Species Care Sheets APPENDIX SEVEN RACCOONS. Raccoon Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered KMR:2 parts water.

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1 APPENDIX SEVEN Species Care Sheets RACCOONS Raccoon Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered KMR:2 parts water. Stomach capacity is 50 to 66 ml/kg (5% to 7%). Use 50 ml/kg to reduce chances of diarrhea (.05 BW in g = ml.). There are 30 ml/fluid ounce. Do not allow free choice formula because some raccoons overeat and develop diarrhea or bloat. Very young raccoons can be fed with a dropper, pet nurser bottle, or nipple attached to a syringe. The pet nurser has the least amount of flow control, so use it with caution. Older juveniles are often fed with preemie baby bottles and nipples. After bottle always remember to burp the baby by patting firmly between the shoulder blades and down the infant s back. New incoming infants may take several days to become accustomed to the new diet and instrument. Scratching the back of a raccoon s neck, while holding the nurser in its mouth, usually stimulates a suckling reflex. Once baby raccoons get the idea of bottle nursing, the rest of the times are spent trying to slow them down. They tend to drink very fast and you must pull the bottle away after they have received the measured formula amount or they will swallow air. Stimulate before until eyes open and self elimination is evident (four to five weeks). Add baby rice cereal to formula as a thickener to slow down overzealous nursers. Gradually begin introducing solid foods (applesauce, yogurt, baby foods, softened puppy food), either mixed in the formula or separate, once raccoons have their eyes open and begin to get teeth (four weeks). Once they have a taste for the puppy food in the formula, start offering it dry. Gradually decrease the bottle until weaned (seven to twelve weeks). Begin to offer drinking water when raccoons begin to eat solid foods, but plan to refill the water bowl several times a day because they love to climb in and also dunk their food items in bowl. Some rehabilitators prefer to teach the babies how to lap formula out of a bowl. This method takes patience and a lot of wash cloths to clean up afterward. Raccoons may resist weaning and lose weight at first. Dry puppy food (Science Diet Canine Growth) should constitute 90% of the post - weaning diet. The remaining 10% of the diet should be apples, grapes, berries, eggs, vegetables, sweet potatoes, fish, worms, clams, small rodents, chicks, and crayfish. By the age of twelve weeks raccoons should be able to kill crayfish. By fourteen weeks raccoons should be able to kill young rats. Some individuals need to be fasted for twenty - four hours before they will try new foods. Use caution and protective clothing when handling raccoons because they are a rabies vector species. Raccoon Housing From zero to five weeks of age, a cardboard box or pet carrier works best because it can be thrown out after it becomes soiled. Due to the zoonotic concern with the internal parasite Baylisascaris procyonis, any fecal - contaminated materials should be burned or thrown away. Never reuse any cages or caging materials used with raccoons with any other species because disinfectants are ineffective in killing the raccoon roundworm. Fresh feces are not infective, but become so in three to four weeks. The intake procedure for raccoons should include weekly dewormings of pyrantel pamoate suspension (4.5 mg/ml at 0.5 to 1 cc/lb). 419

2 420 Appendix 7 Use soft, ravel - free cloth as bedding. Do not use terry cloth because their fingernails get caught in the loops too easily. Provide supplemental heat until they are four weeks old. At six weeks provide the animal with a wire cage with logs, natural substrate, tree limbs for climbing, and a hammock made from canvas or tight - weave netting, which should be hung near the top of the enclosure. The hammocks are a good substitute for wooden nest boxes because they can be changed and washed. By eight weeks, raccoons are very active and need a large cage with lots of natural items to help keep them from getting bored (i.e. hollow logs, rocks, live plants, dirt for digging, water bowls for dunking food, pine cones, small pool). Outdoor acclimation usually starts at six weeks and finishes by twelve weeks. Figure A7.1. Raccoon babies. Raccoon Release The release age is four to five months, when they are self and acclimated to the outdoors. This section does not cover raccoon release due to the regulations on possessing rabies vector species in many states and the numerous difficulties one can face with this procedure. Turning all raccoons over to a licensed rehabilitator, vaccinated against rabies, is recommended. Table A7.1. Raccoon Care Sheet. Age (weeks) Weights (g) Age determinates Diet Amount Frequency Faint tail rings and mask, very lightly furred, ears pressed against head Face mask furred, eye slit visible, crawling on belly KMR Volume by B.W. q 3 hr, 1 PM KMR q 3.5 hr, 1 PM Ear canals open, d eyes open KMR q 3.5 hr, no PM Fully furred tail rings, responds to KMR, add cereal q 4 hr sight and sound Able to walk, eyes open but cloudy KMR, add soaked q 4 hr blue, deciduous teeth erupting kibble Able to run and climb, eyes darken QID Adult pelage begins (ends TID weeks) nd & 3rd premolars erupt, full Start weaning TID sight & hearing st permanent incisors erupt Start dish BID st premolars erupt No bottle s SID Wean weeks Weaned rd permanent incisors erupt ,100

3 Appendix FLYING SQUIRRELS Flying Squirrel Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered Esbilac:2 parts water. Feed with a 1 - or 3 - cc O - ring syringe with silicone nipple. Flying squirrels have a good suckling reflex and the formula may need to be thickened to prevent aspiration. Gradually thicken formula with rice baby cereal starting at three weeks. Stimulate after each meal until the eyes are open and there is evidence of self elimination in cage. Once the eyes are open begin to introduce solid food items. Start decreasing the number of formula s as solid food is being consumed (four to five weeks). Wait at least four days between reductions. A useful weaning tool is to add powdered rodent or primate chow to the formula starting at five weeks. Examples of weaning foods include dog chow, raw nuts, fresh corn on the cob, apple, grapes, rodent blocks, primate chow, seed mix, vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, wheat germ, etc. Natural food items to offer include mushrooms, lichens, bark, buds, insects, acorns, hickory nuts, pine cones, beech nuts, berries, green buds, etc. The diet ratio of food groups should be: 80% rodent mix (dog, primate, rodent chow); 20% fruit and vegetable matter; one nut/squirrel/day; two to three insects/squirrel/day. Offering the squirrel nutri - bites (recipe under grey squirrel diet, below) until release will help assure proper nutrition. Provide drinking water in a bowl or water bottle when babies are weaned down to twice a day formula. Once weaned, feed the squirrels at night (they are nocturnal) and scatter food around the cage. Flying Squirrel Housing Supplemental heat is needed until they are five to six weeks old. Using a heating pad under half of the enclosure is recommended. Masters of escape, flying squirrels need to be housed in a secure enclosure with a tight lid. Table A7.2. Flying Squirrel Care Sheet. Age (weeks) Weights (g) Age determinates Diet Amount Frequency Pink, no fur, eyes Esbilac ml q 2 hr, 2 PM closed, few whiskers Short hairs appear, toes Esbilac ml q 2 hr, 1 PM separate Downy hair darkens, Esbilac ml q 3 hr, no PM able to right themselves, ear canals open, lower incisors erupt Lateral tail hairs Esbilac, add ml q 3 hr develop, responds to loud noises cereal Fur covers body, upper Esbilac, cereal, ml q 4 hr incisors erupt, days eyes open add solid food Miniature version of Weaning begins ml TID adult Add rodent ml BID pellets Add natural ml SID - BID foods Wk 8 9 weaned Ready for release

4 422 Appendix 7 One to four weeks in an aquarium or small box. Four to six weeks in a larger wire portable cage (begin to acclimate to the outdoors). Provide a nesting box because these squirrels live in tree cavities in the wild. Six to fourteen weeks in an outdoor pre - release pen (once acclimated). This pen needs to be large enough for the young flying squirrels to practice jumping and gliding. Minimum size of 6 feet H 6 feet W 8 feet L. The pen needs both horizontal and vertical branches to assimilate the trees. Flying squirrels move from tree to tree and rarely go to the ground. Flying Squirrel Release Release age is fourteen to sixteen weeks. Release criteria: Fully acclimated to outdoors, nocturnal behaviors, running from humans, opening shelled nuts, and eating natural food items. Whenever possible, raise and release flyers with a group because these animals live in colonies. Also release in a well - wooded area where other flyers have been seen or heard. Release by closing animals inside their nest box one hour before dark outside (tape hole shut). Tie box to tree trunk (6 feet or higher up) and remove tape from nest box entrance at dusk. Flyers will exit the box and explore the tree tops, then sometimes return to the nest box until they find another cavity to sleep in. Supply back - up food by having a nearby station or putting a bowl on top of the nest box. Flying Squirrel Miscellaneous Information When startled, flying squirrels flip on their backs and box at the invader with all four feet. Wake the sleeping baby up slowly and gently to prevent this aggressive display. Do not worry if the infant does not eliminate each time it is stimulated. Discontinue stimulation after about a minute. As long as the squirrel has at least one bowel movement a day bloating should not occur. OPOSSUMS Opossum Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered Esbilac:2 parts water Stomach capacity is 50 to 66 ml/kg or 5% to 7% of BW. (.05 BW in g = ml). Opossums have a poorly developed suckling reflex, which makes gavage the most effective method to feed young animals under 45 grams. Gavage tube size ranges from size 3-1/2 to 5 French tube. Pinkies should be started on very dilute formula (1 : 5 with water) and gradually built up to full strength formula over three to five days. Until infant is on full strength, feed more often. Zero to seventy - five days: tube feed q 2 hours at 5% BW. Belly should be rounded but not tight after a and a milk line in the stomach should be visible through the skin. By the time they weigh 50 g, they do not tolerate tube s. Even before their eyes open, a jar lid of warm formula can be placed with baby opossums. By dipping their noses in the milk and allowing them to walk through the formula they will clean the milk off of themselves (and their litter mates) and learn to self - feed faster. When able to lap up formula out of bowl, start thickening with rice baby cereal. Foods to help facilitate the weaning process: fruit yogurt, meat baby foods, bananas, grapes, cooked sweet potatoes, and applesauce. These items can be mixed with milk formula in the bowl to encourage self. By ten to twelve weeks gradually start adding puppy or cat chow to formula. By sixteen weeks opossums should be weaned and eating solid food items such as fresh carrion, live crickets, mealworms and earthworms, fruit and vegetables native to the area, raw eggs, dead minnows, and crayfish. Lightly sprinkle the diet with a calcium supplement. Offer food in the evenings. Make sure there is always fresh drinking water available during and after weaning. Opossums have a habit of defecating in their food and water bowls, so offer a water bottle to guarantee a clean water source. Opossum Housing Housing: Small box or pet carrier with soft, ravel - free cloth, heating pad set on low, and a source of humidity until eight weeks old. Be careful to use cage lids and small (less than1/2 inch) ventilation holes due to the opossum s ability to easily escape. Maintain nest humidity at 70%. Move to1/4 inch to 1/2 inch mesh hardware cloth 2 feet 2 feet 4 feet cage at eight to ten weeks. Use a heating pad until ten weeks or 80 to 90 g at external temperatures of 95 F.

5 Appendix Table A7.3. Opossum Care Sheet. Age (weeks) Weights (g) Age determinates Diet Amount Frequency 2 Whiskers start, blond nose Tube Esbilac.50 ml q 2 hrs, 24 hr hairs, pink skin 4 20 Blond belly hairs, pink skin Same 1 ml q 2 3 hr, 1 PM Slight bluish coloration, ears open Furred, eye slits developed, mouth fully open Eyes open, running around, lapping formula, teeth present, white - tipped guard hairs, ears erect Self - defecating/urinating; 3 6 excluding tail Same 1 2 ml q 2 3 hr, 1 PM Same 2 3 ml q 3 4 hr, 1 PM Bowl Esbilac, add ml QID cereal Bowl Esbilac, cereal, add cat or puppy chow ml QID Thermoregulating; Start weaning 4 ml TID Actively climbing; 6 10 Weaned, dry chow 5 ml BID - TID , weeks ready for release Natural foods BID At twelve weeks begin outdoor acclimation. Opossums need exercise and a daily dose of vitamin D 3, naturally provided by sunlight, to help prevent metabolic bone disease (MBD). Opossums are very prone to MBD and must receive daily dietary calcium in addition to thirty to sixty minutes of unfiltered U/V light. Use caution when putting animals in sunlight. Opossums are prone to overheating and can die quickly if not provided with some shade and proper ventilation. They do not need to be in direct sunlight to benefit from natural U/V, just placed outside during daylight hours. Beneficial U/V rays are blocked out by glass windows. Move to a release cage at four months. Opossums are becoming nocturnal and sleeping during the day by four months. Small groups of same age preweanlings can be housed together. Cannibalism can result when housing older juveniles together. Opossum Release Consider release when the opossum is five months old and 8 to 10 inches in body length, 1.5 lbs., self -, acclimated to weather and outside temperatures, and baring its teeth at the caretaker. If the cage is on a suitable release site, open the cage door one hour before dark and allow the opossum to come and go. Provide back - up food until the animal moves on. Some opossums will leave the cage and explore at night but come back to the nest box by morning and sleep until the next dusk. If the cage is not on a suitable site, be certain the animal is ready and release it near cover and trees right before dark. Opossum Miscellaneous Information Opossums are sensitive to corticosteroids and Levamisole the is dewormer of choice. Opossums tolerate sutures, bandages, and splints well. Orphans have immature immune systems so wash hands before and after. GREY SQUIRRELS Grey Squirrel Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered Esbilac:2 parts water Stomach capacity is 50 ml/kg (.05 ml BW in g = ml). Use O - ring syringe with a silicone or Catac nipple to feed orphan squirrels. Stimulate after each until five weeks.

6 424 Appendix 7 A healthy squirrel should gain 4 to 7 g/day once established on Esbilac formula. Squirrels should be fed lying on their stomachs with heads slightly raised. Add rice baby cereal to thicken formula at about three weeks. Add powdered rodent blocks to further thicken formula at about five weeks. When eyes open and the squirrel is eating rodent blocks or monkey chow, start offering self diet items such as cracked nuts, small pieces of fresh corn on the cob, apple, grapes, broccoli stems, cauliflower, and rodent seed mixes. Start to wean at eight weeks and finish by ten to eleven weeks. The ratio of the diet offered should be 80% rodent/ primate chow:20% other items. Do not allow the animal to choose a balanced diet for itself; stick with the ratio. Limit nuts to one nut/squirrel/day or they will not eat enough of the more nutritious foods. Make sure the squirrel is off milk and eating solid and natural food items for at least two weeks prior to release. Post - weaning foods: rodent blocks, high quality dog chow (i.e. Purina One, Proplan, Eukanuba), uncracked acorns, hickory nuts, pecans, buds, bark, pine cones, fungi, sunflower seeds, insects, fresh vegetables, and rodent seed mixes. Squirrel nutri - bites are a healthy weaning tool. The recipe is as follows: 1-1/2 cups powdered rodent or primate chow 1/3 cup powdered Esbilac 2/3 cup warm water 1/3 cup chopped pecans 1/3 cup crushed cuttlebone, if needed. Mix together and roll into small meatball - size balls. Keep refrigerated up to three days or freeze for up to six months. These squirrel nutri - bites can be offered in place of a milk and once the squirrels start eating them they can be offered free choice. Due to the Table A7.4. Grey Squirrel Care Sheet. Age (weeks) Weights (g) Age determinates Diet Amount Frequency Pink, no fur, eyes closed tight bulgy Esbilac ml q 2 hr, 1 PM Scant gray color to head, shoulder, and back Day 10 lose umbilical cord Esbilac 1 2 ml q 2 hr, 1 PM Scant grayish fur, ears unglued, eyes less bulgy; Day 21 lower incisors emerge Slick, shiny fur except under tail; ears open, eye slits relaxed and ready to open Downy white hair on belly, slight bush to tail, eyes open, may begin to walk Thicker hair, tail curling over back, upper incisors emerge, sitting up Furry all over, sleeping less, can sit up fruit Esbilac 2 4 ml q 2 3 hr, no PM Esbilac, add cereal Esbilac, cereal, add rodent block Same; keep thickening Add small pieces 3 6 ml q 3 4 hr 5 9 ml QID 5 12 ml TID - QID 9 15 ml TID - QID 7 8 Bushy tail, back molars come in Rodent blocks ml BID - TID 8 9 Looks like miniature squirrel Begin to wean ml SID - BID 9 10 Furred on underside except for 1 at base tail, tail bushy Wean ml SID Wean Tail completely furred Weaned Ready for release

7 Appendix milk content, do not leave them in cages long enough to spoil. Grey Squirrel Housing From zero to four weeks: lidded box, cardboard pet carrier, plastic or glass aquarium with heating pad on low under one - half of the cage. Use soft, ravel - free cloth for bedding, such as cotton T - shirts, flannel, sweat shirts, fleece. At five to six weeks discontinue heating pad use. Around six to eight weeks move to a small wire flush bottom cage (1/2 inch 1 inch mesh or smaller) with tree limbs for climbing, and provide a nest box inside cage. Start acclimating to outdoor temperatures by placing cage outside during warm days and bringing it back in at night. Gradually leave out for longer periods of time until the squirrel can comfortably be left out overnight. Baby squirrels do not have to be brought inside if a heat lamp can be provided near one of the nest boxes. At eight to twelve weeks move squirrel to large outdoor wire release cage (minimum size 4 feet 4 feet 6 feet); the larger the better. I should have a covered, waterproof roof, back, and one side. Hang a water bottle on the cage. Attach nest box to the top of the cage. Use natural substrate on the cage bottom and inside the nest box. House animals with similarly aged conspecifics. Grey Squirrel Release Release Criteria: At least twelve to fourteen weeks of age and acclimated to the outdoors for at least two weeks. Squirrels should hide at the sight or sound of approaching people and should not allow any handling, even from the hand raiser. Squirrels should be weaned for a minimum of two weeks, be building nests, eating natural food items, and able to crack open whole shelled raw nuts. If these criteria are met, open the cage door and allow the animal to come and go. Continue to supply food until squirrels move on or at least for three to four weeks. COTTONTAIL RABBITS Cottontail Rabbit Diet and Feeding Formula: 1 part powdered KMR:2 parts water Feed with O - ring syringe and nipple or tube feed rabbits. Stomach capacity = 100 to 125 ml/kg (10% to 12.5%) of BW. Safer to use 100 ml/kg or.1 BW in g = ml. Cottontails benefit by receiving daily Benebac to aid with digestion and diarrhea prevention. Rabbits can be fed with a syringe but they seldom suckle. Some will lick formula from the tip of the syringe drop by drop or swallow milk as it is dripped onto their lips. If your new cottontail refuses to eat, try a drop of Karo syrup on the end of the nipple or add a bit of baby food (no sugar added) applesauce to the formula. Another trick is to add orange flavored Pedialyte to the formula to enhance the flavor. Allow cottontails to drink as much formula as they want per. It is better to feed these babies in as few s as possible. Twice a day is the goal as long as they get enough calories and are gaining weight. Gavage is a faster method and ideal if there are many babies to feed or if the babies are frightened of handling and refuse to nurse. Be sure to watch a veterinarian or an experienced rehabilitator do this method before first trying it yourself. Although faster, tube can be potentially lethal if done incorrectly. The rabbit s pallet skin is very fragile and can be punctured by the soft end of the tube, resulting in SQ delivery of formula followed by death. Stimulate baby rabbits before until their eyes open. Keep a secure hold on baby rabbits when handling. Rabbits have a habit of suddenly jumping out of your hands or off the table. When the eyes are open, start offering diced (easily done with scissors), fresh natural greens (clover greens and flowers, grass, dandelion leaves, alfalfa, privet) twice daily. No stems of plants should be given until rabbits are approximately three weeks old. Offer only a small amount at first and be sure the greens are clean and chemical free. Once they have adjusted to the new food items (three to four days after they begin to sample them), offer larger amounts. There should always be some left over. After a week of eating solid foods, discontinue dicing the greens and offer them whole. Remove uneaten greens as new greens are added. Greens and grasses wilt quickly, becoming undesirable to the rabbits, and they can mold in just a day or two. Provide drinking water in a shallow lid or a water bottle when young rabbits start to nibble on solid foods.

8 426 Appendix 7 Other solid food items include rabbit chow, rolled oats, wheat germ, corn, apple and carrot slivers, dry hay, or alfalfa fed free choice until released. Introduce new food items slowly and one at a time to allow the gut to adjust to the changes. Wean rabbits by three to four weeks. Cottontail Rabbit Housing From zero to two weeks use a small cardboard box or aquarium with secure lid. Use a heating pad on low under one half of the cage or a heat light on one half of the cage. Supply soft, ravel - free cloth for bedding. Rabbits like layers to burrow into and they prefer to be covered up. Once weaned, remove the heating pad and cloth bedding. Instead, bed with natural substrates such as hay, grasses, leaves, or pine straw. At three weeks move to a large plastic pet carrier or enclosed rabbit hutch. Rabbits need solid sided cages and a quiet area to reduce stress. Do not overcrowd the cages. Litter mates can be housed together but be careful when mixing unrelated animals and do not mix different ages because they tend to fight and become stressed. Fatal enteritis can develop from environmental stress. Albon at 25 to 50 mg/kg PO SID five to fourteen days given to all rabbits initially may help prevent enteritis caused by stress - induced coccidiosis flare ups. Be sure there are no holes in the cage or cage door larger than 1/2 inch square because infant rabbits can squeeze out of a 1 - inch by 1 - inch hole. Securely cover any questionable holes with burlap, netting, or screen. Acclimate to outside temperatures once rabbits are weaned. Provide hiding spots such as hay to burrow into, or a cardboard or wooden nest box. Cottontail Rabbit Release Ready for release by the end of four weeks. Many rabbits do not do well in captivity past five to six weeks of age and should not be kept this long unless there is a medical reason. Rabbits ready for release should run and hide from all humans, pets, and noise. The Release weight is between g, ideally about 150 g. Find a site with open fields or pasture with n earby cover for a release site. Open the cage door and allow rabbits to hop out by themselves or place them under cover and quietly leave the area. Cottontails do not need back - up food if released in a proper habitat, and they rarely return to the release site. Release at dusk or dawn in mild weather. Table A7.5. Cottontail Care Sheet. Age (weeks) Weights (g) Age determinates Diet Amount (ml) Frequency Pink, thin fur all over, eyes closed, KMR ml 3 4 /day ears flat and closed Fully furred, 7 10 days eyes open, KMR, 2 6 ml 2 3 /day greens ears erect offer Ear length growth, 3 weeks Same 3 9 ml 1 2 /day self - defecating Hopping, running, ears fully erect Natural 0 1 /day food; weaned Release

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