ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES WHEN HANDLING WILD MAMMALS!!!
Wash all utensils, gloves and cages used with a 1:10 bleach/water
CHECK FOR INJURY OR SIGNS OF ILLNESS:
Examine the animal for puncture wounds, lacerations, maggots
and more serious injuries such as dislocations or broken bones.
If an animal shows signs of paralysis, thick, yellow mucous
discharge from nose or eyes, or convulsions are present, bring
the animal immediately to your veterinarian or an emergency
veterinary clinic for euthanasia.
- MAKE SURE THE ANIMAL IS WARM TO THE TOUCH:
Young mammals cannot regulate their own body temperature.
They need a heat source, either a hot water bottle or a heating
pad on a low setting. Be sure you put the heat source under only
half the cage so that the animal does not overheat. Initially,
you can warm a baby mammal with your own body warmth (not directly
on your skin) or immerse them in warm water for a few minutes
(making sure to keep head out of water) and dry thoroughly.
- CHECK FOR DEHYDRATION: If skin tents
up when you pinch it, or eyes are sunken, or if the animals seems
listless, have your veterinarian administer (or show you how to
administer) Ringers Solution subcutaneously (under the skin).
If the young mammal is only slightly dehydrated or if you do not
have access to Ringers you can give warm Pedialyte (found in the
baby food section of the supermarket) or a well shaken mixture
of one cup warm water and two tablespoons of Nutri-cal (found
in Jeffers catalog or your vet or local pet store). If you choose
to orally rehydrate young mammals this can best be done with a
1cc or 3cc oral syringe one drop at a time. Do not allow the animal
to aspirate the fluids, feed very slowly. Most young mammals have
been alone without their mother for some time before they are
found and brought to a rehabilitator; most will need to be rehydrated
before being placed on the appropriate formula. Dehydrated animals
will not be able to digest formula without being properly rehydrated
first. Wait several hours after rehydration before you attempt
your first feeding. Tiny newborns should be placed in a small
aquarium on top of a smooth towel or a thick piece of flannel.
Use a small piece of flannel or smooth towel on top to fold over
babies. Place half of aquarium over heating pad on low setting.
Use a plastic pet carrier for larger babies.
- ONLY AFTER THE ABOVE ARE COMPLETED CAN YOU
BEGIN TO FEED THE ANIMAL:
Feed Esbilac to young squirrels, opossums, chipmunks and cottontails.
While wearing gloves, feed KMR to young raccoons, fox and skunks.
Mix powder with warm water as directed or feed warmed canned formula.
Add a pinch of Probios (beneficial live bacteria). Use a 1cc oral
syringe for squirrels, opossums, cottontails and tiny raccoons
and skunks. Use a 3cc oral syringe for larger raccoons and skunks.
Slowly provide the animal with liquid until the stomach is well
rounded. Be very careful that the animal does not aspirate the
fluids into its lungs; feed one drop at a time. Baby mammals should
be fed 3 or 4 times per day in evenly spaced feedings.
- MAKE SURE THE ANIMAL IS ELIMINATING WASTE
ON ITS OWN:
For the first few week of life, mothers of baby mammals lick their
babies to stimulate defecation and urination, and they ingest
theses materials to keep their nest sites clean and scent free
as not to attract predators. You will need to stimulate the urethra
and anus with your middle finger or a cotton ball moistened with
warm water. This will need to be done before and after each feeding
until you see the animal eliminating waste on its own.
- TRY TO GET ANIMALS EATING ON THEIR OWN AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE ONCE THEIR TEETH START COMING IN: It makes
sense that once a baby mammal's teeth begin to emerge and when
the baby is mobile enough to stand to eat that the mother will
begin to discourage it from nursing and the baby will begin to
venture out with mom for solid food. Weaning is never easy so
we suggest easing into it slowly. For squirrels, begin to put
formula in a shallow jar cap and leave pecans and walnuts in cage
between feedings. For baby cottontails, do the same but substitute
apples and clover for nuts. For skunks and opossums, start with
soaked dry dog food, turkey baby food or canned cat food. For
raccoons (the most challenging of juveniles) begin by adding some
baby rice cereal and baby food bananas to their formula. Slowly
add dry dog food, eggs, soft oatmeal cookies, bananas, apples
THE ABOVE APPLIES
TO INITIAL CARE ONLY.
PLEASE CALL WIC FOR MORE INFORMATION IF YOU PLAN TO RAISE
ORPHANED BABY MAMMALS.
back to top...