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Thread: Parker's teeth

  1. #1
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    Default Parker's teeth

    I figured I'd start a thread about Parker here so I can tell you his story and show you some pictures of him.
    Parker is a wild squirrel that lived in my neighborhood until recently when I caught him because of his overgrown teeth. We used to watch him and his brother play in the tree in our yard and he grew normally alongside his brother until one day I noticed that he didn't seem right. We could always tell which one was Parker because he would "park" in the hanging pot that I used for a feeder unlike all the others who would grab food and go. He looked winter-fat and normal until I saw an abcess formed on one side of his neck. Eventually the abcess went away but he seemed to be getting thinner and thinner until one day I noticed what looked like white fuzz on one side of his face. I got out my binoculars and looked and eventually determined that it was his lower teeth growing out of his mouth and curving up around just below his eye. No idea where the upper teeth were growing. The white fuzz was hazelnut crumbs that had fallen out of his mouth while he was grinding with his molars and had stuck to his overgrown lower teeth.
    By the time I caught him, he had lost so much weight he looked like a little wraith and he had patches of missing fur.
    Here are the pictures leading up to his capture...
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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    These next pictures are the day of his capture with the cage I used to get him and closeups of his teeth before they were clipped...
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  3. #3
    TexanSquirrel Guest

    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    I'm glad you're taking care of him now.

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    Here are the pictures of his post-tooth clip...I wish they had clipped them a bit closer. There is a picture of the teeth - top ones clipped by the vet, bottom ones broken when he was trying to escape the trap.
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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    OK, last installment... In these pictures you can see that his tongue isn't hanging out any more but his teeth are growing back . He has gone from freezing when I'm in the room to tweaking my pantleg while I'm leaning against his cage. I'm debating whether to try another trim or two (maybe a closer trim would give him a chance to realign his jaw???) or just have permanent removal. Trimming by the vet is stressful and spendy ($168) but worth it if he could get alignment back but he seems really out of whack. I don't know what part the abcess played in this, if it caused the malocclusion, was caused by the malocclusion or was unrelated, but it may have damaged his jaw beyond repair.
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  6. #6
    SkwerlGirl Guest

    Cool Re: Parker's teeth

    What a sweetie...and he was a chunky boy!

    Something might have happened to cause the abcess which led to the malocclusion--maybe a fall? A fight? who knows. If his jaw can never be realigned, I'd consider permenant removal. although I'd hate to do it, I'd hate to have to scare him every few weeks to sedate him for the vet to clip them.
    I had a girlfriend that found a baby girl with this very same problem, but she ended up having to put her down...poor thing became so fearful of her because of the trauma from teeth clipping she wouldn't let anyone touch her. She couldn't be released because of the malocclusion, so she had no choice, is how she felt. Even the rehabbers gave up on her.
    Good luck with Parker and his snaggle tooth!

    He's a cutie patootie!

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    Forgot to mention that the squirrel checking out the trap is not Parker. Otherwise you all might think I caught him THEN starved him.

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    He is brave enough to grab my pants and dart at the front of the cage when he is demanding food. You can see in the one picture where he comes over for his grape. I could possibly get hold of him for a trimming and I don't think he could bite me because his teeth don't line up and he has to open really wide for a nut BUT he is wicked fast - I mean wicked! and I'm flat out terrified that I would screw it up and shatter his teeth and kill him or something. He would surely scratch the snot out of me but I'm used to that by now.
    I was going to practice on the teeth that I saved but I put them in some "special place" where I wouldn't lose them so of course they are lost because I have the attention span and memory of a fruit fly.
    I'd love to give the teeth the opportunity to realign but if you look at the angle of the bottom ones, they seem to be growing out of the jaw sideways at a 45 degree angle.

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    Wow his teeth are really bad! If you want to do it yourself, get a net at a pet store and when he is in his cage try to catch him with the net. Once he is in the net, work only his head out. Than wrap a towel around him and the net, and you are ready to cut. I do this to two squirrels at least every three weeks. He might not be able to bite very well, but he will scratch the heck out of you if you don't wrap him like a burrito. They are not going to realign at the growth they are at now.

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    Susanw - thank you! a few questions - what do you use to cut? And what length do you trim to?
    I did an experiment a few minutes ago to see if I could touch Parker on the nose. He put out his front paw and grabbed my finger - I am now sucking on my finger in between typing. There seems to be a difference between my "friendly's" claws and his. And he's strong.
    Luckily I am familiar with the squirrel burrito.

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    I use a pair of dog nail clippers, you know the ones that are flat and have a whole in the middle. You stick his two teeth thru the whole and snip. Parker's teeth are very long, you might want to let the vet cut them and than keep them trimmed down after that. I cut them short but long enough for him to eat normally, they grow back so fast.

  12. #12
    squirrel princess Guest

    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    How's snaggle tooth today He is so cute....bless his heart......you just gotta love the guy

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    The ideal way is for the vet to trim them. Not only is it less stressful (they sedate them) especially for one who is not a pet. Also trimming with dog clippers can split the teeth up into the gums. But many people have done it this way without that happening.....Just my thoughts
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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    He made nice with the DH today - came up to the bars and took food. He's got so much spunk I can't believe it. I want to keep taking pictures of him but they all look the same - squirrel in jail - I should give him a tin cup to bang to bars with.
    He has an appt on Monday for a consultation. Our favorite vet is now available again so I think we will get some good advice.

  15. #15
    Apple Corps Guest

    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    Add my vote for how cute he is - are you going to let him run in the house some - a bit of freedom ??

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    I wish - my house has 2 indoor cats who are veeeeerrrrryyyy interested in squirrels.
    There is a chance that he could have some out time in the bedroom - it is sort of squirrel proofed - I built a new bed frame that he couldn't get under. Trouble is, even with his teeth removed or even too long to bite, he is a little wild man and he is really fast. He comes over for food but he is not fond of people and he is very suspicious. It might be a little while.

  17. #17
    Jackie in Tampa is offline Left TSB to start her own Board
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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    What a catch
    Poor Parker, he is so expressive...what a face! Precious Parker!
    I clip my Rockys tooth. I wish Parker was as easy as Rocky! 2 minutes and we're done. Like SusanW, we clip every three weeks. The vet charged me $78. the first time and$55, after that. After 5months, vet suggested sending Amy M.," vet tech " to my house since she lived close. $18. Amy taught me to clip Rockys teeth. I use well made Jewelers grade German steel side cutters [$38- at jewelerssupplies, I can forward info], popsicle stick, and blunt/rnd tip[NOT POINTED-EYES] metal nail file! After watching other people and helping, it was not as scarey.
    I hold Rocky in left hand [ I'm righty] butt in palm, neck between thumb and index.With right hand I start at stomach level with popsicle stick and raise toward face and behind uppers, push upward gently until he opens mouth, then jiggle [in your case] behind lowers in the middle of the stick, like horse bit. Now your left hand thumb will hold stick, and head still over teeth area. Left index will be around neck like choke hold{ coz it is}, it will also stabilize his arms/hands. Grab side cutters flat side up when cutting uppers, clip HIS left upper tooth first,{closest to clippers} Then his upper right. I clip the tooth at a sliiiiiiiiiight angle from bottom front, slanted sliiiiht towards back roof of mouth. Teeth snap crisp...like brittle glass. It does not take much with these type cutters. They cut evenly and easily.Tight grip always left hand, FIRM, so he knows you have him, he'll submit. Snip Snip Snip Snip.....half way now!
    You have to liiiightly file teeth. Rub finger on teeth, sharp edges...2 or3 swipes will knock off. It is veeeerrrry important that they are not sharp. Somewhere on TSB I read about a sutured testicle...ouch. As Wheezer mentioned split tooth can be bad and cause odontomas {Squarlet had these, but caused by something else I think} This is why I use side cutters. I almost used cat nail clippers, but they were in the way. Good metal, good hard sharp cutting edge important.{for me!} The popsicle stick acts as anchor and keeps tongue out of the way, and no clippings in throat. The tooth will snap off in one piece,,,not particles!
    Whew! I am long winded for a slow typer! Did any of that make sense? You know the saying "if I can, you can too". We have been doing this ourselves almost 5 years now! Neither one of us like it. But.....
    EASY AS PIE!
    I hope this works...warm up to him some more! Cheat and give him a potatoe chip every now and then....it won't kill him...but bad dental might!
    Good Luck And you're doing great. ...j

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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    You make it sound almost easy. Parker is such a little wild guy though. I don't know if I can get hold of him. I wish the vet would let me watch but I think they only do it with isofluorisone (sp?) and all secret in the back.
    I want to experiment with picking him up but I worry that he will freak out. When I say he is fast, I'm serious. I've never seen anything move as fast as him and he's tiny.
    Thank you fot the tutorial! If his vet says we should try a couple more trimmings then I will just have to learn. I know a place where I can get some really good cutters.
    I may also have someone stand by to mop up any blood (mine that is)

  19. #19
    Jackie in Tampa is offline Left TSB to start her own Board
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    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    If you are passionate enough to take care of that poor sweet burned baby, and clever enough to catch snaggletooth....you'll be fine!
    I can video if it helps! Long term gets expensive! Wish I was close, I'ld help ya hold'em Good Luck!

  20. #20
    SkwerlGirl Guest

    Default Re: Parker's teeth

    What'd you decide on the teeth clipping?

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