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View Full Version : my new injured squirrel - some help please



eatmorepig
12-28-2007, 09:32 PM
I do dog and cat rescues and know nothing about squirrels, however being that people know that I take in animals I was given a squirrel. I have no clue to his age, he is not a baby, but not full grown, he has a fluffy tail. and being that I am in GA, Im gonna say he is a tree squirrel, its what he/it looks like. Anyway there is no outter damage however he can not walk well. He is friendly enough to let me handle him. he puts up a bit of a struggle at first. I tried the pedialite and he wouldnt drink it, but I did manage to get some water in him today. he loves pecans. anyway he kinda goes around in circles, and preferes to lay on one side. I see no outer damage, and there is no swelling that I can tell. Maybe its a hip issue? I know I am not giving enough info for much help, but I am clueless. I havent seen him drink from the bowl I gave him. and although a bit active, i do believe he may be a little dehydrated. I finally got him to drink from a bulb dropper, after having him for about 24hrs, anyway how often does he need to drink? I noticed while I was holding him that he pood a little, I reccon that is good, since I havent seen any mess in his cage. anyway I have him in a box with woodchips and some acorns and shelled pecans, and a slice of orange... any advice?

FLUFFYTAILNUT
12-28-2007, 09:38 PM
Can you get a picture of him../her..so we can see how big it is??
And if you can..get a water bottle in it's cage.
You can put some vegi's in his cage too...corn on cob..a small hunk..,green beans,cranberries,fresh spinich,brocoli,if you do avacodo..NO,skins..toxic..squirrels love and need vegi's...and a full spectrum..light bulb..on it..if it's not getting any natural sun light....
Does it look like a baby???
Or maybe an injured adult??
It may need to still be on formula..SO if you can asap..some pictures..would be great...

thundersquirrel
12-28-2007, 09:42 PM
thank you for saving this little squirrel!

walking in circles and leaning to one side are symptoms of 1) brain damage, or 2) an inner ear infection.

a picture would really help us determine some details about the critter. first we need to know the species.

here are some pics to help you;
first is a fox squirrel.
second is an eastern grey squirrel.
third is a red squirrel.

eatmorepig
12-28-2007, 09:45 PM
Can you get a picture of him../her..so we can see how big it is??
And if you can..get a water bottle in it's cage.
You can put some vegi's in his cage too...corn on cob..a small hunk..,green beans,cranberries,fresh spinich,brocoli,if you do avacodo..NO,skins..toxic..squirrels love and need vegi's...and a full spectrum..light bulb..on it..if it's not getting any natural sun light....
Does it look like a baby???
Or maybe an injured adult??
It may need to still be on formula..SO if you can asap..some pictures..would be great...


I have a digital camera, but cnat find the usb cable to pull the pics off. I would say looking at him, that he is half grown. not a baby, has all his fur and a fluffy tail, but definately not grown, I am wondering if he fell and got injured. the person I got it from waited a few hours to see if it would recover. any mother would come. anyway when he walks, or more of a scoot, its in a circle mostly, on his side. his head has a full range of movement, however he usually faces it in the direction that he is circling.. anyway Ive got an old camera phone boxed up, Im gonna charge it and up some photos.... Im thinking its either a hip issue, or possible a damaged/broke back... although I hope not.

eatmorepig
12-28-2007, 09:48 PM
thank you for saving this little squirrel!

walking in circles and leaning to one side are symptoms of 1) brain damage, or 2) an inner ear infection.

a picture would really help us determine some details about the critter. first we need to know the species.

here are some pics to help you;
first is a fox squirrel.
second is an eastern grey squirrel.
third is a red squirrel.

Im gonna go with the second photo, although he does have a bit of reddish brown to him, but he is mostly grey

eatmorepig
12-28-2007, 10:27 PM
ok, I think forcing him to drink did him a world of good, he is much more active now, I will have pics tomorrow, now some one mentioned an ear infection as possible being the cause, how do I treat that?

thundersquirrel
12-28-2007, 11:11 PM
an ear infection would require antibiotics. i'm not sure how much or what kind would be best for that kind of infection.

if it's brain damage, the squirrel would need a steroid such as dexamethasone to decrease inflammation of the brain.

since you believe this is a young squirrel and possibly injured, it would be nice if you offered a heat source. this can make a squirrel feel more calm and comfortable when it's stressed. a heating pad beneath its container, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, or a rice buddy (a sock filled with dry rice, tied off, and microwaved for thirty-forty seconds) are all options.

please keep us updated on how the squirrel turns out.

My Little Trouble
12-28-2007, 11:15 PM
So glad to read that hydration is helping noticibly. :wahoo

If the youngster is clearly not full grown, then perhaps he/she was not yet weaned,
and prolonged separation from mama would surely cause dehydration -
which could then manifest as a host of other problems.

You are doing a great job,
and the knowledgable folks here will give you great advice.

:dono Just a thought (and I confess that I am NOT one of the aforementioned "knowledgable folk")
- you mentioned that you do dog (and cat) rescues,
is puppy formula (Esbilac) something you could offer the wee one?
(I understand that canine formula is better for squirrels than feline)

eatmorepig
12-28-2007, 11:35 PM
an ear infection would require antibiotics. i'm not sure how much or what kind would be best for that kind of infection.

if it's brain damage, the squirrel would need a steroid such as dexamethasone to decrease inflammation of the brain.

since you believe this is a young squirrel and possibly injured, it would be nice if you offered a heat source. this can make a squirrel feel more calm and comfortable when it's stressed. a heating pad beneath its container, a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, or a rice buddy (a sock filled with dry rice, tied off, and microwaved for thirty-forty seconds) are all options.

please keep us updated on how the squirrel turns out.


i did the rice thing, I hope it helps it feel better. as far as needing antibiotics or steroids... I called a couple of vets earlier and no one was of much help, one even told me to release it back into the wild and let nature take care of it... but the thing is so adorable. So do squirrels make good pets, I was always told that they could not be tamed...

thundersquirrel
12-29-2007, 01:30 AM
a lot of vets will only treat legal wildlife (in the hands of a rehabber, for most states) and some won't treat wildlife at all. :(

squirrels are either easy to tame or hard to tame- it depends on the squirrel. experience shows that most often, a squirrel will become wild, instinctive, and very unhappy in captivity at a certain age. there are cases, however, when the squirrel will "choose" to be a pet and does not "turn", so to speak, on their caregiver.

even then, a pet squirrel is a huge commitment. you don't train a squirrel; the squirrel trains you. it will need proper shelter cleaned regularly, fresh food, and daily bonding and attention with people. it may live for many years, five, ten, even fifteen years in captivity. if you go on vacation, you'd need a trusted individual to look after the squirrel. if it needs medical attention, you'll have to find a vet that's willing to treat wildlife.

for most people, i would advise against it. it helps if you've owned rodents long-term before, but even then, a squirrel is about ten times more energetic, needy, destructive, and (in my opinion) intelligent than your average rodent.

just keep all this stuff in mind. it's still early, and all of us here on the squirrel board want you to be well educated about squirrels and to know your squirrel well before you make that decision.

until then, we need to figure out how to fix this little fuzzer. :thinking

Gabe
12-29-2007, 08:43 AM
Do you have a rehabber nearby that would be willing to help him out? They may be able to diagnose him as they have seen many different types of squirrel problems. The rehabber may also be able to get him some vet care or proper antibiotics if he needs it.
I think there is something more than an ear infection going on if he is allowing you to handle him. He should be stomping his feet and trying to bite you when you approach.
Good luck with him.

atlantasquirrelgirl
12-29-2007, 08:47 AM
A licensed rehabber in your area should be able to spot what the issue is and assist with drugs/vet care, etc. I don't know of anybody in Macon, but you can call AWARE in Conyers, and they can tell you who is in your county. 678-418-1111

eatmorepig
12-29-2007, 08:07 PM
I think there is something more than an ear infection going on if he is allowing you to handle him. He should be stomping his feet and trying to bite you when you approach.
Good luck with him.


is that young squirrels in general than arnt human raised or the pain of an ear infection that would make a squirrel stomp his feet and try to bite. I still cant find what is needed to get the pics off my camera. I noticed to day that he really only turns his head to one direction, he looks left. he can move it around, but it favors one side. he is alittle more active today, I picked him up and he held on to my hand circling my hand and arm and didnt want to get down, or back in his box. he has some sharp claws, Ive got nicks all over the place, but unlike my cats and ferrets it didnt hurt while he was doing it. I didnt even notice it till later on. anyway I am gonna call some one tomorrow. I really adore the thing, but I have to many things that want to eat him already as it is, dont worry, he is in his own area.

4skwerlz
12-29-2007, 08:22 PM
is that young squirrels in general than arnt human raised or the pain of an ear infection that would make a squirrel stomp his feet and try to bite. I still cant find what is needed to get the pics off my camera. I noticed to day that he really only turns his head to one direction, he looks left. he can move it around, but it favors one side. he is alittle more active today, I picked him up and he held on to my hand circling my hand and arm and didnt want to get down, or back in his box. he has some sharp claws, Ive got nicks all over the place, but unlike my cats and ferrets it didnt hurt while he was doing it. I didnt even notice it till later on. anyway I am gonna call some one tomorrow. I really adore the thing, but I have to many things that want to eat him already as it is, dont worry, he is in his own area.

If a wild squirrel allows you to handle him, he is either 1) very young, or 2) very injured or very sick. Is his tail completely fluffed out like a grown squirrel? It certainly sounds like brain damage, possibly from a fall. Can you call around to try to find a vet who will see him? If you tell them you plan to release him when he's well, sometimes they will give you a break on the cost or even treat him for free.

That's so true, you don't feel the nicks from their claws until later when you take a shower--then it really stings. They heal up fast though.

Thanks for caring for this little guy.

TexanSquirrel
12-30-2007, 01:31 AM
:Welcome Good luck with the little one!

eatmorepig
01-01-2008, 12:42 PM
If a wild squirrel allows you to handle him, he is either 1) very young, or 2) very injured or very sick. Is his tail completely fluffed out like a grown squirrel? It certainly sounds like brain damage, possibly from a fall...

Thanks for caring for this little guy.


Well he is not full grown, as far as his tail, its a bit fluffy, but not quite as full as the one in the picture of a grey squirrel. he is getting more active. i put him in a large plexi-glass enclosure that is about 6' x 2.5' and gave him some branches to play on. i took a shoebos and removed part of one end and put in a baby fleece blanket and he seems to enjoy that. I give him shelled and unshelled pecans orange slices and some lettuce. he seems happy with that. now on to how his problem. he his getting really active but when he runs he runs in a clockwise circle, rather quickly, kinda like a dog chasing its tail... he holds his head over to the right side a lot of the time. I can pick him up and physically cant feel anything wrong. I would imagine that if it were really wounded he would try and bite or protest when ever i touch the damaged area, but he doesnt bite where ever I hold him. and like I said, I cant see anything wrong.. I have also noticed that he never stands up, he always stays low.

4skwerlz
01-01-2008, 12:57 PM
he his getting really active but when he runs he runs in a clockwise circle, rather quickly, kinda like a dog chasing its tail... he holds his head over to the right side a lot of the time. I can pick him up and physically cant feel anything wrong. I would imagine that if it were really wounded he would try and bite or protest when ever i touch the damaged area, but he doesnt bite where ever I hold him. and like I said, I cant see anything wrong.. I have also noticed that he never stands up, he always stays low.

Has he gotten better since you've had him?

eatmorepig
01-01-2008, 01:37 PM
Has he gotten better since you've had him?



he has gotten more energetic, i dont know about better, the whole circling thing, and he wont climb, he will climb over something, but he isnt climbing on the branches I gave him.

4skwerlz
01-01-2008, 01:55 PM
he has gotten more energetic, i dont know about better, the whole circling thing, and he wont climb, he will climb over something, but he isnt climbing on the branches I gave him.

Poor thing. It does sound like brain damage, maybe from a fall. Just like with humans, he might get better with time or he might not. Can you keep him as a pet if he turns out to be nonreleasable?