Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: "Down's Syndrome"

  1. #1
    Kristi S Guest

    Default "Down's Syndrome"

    Does anyone have any idea what this really is? Is it a genetic thing, or can it be acquired (the former, I suppose)? Are there intellectual deficits? Interesting that they can't thermoregulate properly. How common is it?

    Down's is a specific human genetic problem, so this can't actually be Down's in squirrels.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Posts
    50,679
    Thanked: 16365

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    It's not really Downs....that became a sort of colloquial catch-all phrase for these special babies.
    To the best of our knowledge (and my vet's), it is a form of achondroplastic dwarfism in squirrels. Limbs are foreshortened; ears are placed at the sides rather than the top of the head; GI system remains immature and these babies are often on formula for their entire (short) lives as they either cannot digest solids or don't have any interest in them whatsoever. They cannot thermoregulate.
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    everywhere
    Posts
    765
    Thanked: 96

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    Interestingly there are comparable conditions in animals that are due to extra chromosomes, just not chromosome 21 which is specific to human downs syndrome. I would guess (maybe erroneously) that while the exact chromosome is species specific, the outcome could possibly be a similar (not identical) condition?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    East Coast, USA!
    Posts
    19,739
    Thanked: 12043

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    There are hundreds of genetic syndromes in humans so it is likely that there are many in other mammals too. Syndrome severity often varies a lot with lots of overlapping characteristics. We don't have the luxury of running a chromosomal/karyotype/FISH analysis much less something like a SNP array to identify what might be going on.

    But there have been a number squirrels who appear very similar as described by IR. Downs is as good a label as any other for these special little critters.
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    1,370
    Thanked: 295

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    IR and TubeDriver explained this very well. There are literally 100's of syndromes, and within a given syndrome, the severity of expression can fall anywhere from mild to incompatible with life. And, depending on which gene is affected, that will dictate what the physical expression will present as.

    Another factor to consider is the inbreeding of a species. Anytime there is inbreeding, you run the risk of doubling up the "good" or the "bad" genes. This is often done with birds, when a specific color mutation occurs.

    So, theoretically, you could come up with a "super squirrel " or perhaps the "village idiot".

  6. #6
    Kristi S Guest

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    Thank you all! Yes, sounds typically genetic, and a chromosomal abnormality would be a very good guess considering the suite of characteristics.

    Inbreeding happens in many domesticated animals, unfortunately. Down's in humans is more like a spontaneous quasi-mutation, though, and it sounds like this is similar. These animals wouldn't survive long enough in nature to breed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Near Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    2,166
    Thanked: 169

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    This is very interesting as my youngest daughter has T 21. Humans with T21 also have foreshortened limbs and digestive issues that can be from hisprungs disease to a higher incidence of celiac sprue almond the DS population.

    Their risk for leukemia is higher, but oddly seem to have a much lower than normal risk for solid or tumor related cancers.

    Man.. Which I was a geneticist and could run tests

    I was excited to think Samantha might have a special friend squee... But now I have to tell my friend that her kids .. Who have dwarfism may be .

    Here she is helping to mix formula
    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 1047
Size:  693.1 KB
    Stephanie Carlson

    St. Melangell Small Mammal Sanctuary
    ODNR Permitted Cat 2 Rehabilatator
    https://www.facebook.com/StMelangellSmallMammal/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    East Coast, USA!
    Posts
    19,739
    Thanked: 12043

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    Thank you for sharing this with us, you probably have additional insight that could help everyone here on the TSB to make the lives of these special squirrels better!

    As anyone who has had a "Down's" squirrel will tell you, they have some issues and challenges but that is far out weighed by their gentle, beautiful souls. I imagine this is true with children with T21 too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mommaluvy View Post
    This is very interesting as my youngest daughter has T 21. Humans with T21 also have foreshortened limbs and digestive issues that can be from hisprungs disease to a higher incidence of celiac sprue almond the DS population.

    Their risk for leukemia is higher, but oddly seem to have a much lower than normal risk for solid or tumor related cancers.

    Man.. Which I was a geneticist and could run tests

    I was excited to think Samantha might have a special friend squee... But now I have to tell my friend that her kids .. Who have dwarfism may be .

    Here she is helping to mix formula
    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 1047
Size:  693.1 KB
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Near Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    2,166
    Thanked: 169

    Default Re: "Down's Syndrome"

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    Thank you for sharing this with us, you probably have additional insight that could help everyone here on the TSB to make the lives of these special squirrels better!

    As anyone who has had a "Down's" squirrel will tell you, they have some issues and challenges but that is far out weighed by their gentle, beautiful souls. I imagine this is true with children with T21 too.
    Awe (blush) thank you.. But I doubt it lol.

    It is true however.. Like you said with squirrels their issues are outweighed but their beautiful ness. My kiddo though, has her moments.. That are not so gentle LOL - like taking away her iPad LOL ( which though I used to say none of my kids would ever have.. lOL was invaluable in helping her learn to read ! )

    Stephanie Carlson

    St. Melangell Small Mammal Sanctuary
    ODNR Permitted Cat 2 Rehabilatator
    https://www.facebook.com/StMelangellSmallMammal/

Members who have read this thread: 3

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •