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Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats CHAPTER NINE FEEDING AND CARE OF INFANT BATS GENERAL INFORMATION Orphaned bats should be housed as described in Temporary Housing. Close attention should be paid to temperature and humidity levels as described in Temperature, Humidity and Lighting. Pups that are naked furless, toothless Figure 91, or those that have tiny, sharphooked milk teeth should be fed milk formulas. Orphaned bats are typically dehydrated when received, so t

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats 300 insectivorous bat pups of various species have been raised successfully to adulthood using the Bat World Sanctuary Milk Replacement Recipe Table 92. Once a milk formula has been prepared, an electric coffee cup or candle warmer can be used to keep it warm during feeding sessions, although formula will scald if the container is placed directly on the warmer. Instead, place the container of formula in a shallow bowl of warm water

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats Regardless of the species or the age of an infant, feeding schedules should be determined by the amount of time it takes for an individual pups stomach to empty. To determine an infants feeding schedule, first become familiar with the look and the feel of the pups abdomen both before and after its first feeding. Take note of the visual appearance and how the abdomen feels when gently palpated with the fingertips. Note the time and

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats FEEDING CREVICE BAT PUPS Vespertilionidae Bat pups in the family Vespertilionidae will typically lap fluids and accept a dropbydrop method of feeding. Begin by holding the pup upside down. This is extremely important because infants are likely to aspirate fluid into the lungs when learning to lap formula if the head is not kept lower than the rest of the body. Placing a small amount of warm formula onto the pups mouth typically ind

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats Encourage the pup to take the tip by gently lifting the pups head. Which usually causes the pup to open its mouth. If the pup does not open its mouth, use the foam tip to very gently push the lower jaw down while sliding the tip into the mouth. Make soft clicking noises during this process. Soft clicking mimics the directive calls some mother bats and pups use to locate each other. Most pups will either begin nursing, or at least s

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats Caring for large numbers of orphaned pups requires some modifications in care procedures. Over the course of several days, some pups can be conditioned to being fed in groups Figure 98. Pups that lap formula can be taught to drink from shallow dishes. Hold a pup over a shallow dish of warmed formula while feeding it from a catheter or dropper. While the pup is lapping, move the catheter away and carefully lower the pup until it dri

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats FEEDING TREE BAT PUPS Unlike crevice pups, tree bat pups must be fed formula while being handheld. The pup should be fed under a heat source, such as a lamp, for warmth. It is critical to keep these pups clean during the feeding process. Tree bats are furred at a very young age. If formula drips into the fur and dries on the skin, it can result in serious skin infections that may lead to death. Additionally, matted and dirty fur ca

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats As mentioned earlier, tree bat pups should be stimulated after each feeding with a soft makeup sponge to encourage urinationdefecation. If not stimulated, pups tend to urinate and defecate on themselves, which, if not cleaned and dried immediately, is likely to cause hypothermia and death. Be careful not to contaminate the oral or nasal cavities with fecal material by touching the face with the same sponge used to stimulate urinati

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats BAT WORLD SANCTUARY MILK REPLACEMENT RECIPE Vespertilionidae 3.5 ounces 100ml canned Meyenberg evaporated goats milk that has been reconstituted with filtered water 1.5ml organic or unrefined corn oil 0.5ml cold pressed flax oil 1.5 scoops 12.9g Similac Go Grow, SoyBased Powder 2 level tsp 4.3g dried egg white. Reduced oil formula for newborn to three weeks Decrease oil by half if stools become loose. Tree bats four weeks a

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats TABLE 91 COMPARISON OF BAT MILK COMPOSITIONS Fat Family Vespertilionidae Eptesicus fuscus Early lactation Late lactation 12.8 21.2 Protein Carbohydrate Energy kjg 9.5 9.5 3.6 3.6 6.7 10.5 Myotis lucifugus Early lactation Late lactation Milk replacement recipe Vespertilionidae Family Molossidae Tadarida brasiliensis Early lactation Peak lactation Milk replacement recipe Molossidae 17.3 25.8 10.7 12.4 15.8 8.2 9.4 8.5 7.

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats TABLE 92 PUP SURVIVAL RATES FOR SELECT MILK REPLACEMENT FORMULAS Year of Pups Species Emaciated at intake Injured at intake Secondary complications Died from secondary complications Died from injury Survival Rate Number and Percentage Formula used 1999 47 5 35 T. brasiliensis E. fuscus L. borealis N. humeralis T. brasiliensis L. borealis T. brasiliensis L. borealis T. brasiliensis L. borealis L. cinerus P. subflavus M. lucifugu

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats COMPLICATIONS IN HAND RAISED PUPS Bloat Bloat is one of the most common causes of death in bat pups. It can be recognized by severe abdominal distention and, sometimes, the presence of bubbles in the digestive tract that are visible through the translucent skin of the abdomen. There are several reasons why this condition occurs in bat pups. Feeding too Often Abdominal distention accompanied by white or grayish feces indicates bloa

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats Lack of Beneficial Bacteria The absence of beneficial organisms that normally reside in a healthy pups intestinal tract can cause bloat. Absence of beneficial flora allows other organisms to grow out of control, resulting in a buildup of intestinal gas. Probiotics may encourage growth of beneficial bacteria. To treat this condition, add 116 teaspoon Primadophilus powder or another high quality beneficial flora product to 3.5 ounces

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats The author has raised approximately 2,700 insectivorous bat pups of various species over the past two decades, and has observed many signs of nutritional deficiency in bat pups. MBD has frequently developed in severely emaciated pups raised on commercial milk replacement formulas, despite the addition of extra calcium as well as additional vitamin and mineral supplements. The Bat World Sanctuary milk replacement recipe was develope

Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats CARING FOR GERIATRIC BATS Some species of bats have been successfully maintained in captivity for long periods of time. Old bats often have worn teeth, and their fur may turn gray or white. The joints of the fingers, ankles and knees may enlarge, possibly from swelling due to arthritis. These bats lose the ability to fly and often move very slowly. In captivity, older bats are sometimes chased or crowded from roosting pouches and f

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