formula with marginal
success, but recently they changed the formulation which left it lacking
enough milk fat for squirrels. Now, all of a sudden, they're telling
people to add heavy cream to boost the fat content! Hello! What is heavy
cream? It's the cream from cow's milk! The reason cow's milk will kill a
baby squirrel is because there are substances in the milk that will give
a squirrel severe diarrhea. Diarrhea will lead to an electrolyte
imbalance,which will lead to a heart irregularity and ultimately death
from sudden cardiac arrest.I've found that if you get rid of the
substance in cow's milk and cream that causes diarrhea, a baby squirrel
will do just fine on a cream rich cows milk formula. But you must do one
simple but vital thing to make this formula safe for squirrels! I can
teach you how to make this formula and save you having to spend twenty
dollars per can for puppy formula!2. Hypocalcemia.The second big killer
of squirrels is Hypocalcemia. That's a fancy name for low blood Calcium.
Squirrels, especially in captivity, have an extraordinarily high calcium
requirement. Death from low blood calcium comes after they stop nursing.
While they are getting milk, their calcium needs are being met. When they
quit nursing, they need a calcium supplement or they'll develop what is
called Metabolic Bone Disease. This disease is characterized by loss of
calcium from the bones, especially in the spine and back legs. They start
to shuffle their back legs when they walk, and progressively lose nerve
and muscle control. Their bones become brittle and break easily.Low blood
calcium can also lead to heart irregularity and sudden cardiac death. A
squirrel with metabolic Bone Disease is a pathetic scene! Prevention is
simple! I teach a very simple way to make a dietary supplement called Nut
Squares or Nut Balls that will insure optimum calcium intake and good
health for squirrels.3. Internal Injuries.The last major killer of baby
squirrels is internal injuries. Many times a found squirrel has fallen a
great distance out of a leaf nest. One of the first things you should do
for a baby squirrel, after you get it in a warm environment, is to check
it over carefully for injuries. Babies normally have rapid respiration
and heartbeats, but if a baby squirrel is having difficulty breathing or
is using more than just chest muscles to breathe, it may have internal
injuries. It could have broken ribs or a contused lung or heart! Blunt
trauma to the abdomen can injure internal organs such as the liver,
kidneys or spleen. A baby squirrel's abdominal wall is very thin. If you
see dark purple discoloration of the abdomen, that is an ominous sign
that indicates internal bleeding.There's not a whole lot that can be done
for a baby squirrel that is in that condition. A Veterinarian could
evaluate the animal, but chances are, nothing would be done other than
observe and support it's breathing struggle with oxygen and a warm
environment until it passes. I've found in my years as a Squirrel
Rehabilitator that squirrels love to have their head and neck gently
rubbed, it's very soothing and calming for them. Death is a part of life.
For me, holding and comforting a dying squirrel helps me realize how
precious and brief life is. I find tremendous joy and satisfaction in
caring for these magnificent creatures, and thank God that even in death,
I can make a difference!

				
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