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Thread: Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

  1. #1
    littlechipky Guest

    Default Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

    Im worried about my squirrel. Hes been living outside for a year now, without any problems. Today I was feeding him and noticed that he was eating funny and taking a long time to chew. He ate seeds, and when I tried to give him a peanut , he took 3 minutes to open the shell, but he couldnt get it and dropped it. I peeled some peanuts and he ate those ones, still chewing funny.
    does anyone know what could be the problem, and what too do about it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Oviedo , Florida
    Thanked: 21

    Default Re: Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

    Hi There and welcome!!
    Is this a squirrel you rehabbed and then released?
    Is it a wild squirrel??
    From what you are describing it could be his teeth.
    If they don't chew on bark and stones and such they just keep growing, or he could have an injury to his mouth so he stopped chewing and his teeth are now too long.
    What are the possibilities of getting a picture?
    That would help a lot.
    Is it possible to get him and bring him inside?
    we have people in Canada that may be able to help you.

    Simon's video

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
    ― Anatole France

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    N. America
    Thanked: 576

    Default Re: Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

    yes, from what it sounds like it might be a teeth issue.
    If it is, and he needs to have them trimmed - he needs to be brought inside

    It could also be other problems in the mouth, like abscesses and such
    again, without close examination it is hard to tell

    Can you take pics and/or vids of how he eats and of his mouth?

    Can you bring him inside?

    Where in Canada are you? Province?
    We have some Canadian people here, not a lot, but still, maybe you have someone nearby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    West of Montreal, QC, Canada
    Thanked: 1764

    Default Re: Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

    It is most likely his teeth; he may have a malocclusion - usually in the wild this could be the result of a fall and breaking one tooth - so he can't wear them down normally - or simply breaking one on something. If he did not have a malocclusion when you released him then and never had problems before then this is probably the reason.

    Is there a way to get him inside? if his teeth are broken and/or he has a malocclusion then he NEEDS to have them trimmed or else they will keep growing misaligned, will not wear down and they may even get to pierce his palate, his jaw or worse. In any case, if they keep growing he'll get to a point where he won't be able to eat/chew. I know, it sounds gruesome and it's frightening but it is terribly painful for them if'n when this happens. So, try to see if you can catch him so you can at least supervise him properly and make sure of what the problem is.

    If it's not a malocclusion then he would most likely need some treatment - could be some infection in his mouth, he may need antibiotics... at least you can assess him better if you have him inside anyway.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Thanked: 0

    Default Re: Outdoor squirrel having trouble eating

    There is a squirrel in my backyard who is obviously undernourished. It has trouble eating.

    1) doesn't catching them stress them out to the point where they could die?
    2) How would you catch them? They get close to me but jump away at the slightest move.
    3) what/how can you feed a squirrel with a malocclusion. His face is swollen too so he might have an infection. I'm not sure how much of it actually gets in his mouth. A lot of the nuts he eats just grinds up and falls out.
    4) I live in Los Angeles, Ca. Any recommendations for rehabs?



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