Why is My Baby Squirrel Breathing So Fast?
There are many ways to treat bloat in baby squirrels. Avoid scalded milk, steamed vegetables, and sour food. Avoid dyes and perfumes, too. A vet or wildlife rehabilitator can administer pedialyte or give the squirrel an IV. If the squirrel still cannot breathe on its own, the animal should be taken to a wildlife hospital. For more information, please visit the ASPCA website.
You can buy Esbilac at most pet stores and here at The Squirrel Store. But you must get it as soon as possible, because squirrels do not have time to wait for the formula to be shipped to Connecticut. In addition, pet store employees may try to talk you into using something different, as they only work with domestic animals. Therefore, they do not understand the needs of wildlife.
One good option is to use goat’s milk. Goat milk contains the same nutrients as mother’s milk. And it is perfect for young animals who cannot access their mother’s milk. You can make it in just a few minutes. Just make sure you use a syringe with the proper amount of formula to prevent air pockets. The amount you give depends on the size of the baby squirrel.
Avoiding scalded milk
For most hygienic reasons, scalded milk is not recommended for feeding a fast-breathing baby squirrel. However, it is essential to avoid giving scalded milk if your baby squirrel is unable to breathe. The first step is to raise the animal’s blood sugar. If possible, use a high-fructose mix instead of scalded milk. The dropper should be placed in the squirrel’s mouth and not on its lips or tongue. This is because of the squirrel’s sucking reflex.
When feeding a baby squirrel, the best food to give it is formula. Esbilac is available in powder or premixed forms. The powder form is easier on the squirrel’s digestive system. Make sure to dilute the formula one part powder to four parts water. Never give the baby squirrel hot or scalded milk. Also, don’t use homemade formula. Besides being a dangerous mistake, it could even cause the animal to die.
Avoiding coconut/soy/almond milk
One of the most common causes of bloated baby squirrels is formula intolerance or overeating. Depending on the symptoms, a baby squirrel may refuse to eat less than normal. If the baby squirrel refuses to drink, you can try feeding the squirrel less formula than usual. If the feeding hasn’t helped, you can give the baby a warm drink. This will help stimulate the urination process.
Almond/coconut milk contain a high amount of fatty acids and vitamins. But coconuts contain enzymes that destroy the nutrients in this food. Hence, your baby squirrel will be better off with this type of formula. You can also consider making your own homemade squirrel formula at home for a fraction of the cost. However, it’s not advisable for you to give your baby coconut milk as he/she may not be allergic to it.
Avoiding dyes and perfumes
If you have a fast-breathing squirrel in your home, there are a few things you should avoid. Squirrels can be defensive, and they can even bite you, but they will soon return to their normal behavior once you remove the food source. Avoid using perfumes and dyes, and try to keep a distance from the squirrel, as it can be harmful.
Checking for dehydration
If you think your baby squirrel is dehydrated, you may want to test its skin for fluid depletion. A newborn squirrel’s or bat’s skin is loose and stands up when pressed. If the skin crinkles, the animal is dehydrated. You may also look for signs of dehydration on the eyes and nose. This can indicate severe dehydration. Aqueous hydration treatment may help, but this is not recommended for birds.
If the temperature on your squirrel is below 98 degrees Fahrenheit, he or she is likely dehydrated. You can use a needleless syringe to feed the squirrel a dose of warm Pedialyte, and keep an eye on its body temperature. You should always wear thick gloves when handling animals. If you are unsure, consult a veterinarian. Make sure to wear gloves when handling squirrels.
Contacting a wildlife rehabilitator
If you notice that your baby squirrel is breathing rapidly and you suspect it might be bloat, the first step is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator for veterinary care. Though this may seem daunting, this can often be a life-saving step. While bloat is not a serious disease, rehydration is essential for squirrels, and feeding them formula is likely to be detrimental. Only a wildlife rehabilitator should feed a baby squirrel.
The first step in helping a rescued animal is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator. Unlike veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators work with all types of animals, and have an extensive experience dealing with these species. Depending on the species, they may not be able to provide the best care. Moreover, most wildlife rehabilitators are only open 24 hours a day, which makes them the most accessible to a wide range of animal species.
What are some possible reasons why a baby squirrel might be breathing fast?
Answer: There are several potential causes of fast breathing in babies including infection, dehydration, heart conditions, stress, and hypoglycemia.
Is fast breathing in baby squirrels always a cause for concern?
Answer: No sometimes fast breathing can be normal for baby squirrels especially if they are excited or active.
However if fast breathing is accompanied by other signs of illness such as lethargy appetite loss or increased sleeping it may be cause for concern.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is dehydrated?
Answer: Dehydration can cause a baby squirrel’s skin to feel dry or tacky or their eyes to appear sunken.
Baby squirrels who are dehydrated may also urinate less frequently than normal or produce dark-colored urine.
What are some common infections that can cause fast breathing in baby squirrels?
Answer: Some respiratory infections that can cause fast breathing in baby squirrels include pneumonia bronchitis and Bordetella (kennel cough).
How can you tell if a baby squirrel has a heart condition?
Answer: Fast breathing in baby squirrels can sometimes be a sign of an underlying heart condition.
Other signs of a heart condition include blue or gray skin color weakness and exercise intolerance.
What are some other potential causes of fast breathing in baby squirrels?
Answer: Other potential causes of fast breathing in baby squirrels include stress anxiety and pain.
How can you tell if a baby squirrel is in pain?
Answer: Baby squirrels in pain may cry or whine rock back and forth or curl up into a ball.
They may also have a decreased appetite and may be more lethargic than usual.
What are some ways to help a baby squirrel who is breathing fast?
Answer: If a baby squirrel is dehydrated give them water or an electrolyte solution to drink.
If they are infected they may need antibiotics.
If they have a heart condition they may need medication.
And if they are in pain they may need pain relief medication.
How can you prevent fast breathing in baby squirrels?
Answer: Some potential causes of fast breathing in baby squirrels such as infection and dehydration can be prevented with good hygiene and regular vet check-ups.
Heart conditions and stress may be less preventable but keeping baby squirrels in a safe and enriching environment can help.
What are some signs that a baby squirrel is in danger and needs to see a vet immediately?
Answer: If a baby squirrel is having difficulty breathing is not responding to treatment or is showing other signs of serious illness they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.