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A friend found him Monday morning and called to see if I would take care of him. I have been feeding him kitten replacement formula since then. Had an eye infection that I used eye drops for pink eye to treat and they are better and open. Has urinated really good from the start with stimulation but has not defecated for me. Am really concerned that if I can not get him to defecate he will die.
Washington County Alabama USA
So, the kitten milk replacer is a good idea. That is the best thing to offer this kit until he is old enough to be weaned.
Usually, when the kit weighs about 1 lb, you would start to wean them from KMR (kitten milk replacer) to solid food. Many kits will develop constipation on the KMR, so we usually start out by mixing it with a rehydrating solution (such as unflavoured Pedialyte). So, normally, one would give 75% rehydrating to 25% KMR for several days, then 50-50, then 25-75% so that you get the kit onto straight KMR over 2 weeks or so.
Unfortunately, singleton raccoon kits don’t learn the vital socialization skills they need to survive in the wild. They often die when released. It is much better for the kit to grow up with other raccoons, so I would strongly recommend that you get this baby to a licensed rehabilitation facility where have other babies to put him with. Until you can get him there, put a small stuffed animal toy and some towels in with him for comfort and security. It is often against the law to keep wildlife, though I am not familiar with the laws in your area.
Here is a listing to help you find a rehab organization in your area:
In terms of your own health, you should be aware that raccoon rabies is very prevalent in some areas of the USA and Canada. This can be transmitted from the mother to her kits, so it is possible that this little guy could be carrying it but not showing symptoms yet.
The other human health issue with raccoons is a type of roundworm called Baylisascaris which is very common in raccoon infants. It causes a great deal of damage in the human body and can even be fatal in human infants and children. It is passed through the feces. Some 96-100% of infant raccoons shed Baylisascaris eggs which are of significant risk to other animals including humans.
Here is more about this problem:
Now, I know that none of this actually addresses your question! I am coming to that!
To stimulate the kit to defecate and urinate, I usually suggest people use a gauze square, a cotton ball, a quilted eye makeup remover pad or an old facecloth or clean rag. Something slightly rough. Wet it with warm water and squeeze out. Then rub the genital area gently but vigorously until he urinates and defecates. This may take about 2 minutes, and you need to do this 6 times a day.
You need to bottle feed him every 3 to 4 hours (including through the night!) in order to give him the calories he needs. Stimulate him after every feeding to urinate/defecate. It sounds as though you are already doing all this!
It is really important to weigh your kit every day to see if he is gaining every day.
We very often see constipation in orphaned raccoons, kittens and pups. There are a few options you can try:
1. I give an enema a well-lubricated appropriate-sized red rubber catheter with a small amount of warm water.
Do not use human enemas as the phosphorus in them is toxic to animals. Warm water typically works very well.
2. Probably the fastest way to help him would be to give the Pediatric rectal suppositories made for human infants.
They should be available at any pharmacy. They include dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DSS, ColaceTM), glycerin or bisacodyl (DulcolaxTM).
I usually suggest the glycerin suppository. It comes as a little cone about 1inch long. For a tiny kit, you would GENTLY insert about ¼ inch into the rectum. It usually helps within an hour.
3. You can mix sweet potato human baby food in with the kitten formula.
The added fibre helps to keep kits regular. He would only need about ¼ teaspoon or so per feeding – and you can increase the amount if that is not working. MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO ONIONS OR GARLIC IN THE FOOD!
4. The other thing that is VERY useful in helping orphan raccoons is to add in a probiotic. The 2 products that I have had the most luck with are Culturelle, at 1/8-1/4 capsule twice per day, divided into the feedings, and Forti-Flora (through a vet) at 1/4 sachet per day. If these are not available where you are, you could use 1/2 tsp of active culture yogurt per day (no artificial sweeteners).
Here is more about the probiotics:
Again, for the kits health and socialization and for your own health, I would strongly recommend that you look into taking him to a rehab facility. I hope that this has been helpful!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
Good luck, Fiona