This might be the automatic question for those, they encounter a baby squirrel. Before that they decide whether to feed the baby or not, there are a couple of things they should do.
What steps should one first take?
• First establish if the baby is suffering from any injuries or not. Illness or injury may cause their mothers to reject them.
• Once it has been established that the baby is healthy, try first to re-unite it with its mother. Look for the nest as it will most likely be within the area. Check the attic first as this is one of the most appealing places for a nesting mother.
• A baby with fly eggs must not be left with the mother, as the maggots develop into maggots and this is dangerous for the baby and the mother will abandon it.
What happens if the mother cannot be found?
If you are unable to successfully re-unite the baby with its mother, then you need to take it in and take care of it. This might yet be the hardest part. Understanding its feeding needs is paramount. By looking at its appearance one may tell what age it is.
• A pink and hairless baby is most likely less than a week
• One with closed eyes and flattened ears is less than three weeks.
What to do:
• If the baby is cold, first warm it up. It may not feed properly when cold and may eventually die. A blanket will do.
• Before any type of feeding, hydrate the baby. Dehydration kills and the introduction of food does nothing to alleviate the dehydration. They are exclusive to each other.
• In about six to twelve hours, the baby is ready for feeding. And you can start on formula with them.
What to use for hydration and feeding
• Before feeding one can use infant hydrating fluid or pedialyte.
• Once the baby is well rehydrated, one can move to the formula.
These two cannot be given at once as they serve different purposes. The baby must be rehydrated first. Formula is given once the baby is well rehydrated. When feeding, be careful to hold the head upright to ensure the food goes down the throat. Do not feed the baby on its back. Remember, they are tiny critters so you will need a small syringe of eye dropper to feed it with.
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