baby squirrels from birth to two weeks
Instructional Video -
Three Basic Rules to Remember
# 1 RULE when Caring for a PINKIE --always keep the baby WARM at all times.
# 2 FEEDING --slow & steady wins the race --fast can cause aspiration then death.
# 3 BEDDING --always FLEECE over blankets or t-shirts for safety of the body & toe nails.
First Thing First --
You found a baby squirrel with no fur on it and its pink, what should you do?> > > Try to reunite the baby or babies with their mom. If you know where the nest or mother is - you should always do whats best and give the natural born mother the opportunity to retrieve her babies before you take them home to raise.... give 2 hours for mom to retrieve (place pinkie in shoe box wrapped in fleece for warmth while waiting).
If the baby is sick, injured or cold chances are the mom will not be coming back to retrieve the pinkie.... take it home immediately and warm - then perform the E.R. Basics as mentioned in the "Care" section.
Never feed pinkies cow’s milk or soy milk. These milks are quick killers for wildlife. Please DON’T use or feed homemade formulas that can be found on the Internet - these good intended products are inappropriate for squirrels and the long-term effects can be deadly for them.
Here at Mother Natures Rescue we use & feed - ESBILAC w/ PROBIOTICS Only!! --for all our babies
Feeding of a baby Squirrel is done by its size (weight) rather than by age.... a good guideline is to feed a baby 5% of its body weight --remembering never to over feed. The belly should be full and round, but never tight and you will be able to see a white line that runs horizontally across their belly when full.
A cheap digital scale will come in handy for weighing and figuring how much to feed every three hours until the pinkie is older.... If you have a small scale that can measure grams you can figure their feedings.
A squirrel weighing 100 grams would get 5% of his body weight at a feeding, or 5 ml of formula, but please remember, this is only a guideline, every animal is different.... one size does not fit all.
It is important to check the size of the pinkies stomach before proceeding with another feeding to make sure the last feeding was properly digested. IF the stomach is still the same size since the last feeding or not much smaller... Do NOT feed again.
Instead!! Stimulated the baby squirrel to go potty and see if it can relieve him self - this will help some times and then you can proceed with the next schedule feeding. If the pinkie does not have a bowel movement or urinate then it may have gas or bloat and will need to have its lower half soaked in some warm water while you massage its back, side and abdomen for ten minutes.Do NOT allow the baby to become chilled while you work with it - dry completely & immediately.
Young squirrel babies who still have their eyes closed (pinkies) or who have just opened their eyes will need to be stimulated to urinate and have a bowel movement. You stimulate the baby by wiping its abdomen and genital area with a warm damp cloth or q-tip.
The baby should have a bowel movement and urinate after most feedings, if it has not had food for quite sometime you may not see a bowel movement immediately..... some take 2 to 3 days.
If the pinkie because restless during feeding stop what you are doing and stimulate the baby to go potty - this practice will some times calm the pinkie and allow you to get back to feeding.
Proper Feeding Position
A tiny squirrel should always be held upright in your hand (head up tail down).... hold the syringe so the tip points UP to the squirrels mouth and the syringe points down. You can gently hold the head of the pinkie in one hand to help stabilize the face while you feed with the other hand.
How to Feed Fluids
Place the tip of syringe on the side of the baby's mouth and squeeze out a drop for the squirrel to taste... let him swallow then squeeze another drop, wait a second then squeeze another drop. GO SLOW! --Squeeze. Wait. --Squeeze. Wait. It will take a few feedings for the squirrel to learn how this is done.
Pinkies are fed drop by drop - waiting for the squirrel to swallow, then feeding another drop.
Keeping a Pinkie WARM!!
While feeding a pinkie a rice buddy can be used to help keep the baby squirrel warm... take a clean sock, fill it with 1 cup rice, tie the sock off, heat in microwave 30 seconds and lay pinkie on it for warmth.
DANGER!! Possible Aspiration
If you see fluids coming out of the squirrels mouth or squirting out the nose you are going too fast. STOP!! and immediately tilt the baby’s head down so the fluid drains out / support the babies head and neck like you would a human baby - now wipe the nose and mouth with a tissue.
You can start over with feeding the formula, but this time go slower and wait longer in between drops of formula... PATIENCE is the KEY.
NOTE: There is now a chance your baby will develop aspiration pneumonia from inhaling fluid into his lungs. This can be fatal. Please contact a rehabber at The Squirrel Board or a local vet ASAP!
PINKIES & ASPIRATION it is best to start antibiotics to prevent death: Baytril (animal med - will need Rx from vet) * Cipro (human med - will need weight and a license rehabber to dose) * SMZ-TMP (if you have on hand - start 0.4 @ 3x a day for 5 days).
BABY SQUIRREL CARE
First thing needed is to warm the squirrel.
Now check for any injuries and/ or wounds on the body.
Hydrate the squirrel right away (use a 1 cc syringe) and go slow.
Give homemade pedialyte every 2 hour for eight to ten hours (max 24 hours).
Once hydrated make Esbilac formula 1:3, feed at 5% of the body weight every 3-4 hours.
Make sure you stimulate after each feeding to help the squirrel go potty if under 4 weeks of age.
IMPORTANT: Babies must be kept warm --NEVER feed a cold baby!! ..... can be fatal
IMPORTANT: You can feed Goats Milk after hydration, if you are waiting to get the Esbilac.
Emergency Care for baby squirrels?
1. Warm the squirrel (never feed a cold squirrel)
2. Place in plastic container or box w/ pieces of fleece
3. Rehydrate the squirrel (feed pedialyte first 24 hours)
4. Slowly feed / drop by drop / with 1 cc syringe - head UP tail DOWN
5. Keep warm at all time / heating pad on low or fill bottle with hot water (place in sock)
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt (teaspoon)
1.5 tbsp sugar (tablespoon)
*keeps in frig for 3 days
*warm before feeding each time
Goats Milk Recipe:
1 cup Goats Milk * (if can - dilute)
1/3 cup Yoplait French Vanilla Yogurt
1/3 cup Heavy Cream (frig section)
(lasts 72 hours in frig)
** DO NOT add heavy cream for the first two weeks
** GM is to be used temporarily while you order formula, Esbilac.
1. Heating Pad, on low with a fleece blanket on top --place the squirrel in the blanket.
2. Rice Buddy --put rice in sock (tie off) microwave for 30 sec - place next to the squirrel.
3. Fill empty water bottles with hot water and slide into a single sock then place next to squirrel.
Once the squirrel(s) are settled in order Esbilac w Probiotics, Syringes & Nipples:
Carries Syringes and Nipples: http://www.henryspets.com/
http://www.foxvalleynutrition.com/product-lines/ (20/50 - 4 wks & older)
*some people find a mix of Esbilac & Fox Valley does better @ 50/50 mix*
*Esbilac can be purchased at you local pet store: Petco, PetSmart - etc*
Squirrels Nutrition Blocks are to be given @ 8 weeks old - HHB:
*Oxbow & Mazuri adult rat food can also be given on the side.
Hydration / Pinch Test
Once the squirrel is all warmed up you can feed him a little pedialyte every five minute by placing a syringe tip to the corner of his mouth. You will probably have to do this for a good hour or two until he is feeling well enough to take a few cc's at one time.......... when this happens you can feed him the pedialyte every 30 minutes to an hour.
The most important thing to do right now is to get him fully hydrated..... you can perform a pinch test between the shoulder blade to see how well he is --if the skin is pinched and goes down fast then the pedialyte is working, if the skin stays up or goes down slowly more liquid hydration is needed (hydrate up to 24 hours with pedialyte).