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Metabolic Bone Disease Symptoms

by squirrelfriend
I just noticed that this one didn't have any postings yet and this is probably the biggest and most frequent concern for captive squirrels. I will post the best description that I can. All you rehabbers out there feel free to add to it.

Metabolic bone disease is a severe calcium deficiency. It not only strikes squirrels but many other animals such as reptiles. Symptoms can include:

going down in back legs
seizures
bone deformities
paralysis
brittle bones (which can result in breaks)
death

Metabolic Bone Disease is easily prevented. Here is how:

All captive squirrels need sunshine. If direct sunlight is not available full spectrum lights can be bought at pet shops, especially ones that deal in reptiles. Make sure that the sales person is knowledgeable about reptiles. They will be more likely to quide you to the proper light.

Feed the squirrel a wide variety of green leafy vegetables. These contain calcium.

Calcium suplements can also be used. If the squirrel is still on formula they will not need a suplement. the formula contains calcium. Prime is a popular brandwith squirrel rehabbers. It is a calcium suplement for birds and can be found in pet stores. A calcium liquid can also be used. This can be added in the water bottle. This can be bought in a drug store. Do make sure that the liquid calcium only has calcium in it, no other vitamins.

MBD is very painfull and very deadly. This one should not be taken lightly. the quicker the treatment the better the chances of recovery. some of the paralysis and any deformities cannot be reversed. It can however be stopped in its tracks therefore quick treatment is very important. treatment consists of:

calcium suplements

Give the squirrel a heating pad under half of the cage (therefore if it gets too warm it can get off of it). The heat will help soothe the aching bones.

change in diet. Make sure that the diet is in a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and nuts.

keep themin a small cage until the pain is gone. this way the little guy won't have to movefar to get his food or water.

  • Good info squirrelfriend, another reason to keep them in a small cage, called "cage rest", is to prevent climbing and thereby falling and breaking the already brittle bones.
    - Gabe, 7 years ago
  • Another thing to note per:Wild Mammal Babies
    The body needs a proper balance of calcium and phosphorus at a 2:1 ratio.
    - rippie-n-lilgirlsmom, 7 years ago
  • 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.
    - rippie-n-lilgirlsmom, 7 years ago
  • Is Wardleys reptile calcium ok to use? If so, what is the proper dosage?
    - queenmom, 7 years ago
  • Queenmom,
    I'm not sure about that, but I'm no expert. I have read that PRIME is okay, it's a bird supplement, or liquid calcium (only) from a pharmacy..but usually best to get from natural sources. Try Dannon la Creme Vanilla yogurt.. I give Riley(red squirrel) 2 tsp/2X day...he Loves it. Just started adding heavy cream to it per a friend to help with low fat in his diet. Loads of nutritional info. here to help you...
    - Abacat, 7 years ago
  • I rarely see fox squirrels coming here with the posibility of MBD It seems to always be greys? Is there a reason, other than there is probably a larger population of greys than any other squirrel?
    - rippie-n-lilgirlsmom, 7 years ago
  • I rarely see fox squirrels coming here with the posibility of MBD It seems to always be greys? Is there a reason, other than there is probably a larger population of greys than any other squirrel?

    I think it's just the law of averages.....greys are everywhere across the US and parts of Europe. Foxer and red populations are only in specific areas. :peace
    - island rehabber, 7 years ago
  • I had a bit of a problem diagnosing her, but it makes sense. She was always a plaster gnawer, but for the last 3 months, has had limited access. Since I started her on calcium and a heating pad, and a full spectrum light, she is not in as much pain but is still a bit slow moving. She was at a point that she couldn't move without making a stressful noise. Her appetite is good and she is doing her business without any problem.
    Thanks for all your help
    - queenmom, 7 years ago
  • MBD is a big problem in flyers, too. As small as they are, it doesn't take them long to go down. Any time I get one in that is sick, I always try to eliminate MBD as the cause before I even consider anything else. Flyers are very healthy little critters, and if you don't have an obvious problem - cat bite, severe fall, etc. - it will nearly always be MBD. I don't use a calcium supplement on their food. I DO have cuttlebones, calcium blocks and antlers in each cage at all times, and I feed yogurt at least 4 or 5 times a week, in addition to other calcium rich foods. I use L&M liquid vitamins in their water every day, since they are nocturnal and do not get vitamin D from sunlight.

    muffinsquirrel
    - muffinsquirrel, 7 years ago
  • Is straight liquid calcium available? Seems like everything also has D3 for absorption or something else.
    I bought some LaCreme vanilla. She took one sniff, thumbed her nose and went back in her nest. It will not be wasted though, tastes like cheesecake!
    I will try plain yogurt and see what happens.
    Is it possible to overdo the calcium?
    She is soooo much better. Hard to believe that 3 days ago it looked like she might not make it. I know she's probably got a bit more time til she gets back to herself, so I will keep a close eye.
    Thank you so much for all your help. This is a great resource. I also contacted other forums and have yet to hear back.
    She is the "queen", hence the name "queenmom". She is also the only other woman that I will share my bed and husband with.
    - queenmom, 7 years ago
  • I'm sorry she didn't like the yogurt, but hey, glad to hear it won't be wasted :) .You can do a search for any topic on threads posted here, simply click on search on the blue "toolbar" then type in your topic (must be logged in to do this). I searched for liquid calcium and found a thread under General Squirrel Discussions, named liquid calcium. I do believe it probably is best to use what has worked for others...That PRIME powder I mentioned... the hard thing about using a liquid is measuring what they actually are ingesting, course I suppose that's also true of foods dusted with the powder:dono . But as I said I'm not an expert in the matter, this is my first squirrel, and have learned alot from everyone here. Riley is a Red squirrel, and will be released when weather permits. Good luck, keep us posted of her progress...
    Oh and yes, I've read it is possible to overdose the calcium... Anyone else?
    - Abacat, 7 years ago
  • I don't have experience with squirrels. I am here to learn. But I do have extensive experience with domestic skunks. Like squirrels, their number 1 dietary problem is MBD. I have researched this extensively. Yes, calcium can be over done and create more problems than it was intended to correct. You have to make sure your animal is getting the proper source of digestible calcium in the proper amount.
    - VampireFerrets, 7 years ago
  • VampireFerrets, can you give us the symptoms of too much calcium?
    - Gabe, 7 years ago
  • Very high levels of calcium can result in appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, seizures, and even coma.

    (I took this excerpt from a web search on google)
    - Abacat, 7 years ago
  • The wrong type of calcium and too high of doseages can result in bone spurs, bone fusing and kidney stones. Abacat listed some of the symptoms. Once there is bone fusing, often times a vet will recommend putting the animal down as little can be done to help that.
    - VampireFerrets, 7 years ago
  • Thanks guys for the symptoms. I always thought they were very similar to too little calcium.
    - Gabe, 7 years ago
  • :Welcome VampireFerrets! And thanks for the info!
    - TexanSquirrel, 7 years ago
  • Thanks for the welcome!:thankyou
    - VampireFerrets, 7 years ago
  • Hi There~!


    I need some advice on what to feed my squirrel to help avoid MBD. I already know about the leafy greens, cal/phos ratio of 2:1 etc...etc...
    The problem I have is that I CAN NOT GET HER TO EAT ANY RODENT DIET! I have tried both Zupreem primate diet and MAZURI rodent block and have mixed both with peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter... the list goes on, and she still wont eat it. Ive tried the liquid calcium in the water and she refuses to drink. She does however like to eat kale and sometimes rarely dandelion greens, also chews daily on her femur bones and deer antlers and basks in the warmth of her ott light. Any suggestions for other leafy greens that they like to eat??? or any other brands of food and or calcium supplements?
    - ctpeach1977, 7 years ago
  • Have you tried a hard boiled egg still in the shell? You can try small pieces of cheese. Some like it, some don't. Yogurt is well excepted. Look for an organic live cultured yorgurt in vanilla or blueberry. :)
    - Mars, 7 years ago
  • Hi, I'm a rehabber in So.Car and specialize in opossums. MBD is one of the problems we face too--diet is the cause in most cases. Does anyone use Rescue Remedy for the pain for squirrels? It is a Bach Flower Essence and completely safe to use for humans and animals too-if anyone knows any animals--my Sofie is quite sure she is the Queen Princess Of All.
    IP-6 is another homeopathic remedy used for a great many things-mainly an immune booster for, again humans and --shhh animals--. If you want some more information on IP-6 check out any Edgar Casey site, he advocated it for many ailments.
    MGN-3 is another we use, it is a major natural immune booster and helps the little one absorb the Vit D,calcium and phosphorus. I have used and still do use Tums(for the tummy)the chewable kind, as a calcium source, it taste good, sooths the tummy and has calcium. I just crush and sprinkle it on something they like.
    I have a little opossum right now that came in with MBD-he was fed a mostly protein diet -like a puppy and of course way too much for him. Poor baby he is so sweet-can't stand to see them in pain. He is getting better.
    Here is a list of calcium rich veggies with the right ratio of calcium to phosphorus: These are the highest percentage of calcium
    Turnip Greens (the top one for calcium ), Chinese Cabbage, Mustard Greens , Watercress, Chard, Collards(cooked only),Kale, Dandelion Greens, Endive (lettuce) Beet Greens, Dark green leaf lettuce, Parsley, Spinach, (be aware of iron ) Yellow Wax Beans, Blackberries and Papaya.

    Here are some moderate calcium sources:with an almost even ratio of cal to phos:
    Cabbage-inside white leaves, Strawberries, Turnips, Okra, Raspberries, Green Beans, Guavas, Apples, Pears, Mango, Radish, and Eggplant.

    These are poor calcium sources-with a higher ratio of phosphorus than Calcium:
    Parsnips, Rutabaga, Blueberries,Squash, Carrots, Cantaloupe, Yams, Apricots (rich in iron), Plums, Beets, Cherries, Cauliflower, Grapes, Peaches, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Sweet Pot, Asparagus, Tomato, Pineapple, Bananas, Peas, Brussles Sprouts, Mushrooms and an all time fav of squirrels Corn-10 mg cal-120 mg phos.(this information came from the veterinarypartner.com site).

    Woops a long one:poke --going now :wave123
    Brenda I
    - Brenda I, 7 years ago
  • I haven't had too much of a problem with my squirrels liking yogurt, and they like nearly all flavors, (including lime, which I thought was kinda weird). I think the reason they all like it is because they are started on it very early - mixed in with their formula. When they are weaning, I give them yogurt with Esbilac powder mixed into it - that way I am sure they are getting the necessary nutrients during the change to solid diets. After they are on their adult diet, they still get yogurt at least 3 or 4 times a week, and nursing momma squirrels get all they want.

    If you have one that won't touch yogurt, try sprinkling pecans on it - use the really tiny bits from the bottom of the bag - almost like a cornmeal size, That way they can't just pick out the pecans. Another trick is to eat the yogurt yourself - very few squirrels don't want whatever their human is eating! And last, but not least, try swirling peanut butter and honey or molassas in it. after they eat that, start cutting down on the honey and peanut butter. You might even put their mealworms in it! And remember - just because they won't eat it today doesn't mean that they won't eat it tomorrow, or next week or next month.

    Oh yes, since my squirrels are mostly flyers, which NEVER get any daylight, I use L&M Liquid Vitamins for Mammals in their water, one drop per ounce of water for flyers.


    muffinsquirrel
    - muffinsquirrel, 7 years ago
  • Bach Flower Remedies ROCK!! Rescue Remedy is primarily for shock, clinical (physical) or mental. The remedy specifically for pain is Impatiens. (Yes, Impatiens is one of the five remedies in Rescue, but Rescue is an entirely different remedy, not simply the sum of it's five parts.)

    I think Flower Remedies work even better in animals than they do in humans. Animals aren't working against them, even subconsciously, i.e. ''Oh, how can this possibly work?"

    I wish more animal caretakers were familiar with flower remedies. The world would be a kinder, safer, healthier place for all. :Love_Icon

    My favorite author on the subject of the use of flower remedies in animals is Jessica Bear.
    - hazel, 7 years ago
  • I am new to this squirrel business. I am writing this in hopes it may help someone. when my 4 month old fox squirrel contracted MBD, I had never heard of the disease. I researched it online (I wish I would of found this site then) and I treated it. My vets would not see a squirrel, claiming a seperate wildlife license was needed. I had no choice but to treat it myself. This treatment worked for me. I am not saying it will work for every squirrel, only that it worked for me!

    I woke up one morning to find my squirrel on the bottom of its cage, paralyzed. I removed it, set it on the chair, and went to wake up my husband. When I came back out its feet were sticking straight up in the air. I thought it was dead. It wasnt, it was having a seizure. I had to work that morning, and could find no one to replace me. I went to work and told hubby to call friend who used to be vet assistant. She came over, and fed it dropper of Esbilac. When I got home, I fed it another. Here is my treatment.

    Formula

    1 teaspoon esbilac
    1 teaspoon plain yogurt (not fat free)
    1oz water

    Then I read the causes of the disease and some treatments. Some treated with calcium, some with D3. I treated with both.

    I went to local pet store and in their reptile section they sold a product called Exo Terra. One was called Calcimize (liquid calcium supplement) and one was called Electod3ize (electrolytes and vitamin D3).

    To one ounce of formula I added 2 drops of each.

    when my squirrel was not eating at all, I adminstered 3 ccs 4 times a day. When he started eating grapes he got 3 ccs 3 times a day. when he ate everything, he got 6 ccs twice a day.

    By day 4 he was doing really good, moving about, eating, but still dragging hind legs. By day 5, altho still dragging legs, he could climb. By day 7 he was pretty much back to normal. Days 9 and 10 he really fought getting medicated LOL. He is now 99% healed.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Angela
    - yotetrapper, 7 years ago
  • I would like to point out that MBD takes MONTHS to reverse. (a fact based on much scientific research, and not just my own) The remedy listed above likely saved this squirrel's life, however, it still has MBD if it's only been discovered 12 days prior to this post.

    Bone density takes a long time to rebuild. However long it took to create the disease, you can expect it to take at LEAST that long to recover, if not longer.
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • So how do you know when the squirrel is completely better? Going by the list on the other thread I have posted, nuts are totally off limits right? I've been giving her one pecan a day, should i not? How do I know when she can have her favorites like nuts and seeds (in limited supply of course) again?
    - yotetrapper, 7 years ago
  • If they are eating all the good stuff - they can have a treat. :) But I would stay away from sunflower seeds and peanuts as they work against the cure.
    - Mars, 7 years ago
  • The only way to know for absolutely sure is to have x-rays done now and again a couple of months AFTER she is eating all her calcium-rich foods almost exclusively.

    Otherwise, I would say, if it took four months for her to get this way, plan on four months of rebuilding bone density. (this is what my vet told me)

    Also, I would pick almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts over giving pecans as a treat (and I agree with Mars on when you can give them). Pecans are basically squirrel candy. The other nuts I've listed have some good nutrients and fats in them as well as being viewed as a treat by the squirrel. :thumbsup
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • Thanks that brings me to a question about Walnuts. Can you give a squirrel a wlanut thats still in its green husk, or just in a shell, or already de-shelled?
    - yotetrapper, 7 years ago
  • All three. :)

    Also, if you have acorns around, pick up the good looking fallen ones and try some of those. Not more than one a day (cuz they count as nuts) but they love 'em!

    In-shell nuts are good because it keeps their teeth worn down, too.

    Oh! And Cuttlebone is readily available at most stores in the pet bird section...super high in calcium and fun for them to chew. Just toss the whole thing in the cage. :thumbsup
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • I have this little ice cream cone thing that says its a calcium cone. Hard like a cuttle bone but sold in the small animal section. He gnaws on it now and again. wonder if cuttle bone is different?
    - yotetrapper, 7 years ago
  • I don't know. :thinking I'll be the cuttlebone is cheaper, though...mine cost me $1 each at Wal-Mart. :) I'm all about the cost since I raise a few dozen of the fuzzballs a year. :D
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • VERY IMPORTANT:

    Squirrels require a minimum of one hour of full spectrum light every day to avoid MBD! There are only two ways to accomplish this! Either the squirrel must go outdoors daily or be exposed to full spectrum lighting. Window glass filters out the rays that squirrels need, so placing a squirrel in sunlight filtered through a window will NOT work!


    (I just read through this thread and this had not been mentioned.)
    - hazel, 7 years ago
  • I am so glad to have found this website. For the last 2 days I have been trying to find someone to help me with my "Rocky". I found him lying on the top of his house-practically paralyzed in his hind legs, with a loss in appetite and everything else-which isn't like him at all. We live in a state where it's illegal to have squirrels as pets without a "license" so I was limited to who I could get help from. Thankfully, I not only found this website, but also a remedy to his possible case of MBD. Thank you so much!
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • I am so glad to have found this website. For the last 2 days I have been trying to find someone to help me with my "Rocky". I found him lying on the top of his house-practically paralyzed in his hind legs, with a loss in appetite and everything else-which isn't like him at all. We live in a state where it's illegal to have squirrels as pets without a "license" so I was limited to who I could get help from. Thankfully, I not only found this website, but also a remedy to his possible case of MBD. Thank you so much!

    Hello Squirrelangel,

    Below is some information on treatment for MBD:

    MBD Treatment
    (from Rehabilitation of Eastern Gray Squirrels: 2005 Revision, Written by Carol Hardee, Director, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Central Florida)

    We have had very good success in treating MBD by immediately placing the patient on a regime which provides a high calcium intake. If the squirrel is old enough to eat solids, we sprinkle calcium carbonate powder liberally on all solid foods offered, avoiding offering foods high in phosphorous. We also provide a minimum of 30 minutes of sunlight [or full-spectrum light] daily. These patients should be kept in an indoor-sized cage rather than an outdoor cage to minimize exercise and possible stress fractures. Be sure to check the teeth for possible overgrowth also as this often occurs as well. Over the years, we have saved dozens of squirrels that were admitted with seizures, dragging their hind legs and unable to walk. This disease is totally preventable, curable in all but the final stages, and the treatments are easily administered.

    High-Calcium Diet for Squirrels with MBD
    (compiled by members of The Squirrel Board)

    Emergency Calcium Sources
    molasses
    calcium carbonate or calcium glubonate
    slice of lemon or orange for Vitamin C (essential for calcium absorption)

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

    Moderate Calcium Sources
    yogurt, low-fat, plain or fruit flavored
    valencia oranges
    chickory
    dried figs
    green cabbage
    watercress
    endive
    grapes
    celery
    green beans
    red cabbage
    crabapple
    garlic
    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

    Note: 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. The oxalate found in spinach allows only 5 percent of the calcium in spinach to be absorbed. Although dairy contains high calcium, because of their moderate phosphorus levels they are only moderately good calcium sources. Avoid sunflower seeds! They are very high in phosphorus and will cause calcium loss.
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • I joined the Squirrel Board yesterday for the first time hoping to find a cause and possible cure for my 6-month old "Rocky". According to his symptons(paralysis in hind legs, loss of interest in food and everything else, and whining when he moves) I believe he has MBD. I'm sure he's in pain(I've taken the advice of putting a heating blanket under his cage) so I'm a little uneasy with handling him. He has always liked running around and laying with me on the couch so I feel as if getting him out of his cage would maybe make him feel better..If he happens to bite me because I may move him in a way that causes discomfort will that cause me any injury other than a broken heart?
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • If you are concerned about rabies Don't be. Squirrels are very low profile for rabies and they need to have been exposed to the disease to have it. There is no other disease I can think of that a squirrel bite might cause. If it breaks the skin it will bleed and it will hurt. And if left untended can become infected. I would suggest moving him slowly and carefully perhaps on or wrapped in a blanket. :)
    - Mars, 7 years ago
  • :Welcome Sorry to here your baby is sick, my junior has been sick and it was because I had the wrong light, Please Please go get the FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT and make sure it says that, if I hadnt gotten mine Junior would have died. He has been sick all week, originally we thought it was his teeth, which they are a problem, but he needed that light and today he is so much better, he had the same symptoms, except he didnt get down in his hind legs, but was really sore and couldnt hardly get around, today he is better. We have to put his food in a processor and chop it up real fine so he can eat because of his teeth, if you dont have the light please go right now and get one, the sooner the better, if you dont your baby will die. :grouphug
    - wdarmac, 7 years ago
  • :thankyou Thank you all so much for welcoming me so nicley. I can't say how very glad I am to have found this site. When I explained what I needed to the associate at the pet store she sold me a "basking spot lamp". I'm thinking this isn't the right thing to have gotten. :dono I live in a small town with a VERY small pet store so she may not have been familiar with what i was referring to. If it isn't- would a store like Petsmart or maybe even a Wal-Mart carry the Full Spectrum Light?
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • I have 4 babies in addition to Rocky that are only about 2 weeks old. Should I use a lamp on them as well and if so, about how long every day? And while I'm on a roll:crazy what's the best daily diet I should use when Rocky gets back to healthy again? This is all new to me so I'm full of questions! :jump
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • :wave123 How old is rocky? I dont think you need to put the light on them till they are weaned from the esbliac milk, but im no sure, gammas baby would probably know for sure, and you can also pm island rehabber, she is great as are the other rehabbers on this board.:D
    - wdarmac, 7 years ago
  • Rocky is 6 months old.
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • :thankyou I don't mind your questions at all. I need all the help I can get. Yes, Rocky has been weaned for about 2-3 months from esbilac. His personality has changed alot since he's been ill. He has never bitten me or even "chattered" his teeth at me until a few days ago. :shakehead Do you think this is normal since he isn't feeling well?
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • I just noticed that garlic made it on the list. It maybe a fair source of calcium but is in the onion family and should not be fed to squirrels. :nono
    - Mars, 7 years ago
  • Thanks for pointing that out Mars. I'll remove it from my list, and let 4skwerlz know about it. :bowdown :bowdown :grouphug :thankyou

    Thanks, Mars. What would we do without you! I am changing the master list. Also a couple other changes. I will post it again so anyone that wants to can copy it.

    Emergency Calcium Sources for Squirrels with MBD
    molasses
    calcium carbonate or calcium glubonate
    slice of orange or other citrus to aid calcium absorption
    natural sunlight or a full-spectrum light (at least 30 min/day)

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

    Moderate Calcium Sources
    yogurt, low-fat, plain or fruit flavored, valencia oranges, 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: A slice of lemon, orange, or other citrus will aid in the absorption of calcium. 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.
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • Thank you for he information..I know iM GUILTY OF DOING alot of reading but no, replying..I think its really7 nice of you to take the time to give out all the grat advice to taking care of these sweet little angels..
    Rachel............:thumbsup
    - FLUFFYTAILNUT, 7 years ago
  • Please also note that squirrels with MBD have achy bones and joints from the lack of density. Giving them a continuous source of supplemental heat is a must until the squirrel is spending most of its time off of the heat voluntarily. You can provide supplemental heat with a heating pad on low (sometimes medium, but be careful...heating pads vary!!!) under half of the box or carrier or under the cage floor. Make sure the squirrel can NOT come into contact with any part of the pad or cord. You need to pad the floor of whatever you keep them in as well.

    I have had bad luck keeping a recovering MBD squirrel in a wire cage. One week after healing from her initial broken leg, she re-broke it in an 18" tall wire cage. I would recommend a large aquarium with a 1/2" hardware cloth top. Bunge strap the hardware cloth top to the aquarium by wrapping the bunges (one in the front and one in the back...more in the middle depending on the size of the aquarium) around the entire thing and hooking the hooks to each other over the top. They can chew the plastic rim on the aquarium, but that's about it. My MBD squirrel chewed through a rubbermaid tote and a pet carrier before I resorted to the aquarium. Just be sure you don't leave it anywhere that is too warm! Keep the squirrel in this "cage" until it has been eating a high-calcium diet WILLINGLY for at LEAST a month.
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • Once I changed Rocky's (which has MBD) diet to the high and moderate calcium foods his appetite has lessened. He has had the FSL on him for approx 22 hours. His alertness has risen slighty and his mood doesn't seem quite as negative:) but now I'm concerned with his appetite. Are there any tricks or different preparations that I should try? Also, should he be drinking plain water or should I mix anything in with it? I apologize for seeming ignorant to this matter-I just want to make sure that I'm doing what's best for him.
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • Once I changed Rocky's (which has MBD) diet to the high and moderate calcium foods his appetite has lessened. He has had the FSL on him for approx 22 hours. His alertness has risen slighty and his mood doesn't seem quite as negative:) but now I'm concerned with his appetite. Are there any tricks or different preparations that I should try? Also, should he be drinking plain water or should I mix anything in with it? I apologize for seeming ignorant to this matter-I just want to make sure that I'm doing what's best for him.

    Any change in food can affect his appetite. You can try sprinkling the calcium carbonate powder on a nut (just one a day). Which foods does he seem to like/dislike?
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • He likes oranges, radishes, bananas. I've also put celery, cucumbers, brocolli, and yogurt in his bowl but he doesn't touch it. A variety of nuts and corn has always been his favorite but i've taken those away since he's been sick. I've tried putting some molasses and/or yogurt in his water bottle but he doesn't seem to drink very much of it.
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • He likes oranges, radishes, bananas. I've also put celery, cucumbers, brocolli, and yogurt in his bowl but he doesn't touch it. A variety of nuts and corn has always been his favorite but i've taken those away since he's been sick. I've tried putting some molasses and/or yogurt in his water bottle but he doesn't seem to drink very much of it.

    That's good he like oranges. Rocky needs to learn to like some green veggies like Chinese cabbage, collard greens, or mustard spinach. Try the Chinese cabbage (bok choy), as squirrels seem to like it pretty well. If he won't even try it, then you can smear a tiny bit of peanut butter (the "natural" kind) on it just to get him nibbling. You can also try dipping things in molasses--they like the taste, plus molasses has LOTS of calcium in it. Try dipping a pecan half in the yogurt. Since he likes bananas, try the fresh figs--a lot of squirrels like them. Also, try the hard-boiled egg WITH the shell still on. You should also get some rodent block and try dipping it in molasses. You can also try soaking a piece of bread in Esbilac or yogurt. These are just a few ideas. It sometimes takes a few days to get them to switch to a new diet. Don't give up. Before long, Rocky will be scarfing up his healthy new foods with no problem!
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • That was wonderful advice! :goodpost Thanks a million! I mixed all of the things that I listed earlier in peanut butter and a little honey and he hasn't stopped eating yet! :thumbsup How about his water- should I do anything with that or just leave it plain?
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • That was wonderful advice! :goodpost Thanks a million! I mixed all of the things that I listed earlier in peanut butter and a little honey and he hasn't stopped eating yet! :thumbsup How about his water- should I do anything with that or just leave it plain?

    I would just leave that plain. Also you'll want to gradually reduce the peanut butter and honey until he's just eating the good stuff plain. Please keep us posted on how Rocky's doing with his diet.

    One other thing, since Rocky has MBD, I would take him outside IN HIS CAGE for an hour a day, in addition to his Full Spectrum Light (FSL) of course. Just for the next month or so, until he's better, and only while you're there to supervise. It can be in the shade, and a screened porch is also okay. Sunlight has even more Vitamin D than the FSL.

    Good luck.
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • Thank you all for the advice you've given me. :thankyou You all are lifesavers! :jump I'll keep you all posted on Rocky's recovery!!
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • I agree with everything 4skwerlz said and am VERY glad to hear Rocky is eating his veggies. :D :thumbsup Just remember with the PB and Honey that a little goes a LOOOONG way...he'll eat it if you just drizzle a tad bit over the whole bowl...

    I would suggest taking him in his cage outside, but not on a screened porch. The reason is that the screen will block some if not most of the UVA and UVB rays. Under a nice tree is probably a good place, and it only has to be for abot 30 minutes or so...Longer is fine as long as he's not freaking out about being out there in his cage...don't want any broken bones!

    And please don't think we think you are ignorant...we WANT to help you and we WANT to give you the best advice we can to help you help Rocky. :grouphug We've all made mistakes, rehabbers included...it's just important that we learn from it so others can learn from us. :)
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • Hello! I just noticed when Rocky got up to eat that he's tucking one of his legs under him when he walks. He still doesn't have alot of use in his hind legs but could that leg possibly be broken from a possible fall? How do I tell for sure and what should I do if it is? By the way he's beginning to eat alot better now and his spirit seems to be a little brighter! Mine too !!!:crazy
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • Hello! I just noticed when Rocky got up to eat that he's tucking one of his legs under him when he walks. He still doesn't have alot of use in his hind legs but could that leg possibly be broken from a possible fall? How do I tell for sure and what should I do if it is? By the way he's beginning to eat alot better now and his spirit seems to be a little brighter! Mine too !!!:crazy

    If he's USING it and putting weight on it, then I'm gonna say "not broken." Sometimes MBD squirrels will use their hind legs in odd ways because the legs are still weak. Can you feel the leg gently? Any bumps or swelling or anything that doesn't feel right? Does he react in pain when you feel it?
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • Just remember with the PB and Honey that a little goes a LOOOONG way...he'll eat it if you just drizzle a tad bit over the whole bowl... CQ is right. :bowdown Sorry, if I didn't make that clear. Just a tiny bit is all you need. Then keep reducing the amount of PB until Rocky's eating his healthy foods plain, like a good boy. :D
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • He doesn't put any weight on it hardly. His hip bone seems to be sitting up a little and yes he does make a noise when i try to touch him. I tried to straighten it out but he acted as if he was going to bite me so I left him alone. If it's broken what should I do?
    - squirrelangel, 7 years ago
  • Oh dear. It sounds like he might have broken his hip. Do you have a vet you can take Rocky to?
    - 4skwerlz, 7 years ago
  • This is how I check:

    This is likely to take two people for someone inexperienced, so find a buddy.

    You need to wrap Rocky in a small blanket, preferably not a towel, if that's all you have, go ahead and use it. Drop the blanket over the top of him with three of the sides stretching out over his head and both sides, but also leave enough near his rear end to fold his "good" leg and tail under him and into the wrap. (wish I could give you a picture, sorry) Once you have the blanket over him scoop him into it by using both hands. As you scoop him it should pull the blanket under him and cover his face, tucking the blanket in around him and keeping his head mostly immobile at the same time. You're trying to make a squirrel-burrito. (just be careful that he can still breathe!) Once you feel he is in there fairly securely, pull him out of the cage and set him on your lap as you sit, with his nose to your belly. Have the second person hold him in the burrito while you feel his injured leg. Start at his toes and work your way up just feeling gently between your index finger and thumb. You are feeling for lumps (swelling) or obvious breaks in the bone. After doing this, GENTLY extend the leg to it's full extent and look at it. (hold the leg at the hip and the ankle so he can't jerk on it and hurt himself. ) You are looking for obvious oddities such as a the lower half of the leg being rotated incorrectly. Release the leg and let him hold it against him. At this time, if you do suspect there are any breaks, hold the bone you think is broken at either end of the bone and GENTLY and SLIGHTLY move your hands as in a motion that mimicks breaking the bone. If there is a break, you will feel each half of the bone move. If it's not broken you will have resistance from the bone. You must be SUPER CAREFUL doing this as the MBD has made his bones VERY easy to break and you could break something that's not already broken.

    Can you find a vet to help you out? That would be your best bet, as the best way to fix the leg is to splint it, and a vet could do this physical exam in about 2 minutes flat.
    - Critter_Queen, 7 years ago
  • Thinking caps on gang. I was reading about MBD in bunnies last night and the discussion was about lack of exercise causing thinning of bones. Seems that bones are strengthened by weight baring exercise and atrophy or thin when not used. Much the same concern when humans spend long periods of time in space at zero gravity. So my question is - what is the role of exercise or lack there of ( improper caging ) in MBD in squirrels?? Are baby squirrels, not provided enough exercise at the vital times of developement more likely to develope MBD?? Thoughts?? :thinking
    - Mars, 6 years ago
  • I don't think that a lack of exercise would cause MBD, as this is more related to diet, but I suppose if a squirrel was suffering from poor nutrition to sart with then lack of exercise could only contribute to the symptoms of MBD! :dono
    - jules, 6 years ago
  • I don't think that a lack of exercise would cause MBD, as this is more related to diet, but I suppose if a squirrel was suffering from poor nutrition to sart with then lack of exercise could only contribute to the symptoms of MBD! :dono

    Osteoporosis in humans is generally found in later life. The effect of lack of exercise appears to take many years to appear. In the case of totally bedridden patients (comatose, quadraplegic, and yes, in space) it can happen sooner. Lack of exercise would be rare in an otherwise healthy squirrel; even in a small cage, they will climb and run about. I believe it's the inverted calc/phos ratio that causes MBD in squirrels. Note that an inverted calcium/phosphorus ratio can cause bone thinning in horses, leading to breaks, even in "working horses".....PLENTY of weight-bearing going on there. Clearly, it was DIET, not lack of exercise, that causes MBD there. However, bunnies are naturally sedentary, so yeah, maybe in bunnies.
    - 4skwerlz, 6 years ago
  • Sorry, I thought we were talking about squirrels! :thinking
    - jules, 6 years ago
  • Sorry, I thought we were talking about squirrels! :thinking

    Mars was extrapolating from bunnies and humans to squirrels, so I did the same thing....I feel I'm not thinking clearly tonite....still very upset about the recent death here on TSB.....:shakehead
    - 4skwerlz, 6 years ago
  • I feel exactly the same...not sure if my brain is in gear!:D
    - jules, 6 years ago
  • Thinking caps on gang. I was reading about MBD in bunnies last night and the discussion was about lack of exercise causing thinning of bones. Seems that bones are strengthened by weight baring exercise and atrophy or thin when not used. Much the same concern when humans spend long periods of time in space at zero gravity. So my question is - what is the role of exercise or lack there of ( improper caging ) in MBD in squirrels?? Are baby squirrels, not provided enough exercise at the vital times of developement more likely to develope MBD?? Thoughts?? :thinking

    I feel that the lack of exercise would worsen the condition, but not create it. When Tanna broke her leg the second time, she was confined to a 10 gallon aquarium for four weeks. No exercise allowed. :nono This was because we couldn't keep a splint on the leg so we had to keep her from climbing or moving around much. (you would be surprised how much room is actually in a 10 gallon aquarium when you want to keep the squirrel in a small space! LOL!) She healed VERY well under these conditions, despite her lack of exercise and MBD.

    Another line of thinking would be that a squirrel that has inadequate caging would not be as agile in the trees as a squirrel with a large cage and branches, and be more likely to fall and break a bone due to the thin bones from lack of exercise....
    - Critter_Queen, 6 years ago
  • got few questions about MBD...
    just normal questions about behaviour something similar like MBD sympthones
    just need an explenation:thumbsup
    I got 2 chippies and they behave really normal ecept the times they behave REALLY STRANGE:sanp3
    links of posted strange behaviours
    http://www.thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8808
    http://www.thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=8482
    (plz view these threads cos there are the couses of my questioning..ty:D )

    ok now lets see...
    they both had a kind of seizures just 2-3 times in these 3 weeks...no seizures from then...
    symphtones includded seizures ofc, nails been stuck in my t-shirt,back legs were 'frozen'(um stuck?,...no... like lose but stuck in my clothing...if you understanded me)then they were cold, and about 2 mins later I put em to the nest and they became normal!moved around jumped,ran...
    so this was on of the 'StRaNgE SiTuAtIoNs':flash3
    may that be a sighn of MBD? or does it just happen normaly for squirrels to sometimes freak out or something?

    then they had really tough fights after new year ,blood everywhere, couldn see each other withou a fight , Chewy is the aggresive male chippie who Loves to run in his wheel, has some hair lose on his cheeks,belly,and tail,but didnt run it in this 2 weeks but just slept in his nest and came out for chow, water, bathroom break and a little jump around...
    MBD sigh or normal thing in chippies?

    I will try get em the full spectrum light but its kinda hard to find it here in Croatia, can try get a light bulb for reptilians, and how to place it and where in cage ?
    their cage, any idea where to put it?
    http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/6185/vjeverice3006tu2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
    and even they maybe dont have MBD iLL get them the light source cos its beter to prevent then cure:thumbsup
    - kimbia, 6 years ago
  • any ideas:dono ?
    - kimbia, 6 years ago
  • I don't know anything about flyers, but it sounds like MBD. I can give you the treatment we use for greys and foxers. I reduced the amount of calcium due to the flyer's much smaller body size.


    MBD Treatment-Week One

    1. Provide emergency calcium. You can buy calcium carbonate supplement pills (600 mg) at any drugstore.

    Dosage: Day 1--600 mg of calcium. Then 400 mg per day for a total of 3,000 mg of calcium for the first week.

    How to give the calcium: The first day, crush up the pill in water and give by mouth with an eyedropper, one drop at a time, until he has taken the full day’s dosage. After that, if the squirrel is still eating well, crush up the pills and put in his food: yogurt, avocado, banana, even peanut butter will work. If squirrel won’t take the calcium in food, continue with the eyedropper.

    2. Provide natural sources of Vitamin D: mealworms, mushrooms, eggs, dairy products (especially yogurt--make sure the label says the yogurt contains Vit D).

    [B]3. Provide a liquid vitamin supplement. Buy the kind for rats and mice—available at any pet store. Dose per directions on the label.

    4. Provide sources of Vitamin C. Oranges are good, but red or green bell peppers are the highest.

    5. Eliminate all nuts, seeds and other unhealthy foods. Feed only foods from the recommended Diet.

    6. Introduce a balanced rodent chow. try KayTee Forti-Diet for Rats and Mice. I recommend this because it is widely available at pet stores and it is tasty.

    7. Follow the recommended Diet for Pet Squirrels. Make sure your squirrel is getting foods from every category.

    Note: The emergency MBD treatment is calcium and Vit D. Changing your squirrel's diet will take time; he will have to learn to like the new foods.


    If it is MBD you will see improvement very soon.
    - 4skwerlz, 6 years ago
  • I've just read thru all the post on MBD, I really dont think my Jack boy had it. His appetite was very good, we had just weighted him like 2 weeks before an he was rite on 1 pound, At 4 months olds ( ok well he might have been a bit of a pug compared to his outside cousins,,, he played an played all day.. His fur was very good an thick . his eyes clear, showed no sign of being ill I did have him outside daily, in the sun Hoping to get him use to being outside --He Hated it however.... Jack was just a lil over 4 months old when we lost him, an it was quick in like an hour..... Oh one thing on the heating pads when Jack was alil feller with no fur . I put a reptile heating pad on the bottom outside of the 20 gallon tank he was kept in as a baby. He had no fur at all when we got him , The first day I kept him close to me to keep him warm.,,,,, Thank You All so much for the info offered, its going on a year now since we lost our Jack Boy , we think of him daily, an miss him so bad....He would sit on my shoulder , fix up my hair ( I was allways worried he would nip my ear ) An then make this lil purring sound. He was such a good happy lil feller. My lil furry buddy Jack.
    - jackbudahbelly, 6 years ago
  • Thank you all so much for all your help. My squirrely/ aka daughter shurly would have died if it was not for everything I have read on MBD here in this thread. Who would have thought that giving a squirrel a bunch of nuts would kill her. I could not help it, I just love to watch her eat! She is just so cute! I feel so bad. I have poisoned my little baby! I was not giving her enough sun light either. I now have taken her off of nuts, given her regular sun light and I have also bought her a full spectrum light. It is very hard to find a true full spectrum by the way. I spent hours and hours resurching and hunting them down in stores! I am feeding her correctly and I gave her rescue remedy for the pain. All these things seem to be helping. I never thought owning a squirrel would be so complex. I feel very bad for not resurching squirrels before trying to posses her. We were kinda thrusted into the squirrel world because my girl friend found her on the ground after a storm and we could not let her just die there. Her eyes were not even open yet. So we nursed her back to health with Esbilac. Then we gave her everything that she wanted which happend to a bunch of nuts of all kinds. Once again thank all so much! I think my little baby will pull through thanks to all of your help:)
    - ransacklv, 5 years ago
  • it seems we may have treated her MBD but now it looks like she has come down with a Urinary tract infection... and at home remedies we can try till we come up with vet money???:thinking
    - ransacklv, 5 years ago
  • Ransaclv..I recommend starting a new thread in Non emergency...
    Rehabbers will see your thread and help. Good Luck and welcome to TSB.
    :Welcome
    - Jackie in Tampa, 5 years ago
  • See if she will eat fresh cranberries, or drink some diluted cranberry juice? Sometimes it's enough to put the pH in her urinary tract back to where it should be....if not, she really will need antibiotics.
    - island rehabber, 5 years ago
  • I have a problem. Our squirrel is about 6-7 weeks old. We found him abandoned and almost dead when he was about four or five weeks old. He now only occasionally take more than five ounces of formula. We had kitten formula for our 21 year old cat that we use. He's still on the formula but only takes about 20 ounces a day. He is plump.
    We started him on solids too. He won't eat anything but bark, grapes and pecans. I've provided him with dandelion, all types of baby lettuces (sold as boxed salad, green peppers from the garden (totally organic) tender tiny carrots a quarter thick as the size of a thin little finger straight from garden and made a recipe for nut balls that contains calcium, cod liver oil and etc. which I found on the internet.

    We don't let him run and he stays in a room by himself because we have two cats. We let him stay out about 25 minutes to play after he eats generally 2 times during the day. He still eats every five hours. He hates going back in the cage and climbs all over and shakes the bars.

    Tonight we put him back in the cage and he zipped around, grabbed his tail, laid on his back and rolled around on the floor of the cage. I took him out and he zipped around and almost escaped. When I put him back, he laid on his back rolling around grabbing his tail and shaking. Could he be starting MBD?

    It looked like a seizure---or a temper tantrum. He doesn't get much sunlight but I plan to take the cage outside tomorrow for a few minutes. There's nothing wrong with his level of activity. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! I want to return him to the wild but it will be winter here soon and he won't be ready soon enough. I also want to make sure that when we do, he's well prepared.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I have a problem. Our squirrel is about 6-7 weeks old. We found him abandoned and almost dead when he was about four or five weeks old. He now only occasionally take more than five ounces of formula. We had kitten formula for our 21 year old cat that we use. He's still on the formula but only takes about 20 ounces a day. He is plump.
    We started him on solids too. He won't eat anything but bark, grapes and pecans. I've provided him with dandelion, all types of baby lettuces (sold as boxed salad, green peppers from the garden (totally organic) tender tiny carrots a quarter thick as the size of a thin little finger straight from garden and made a recipe for nut balls that contains calcium, cod liver oil and etc. which I found on the internet.

    We don't let him run and he stays in a room by himself because we have two cats. We let him stay out about 25 minutes to play after he eats generally 2 times during the day. He still eats every five hours. He hates going back in the cage and climbs all over and shakes the bars.

    Tonight we put him back in the cage and he zipped around, grabbed his tail, laid on his back and rolled around on the floor of the cage. I took him out and he zipped around and almost escaped. When I put him back, he laid on his back rolling around grabbing his tail and shaking. Could he be starting MBD?

    It looked like a seizure---or a temper tantrum. He doesn't get much sunlight but I plan to take the cage outside tomorrow for a few minutes. There's nothing wrong with his level of activity. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! I want to return him to the wild but it will be winter here soon and he won't be ready soon enough. I also want to make sure that when we do, he's well prepared.
    from what you described, he does not eat any squirrel/rodent block on a regular basis. Grapes, bark and pecans are not the right foods.At this age his primary food should still be formula with blocks as the first solids. Not grapes, not pecans. Usually, they do not get MBD if they are still on formula. However, since he's been on kitten formula and kitten formula nutritional content is insufficient for squirrels' nutritional requirements, some issues are possible.

    1) you need to re-post your question in Emergency Life Threatening forum - that way you will get a faster response. This forum is informative only.

    2) If you want to release him, you need to keep him and cats completely separate so that he does not see them, nor does he see you interact with them. If he sees you interact with them and gets used to seeing them around, he will assume they are safe and that will be his death sentence when released.

    3) Please check Nutrition Forum for info on what to feed him to ensure he grows healthy and strong.
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28009
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17557

    Just in case this is the beginning of MBD, start Emergency MBD treatment. If this is not MBD, it will not hurt him, and if it is, it will catch it before it progresses too far. SO, FOR RIGHT NOW:

    Start emergency treatment for MBD now - MBD progresses quickly and may permanently damage him to the point that he will not be releasable.
    Emergency Treatment for MBD:

    Get calcium into the squirrel IMMEDIATELY, not later, not tomorrow, NOW.
    Delaying treatment can cause death or permanent paralysis.

    You will need:
    -Tums, rolaids, or calcium supplement (any kind)
    -a syringe or spoon
    Crush one pill and add a little water or fruit juice to make a paste. Use the syringe or spoon to force-feed the mixture, a little at a time, until it is all gone. The first day, give a total of 600-800 mg of calcium, spread throughout the day/night to maintain blood calcium levels.

    Important!

    1. Any kind of calcium pill is okay for the initial dose. But you must use PLAIN calcium pills (without Vit D) from then on.
    2. Try to give many small doses of calcium throughout the day/night to keep blood calcium levels as steady as possible.
    3. If seizures or paralysis worsen or return, give another emergency dose, and make sure you check back in to TSB for help as relapses can be very serious.

    The acute symptoms (weakness, lethargy, seizures, paralysis) will usually improve within a few hours, but this does not mean the squirrel is cured. It will take many months to rebuild the calcium in the bones. (See the "Long-Term Treatment for MBD" http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=28007)

    More Tips
    MBD causes brittle bones that break easily. Try to keep your squirrel confined to a small cage and away from high places, where he might jump and break a bone.

    Heat is very soothing for a squirrel with MBD. A heating pad turned to low and placed so they cannot chew the pad or cord, or a rice buddy (a sock filled with dry rice/beans and microwaved for about 20 seconds) will work.

    Be sure to check in with TSB on a regular basis; this is key to avoid relapses.

    For Long-Term MBD Treatment see Squirrel Nutrition Forum: http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28007
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • Adoptedmother, you do not need to re-post - I re-posted it for you, here is the link to your thread in Emergency Life Threatening forum:

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?p=690684#post690684

    But keep checking both threads - the one above in Emergency and this one- in case people respond to both.:grouphug :grouphug
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • The nut balls I give him are a mixture of various vitamins, calcium, cod liver oil and etc. Here's the recipe: He liked those:
    1 cup rice flakes (Heinz or Gerbers' baby rice cereal)
    # ½ cup ground-up pecans
    # 2/3 cup sesame seeds
    # 1 Tablespoon Brewers' Yeast powder.
    # 1 Tablespoon Lecithin granules or 1 teaspoon liquid Lecithin
    # 1½ to 2 heaping teaspoons KAL brand dolomite powder
    # Vitamin C -- 1000 mg.
    # 6 - 10 alfalfa tablets, mashed
    # 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
    # Cod liver oil (enough for 6000 I.U's Vitamin A and 600 I.U.'s Vitamin D) (Use liquid from bottle.
    # Vitamin E 600 I.U.'s.
    # 1 to 2 teaspoons salad oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil --
    # ½ cup Mashed banana, grapes, Applesauce


    After reading you can overdose the squirrels on vitamin D and cause the problem, then it concerned me that I did just that. He hasn't acted any different since that incident, but it potentially could be playful behavior due to the circumstances.

    We don't allow the cats near him and have made no attempt to litter train, simply because he will be back in the wild and neither of these traits are good for outdoor living. (Although he would be quite easy to litter train due to his potty habits.)

    Since reading this, I added a little extra calcium to his milk and went back to feeding him every four hours. There is no local outlet that has squirrel formula, so switching immediately is impossible. When I do...anything...I overdo, so it worried me that I'd overdo the calcium or vitamin D. Thanks for letting me know you can't overdo the calcium. Putting him in the sun for 1/2 works today as our temps will be above 70.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • The nut balls I give him are a mixture of various vitamins, calcium, cod liver oil and etc. Here's the recipe: He liked those:
    1 cup rice flakes (Heinz or Gerbers' baby rice cereal)
    # ½ cup ground-up pecans
    # 2/3 cup sesame seeds
    # 1 Tablespoon Brewers' Yeast powder.
    # 1 Tablespoon Lecithin granules or 1 teaspoon liquid Lecithin
    # 1½ to 2 heaping teaspoons KAL brand dolomite powder
    # Vitamin C -- 1000 mg.
    # 6 - 10 alfalfa tablets, mashed
    # 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
    # Cod liver oil (enough for 6000 I.U's Vitamin A and 600 I.U.'s Vitamin D) (Use liquid from bottle.
    # Vitamin E 600 I.U.'s.
    # 1 to 2 teaspoons salad oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil --
    # ½ cup Mashed banana, grapes, Applesauce


    After reading you can overdose the squirrels on vitamin D and cause the problem, then it concerned me that I did just that. He hasn't acted any different since that incident, but it potentially could be playful behavior due to the circumstances.


    OMG. There's your answer. Those nutballs are NOT balanced nutrition. Major overdose of Vitamin D = MBD.
    - 4skwerlz, 3 years ago
  • I only have given him 3 so far. The recipe makes 120. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of cod liver oil. (I reread it and it looked like it meant 600 IU per ball. Sorry) What is missing in the nutrition of the nut ball? I hate to throw those all out--or give them to our outside squirrel friends.

    I appreciate all the help. He did the spazzy tail grabbing laying on the back thing again but this time he was hanging from the large branch in his cage, upside down. He then bit his tail. I think he's playing or he might have fleas. He's impossible to hold still long enough to find out. He's like a greased pig that scoots out of your hands and onto an adventure. Force feeding is also an impossibility, he's stubborn. He won't open his mouth. I mixed the juice from squashed grapes with the calcium and put it on bread so he'd think it was a peeled grape and eat it. He nibbled and then stashed the second half. I have a whole container of dolomite calcium so if I waste some, no big deal.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I went to the only two pet feed stores in town. I bought the esbilac for puppies and heavy cream. However, now I'm reading that it made the squirrels sick...OH WOE! There was no where to purchase rodent block (as such) but there was critter chow for rodents. It had the same ingredients as the nut balls sans the nuts and with added corn. I bought one pound but am now afraid to give him either the esbilac or the critter chow.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • order Fox Valley formula at www.foxvalleynutrition.com or from www.henryspets.com. Henryspets also sells Henry's Healthy Block of HHB - a block specifically formulated for squirrels.

    In the meantime, follow Emergency Treatment of MBD and post here everything you do and give him. Make sure you give him amount of Cal as indicated in the Emergency Treatment. Feed with a syringe if needed, but make sure he gets each dose in full, nothing wasted as he needs all that calcium as indicated in order to start getting better.

    Please post your every step and follow the Emergency Treatment protocol to the letter and post here how he is doing, reacting etc etc etc.:grouphug
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • I purchase the puppy estabolic?(sp) and the whipping cream. To make certain that his tummy didn't get upset from the change, I used the puppy mix for 1/3 of the feed and the kitty mix for 2/3 plus added cream and a pinch or two extra calcium in the formula. He has had no treat or solid food since he exhibited the behavior. However, one poster on the emergency area mentioned that it might be playful behavior. I think she was right

    Please don't get me wrong. My squirrel wasn't on a strict diet of pecans and grapes. I foraged outside for foods that squirrels eat and offered one treat or two (hoping to find something he liked) each day. (We have an organic garden with a few beet leaves left, some small undeveloped red peppers and tomatoes) He hates dandelion leaves. He hates lemon balm and it was the first time I ever saw a squirrel spit. (I should have known better since it's strong oil but some of the yard squirrels munch on it.)

    I do believe we may have been weening him too fast because he's eating more each time as we made the feedings closer. Even if he wasn't exhibiting signs of MBD, that's one mistake that could cause problems later.

    I decided that perhaps he was lonely. I didn't want him to become too attached or run through the house. I took him out to play today an extra time when I fed him and he did his usual climbing and slipping away, but remained on me. After about a half hour to forty-five minutes, I trapped him in my lap with my hands cupped around him. He laid on his back and exhibited the same "seizure" behavior but this time he grabbed my hands and had a "fake fight" where he kicked the fingers and lightly nibbled on them. I think the rehabber was right about playing.

    I also took the cage outside for a few minutes. He hid under the covers, climbed out and looked around and hid again. I'm switching to the puppy formula and adding some extra calcium to it. I still think the nut balls have a good ratio of additives but may be too much D while he's on formula. I do have critter chips (or whatever they called them.) They look like rodent block but are made for mice and rats. That's the closest thing we have locally.

    I think the boy needs more playtime and some play toys. He has only the cage to climb and the big tree branch in it that we attached with screws and washers. I also need to give him a nest box. He presently climbs under the T-shirts and pulls them around him. BTW, he loved the milk with the cream and puppy milk added. My cat gets his kitty milk totally back tomorrow or Saturday once Seymore is on full strength puppy milk.

    He's full of pep and energy and comes to his name. Seymore is extremely smart and already knows how to open his door to his cage. I had to secure it or we'd have a runaway squirrel. I'm still concerned over his diet but far more concerned about releasing him when its time--it will be around the end of December and in our country, it's cold and snowy. Any ideas on that?

    I'll keep you posted on his health and my feeding ritual. (I mix food supplements for my cat's arthritis (he's 22 and looks younger) and am a bit of a health nut. (okay, except for the smoking and the potato chips.) I would like to find a balanced recipe I could make so I could monitor the ingredients. Every rodent block I read contained corn as the first ingredient. (GMO corn? They don't know the effects of it on people yet but it causes big problems with wildlife genetics) I guess that's why I wanted to make my own. It's also why we grow our own food.---except the potatoes and tobacco.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I'll keep you posted on his health and my feeding ritual. (I mix food supplements for my cat's arthritis (he's 22 and looks younger) and am a bit of a health nut. (okay, except for the smoking and the potato chips.) I would like to find a balanced recipe I could make so I could monitor the ingredients. Every rodent block I read contained corn as the first ingredient. (GMO corn? They don't know the effects of it on people yet but it causes big problems with wildlife genetics) I guess that's why I wanted to make my own. It's also why we grow our own food.---except the potatoes and tobacco.
    I don't have much time right now, so I will say just a couple of things (and let others respond to the rest, as they are more experienced at that).

    The nut balls recipe is not correct in terms of ratios. a while ago I contacted the authors of the recipe asking how it was calculated and it was not based on squirrel nutritional requirements. I understand that they were trying their best when devising the recipe, but... it not based on squirrel's nutritional requirements.

    Henry's Healthy Blocks, mentioned in my previous message, are the best out there, as they were designed specifically for squirrels. So is Fox Valley formula. HHBs do not contain corn, all natural ingredients and no preservatives.
    If you prefer, you can make your own home-made HHBs - the recipe is in the Nutrition forum, the ingredients - vitamins - are available on www.henryspets.com


    To stay strong and MBD-free he does not really need daily sun exposure as he can get all he needs from the proper diet. Proper diet is crucial to stay MBD-free, because without it no amount of sun exposure will prevent it.

    Please refer to the Squirrel Nutrition forum and read all stickies about Healthy Diet for Pet Squirrels.
    it's best not to use supplements for other species, especially, those intended for felines as they are completely different from squirrels and might end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

    Got to go, keep checking both threads - exp. people will post with more suggestions!:grouphug
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • I did question the logic of the author of the nut balls when she noted that these were the same vitamins she takes and has been healthy..etc. It's like saying I'm eating the diet of a bird so I should be able to fly. However, I've found nowhere on the net that shows the ratio of D to calcium. My logic was that I put in a tad extra calcium "just in case." I realize that some of those vitamins are fat soluble and you can overdo them, but didn't think supplementing with one nut ball per day could do damage and only help. Glad to hear Henry's doesn't have corn and there's a recipe here. I already have most of the vitamins so I probably could whip it up at home.

    Tonight, we figured out why squirrely didn't eat that much. He's A.D.D. I started feeding him in the cage through the door this morning and then releasing him to play and he's eating a lot more...it's either due to the lack of distractions or he simply likes the richer formula.

    It's funny but I have access to all sorts of studies on humans (I'm a retired stockbroker/teacher and now write for a living.) but there's very limited info on squirrels. I appreciate the help.

    Any ideas on good toys to entertain Seymore? and ideas on release?
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I did question the logic of the author of the nut balls when she noted that these were the same vitamins she takes and has been healthy..etc. It's like saying I'm eating the diet of a bird so I should be able to fly.
    Not just illogical, but against every basic principle of Animal Nutrition 101.

    That person is responsible for many, many animal deaths. Free speech means anyone is free to share their ideas on the internet, no matter how crazy. It's up to each of us to figure out what makes sense.

    There are lots of "nutritional faddists" in the pet world; probably because you can't be sued for much money when animals die because of your bad advice, bad products, or bad practices.
    - 4skwerlz, 3 years ago
  • Thanks for the link to the nutrition area. That really helped. It's basically a 1:5 ration (I realize it's two different type of measurements but my computer is downstairs and my "stuff" is upstairs, so it's easier for me to remember that way) I read the report on esbilac and then the recipe for the squirrel block. I'm going to use the esbilac but right now am going up to make the formula for tomorrow. I think I'll still add a little kitty formula to it, just for the transition.

    When I was reading about the stools, it said they're supposed to be deep gold. Seymore's is black/brown. He's a regular pooping machine right after he eats for about a minute or two. I don't think he's ever had golden poo.

    This is about the most "scientific" group on the net about squirrels. I appreciate that. Since I use the net for research a lot, I normally can spot ill advice easily. However, I was desperate and the nut balls looked logical...the scalded milk did not! I don't intend to become a rehabber, just intend to get Seymore back with the boys. He really wants to be free and explore. It would be so cruel to leave him locked in the house.

    I'll keep you posted on the little guys progress and thanks for all the info. (If I came off sounding "snotty" or anything by asking all the questions, I'm sorry. Doctors hate me because I want to understand what they're doing...consequently I don't have one. In this case, the vet gave me all the wrong answers and even sold a useless baby bottle to us.) I'm not doubting, just attempting to understand and make sense..lots of times that involves questioning.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I'm going to use the esbilac but right now am going up to make the formula for tomorrow. I think I'll still add a little kitty formula to it, just for the transition. If you want to try Esbilac, watch for recurring dehydration, progressive weight loss. If that happens, be prepared to quickly switch to the Emergency Goat's Milk Formula (1 cup goats milk, 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup heavy cream) while you wait for the Fox Valley to arrive. If you haven't opened the Esbilac I'd return it. Fox Valley is not only better, it's cheaper. Either way, keep us posted.


    When I was reading about the stools, it said they're supposed to be deep gold. Seymore's is black/brown. He's a regular pooping machine right after he eats for about a minute or two. I don't think he's ever had golden poo. Poos will be dark for a day or so. Will turn golden at some point.


    This is about the most "scientific" group on the net about squirrels. I appreciate that. I can't speak for TSB as a whole, as we are a group of rehabbers and others from all over the world, with slightly different experience and opinions. However, we do strive to develop "best practices" and to do this through consensus, which is the majority of opinion among the most experienced and knowledgable people. We try to gather the best information we can, distill that into "best practices," and then revise as necessary based on credible evidence and research, after some debate and time for thought. TSB recommended Esbilac for years, until they changed their formula, and many baby mammals died. Now we recommend a better formula (Fox Valley). It wasn't an easy or a quick decision.

    I'm sure you've noticed that some people either refuse to change their practices, ever...or change them every other month based on the latest fad. Neither is scientific.


    I'll keep you posted on the little guys progress and thanks for all the info. (If I came off sounding "snotty" or anything by asking all the questions, I'm sorry. Doctors hate me because I want to understand what they're doing...consequently I don't have one. In this case, the vet gave me all the wrong answers and even sold a useless baby bottle to us.) I'm not doubting, just attempting to understand and make sense..lots of times that involves questioning. Question away!

    Vets can be very good, or know less than you do about squirrels. It really varies.
    - 4skwerlz, 3 years ago
  • We're following the protocol for the preparation of the formula. Since I took away his nut balls (which does have the right proportion of D to calcium...I calculated it from the charts but am not going to give him any until I do the other calculations for fat soluble vitamins. I froze them so they'll be ready for winter snacks.)
    I've got to make up something to supplement the milk or purchase the henry's online...and do it soon. I hate ordering online. Until then, I'll introduce the recommended veggies and if he doesn't like them, too bad.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • Any ideas on good toys to entertain Seymore? and ideas on release?
    For toys you can use stuffies (just take out "eyes" and "noses" and anything else that he might end up swallowing), ropes that he can "walk" on and "climb", boas, hanging stuffies (e.g., a bungee kind of thing with a stuffie tied at the end), wooden toys with a nut inside to make it hard for him to get to it (just make sure that the wood is safe and not dyed and not made in China - china dyes are unsafe, and if he ingests dye, he might get poisoned), hammocks (some squirrels like to jump on the hammock), you can use a stuffie to "wrestle" with him, or get a very thick Kevlar-kind of glove and wrestle with him - these are just some of the things.
    You can post your question as a separate thread and people will share their ideas.

    As for release... I am not sure I understood the question. Do you mean "how" to release, or "when" to release?...
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • We've learned a lot more about Seymore since the "incident." Our boy is a weenie when it comes to leaving the cage. There's nothing he likes better than to eat inside the cage. His appetite improved dramatically because he isn't distracted after one 5cc syringe of food. He waits for the next syringe...and now for the next one.
    I know that his "seizures" were his attempt to get someone to play. He finger wrestles Mike. Mike puts his hand in. Seymore wrestles, nibbles, lays on his back and kicks (Seizures!! LOL, this is what I saw before. Poor boy wanted a playmate) and plays for a half hour.

    I cleaned his cage and threw out the stash we thought he wasn't eating. Some of it was nibbled on. I've got to get him a regular nest we'll use when we release. Speaking of which, the question on release was not when...but how do you do it in the dead of winter. Poor boy won't have any nest building skills --although we can provide that--he won't be able to forage. I guess we can provide that. It's dang cold outside! I can't even consider turning him out in that cold. Right now when I think of taking him out do acclimate to the cold, I'm looking for mini mittens and scarves for the little guy. If it were summer, that's one thing but the timing for release is the start of the hardest part of our winter.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • since he is about 6-7 wks old, he will need another 6-5wks before any consideration for a release as the min. age for release is 12 wks. That's because in the wild babies emerge out of the nest at about 12wks old.

    Another condition for Fall release is to still have green leaves on trees.

    However, a lot of people (and rehabbers who can) prefer to overwinter Fall babies and release them in the spring.

    Keep in mind that even though wild babies are allowed to walk out of the nest at 12wks, first of, during all those 12wls they had their squirrel mother teach them important squirrelly things; 2nd of all, even after they are allowed to explore the world outside of the nest on their own, they are still with their mother, continuing to learn other squirrelly things. I watched a squirrel family and even though the babies were roaming around during the day (actually, often with their mother nearby), they always came back to their nest to sleep for another 2-3 months.
    Moreover, Fall babies spend winters with their mother often, too, all together to keep each other warm.

    Rehabbed squirrels, esp. singletons, do not have a squirrel mother to teach them squirrelly things that are necessary for them to survive in the wild.
    Also, Fall babies do not have enough stashes, do not know how to build a good nest etc etc etc. Even if you think that you could release and just feed him through the winter, it might not work if he gets chased away by other squirrels. If they do end up chasing him away, you will not be able to support him with food during winter.
    That's why, whenever possible, a lot of people choose to overwinter their Fall babies and release them in the spring.

    if you decide to overwinter him, do not hesitate to ask questions about overwintering: a lot of people have done it and will be happy to share their experience with you!:grouphug
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • Oh boy do we ever have questions. Is there an "overwintering manual"? LOL.
    We just put a secondary cage hooked with a large sewer pipe and built a shelf high in the living room for Seymore. Even though his cage was large, it wasn't big enough for him to play. He's learned to open his door. I found him standing on top of his cage, almost with his hands on his hips, proud of the fact that he could let himself out...but not back in..to the cage. I think overwintering is the way to go. Is it outside or inside the house?
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • Oh boy do we ever have questions. Is there an "overwintering manual"? LOL.
    We just put a secondary cage hooked with a large sewer pipe and built a shelf high in the living room for Seymore. Even though his cage was large, it wasn't big enough for him to play. He's learned to open his door. I found him standing on top of his cage, almost with his hands on his hips, proud of the fact that he could let himself out...but not back in..to the cage. I think overwintering is the way to go. Is it outside or inside the house?
    that's funny!

    It can be either way - outside or inside, but each has its specifications, of course.
    It will be best if you post your questions in Cages,nestboxes forum or Non-LifeThreatening Help needed .This forum is for specific illnesses only, so you won't get much response regarding overwintering questions.

    So,post your overwintering questions as a separate thread and people will share their experiences!:grouphug
    - astra, 3 years ago
  • Thanks for all your help. After watching Seymore closely...we not only realized he's a she (I'm pretty sure.) but also that it was just playful behavior. Since she was about four weeks old when we found her, I think she had a good start with Mama milk. We put a soft plushy stuffed toy in the cage and she wrestles that when we're gone.
    The switch in formula was a huge hit with her and she's eating twice as much..including Henry's squirrel blocks, food we forage from the outside, veggies (I rinse off some of the subway veggies occasionally and give them to her.) She now has a "tree" inside each section and one on the outside on the shelf when she's out for play. I really appreciate all the help and am pretty sure she's healthy..but thanks again.
    - adoptedmother, 3 years ago
  • I've experimented quite a bit with 'emergency' calcium administration for MBD and found a few methods that work well:

    1) Tasteless liquid calcium glubionate syrup (eg Rugby Lab's Calcionate). According to some vet websites I've read, the 'emergency intervention dose' they use to treat acute MBD is 1cc per kilogram of body weight twice a day for at least a week. This could be done using a syringe (although I'd never try it with a feral adult), or by adding a "suitable amount" to their drinking water.

    The second method is hit or miss, since you need to know how much water they consume and how much to add to give them an effective dose of 1cc/kg. Since calcium glubionate is 6.6% elemental calcium by weight, and since 5ml of Calcionate contains 1.8 grams of calcium glubionate, this translates to a dose of 24mg of elemental (pure) calcium per *kilogram* of squirrel body weight twice a day. In human terms, this would be the equivalent of a 180lb man consuming five 1000 mg antacids twice a day!

    2) Mix food grade calcium carbonate powder (available on ebay) with Adam's pure unsalted peanut butter and either feed them the mixture directly or trowel it into the crevices af a shelled walnut half and let them eat that. It's amazing how much calcium carbonate peanut butter can hold and still be 'spreadable'.

    Calcium carbonate is 40% elemental calcium by weight, so you need to get the squirrel to eat peanut butter containing 61mg of powder per kilogram of its body weight. There are cheap but very accurate scales available on amazon and ebay that can measure milligram weights up to 20 grams (search for 'milligram scale' or '20x0.001 scale'. I paid $23 for mine).

    Another approach is to mix up a batch of 'medicated' peanut butter. Take one ounce (28.3 grams) of peanut butter and mix it with 6.3 grams of calcium carbonate by mashing it together using your fingertips. This mixture now contains 2.5g (2500mg) of elemental calcium or 73mg per gram of mixture. To administer the 24mg/kg dose to a 500g adult squirrel, you'd need 500 / 1000 x 24 / 73 or 165mg of 'medicated' peanut butter.

    A less elaborate approach is simply to sprinkle the required amount of calcium carbonate powder on a moistened nut (like a shelled walnut or almond), but some of the powder may fall of the nut before it gets into the squirrel's mouth. Also, some squirrels chew off and discard the outer thin layer of nuts (like the reddish brown paper-like covering of a penaut).

    As others have pointed out, try not to overdose the squirrel. This is tough to do with calcium carbonate, but squirrels don't weigh much compared to us, so a seemingly minute amount of calcium can shut down their digestive tracts and wreak general havoc (imagine the effect of a person consuming TWENTY1000mg antacids in one sitting).

    The average adult grey squirrel weighs 400 - 600 grams, so they only need about 10 - 14mg of pure calcium (or 24 - 36mg of CaCO3 powder) twice daily for at least a week to be treated for MBD symptoms in the way that the vets do on the website I read.
    - SciurusMaximus, a year ago
  • Oops, I forgot to provide the link to the vet website where I read the recommended intervention dosage of various forms of calcium for acute ('severe') MBD: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1445

    -SciurusMaximus
    - SciurusMaximus, a year ago
  • Here's an even better link about the therapy used for MBD in squirrels by vets:

    http://www.squirrelrehabilitation.com/hupocalcemia.htm

    This article says that the 23.2mg* of elemental calcium per kilogram of body weight I mentioned in my earlier post should be administered 3-4 times daily (instead of the twice daily rate I mentioned).

    I've seen other articles that suggest much higher dosages (like an entire 600mg crushed antacid tablet), but I'm skeptical this would be helpful since there is a limit to how much calcium a small animal can absorb via digestion in a single day.

    I'd point out that a 600mg antacid contains 240mg of elemental (pure) calcium, so for an average 500g adult squirrel, this would be an equivalent dose of 480mg/kg which is 20x the dose recommended in the article (and the article cites the Merck Veterinary Manual, 10th edition as the source of the 23.2mg/kg dosage recommendation).

    Also, hitting a small animal with all of the refined sugar in even a single human antacid tablet could induce a serious blood sugar spike that wouldn't help matters.

    Of all of the methods I've heard of, I'm partial to feeding carefully measured doses of the 'medicated' peanut butter I describe in my earlier post. True you need a milligram scale to mix and administer it, but it's concentrated enough so that the animal doesn't need to eat much of it to be effective and it can be administered in very precise doses in line with actual vet recommendations that avoid potential problems with calcium overdoses.

    *Note: The article says "2.5ml of 10% calcium gluconate per kg of body weight". According to the calcium calculator at http://www-users.med.cornell.edu/~spon/picu/calc/cacalc.htm , this contains 23.2mg of elemental calcium)
    - SciurusMaximus, a year ago
  • Hi this is Charley how about Avocados do they have any source of calcium? Avocado is one of Charleys favorite foods. I wish I could figure out how to post some pictures of Charlotte she was a real chunko until about 2 weeks ago she seems to have dropped a little bit of weight and I am very concerned. Any advice woukd be greatly appreciated
    - Charley, 9 months ago
  • Avocado is not a source of calcium. Block is what she needs to eat for the best nutrition.:Love_Icon:Love_Icon:Love_Icon
    - SammysMom, 9 months ago
  • My little guy wiggles died in my arms i was never told about mbd i loved him so much and i can't get over the pain in now knowing that my little man didn't have to die in horrific pain like he did. to anyone raising a squirrel please research everything that can possibly go wrong or you can and will regret it. i will never get over it
    - , 2 months ago

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