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LilBoPeepers
01-16-2024, 01:21 PM
As many of you know, squirrel trimming is not for the faint of heart. Even the most well-behaved squirrel can become a nightmare when clippers are involved.
With that said, I need recommendations for a sedative to use to make the process a little easier and less stressful for my little guy.

So far rescue remedy has been a bust. Any ideas?

SamtheSquirrel2018
01-19-2024, 01:38 PM
As many of you know, squirrel trimming is not for the faint of heart. Even the most well-behaved squirrel can become a nightmare when clippers are involved.
With that said, I need recommendations for a sedative to use to make the process a little easier and less stressful for my little guy.

So far rescue remedy has been a bust. Any ideas?

Hi LilBoPeepers:
I'm sorry that you have not yet received a response in your new Thread! I would like to make a few other comments beside the use of a "sedative" for possibly making the tooth trimming easier. Also, these are my personal opinions and I am certainly NOT suggesting that they apply the those who are already experienced and successful tooth trimmers! Further, I am not a Veterinarian and I am not a Dentist BUT I am a scientist of sorts and I have done some experience with trimming Squirrel's teeth as have a number of others here on TSB.

Again, my comments and recommendations are my personal opinions and these form the basis for how I perform tooth trimming or have tooth trimming performed. As far as a sedative to make the process of tooth trimming "easier and less stressful;" I believe that I know what you mean but in reality, a sedative is just a medication that provides for sleep or sleepiness and is not in itself effective in preventing or modifying pain (although there should ordinarily be no pain involved in a correctly performed tooth trimming!) or anxiety and fear! What is needed for this is a medication that provides dissociative effects which is a partial or complete loss of awareness of the events that are actually going on (the tooth trimming). That is why I prefer and recommend that tooth trimming be performed by a trained, Squirrel Friendly Veterinarian who can utilize and monitor the status of an inhaled anesthetic agent such as isoflurane in order to have the Squirrel reach an effective level of dissociation. There are many others here who probably disagree with this and as long as they are competent in performing tooth trimming at "home," it should make no difference. Certainly there is an added cost for a Vet to perform this procedure and a Squirrel Friendly Vet is not available everywhere! As far as a medication that may offer some degree of dissociation and help with anxiety and fear; Gabapentin may be of benefit and I have used this in the past for this procedure and as treatment for some other issues.

Next, and again, many may not agree with this either; but I do NOT use clippers! Yes, it is possible with identifying the exact and correct angle and location for the placement of the clippers and by using the optimal type of clipper such as diagonal cutters or nail trimmers for the result to turn out acceptable or even great BUT, to me the risks are too great! It is too easy with clipping to damage the tooth by crushing, twisting (which can result in breakage of the tooth in its long axis and not crosswise as a normal trim would be, loosening of the tooth within the bone or even fracturing the bone. I much prefer using a readily available mini cut-off wheel held in a mini rotary tool such as a high speed (30,000-35,000 RPM) Dremel Tool. Prior to the trimming, I securely but safely restrain the Squirrel by wrapping the entire Squirrel except for the head in a thick flannel (or similar) piece of cloth using the "burrito" technique of wrapping. I also do NOT ordinarily do the trimming myself as it helps facilitate the procedure while helping maintain a safety margin to have someone hold the restrained Squirrel while the other performs the actual trimming. Use of a Rotary Tool requires minimal pressure against the tooth but I still place a resistance of one or two tongue depressors against the "back" of the tooth which also helps protect the mouth during the very short period time to complete the trimming. I usually start the Rotary tool several feet distant from the Squirrel and walk up to the restrained Squirrel with the Rotary Tool running the entire time. This will help keep the initial startle reaction of the Squirrel to the sound of the Tool beginning to run to cause a jerk that may interfere with accurately preforming the procedure!

I know this is a little bit more than you asked for but I wanted to primarily make the recommendation for a Veterinarian to perform this procedure for you if possible and also make some other comments that I feel are relevant and at least worth considering.

Regards,
SamtheSquirrel