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Thread: special needs or downs?

  1. #1
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    Default special needs or downs?

    Hi everyone,
    I am the proud mom of 3 squirrel my oldest is Sam and we have had him for a year. In March after some very bad storms here in Tampa I can aquired 2 babies a week apart. The first Comet we had all intentions of releasing, the second my little sweetie Pocket.. we lets just we knew from the begining that he was special.he was smaller then the other one but they appeared to be the same age eyes opening etc. he was very fuzzy. I just thought that he suffered some kind of head trama but now after reading the information on Down's and looking at the pic,I am thinking maybe he has downs. He lokks at lot like the pics posted. he can not run the proper way. He kind of reminds me of a rabbit the way thier back feet move when they hop. He is finally climbing alothough it is slow unsteady and just not squirrel like at all. he has never jumped. He looks like he wants to but I think he knows better. When he was younger the tip of his tail fell off, but there was no pain, blood or anything. I use to think that he had no feeling in his tail do to the fact it would go in the water dish and he would not notice it at all I thought some kind of nerve damage. I know that he will never be a normal squirrel and that is fine with me I love him just the same. I have two questions Pocket has been living with Comet since they came here, I am afraid to release Comet because of the way Pocket needs & loves him. I can not explain it althought the argue over food and things the love I see the two them have for each other. I am afraid that since I know Pocket is not typical he would suffer without his brother. Any thoughts on that??? I was also wondering if anyoen could give more details on squirrels with Downs. How they act, what they do & don't do, symptoms etc. any information would bee great appericate.
    Thanks so much
    Carrie

  2. #2
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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    can u post a pic

  3. #3
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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    Here are some pics of Pocket you cen see his back legs he kind of rests them. When he walks he kind of drags them a little bit although he has gotten somewhat better.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    I have seen a few cases here over the last couple years, and the true Downs babies all seem to have some things in common - they don't really complete wean, preferring to nurse from the syringe well past normal; they all seem to be unable to thermoregulate and require heating pads forever, and they all seem to be general "failure to thrive" babies. They have rounded heads and short limbs and look like babies. And the dear little things don't live to be very old.

    I don't think your baby looks like a Downs baby. He is tiny and has some movement issues but he doesn't have that look.

    You know what look he has? FREAKIN' ADORABLE!!

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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    Well I am glad that you think he is not Downs... he does have some issues though, but that truly is part of what makes so special.... I just wish I knew what was wrong with him in case there is anything I should be doing different. Do you think I should worry about the movement he has( or lack of proper movement) or the fact that he can not jump?? he can climb but it is a little at a time with lots of rests....running I can describe it lets just say not like a squirrel.... The important thing is that he is not in pain... but he is loved lots.... I am glad you think he is as cute as I do!
    Carrie

  6. #6
    quagmire Guest

    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    he is cute. perhaps his tail will fill in with nutrition and age.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    At his age I would think what was going to heal would have already,
    and it's probably as good as it's going to get.

    It sounds a lot like what I went through with my Scooter.
    He was an injured orphan and although we had high hopes that he would
    recover, due to his relentless will to keep moving, he never quite healed from
    his pelvic fracture well enough to be released.
    By 6 months my hopes of releasing him were dashed.
    He could climb and "run" scooting across the floor like a mean streak!
    But he could not sit up on his back legs or perch.

    If I gave him a treat he needed both hands to hold, he'd throw himself on his side to eat it.

    He seems to have developed amazing upper body strength and I cannot keep him out of anything as long as he doesn't have to jump.

    I adore him and he makes me laugh every day -- he has NO IDEA he's disabled!
    He has adapted to his little safe world, and I make sure there is little risk of injury in my squirrel room.

    He has his best friend, Trixie, who is not his sister but grew up with him and could not be released either due to malocclusion.

    I am glad they have each other to be companions and entertain each other.

    Your decision to keep Comet is a tough one to make.
    I'm sure you will get a lot of opinions, but you need to decide if you are willing to deal with
    any of the outcomes that may come of keeping a healthy animal that may yearn to be in the wild.
    It could go either way, you know....
    "I always thought someone should do something about that, then I realized I was someone” ~ Lily Tomlin

    "The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing" ~ Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    Quote Originally Posted by djarenspace9
    At his age I would think what was going to heal would have already,
    and it's probably as good as it's going to get.

    It sounds a lot like what I went through with my Scooter.
    He was an injured orphan and although we had high hopes that he would
    recover, due to his relentless will to keep moving, he never quite healed from
    his pelvic fracture well enough to be released.
    By 6 months my hopes of releasing him were dashed.
    He could climb and "run" scooting across the floor like a mean streak!
    But he could not sit up on his back legs or perch.

    If I gave him a treat he needed both hands to hold, he'd throw himself on his side to eat it.

    He seems to have developed amazing upper body strength and I cannot keep him out of anything as long as he doesn't have to jump.

    I adore him and he makes me laugh every day -- he has NO IDEA he's disabled!
    He has adapted to his little safe world, and I make sure there is little risk of injury in my squirrel room.

    He has his best friend, Trixie, who is not his sister but grew up with him and could not be released either due to malocclusion.

    I am glad they have each other to be companions and entertain each other.

    Your decision to keep Comet is a tough one to make.
    I'm sure you will get a lot of opinions, but you need to decide if you are willing to deal with
    any of the outcomes that may come of keeping a healthy animal that may yearn to be in the wild.
    It could go either way, you know....

    Anne
    Wildlife and Squirrel Rescue,Inc.
    Rescuing Fl squirrels since 1979
    Moderator: NFSA Emergency Care
    Wildlife Intake Coordinator and Rehab Consultant at "The Ark Wildlife Care and Sanctuary Inc"
    http://www.thearkwildlifecareandsanctuary.com/

    Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but learning to how to dance in the rain"

    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Jackie in Tampa is offline Left TSB to start her own Board
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    Default Re: special needs or downs?

    Hi Carrie..I am in Tampa too!
    Welcome to TSB!

    My guess would be spine issue..pelvis.
    I have had some experience with both...
    when a sq bunny hops it's a sure sign...
    either MBD or injury to the back half...
    I agree...NOT DOWNS...

    Not sure what you are feeding...hoping you are using quaility food, as diet is healing.
    I am in south Tampa {SOG}..
    if I can help with anything...give me a holler..
    Kisses make sqs happy...so give lots!

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