Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Very Squirrely Situation Day 9

The reason I named this blog Squirrel Manual is because baby squirrels should come with one.

There are wonderful moments: Theodore's tiny teeth began to appear on Day 9.

And there are anxious moments. Here is a prime example of avoidable terror:

I noticed Theodore started gasping out of nowhere while I was feeding him. His mouth opened and shut and his little arms stretched out in front of him. Choking? Heart attack? It sure looked like it, until he inexplicably went back to normal and insisted on finishing his meal.

It happened the next time I fed him. Exactly the same. I tried feeding him slower. I tried feeding him less. I tried positioning him different ways. Each time the gasping would last about 3 to 5 seconds and then he would go back to eating as though nothing had happened.

With concerns of pneumonia, I scoured the online squirrel community and discovered what other rehabbers call "the feeding trance."

Turns out it means he's really enjoying his meal. So much so that he is trance-ing out on me.

Squirrel Rescuers
Don't panic if you notice your squirrel stop eating and start gasping during feedings. It is called the Feeding Trance and it is perfectly normal. They grow out of it eventually. You should only worry if you see milk come out their nose.

If you see a small amount of blood while milk feeding around 6 weeks, it is likely the teeth coming in. Teething squirrels like to nibble on everything. Give them plenty to chew on. Be sure to squeak and pull away if it pinches you (even if it doesn't much hurt), so as to convey pain and teach the squirrel to be gentle with these new teeth.

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