What to do if you find a baby squirrel….
Keep the baby warm and safe. It is best not to use terrycloth as they can become tangled in the loops.
If you can put the baby in a box at the base of the tree nearest where it was found and if you can watch it closely for an hour or so, many times mamma will come and get it. If baby is injured it should go to a rehabber immediately – mamma doesn’t have a first aid kit! If she does not come back, or if you can’t keep watch over it, it is best to just get the squirrel to a rehabber.
For the first 24 hours, you don’t need to worry about feeding the baby anything but water or pedialyte just to keep them hydrated. This can be done with an eyedropper (preferably plastic as even little sharp teeth can break glass eyedroppers!) or even a straw. Just be careful they don’t inhale the liquid as that can cause pneumonia.
A heating pad with a layer or two of towels on top is the easiest and best way to keep them warm overnight until you can transfer them to a rehabber. If you can’t do that, keep them wrapped up well in a towel inside a cardboard box in a warm area, possibly even under a lamp.
More detailed info can be found on the link below “What to do for the first 24 hours”.
If you are trying to raise the baby yourself – it is not recommended, or even legal – but, please feed the baby Esbilac brand puppy milk replacer or if you can’t find that brand, any puppy milk replacer. You can order Esbilac from www.upco.com 800-254-8726 at a fraction of what pet stores sell it. We are getting calls from people trying to raise babies on their own using Infamil, human milk formula, kitten formula or other homemade mixes and the babies are getting sick and dying within a few days to a week. If you know someone who has raised them on these types of formulas and it has worked, it is probably because the squirrel was large enough when they started feeding it that any nutritional deficiency was not visible but the squirrel may have had metabolic bone disease, a condition like osteoporosis. In almost all cases it is not reversible. You only get one chance to do it right, so if you love the baby, please feed it good nutrition!
If you’re in the Daytona Beach area, Wildlife Rehab Daytona will be glad to take the baby to raise with the many brothers and sisters we have! Call us at 386-767-2500 or 386-235-3751.
If you’re not in the Daytona area, look for a rehabber in your area here:
or here: http://www.wildlifecare.org/list.html
For wildlife rehabilitation and animal rescuers. Click here.