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Thread: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

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    Default juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    I am a licensed rehabber but I have not been doing this for very long. I received a young male squirrel that the people thought had been hit by a car since his hind end was not moving. I found two large puncture wounds, one on the left side on the back of his neck and one on his right shoulder. These injuries might not be related. A dog might have found him and bit him since he could not run away. I have him on dexamethasone and amoxi. Two days later his tail came up over his back which I took as a good sign of motor function return. Today is day three but he has not progressed. He has been urinating on his own but tonight his bladder was full and was easy to express. He stretches his hind legs and when I put my finger on his back feet, he curls his foot around my finger. I cant tell if this is motor or just reflex. Has anyone had one that has gone from this level of paralysis and returned to a releasable state?

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    SammysMom is offline Administrator, Conn. Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    They can definitely recover from these types of injury. Many prayers that your guy is one who does too!
    Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels....
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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    We've seen recovery many times here, often not total, but enough to give an enjoyable life. Many also use physical therapy to help them along.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Yes, I have seem many severe cases of temporary paralyzed squirrel walk and jump around again with treatment in my seven years of rehabbing. I usually treat with Prednisone 1x a day for 7 days, but your combo treatment of Dex and Amoxi should also help get this little squirrel back on his feet. Please keep him on heat via a heating pad while he is recovering and keep him well hydrated --then let us know how things are going round about day four. Good Luck.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Thanks for the well wishes. He is going to another rehabber for the rest of the weekend because we are going out of town. I will update you when we get back. This morning I had to express his bladder again but his tail is very strong.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    I have an adult male right now that sounds similar to your little guy. Please keep checking his bladder. Mine has shown improvement w/ his legs but I still have to express him. The fact that your little guy is easy to express worries me. Usually they will express easily in the early stages of the injury but as time goes on and they start to get the feeling back they will resist expression because the urge to hold is the default with bladder control. If it wasn't animals/people would simply urinate all of the time w/ no control. So as the spinal swelling begins to go down and IF the animal is getting back some feeling it should become harder to express rather than easier. In my experience if I don't get bladder control back by week three it probably won't come back. This can lead to difficult decisions because as with any spinal cord injury that involves bladder control problems it can have long term complications. If the squirrel isn't expressed often this can lead to UTI's and kidney damage. It is a huge undertaking to keep a paralyzed squirrel, let alone one with bladder issues, but it can be done if you are committed.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    I adopted a paralyzed cat and expressed her bladder for 15 years. She was the best cat ever but no way am I going through that with an angry squirrel.

    "Trader Joe" Squirrel, named by my son, is improving. His wound are healing well. He loves his amoxi so he is very disappointed to have finished the course of medicine tonight. Even though he is a big boy, I offer him some formula just to make sure that he stays hydrated but as soon as he realizes it is not berry flavored like the amoxi, he is not interested. He gains more movement in his hind legs every day. His bladder does stay somewhat full but when I start to express it, he pushes the rest out on his own so I know he has some control. His tail not only goes up now but has some lateral movement. Hopefully he will continue to recover so that I can put him back outside soon.

    Thank you to all of you who have shared success stories with these guys. They seem to have a higher recovery rate than dogs and cats with spinal cord injuries.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Let us know how he progresses, and if in the end it looks like he wouldn't be in the perfect condition he'd need to be to survive, and you're not open to a pet squirrel, let us know and perhaps we can find a home.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Quote Originally Posted by farrelli View Post
    Let us know how he progresses, and if in the end it looks like he wouldn't be in the perfect condition he'd need to be to survive, and you're not open to a pet squirrel, let us know and perhaps we can find a home.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Name:  TJ's Wound.jpg
Views: 127
Size:  420.1 KB



    This was Trader Joe Squirrel's original injury. He is known now as TJ. An update on his history will be added later.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    OMG! Ouch!!! Thank goodness he has you to help him...
    Squirrels, squirrels and more squirrels....
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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    The towel in the photo is the towel he arrived in, not the fleece I use.


    TJ's wounds healed well. I gave him Amoxi for the wounds and dexamethasone for the neurologic issue. His tail came up quickly and in a few days he had bladder control. He climbed well but I was concerned about his ability to jump. I had hoped to put in right back in my neighborhood because this is where he came from. I never release here because I live in suburbia where the houses are close together and UPS trucks and teenagers fly down our streets. My pre-release cage is in the woods about 15 minutes away. It is great for normal squirrels, but not if they have issues. If I could have released TJ within a few days, I figured he might still have friends or a nest but since his recovery was taking a long time, I decided he needed to go somewhere safer.

    Someone from TSB contacted me to tell me that she could do a safe slow release from her home so that he could be monitored. She also was prepared to keep him should he turn out to be non releasable. I drove him 1.5 hours to meet with Lilidukes who was wonderful. I feel so fortunate that TSB led me to this wonderful lady. She sends me updates frequently and he is doing well. His wounds have healed and he is jumping so I think she plans to release him soon.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    What a wonderful update! Kudos to you and Lilidukes for giving TJ a chance.

  14. #14
    lilidukes Guest

    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    TJ is a Houdini he escaped his first day here. So he got to
    spend 2 days having free run of my squirrel rooms. He can
    climb, run and make mighty jumps to evade capture. I'm
    very sure that he will be returning to the trees after a little
    more recovery time to get stronger. This guy is a eating
    machine and a grumbler. He tells me multiple times a day
    how much he dislikes a cage.

    Niki you did a fabulous job with him!!

  15. #15
    lilidukes Guest

    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    I very happily would like to announce that TJ is back in
    the trees and doing very well.
    I moved him outside after he destroyed a cage and everything
    in it. He spent 3 days doing nothing but chewing the wire
    outside so I opened the door before he could hurt himself.
    He was gone in a flash!!! But later I saw he watching me
    from a branch way up high.
    TJ the destroyer was here this morning with the wilds to eat.
    He looks great.

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    Default Re: juvenile squirrel paralyzed hind end

    Thank you so much Lilidukes! I am so happy that he is back in the wild, but in a place where you can look after him. His tail came back up within three days of his injury, his bladder control returned quickly and he continued to make progress until his release. I wish all of the paralyzed squirrels out there would recover as perfectly as TJ did, but sadly there are many that don't. Thank goodness there are people out there like Lilidukes and other TSB members that are willing to take them in and care for them if they don't recover.


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