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TubeDriver
06-03-2018, 01:48 PM
There seems to be a range/spectrum of severity among the phenotype we call “dwarfism” or “Downs” in squirrels. Those who are clearly Dwarfs on the more severe end of the spectrum have phenotypic issues (fine and gross motor cordination, small stature, issues with climbing ability, temperature regulation, shortened lifespans, dysmorphic features sometimes with facial midline congenital anomolies etc, etc ). Despite these issues, they retain that wonderful squirrel magic, that combination of stubborness, spirit and will to live that squirrels are blessed with. I have been lucky enough to have met several of these wonderful little fuzzbutts and once you have seen them in person, they stand out instantly as different from your typical squirrel.

However, less focus has been placed on squirrels that are on the higher functioning end of the Dwarf phenotypic spectrum. Those “Pseudo-Dwarf” squirrels that have some of the features seen in full-blown dwarfs but can almost pass for normal?

I had a little squirrel (Mia) that I released last fall who I think fits in this “Pseudo-Dwarf” catagory. Anyone who has seen a true Dwarf squirrel who sees Mia as an adult would recognize some similarities. As an adult, Mia is small, timid, seems to prefer the ground over trees, was slow to self release and to leave the release cage (7 months) and sort of clumsy (she has a distinctive, head down, waddling walk). She is a sweetheart and visits us regularly but I worry a lot about her being outside and wonder if that was a wise decision?

Here is Mia and her brother Mick’s thread:

https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?58703-Mick-and-Mia

What is interesting in hindsite, in the controlled environment of an indoor cage, her condition did not clearly stand out. She seemed at times a little slower or slightly less cordinated but nothing that screamed “different”. However, as the soft release process occured, it became more apparent that she has some issues. For example, in a double level CN cage, her walk did not really appear off but once you see her walking across the lawn you realize she moves different than a typical squirrel.

I remember when I first opened the portal. Her brother was out and gone but Mia just did not want to go outside. And once she was out (lured out with treats), she spent a lot of time on the ground. If she appeared frightened she would not run up a nearby tree, she would run over to the release cage and hide under it on the ground. Her walk and a slightly clumsy climbing style also became apparent. She looks younger than she actually is, her face reminds me of a 12-14 week old squirrel and she is smaller than most of the other squirrels out there.

Mia did spend days outside but continued to use the nest box in her relase cage for almost 7 months. Just last week I noticed that she has not been returning at night but this might in part be because she was evicted. Two weeks ago, I heard a terrible whining, crying sound that was clearly from an animal (bird fighting?) but that I did not immediatly recognize as a squirrel sound. I walked back and found that two, much larger squirrels, were terrorizing Mia in her nest box (one squirrel was inside the relase cage trying to get in to Mia’s nest box and one squirrel was on top of the release cage. The awful sound I heard was Mia in her nest box trying to stand her ground. I chased the two intruders off several times but clearly Mia’s days in the release cage were numbered. I also started to see other squirrels going into the release cage to get the breakfast or dinner booballs that we had continued to supply to Mia. So Mia was probably not getting this food anymore. :(

Mia has showed up several times since then and looks healthy and uninjured. She stays away from all the other yard squirrels and in some ways they almost seem to ignore her a bit. They might chase her off but it is usually a half-hearted chase (although not always, I have seen Mia get furiously chased out of my yard). I worry that she has built some sort of nest on the ground somewhere (like under my neighbors shed?) and I very much worry about her in some future mating season.

But she seems reasonably happy and I don’t think she qualifies as a NR? She has enough abilities to survive out there although I wonder if she will not last as long because I think she has some deficiencies. I would like to hear from anyone else who has had a slow developer, or a squirrel that just seems a little off, a little too dependent etc that makes you question their fitness to be out in the wild. Please post up your observations/experiences and lets see if we can flush out the condition I think of as Pseudo-Dwarfism.:great

Mia being protected by her big brother.:grin2

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-6nHXQkZ/0/43a511a8/L/i-6nHXQkZ-L.jpg (https://peteralexander.smugmug.com/Mick-and-Mia/n-69TvWH/i-6nHXQkZ/A)

Mia with a booboo on her nose, she healed up fine.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-pnGHHbv/0/4b464f73/L/i-pnGHHbv-L.jpg (https://peteralexander.smugmug.com/Mick-and-Mia/n-69TvWH/i-pnGHHbv/A)

Mia enjoying a booball.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jGcwTgn/0/352f1b2c/L/i-jGcwTgn-L.jpg (https://peteralexander.smugmug.com/Mick-and-Mia/n-69TvWH/i-jGcwTgn/A)

Mia at sunset enjoying a piece of coconut.
https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-XDmS3Hw/0/9ff31f47/L/i-XDmS3Hw-L.jpg (https://peteralexander.smugmug.com/Mick-and-Mia/n-69TvWH/i-XDmS3Hw/A)

Chickenlegs
06-03-2018, 07:51 PM
This is a really interesting topic to me. I’ve been blessed with three dwarf babies—everyone different but absolutely dwarf in every aspect. I bet most of us who rehab have had Mias come through our door. They’re little but until we watch them navigate the real world, nothing stands out as odd or different. We already know a dwarf can’t be pegged because they don’t have one issue. There’s a spectrum of issues that define them. I imagine there are a lot of Mias out there. We’ve heard people talk about their squirrel preferring to sleep on the floor of their cage. There are squirrels who just don’t wild up. There are micro squirrels. There are the klutzes—perfectly normal by all appearances but they are klutzes. Are these psudodwarf squirrels?

Mel1959
06-03-2018, 09:21 PM
I touched on this topic with Dr. E when I took May up to see her last week. She confirmed that there are dwarf squirrels that have some of the genetic components but may not be tiny and dwarf-like. One of the classic characteristics is the lack of connecting joints on an x-ray. Obviously, we don’t get x-rays for those babies that seem dwarf-like unless it’s required, so we don’t really know.

I think TubeDriver brings up a very interesting point. I often wondered where Dr. E came up with the statistic that roughly 10% of baby squirrels are dwarf. That number seemed astoundingly high, to me. Maybe this explains it. The 10% may not have ALL the classic traits of a dwarf, but carry dwarf genes, nonetheless. These are the ones that may not thrive in the wild. They may need a lot more time in the RC to mature, but may never become like the other squirrels.

It’s a tough life for squirrels. These pseudo-dwarfs may have the odds stacked against them from the beginning. :sniff

SophieSquirrel
06-03-2018, 09:34 PM
You all saw my Buddi - she was at the very lowest end of the spectrum. Many of my zoologist and vet friends thought she was the equivalent of a human primordial dwarf. She went through a rapid growth spurt growing to 2/3 "Joey/Stuart" size, but ungainly and never as healthy looking. The vets all thought that damaged her fragile organs causing her passing. Connecting joints were absent with her. I was not hopeful when I got her but she hung in there with 4 daily syringe feedings and intensive care for many months.

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TubeDriver
06-03-2018, 10:59 PM
Hi CL,
Exactly, I wonder about the klutzes, the ones who are “slow developers”. I think some of them coukd be high functioning “dwarfs”. I suppose the question is, do we give them extra time and then release? How to judge when a otherwise normal looking but slowly developing squirrel can be released?



This is a really interesting topic to me. I’ve been blessed with three dwarf babies—everyone different but absolutely dwarf in every aspect. I bet most of us who rehab have had Mias come through our door. They’re little but until we watch them navigate the real world, nothing stands out as odd or different. We already know a dwarf can’t be pegged because they don’t have one issue. There’s a spectrum of issues that define them. I imagine there are a lot of Mias out there. We’ve heard people talk about their squirrel preferring to sleep on the floor of their cage. There are squirrels who just don’t wild up. There are micro squirrels. There are the klutzes—perfectly normal by all appearances but they are klutzes. Are these psudodwarf squirrels?

TubeDriver
06-03-2018, 11:12 PM
Mel,
That number does seem really high!?! Ten percent? But if we expand the definition to include these high functioning ones, then perhaps that number makes more sense. I worry about Mia. She seems happy out there in some ways but was living in her release cage and getting a morning and evening meal from us daily. Now that she has her own nest somewhere, I feel like I can’t help her much. I worry that she might struggle and I worry even more that if she ever gets pregnant she will have a tough time. It is a tough life but I still think she deserved a chance out there as a free, wild squirrel. Very bittersweet for me.


I touched on this topic with Dr. E when I took May up to see her last week. She confirmed that there are dwarf squirrels that have some of the genetic components but may not be tiny and dwarf-like. One of the classic characteristics is the lack of connecting joints on an x-ray. Obviously, we don’t get x-rays for those babies that seem dwarf-like unless it’s required, so we don’t really know.

I think TubeDriver brings up a very interesting point. I often wondered where Dr. E came up with the statistic that roughly 10% of baby squirrels are dwarf. That number seemed astoundingly high, to me. Maybe this explains it. The 10% may not have ALL the classic traits of a dwarf, but carry dwarf genes, nonetheless. These are the ones that may not thrive in the wild. They may need a lot more time in the RC to mature, but may never become like the other squirrels.

It’s a tough life for squirrels. These pseudo-dwarfs may have the odds stacked against them from the beginning. :sniff

Chickenlegs
06-03-2018, 11:45 PM
Makes me wonder if some of the little ones I’ve passed on for release should have stayed with me longer. Then there are those like my Precious. She was little and VERY quiet. She was and is Precious. She seems very average now, but she was a tinygirl and slow to do things. Now she’s my fat girl—sweetest squirrel ever, just wants to be with me, isn’t evil to anybody, and has zero interest in doing anything but hanging out in the squirrel room, getting lovins, eating, getting lovins, playing—did I say eating! Precious is just precious. I wouldn’t think of tossing her out. She would be out of her element, terrified—no. If she should ever want out, I’ll open the portal in the squirrel room and she can check it out but she has never so much as sniffed at it. Is she a psudodwarf? Those of us who raise and release babies in bunches do the best we can and for sure fail some our little ones. I guess we need to be more aware of the psudodwarf population out there.

SophieSquirrel
06-03-2018, 11:55 PM
My Kami is like Precious, I just posted about her in another thread regarding Ember in NC. Kami is totally releasable but sweet and content. They are not all like that and most all deserve their chance in the wild. Every once and a while a special one comes along and keeping him/her safe, warm and dry is not the end of the world for the holder or the squirrel.

Another photo of sweet and gentle Kami

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And Winston my severe Mals boy

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joejeweler
06-04-2018, 12:30 AM
There seems to be a range/spectrum of severity among the phenotype we call “dwarfism” or “Downs” in squirrels. Those who are clearly Dwarfs on the more severe end of the spectrum have phenotypic issues (fine and gross motor cordination, small stature, issues with climbing ability, temperature regulation, shortened lifespans, dysmorphic features sometimes with facial midline congenital anomolies etc, etc ). Despite these issues, they retain that wonderful squirrel magic, that combination of stubborness, spirit and will to live that squirrels are blessed with. I have been lucky enough to have met several of these wonderful little fuzzbutts and once you have seen them in person, they stand out instantly as different from your typical squirrel.

However, less focus has been placed on squirrels that are on the higher functioning end of the Dwarf phenotypic spectrum. Those “Pseudo-Dwarf” squirrels that have some of the features seen in full-blown dwarfs but can almost pass for normal?

I had a little squirrel (Mia) that I released last fall who I think fits in this “Pseudo-Dwarf” catagory. Anyone who has seen a true Dwarf squirrel who sees Mia as an adult would recognize some similarities. As an adult, Mia is small, timid, seems to prefer the ground over trees, was slow to self release and to leave the release cage (7 months) and sort of clumsy (she has a distinctive, head down, waddling walk). She is a sweetheart and visits us regularly but I worry a lot about her being outside and wonder if that was a wise decision?

Here is Mia and her brother Mick’s thread:

https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?58703-Mick-and-Mia

What is interesting in hindsite, in the controlled environment of an indoor cage, her condition did not clearly stand out. She seemed at times a little slower or slightly less cordinated but nothing that screamed “different”. However, as the soft release process occured, it became more apparent that she has some issues. For example, in a double level CN cage, her walk did not really appear off but once you see her walking across the lawn you realize she moves different than a typical squirrel.

I remember when I first opened the portal. Her brother was out and gone but Mia just did not want to go outside. And once she was out (lured out with treats), she spent a lot of time on the ground. If she appeared frightened she would not run up a nearby tree, she would run over to the release cage and hide under it on the ground. Her walk and a slightly clumsy climbing style also became apparent. She looks younger than she actually is, her face reminds me of a 12-14 week old squirrel and she is smaller than most of the other squirrels out there.

Mia did spend days outside but continued to use the nest box in her relase cage for almost 7 months. Just last week I noticed that she has not been returning at night but this might in part be because she was evicted. Two weeks ago, I heard a terrible whining, crying sound that was clearly from an animal (bird fighting?) but that I did not immediatly recognize as a squirrel sound. I walked back and found that two, much larger squirrels, were terrorizing Mia in her nest box (one squirrel was inside the relase cage trying to get in to Mia’s nest box and one squirrel was on top of the release cage. The awful sound I heard was Mia in her nest box trying to stand her ground. I chased the two intruders off several times but clearly Mia’s days in the release cage were numbered. I also started to see other squirrels going into the release cage to get the breakfast or dinner booballs that we had continued to supply to Mia. So Mia was probably not getting this food anymore. :(

Mia has showed up several times since then and looks healthy and uninjured. She stays away from all the other yard squirrels and in some ways they almost seem to ignore her a bit. They might chase her off but it is usually a half-hearted chase (although not always, I have seen Mia get furiously chased out of my yard). I worry that she has built some sort of nest on the ground somewhere (like under my neighbors shed?) and I very much worry about her in some future mating season.

But she seems reasonably happy and I don’t think she qualifies as a NR? She has enough abilities to survive out there although I wonder if she will not last as long because I think she has some deficiencies. I would like to hear from anyone else who has had a slow developer, or a squirrel that just seems a little off, a little too dependent etc that makes you question their fitness to be out in the wild. Please post up your observations/experiences and lets see if we can flush out the condition I think of as Pseudo-Dwarfism.:great......

Great post, and I've made bold your thoughts that now have me wondering if one of the squirrels I call "Big Boy" that may actually be what you describe as "squirrels that are on the higher functioning end of the Dwarf phenotypic spectrum...."

Out of the 25+ squirrels that visit me almost daily, he has stood out in a few ways. His most distinctive and intriguing feature is his gate. Every other squirrel comes in "hopping" in the usual "roller coaster" like body wave motion. How ELSE can you describe it to someone who has never seen it before? :gigg

My "Big Boy" however, reminds me of a weight lifter whose muscles "appear" tight and "struts in" with a sort of side to side swagger of the front shoulders that always gets a chuckle out of me.

However, his shoulders are not stiff in functioning, and he is quick to respond to any perceived threat,.... should I move faster than he's expecting. However, there is a definite difference from the rest of my herd when he struts right up to take nuts directly from my outstretched fingertips.

If I'm out in the yard itself, I get down on my right knee to lessen my "huge factor" to him. I've built up a callous on my kneecap wearing shorts this time of year to prove it! :gigg

Out in the yard during nice weather, we have a routine where he swagger-struts in, takes the first Almond from my fingers with his mouth, and waits for a second one. The 2nd is also taken from my fingers with his mouth, and fits in right behind the first Almond.

Then he steps back a foot or so and waits for me to "toss" a third Almond a few inches in front of him, which he will pick up with his paws,... and then "juggle" it with the other two until he gets them situated "just right" with no wasted space. The squirrel's version of vacuum sealed packaging! :clap

Most times he waits 4-6 seconds to see if he'll get a 4th, (has me wondering IF squirrels can actually count!?),... just staring me down until I toss another,...and this one he rarely touches with his paws. He simply presses his mouthful of Almonds "into" the lone remaining nut and up into and against the ground, to sort of wedge it into his mouth-o-nuts. Most days he gets all FOUR Almonds safely taken away to either eat, or bury a few perhaps. That's our "nice weather" regular routine.

However, during the winter months where it can be really cold outside but with no snow, he was also the only Gray that would walk up the 4 concrete steps leading from the back yard to my back door.

I'd again kneel (in the open doorway this time), and he would take the first followed by the second Almond directly into his mouth,...and usually with no paws needed. The third nut on the steps is always my favorite, because he would come in for the Almond and use both paws on the outside of my fingers to sort of guide the missile home! It's out intimate moment, HA! :blowkiss

I have to say the first time this happened 3 or 4 years ago,...I was shocked at just how STRONG their paws were! They look like lightweight appendages, but looks are deceiving here for sure!

Oh,...I can't ever remember him taking a forth Almond off the back steps, and I suppose having to crush the nuts and his mouth against the cold and hard concrete is not worth the discomfort to him for a forth Almond. He knows he can come back as often as he wants, as HE has trained me well!! :hug

He is not especially large and more of a "middleweight" in stature, but for sure has been a favorite of mine. His bravado when strutting in and willingness to hang close for more makes him stand out,....but his muscle-bound-look when swaggering in to me.

The one issue I have working with him this way is that it's difficult to take photos of him, because I can't work the camera when I'm feeding him this close. The camera can frighten him at times,....and I don't want to lose the trust I've built with him.

I'm not sure if any of these traits conform to what you've described as “Pseudo-Dwarf” functioning in squirrels, but there certainly IS a difference with him than the norm in my experience.

I was fortunate to get a sharp photo the other day as he sat still for a few seconds waiting for his nuts atop a low ledge, and I must say his upper shoulders do look a little "thick" here. I gotta remind him to lay off the weight training for awhile!

My "Big Boy",....but not because he is exceptional large in size (a middleweight perhaps). But he is brave and mostly fearless in my eyes, and approaches without hesitation most days.

Love this little guy...... now just gotta get a nice photo without the grass in his face!

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island rehabber
06-04-2018, 06:56 AM
He's beautiful --- and oh boy does he ever have you trained to be his worthy and rightful servant! :rotfl
It is amazing to me how some squirrels think they're chipmunks and shove nuts into their mouths as if they had cheek pouches. He just sounds like an absolute delight -- but to me, he doesn't sound like a dwarf. :grin2

joejeweler
06-04-2018, 08:00 AM
He's beautiful --- and oh boy does he ever have you trained to be his worthy and rightful servant! :rotfl
It is amazing to me how some squirrels think they're chipmunks and shove nuts into their mouths as if they had cheek pouches. He just sounds like an absolute delight -- but to me, he doesn't sound like a dwarf. :grin2


Yeah,.... "well trained" me is, and I wouldn't have it any other way! :serene

I guess he's just a bit ungainly in his gait then (gives the impression of a "take no guff' attitude with his swaggering stride),..... but it's nice in a way because I always know in advance knowing it's him coming in,......

...... and so have time to BOW on one knee in advance of his Royal Presence, "Big Boy", the Quad King of Nuts! :gigg

By the way,...anyone else have a squirrel visitor that regularly stuffs FOUR almonds into his mouth when hand "served"? This is a trait he only seems to do when I hand feed him in the yard,.....as if to show off a bit, perhaps. (the Squirrel version of "Look what I can do" comedy skit! , link below)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyvbFMGmImg

At times when he is has come into a bowl with Almonds he doesn't take more than two usually,.... so this is kind of interesting behavior when he's hand fed. "Big Boy", the reigning FOUR Almond Champion! :grin2

TubeDriver
06-04-2018, 09:10 AM
Joe,

That is a great description of your friend and his antics. I have squirrels that take 3 almonds but they can never juggle them properly to take 4 (some try).

I agree with IR on this one, your squirrel sounds more like the local Alpha squirrel, the king of the yard! That lumbering walk, the direct manner which it deals with you and the other yard squirrels, all reminds me of my Alphas (old Notch (RIP), currently Inky and Purder). I think your Big Boy is just exactly that, the Big Boy on the block!:great

The walk I see in Dwarfs and to a lesser extent in Mia is a sort of head down, bumbling, waddle. The walk of the Alpha is a sort of lumbering, muscle bound tough guy walk (I figure their cajones are so big they can’t walk normally:grin2).

Chickenlegs
06-04-2018, 03:31 PM
If you get a chance, it sure would be interesting to see video of Mia.

TubeDriver
06-04-2018, 03:54 PM
Good idea. I'll try to get one of her.


If you get a chance, it sure would be interesting to see video of Mia.

island rehabber
06-04-2018, 04:31 PM
Joe,

The walk of the Alpha is a sort of lumbering, muscle bound tough guy walk (I figure their cajones are so big they can’t walk normally:grin2).

Oh Pete I am so glad you posted that because I was thinking it, but as a somewhat old school female type person I didn't dare post it!! :rofl4

SophieSquirrel
06-04-2018, 05:13 PM
Rule of thumb for captive holders

A lot of experienced state licensed rehabbers on here. I held a license many years ago in my former state. It was pulled administratively for refusing to put down NR's that were discovered during a premises inspection. Packed up and moved with NR's in tow and now I sub only by choice. Labeling a dwarf or other condition as "non-releasable" is subjective. We all know a para or low level dwarf will not survive in the wild. What criteria do you all use to determine who should keep an NR and who should not? I have a lot of experience with NR's and know the rules yet I screwed up with some avocado and Lady tore me up badly. I have met some really stupid people in my day who should not keep a squirrel, dog, human baby or even a sea monkey. We all started with a squirrel that came to us and those who want to learn, adapt and commit to a 9-10 year squirrel should be taught and encouraged. I'm just wondering what criteria is used to encourage one person and discourage another. To me if a person makes it to 10 months with an NR they have a pretty good handle on squirrel husbandry although they may need some additional skillsets. I am still learning and have learned a lot on here especially about dosing.

cava
06-04-2018, 05:44 PM
By the way,...anyone else have a squirrel visitor that regularly stuffs FOUR almonds into his mouth when hand "served"? This is a trait he only seems to do when I hand feed him in the yard,.....as if to show off a bit, perhaps. (the Squirrel version of "Look what I can do" comedy skit! , link below)

:grin2


I love STUART! The one where he loses his pants in the well is the best!

Scooterzmom
06-04-2018, 09:01 PM
Well... why not post one without the grass in his face...? Ask and you shall receive :grin2 He's such a beautiful boy :Love_Icon

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Chickenlegs
06-06-2018, 04:36 PM
THAT is one handsome BIG squirrel!

PennyCash
06-11-2018, 01:26 PM
This thread was started at the right time for me at least... I've been watching a little, little fella for over a week now. Doesn't even look big enough to be on his own, tail just starting to poof, always alone, hangs extremely close to the house all day long. At first I thought he was orphaned but he's got the correct fear response even if he doesn't run very far from me. Then this morning I noticed he's packing some junk putting him even older. :crazy:eek
I'll attempt to get a picture to show just how much smaller he is.
Thank you again for at least starting this dialogue :hug

Chickenlegs
06-11-2018, 01:46 PM
And I bet you’re spoilung him rotten and making sure he gets his share of goodies!

PennyCash
06-11-2018, 06:22 PM
And I bet you’re spoilung him rotten and making sure he gets his share of goodies!

I'm trying very hard to put extras away from the rest specifically for him. That is until the others take over that pile too. :tap
It's the darndest situation, amongst my yard crew he's the outcast, choice or neccesity??? Most of the time everyone eats together peacefully with little skirmishes. Then there's this fella way off away from the rest, usually pancaked. I don't see him even attempting to sneak in and steal a bite until everyone has left. Should another head his direction he heads up the nearest tree.
But then I watched him chase a much, much larger squirrel back across the street this morning.
This little guy is just a conundrum to me between size and behavior. Last week I was worried sick about him. It's so odd to have a squirrel staying against the house all day long. Napping on the window ledge instead of a drey. Not taking cover when the hawks are screaming. Last one out every night? He's just not like the rest...

TubeDriver
06-11-2018, 07:31 PM
Poor little guy. I have seen that mixed passive and then aggressive behavior before from little ones. In general, they are very defensive because they get bullied. But they also can get sort of desperate which can make then aggressive at times. These little ones can become very tough but certainly have a hard time.

I try to help the little ones with extra treats and they usually grow up a bit and put on some weight and do well. Keep an eye out for him and hopefully he will start to blossom!:great



I'm trying very hard to put extras away from the rest specifically for him. That is until the others take over that pile too. :tap
It's the darndest situation, amongst my yard crew he's the outcast, choice or neccesity??? Most of the time everyone eats together peacefully with little skirmishes. Then there's this fella way off away from the rest, usually pancaked. I don't see him even attempting to sneak in and steal a bite until everyone has left. Should another head his direction he heads up the nearest tree.
But then I watched him chase a much, much larger squirrel back across the street this morning.
This little guy is just a conundrum to me between size and behavior. Last week I was worried sick about him. It's so odd to have a squirrel staying against the house all day long. Napping on the window ledge instead of a drey. Not taking cover when the hawks are screaming. Last one out every night? He's just not like the rest...

PennyCash
06-11-2018, 08:27 PM
Poor little guy. I have seen that mixed passive and then aggressive behavior before from little ones. In general, they are very defensive because they get bullied. But they also can get sort of desperate which can make then aggressive at times. These little ones can become very tough but certainly have a hard time.

I try to help the little ones with extra treats and they usually grow up a bit and put on some weight and do well. Keep an eye out for him and hopefully he will start to blossom!:great

Good to know you've seen this type of behavior before.
I'll keep at trying to get good stuff to him. Been trying to get block to him specifically, tossing it but not scaring him in the process. So far others get it before him and if I try to walk out to him everyone goes flying and he's spooked.

Scooterzmom
06-11-2018, 08:56 PM
I too am very interested in the topic of pseudos. In fact I think I’m dealing with one such among my NR crew. My little Simon.
Now Simon doesn’t show any of the typical morphology traits of the dwarfs - although he is quite small in size, compared to all my other greys, both NRs and wilds. However, he is - shall we say - not the shrapest knife in the drawer. There are things that would normally seem obvious for any normal squirrel – how to hold food, sniffing the favorites in a food bowl, jumping around etc – but he doesn’t seem to catch on. E.g.: he loves avocado but when I bring him his bowl, he's ore interested in sniffing my hand , arm etc than grabbing the avocado. I often have to place it against his mouth and in his hands for him to start eating. At first I suspected maybe his sense of smell wasn't up to par, but no. He will sniff it around in the bowl, will find it (if I don't interfere, just put the bowl down) but he doesn't seem to get the idea to pick it up in his hands... he'll start licking and eating it like a dog would i.e. directly in the bowl.
He is also still afraid of all my other NRs, although he is now over 2 years old, nearing 3, and… he has no testes yet!

My oldest son lives with Asperger’s syndrome, which as you may know is a developmental handicap part of the autism syndrome, and it got me wondering if among squirrels (and/or other animals for that matter) there could be such cases. Humans with Asperger do have issues of low coordination, how to socialize, and they do not process informaition like the rest of us – often making people think they*»re retarded while in fact they are not.
All in all, my little boy Simon seems more like an Asperger case than a dwarf, but is about the size of an 8 month old grey.

Mel1959
06-12-2018, 12:42 PM
I think the most profound clue you mentioned is the lack of testes. Joey, my dwarfs, testicles did not form, or drop till he was well over a year old. I have heard of a condition that animals can have where the testicles never drop and remain inside. It could be that he has that. Of course that doesn’t explain his inability to grab and hold food. It seems we never seem to understand everything about these little mysterious fuzzbutts.

Chickenlegs
06-12-2018, 01:33 PM
Oh PLEEEEEEEEZE send a picture of Simon. He sounds adorable and I vote “pseudo dwarf”. I’ve had squirrels I wish I had not released. Some have done fine but others :shakehead:shakehead:shakehead

Scooterzmom
06-12-2018, 05:28 PM
Here are a couple of pics of my sweetie boy.

This one when he was brought to me... poor guy was on the verge of starvation, distended belly, prolapsed anus, dehydrated ... He was terrified and so was i, wondering if he would even last the night. Right from the start he was a sweetheart though.
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That following one was taken last year, 7 mos after his arrival.
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Hubby took this one today... my love bug has not grown since the previous pic. Simon was ultra nervous - was scared of hubby even if we stood almost 10 feet apart.
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TubeDriver
06-12-2018, 07:04 PM
Simon looks very handsome in that last photo! :great Great job!:great

Scooterzmom
06-12-2018, 07:57 PM
I just found this one, from when he was a baby. It gives us a better idea of what his lilttle face looked like. Of course I'm not partial at all :grin2 but I think he's just the most adorable little fur thing you can lay eyes on. :Love_Icon
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Chickenlegs
06-12-2018, 09:00 PM
What a darling. I think srarvation plays a big role in how well our babies do. My little neuro guy Johnny Cash was frozen when I got him. Baby bloated so badly he lived on a little goats milk formula and simethacone for two weeks. Poor guy was half starved by the time he could tolerate appropriate nutrition. He has a pile of issues but that boy is happy and healthy now—even if he can’t walk a straight line without falling over

Scooterzmom
06-12-2018, 10:09 PM
I have no doubt that nutrition in early infancy can have some lifetime consequences. For sure. This poor little guy spent some 2 weeks in the hands of a well-meaning fellow who was bound and deterined to do things his way, regardless of what he was told to do. It was only after he had brought me 3 dying babies and I managed to save the 3rd - by the skin of her teeth, poor little thing - that he finally realized he was not doing anything right for baby squirrels. With Simon he wanted to bring him the next day or 2 - said he was a bit tired and was sleeping all the time, meaning Simon and he would let him rest then feed him later. I told him that if he didn't bring that baby now, that very same night, that I never wanted to see him at my door again. Told him there was no way I was going to take in another baby from him only to watch him die in my hands. So yeah, he brought him that night.

That fellow was a Tae Kwan-Do teacher and he was taking poor Simon with him everywhere, to classes etc... stuffed in his jeans, pocket, showing him to everyone "to spread the word around that squirrels were sweet creatures"!... letting all sorts of people handle him, and feeding him whenever "he had the chance" ... he was giving him water only when he wasn't home. That man was driving around everywhere, looking for babies fallen out of trees in our area and fancied himself the great squirrel rescuer. OK, he had developmental issues I suspect, but I just couldn't take that.

That poor little guy went thru hell as a baby.

PennyCash
06-13-2018, 09:22 AM
I have no doubt that nutrition in early infancy can have some lifetime consequences. For sure. This poor little guy spent some 2 weeks in the hands of a well-meaning fellow who was bound and deterined to do things his way, regardless of what he was told to do. It was only after he had brought me 3 dying babies and I managed to save the 3rd - by the skin of her teeth, poor little thing - that he finally realized he was not doing anything right for baby squirrels. With Simon he wanted to bring him the next day or 2 - said he was a bit tired and was sleeping all the time, meaning Simon and he would let him rest then feed him later. I told him that if he didn't bring that baby now, that very same night, that I never wanted to see him at my door again. Told him there was no way I was going to take in another baby from him only to watch him die in my hands. So yeah, he brought him that night.

That fellow was a Tae Kwan-Do teacher and he was taking poor Simon with him everywhere, to classes etc... stuffed in his jeans, pocket, showing him to everyone "to spread the word around that squirrels were sweet creatures"!... letting all sorts of people handle him, and feeding him whenever "he had the chance" ... he was giving him water only when he wasn't home. That man was driving around everywhere, looking for babies fallen out of trees in our area and fancied himself the great squirrel rescuer. OK, he had developmental issues I suspect, but I just couldn't take that.

That poor little guy went thru hell as a baby.

Ugh! This guy sounds like a @$$%^&!
Thank you for standing firm and getting Simon from him that night! Thank you for being YOU! :glomp

Chickenlegs
06-13-2018, 01:21 PM
Thank heavens you persevered and Simon has a good life with someone who loves and cares for himthe way he needs to be cared for. A baby squirrel can survive SO much—but human ignorance kills—and cruely.

Scooterzmom
06-13-2018, 06:03 PM
Ugh! This guy sounds like a @$$%^&!
Thank you for standing firm and getting Simon from him that night! Thank you for being YOU! :glomp

Actually let's not be too hard on the fellow. He does mean well. Thing is I think he has mental issues - I'm no shrink but maybe HDAD or some mmild form of autism - and I think that is the biggest problem. He wants to help so badly, and he's completely fixated on squirrels, but he gets the info all confused in his head and does not have the patience to write things down or read.

Just the same... :dono It's only one more example of how ignorance can sometimes have dramatic consequences.

PennyCash
07-07-2018, 12:01 AM
Actually let's not be too hard on the fellow. He does mean well. Thing is I think he has mental issues - I'm no shrink but maybe HDAD or some mmild form of autism - and I think that is the biggest problem. He wants to help so badly, and he's completely fixated on squirrels, but he gets the info all confused in his head and does not have the patience to write things down or read.

Just the same... :dono It's only one more example of how ignorance can sometimes have dramatic consequences.

If that's truly the case he might do well to be a helper? Would give him a sense of doing good for the animals he adores, he might learn better hands on and someone would be there to instantly correct issues.

island rehabber
07-07-2018, 08:18 AM
He sounds like Lenny in "Of Mice and Men".......:(