View Full Version : Malocclusion

01-06-2007, 12:13 PM
Warning: do not attempt this, this picture is just to show the ailment.

Twirly Squirly Squirrel
01-06-2007, 01:09 PM
OOOOOWWWWWW...Rippie, what's up with THAT? Is that a tooth problem or something? Please forgive my denseness, but it looks like somebody's getting his teeth clipped there...is that correct?

01-06-2007, 01:16 PM

Squirrel could not eat or drink properly. Her incisors were not properly aligned because of malocclusion caused by a cleft palate. Incisors were overgrown preventing her from chewing, swallowing or closing her mouth properly.

I believe this can also happen when the squirrel can't grind down its teeth.

Twirly Squirly Squirrel
01-06-2007, 01:29 PM
Thanx 4 the info....poor baby!! Don't ever hafta worry 'bout me attempting THAT at home though....I can't even bring myself to trim the dogs' toenails!!!

01-06-2007, 01:56 PM
My Squirrelie has a simular problem. When he was very young he took to chewing on his cage bars relentlessly. He was hardly ever in it but he wanted his mommy (me). He ground them down to mere stubs and even passed the root mark. Now they won't grow back. He can't grind his teeth obvioously s now the upper ones will grow long and need trimming. I trim them about once a month. Luckily this is the tamest squirrel you ever seen. He does cry alot though. I have read that this doesn't hurt them but it sure freaks them out. It is neccessary and essential for life though. It is like taking a child to the dentist. They will cry all the way but it is neccessary for their health.

In the photo Isee that they have two people working on the guy. Lucky people. I have to go it alone. I have to hold him in one hand and cut with the other. not easy. What does help is wrapping him in a towel and making a squirrelito out of him. This will help A LOT! It keeps him from squirrming. You want to eliminate any movement possible. If he move while cutting he might have further problems.

Take a look at your other squirrels teeth that are normal for propper length. What is also important, look at the angle of the upper incisors. you want to cut the teeth at an angle as much as possible. If in dout, it is best to cut too little rather than too much.

01-06-2007, 02:00 PM

the wood dowel in the photo above is not to keep the mouth open but to keep the tounge (sp?)back. You deffinitly want to watch out for that.

01-06-2007, 02:03 PM
SF we should note that your squirrel is much more passive than the normal squirrel.
And only a profesional should be doing that. I just posted the picture because it is a problem for squirrels.

01-06-2007, 02:26 PM
yeah, I did. I can't even immagine what this would be like with an adult wild. I think I could do it. If I can get adult wilds to sit in my lap and fall asleep during their pettin's. I can do it. I am being very optomistic here. The squirrelito would make a HUGE difference.

Twirly Squirly Squirrel
01-06-2007, 02:39 PM
Squirrelito? Like as in a burrito?

01-06-2007, 03:02 PM
Rippie, Thanks for the photo and all the info here.....henri will get his teeth checked tonight....He will let me look in his mouth and at his teeth, going to
check them out real good.....I don't think that he would let me do anything to
him and I would not have the nerve to try.....would need the help of a professional.
I have seen here about teeth growing, that is what I try to give him so much
to chew on to keep those teeth down....:)

01-06-2007, 03:34 PM
Good job Henrismom!

01-06-2007, 04:29 PM
Great pictures Rippie! I hope I never get a squirrel with malocclusion! I would never try to do it myself, I bet the squirrels go crazy when they see you coming at their teeth! I had a hard enough time rubbing ointment on my black squirrels chest when she got mange last year, I couldn't imagine trimming her teeth!

01-06-2007, 04:39 PM
Me neither I need my skin attached to my body!!:rotfl

01-06-2007, 06:02 PM
Squirrelito? Like as in a burrito?

Yep. Wrap the squirrel in a towel burrito style. It restrains them well. Keeps them from sticking fingers in there when you are about to cut. also keeps them still enough to do the job acurately. I know this may seem awfull to you guys but it is neccessary. What I do for squirrelie is exactly the same thing the vet would do.

By the way yes, he knows what the clippers are. He runs if he sees me pick them up. Mind you he is much more comfortable once it is over. It doesn't take too long.

One thing to keep in mind is that extremely sharp tools are neccessary here. If you use dull or improper ones it can splinter the teeth instead. It will also take a lot longer than neccessary. Sharp ones will then reduce the stress emmensely by reducing the time and help you get it right the first time.

this is not for the squeemish.

01-06-2007, 06:02 PM
covering their eyes also helps calm them.

01-07-2007, 01:11 AM
I found this photo of a squirrel skull to help understand the angle the teeth need to be cut at. If in dout cut at a little less sharp of an angle so that you don't cut too close to the gums.

Bell & Noah
01-07-2007, 01:26 AM
Thanks for all the info and the photos, I hope that I won't have to do that to Bell & Noah. I will try to look at their teeth, I'll see if they let me. Its getting hard just to trim their nails. Bell is turning aggressive, I have a hard time cleaning their room, she chases me around.

01-14-2007, 01:20 PM
this one if you notice is because the lower teeth are in front of the upper instead of the other way around. any misalignments can cause this problem. If the teeth don't match up the way they are supposed to they will never be able to grind them down. It is the second photo that I am refering to.


I believe this can also happen when the squirrel can't grind down its teeth.

08-10-2007, 06:51 PM
I had a baby boy who had fallen out of his nest and apparently landed right on his nose. What a swollen face!! And I noticed that his top incisors were turned 90 degrees! Working on nothing but a hunch, I made extra sure that he always had something to chew on. Some objects interested him, some didn't but I made sure that he always had a couple things that he would chew on.

Sure enough! His teeth gradually turned back to the normal position! I had to clip them for a while, but eventually my amateur orthodontics did the trick! Biff ended up just fine:D.

08-10-2007, 06:56 PM
And I noticed that his top incisors were turned 90 degrees!

What an amazing story. How old was he? And I'm curious: 90 degrees in which direction?

08-10-2007, 08:12 PM
As I remember, his eyes had been open maybe a week.

I was afraid someone would ask for more re: a description! let's see what I can do with the keyboard.

Anyone have an EtchASketch I can borrow?? White Out? I'm blonde...can you tell?


Ok - you have to turn your head sideways and I want everyone to do it
simultaneously! The top icon (of my own design:D) represents a
normal squirrel mouth. The curve is the lip and the line is the top

The second icon represents Biffs lip and top incisors - which were
fully turned sideways!

Hope that explains it better. I am more confused than ever, I think.:thinking

squirrly mom
12-23-2007, 03:40 PM
Hi everyone! This is my first day to this site.
I wanted to put my 2 cents worth in! I have a female with a malocclusion. She is about 10 years old now. I raised her since she was about 1 week old. (She is my baby!) Her name is Tootie. I have to clip her teeth about once every 2 weeks. I found out years after I had had her that she was born with a cleft palate which caused the malocclusion. She doesn't like getting her teeth clipped of course, but she is used to it, and will let me grab her easily when it gets too bad; she knows it helps her to eat.

I have 2 squirrels, both were non-releasable, the other one is a male (neutered) and only a few weeks younger than Tootie. His name is Simon. He is a sweetie! He has seizures, though. I give him phenobarbitol to help control them, but sometimes (a lot of times, actually) he refuses his meds. He is a VERY picky squirrel, he wont even eat ACORNS for goodness sake!)

Both of my squirrels live in a VERY large outdoor cage that is attached to my house so they can come in through the window and visit (and PLUNDER!)
They used to stay togther, but about 2 years ago we had to separate them because Tootie started picking on Simon. They used to be best of friends. That was sad for us, but their cages are connected, so they still can aggrevate each other :)

There is also a female squirrel that lives in our yard that was born with a SEVERE malocclusion/cleft palate. I caught her and took her to the vet. She had to have her top front teeth pulled, they were grown about 1/2 inch into her palate. (Poor baby!) I left her bottom teeth alone. Yes, the grow too long, so every couple of months I catch her in a live trap, and in about 5 minutes she has broken them off and I let her go. I keep her (and all the other squirrels in my yard) fed and watered. SO far she has made it to about 1 1/2 years. We are keeping our fingers crosssed! She is a cutie.

I will post pictures once I figure this site out!

01-26-2008, 10:02 AM
Click on the video, this is Peekie she was one of my releases, around the age of 14 weeks. I did not know she had a malocclusion until after she was released and she came back to eat, & always had a hard time chewing.
If your squirrel chews like this or their teeth look long do not release them and ask for help any where on this website.

01-26-2008, 10:21 AM
I , a long time ago, had a bunny with the same problem. We had to clip his teeth. We even had an oral surgeon do a root canal on him hoping it would stop the teeth from growing. Didn't work so had to clip them. He lived a long healthy life in spite of it!

02-07-2008, 06:14 PM
:goodpost I had no idea, what a darling!

02-07-2008, 06:50 PM
tHAT POOR BABY!:shakehead