Frosty the Baby Squirrel. A Story.
Miss Jean requested the story about her so here it is...
So Who Needs a Baby Squirrel?
Uhhhh. Me, I guess! Someone found this little lady in their drive in mid October. There are no injuries but she was severely dehydrated and so very cold. The lady had found another one in her lawn the day before. We *think* perhaps the Mama squirrel was killed by a car or something else happened to her that prevented her from returning to her nest to care for her young and in time they left in search of her.
This little one got warm fluids under the skin, got treated for fleas and lice! She's also got warmed up and fed some milk. I brought her home with me in the evening and she seemed livelier but now quite OK with her breathing. We began by feeding her every few hours throughout the night.
Just the other day I was thinkin' we needed a baby squirrel to bottle feed!
Little Frosty was busy over night. She had pine sap all over her fur and she's managed to clean it all up except for a small patch of it on her right side. But she's back to being lethargic and a little cold ... but then I found her out of her warm towels and she way laying on top of them. Maybe she got too warm and couldn't find her way back under the towels that are above the heating pad?
Any way, she drank her warm milk, got some antibiotics and a little rub down and was tucked back in bed. I'd say her chances to survive could go either way. I would have wanted her to have been livelier in the morning.
The lady who found the two babies was hand raising the first one she found. That one was lively as only a mini-squirrel can be. The one she brought to me was found a day later cold on the drive. Had she been outside her nest overnight and survived our rain storms before she came to me? That seems likely and a difficult situation for any baby to survive.
Later I found out that Frosty was found in the morning but the lady needed to go to work so she placed her in a bucket with a single piece of paper towel and left her outside! I got her seven hours after she was found!!!
But, what can you do? You need to try ... You need to try even harder than the little one is able to help them survive. ~SIGH~
Frosty had pneumonia. She was also anemic due to blood depletion from the lice and fleas. She was so very lethargic and cold in spite of being bundled up and on a heating pad. The fleas and lice are gone / dead so they are no longer a concern.
The plan was to give her warm IV fluids within the hour when I got to work as well as start her on oxygen. She's already started on antibiotics and something to help her breathing.
Once I got her to work she was in an oxygen tank with warm blankies and a heating pad underneath her. Then she was bombarded with drugs galore! She got an IV injection of a multitude of medications to decrease her lung congestion, help her to breathe, a combination of antibiotics and B complex, something to increase her blood sugar and on and on..... She was on oxygen all day plus she got more fluids under her skin as well as the warmed IV fluids. She remains frightfully dehydrated but .... she was so much livelier than she had been that morning or the day we first met. Her liveliness may also be her "last hurrah" before she dies. I spoke with my avian specialist friend about our baby squirrel emergency and unfortunately after I told him all I have already done for Frosty he said I have covered it all. I told him "Well darn! I was hoping you would say ~~You FOOL! You have overlooked ....~~" He laughed and said there wasn't really anything else to do but wait and see if the medications could counteract the severity of her condition when she came to me. She \*was\* more alert and moved about more than she had been but I was so afraid she would not recover from this. My business partner said her bill for ICU was already around $3000.00! We'll deduct it from her allowance. I brought Frosty home and began I was setting up our all too familiar home oxygen tank in the dining room. Olive the Yellow\-naped Amazon Parrot has seen this several times already but being ever curious she asked: What are you doing, Pretty Girl? What's that? I told her that the baby squirrel needed oxygen. She was very sick. What's wrong, Sweetheart? I told Olive that Frosty had pneumonia and had trouble breathing. I then showed her Frosty just before putting her into the enclosure and starting the oxygen. Olive? She responded with a reply that was barely over a whisper but she repeated her concerns: Oooooh! Very worrisome. Worrisome! That is very worrisome. Oooooooooooohhhhh! Oh Sweetheart. Is she OK? I'm so sorry Sweetheart! ~~~~> Now HOW can Olive take in the information and actually communicate her concerns? I know you probably wonder what kind of drugs I must be on (or should be on) as Olive and Kramer do at times communicate their thoughts and concerns. I know it sounds unbelievable and it is at times spooky at what they say but they do! Sweet little Frosty died about 5 hours after I brought her home and I held onto her ... weeping for the longest time. Olive said nothing for a while and then: Oh Sweetheart. Very well! Don't cry. Bye\- bye. Bye\- bye. The little squirrel was wrapped in a wash cloth and tucked in her arms was a sprig of orchid Ephidendrum capricornu . It is a native of Peru and has a multitude of tiny pink flowers. I think it is the nicest orchid we had flowering at the time. Little Frosty was through so much in her short life I thought she deserved the best we could provide at the end too. I \*need\* to become more detached from my patients but I seem to have a soft spot for dehydrated, cold, lice and flea infested baby squirrels with pneumonia. ~SIGH~ Maybe the next visitor story will have a happy ending. I'll try! Her story is one of a sad short struggle for life and we lost. C3D