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Thread: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

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    Default Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Hey everyone!!! I am a proud squirrel mommy! I've raised and successfully released 4 squirrels. (I'm pretty new at this.) I've had a soft spot (to say the least) for squirrels since a very young age. I currently have a 7month old little girl named Lilly. From about 2 months old I realized that she was different from the others I had raised. And as she got older it became more apparent that she couldn't "squirrel." Wouldn't build nests, didn't have a lot of jumping power or climbing power. She would hide things in plain site and think they were hidden. Long story short, I took her to the vet for a wellness check, the vet said she was fine and I needed to release her. Against my better judgement I started the process of releasing her. She left, and after 3 days I found her on my roof hobbleing.... my husband got her down and she had paralysis from the waste down. Took her to the vet who said no broken bones, but severe inflammation. Prescribed her Medicam and sent us on our way. It's been 4 days and I see no improvement. They told me to keep her in a small cage so she can't hurt herself. She doesn't want to eat so I have to force feed her. (Baby bird food, vet said it would be best.) I take her out and let her roam my patio a bit so she can play, very gently of course. She's mad, irritated, clicking her teeth, and is slightly aggressive. (Which she's never been to me before) I'm ready to cry, my heart hurts and I feel helpless..... I don't know how she got hurt and I don't know how to fix this... can anyone please give me even the slightest glimmer of hope.... she wants to play, wants to be out and doesn't understand why she can't... will this medicine work? Is it safe? How can I make her happy? Please help!

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    I am sorry to hear about your squirrel, Lilly.

    Did your vet get an x-ray on Lilly? If her spine is not damaged, then rest and medication might help. While Metacam will help with pain and reduce inflamation, many members here have also successfully used prednisone to reduce inflamation and swelling with this type of injury. It is NOT recommended to use metacam and prednisone together.

    I would really minamize her movement for now, the short term focus should be on preventing any additional damage to her nerves. I hope she will recover.
    The adventures of Sir Max and Explorer Millie!
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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Hi,

    Since you had Lily for 7 mo before releasing would you share what her diet was during that time.

    As for her present state, can she pee and poop on her own. Can she lift her tail or use use her back legs at all? Is she dehydrated? Metacam will help with inflammation so that will help with some pain. Were any X-rays taken?

    I would give her complete cage rest and not take a chance on losing her by taking her out on a patio. Hope she feels better soon.
    redwuff
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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Lauren, there IS hope. The metacam is safe and sometimes it can perform miracles on these hind end paralysed babies. I released a squirrel that had a serious back injury. The metacam reduced the inflammation... the spine went bad to a somewhat normal position... and the squirrel regained use of the back legs.
    For what it's worth, I think the prednisone is better but like Tube said ... you CAN NOT use metacam and Pred together.

    Please let us know about the diet before release. It is very relevant information because a diet deficient in calcium can also cause hind end paralysis. It might not have been visible before release but the added stressors encountered after release would have pushed this problem... FRONT and CENTER. Hindend paralysis would definitely be a manifestation of this. If the diet was deficient, as in a LOT of nuts... you would need to start the Metabolic Bone Disease protocol right away.

    If we can rule out the diet, we would know for certain that this is injury related.
    Let us know... time is of the essence.

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Lauren, there IS hope. The metacam is safe and sometimes it can perform miracles on these hind end paralysed babies. I released a squirrel that had a serious back injury. The metacam reduced the inflammation... the spine went bad to a somewhat normal position... and the squirrel regained use of the back legs.
    For what it's worth, I think the prednisone is better but like Tube said ... you CAN NOT use metacam and Pred together.

    Please let us know about the diet before release. It is very relevant information because a diet deficient in calcium can also cause hind end paralysis. It might not have been visible before release but the added stressors encountered after release would have pushed this problem... FRONT and CENTER. Hindend paralysis would definitely be a manifestation of this. If the diet was deficient, as in a LOT of nuts... you would need to start the Metabolic Bone Disease protocol right away.

    If we can rule out the diet, we would know for certain that this is injury related.
    Let us know... time is of the essence.


    Reading; "She doesn't want to eat so I have to force feed her. (Baby bird food, vet said it would be best.)"
    I not only suspect the diet I question the vet's knowledge on wildlife/squirrels. Bird food is not a sufficient diet,
    usually contains nuts/seed and has a negative effect on a squirrel's nutritional requirements.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    I am sorry to hear about your squirrel, Lilly.

    Did your vet get an x-ray on Lilly? If her spine is not damaged, then rest and medication might help. While Metacam will help with pain and reduce inflamation, many members here have also successfully used prednisone to reduce inflamation and swelling with this type of injury. It is NOT recommended to use metacam and prednisone together.

    I would really minamize her movement for now, the short term focus should be on preventing any additional damage to her nerves. I hope she will recover.
    Thank you all for your kind responses!
    The vet did do multiple view x-rays of her spine and pelvis and said no fractures. The vet also said that her feet and legs responded to stimulus. However, I have not seen Lilly attempt to use her legs, feet or her tail. Her diet as a baby consisted of Esbilac. Once she was able to eat solid food she ate a mixture of nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies and vitamins recommended by the vet. I would also let her eat a little junk foot once a week i.e. cheez-itz.(her fave!) I also collect acorns for her and hide them around my patio (which is a very large area) so that she could learn to search for them.
    Right now, acorns are the only thing I can get her to eat, and I have to hold the water dish up to her in order for her to drink.

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurenMKVarner View Post
    Thank you all for your kind responses!
    The vet did do multiple view x-rays of her spine and pelvis and said no fractures. The vet also said that her feet and legs responded to stimulus. However, I have not seen Lilly attempt to use her legs, feet or her tail. Her diet as a baby consisted of Esbilac. Once she was able to eat solid food she ate a mixture of nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies and vitamins recommended by the vet. I would also let her eat a little junk foot once a week i.e. cheez-itz.(her fave!) I also collect acorns for her and hide them around my patio (which is a very large area) so that she could learn to search for them.
    Right now, acorns are the only thing I can get her to eat, and I have to hold the water dish up to her in order for her to drink.

    I'm betting there's the problem and calcium deficiency is her problem.
    I personally would recommend starting the mbd protocol. It can help restore
    her calcium levels and hopefully regain use of her legs. It will not hurt if not
    the problem but when one considers nuts/seeds rob their bodies of calcium I
    would be really surprised if it isn't.
    Regardless of what's fed after weaning squirrels need a good quality rodent block
    to supply their daily nutritional requirements and they do have a pretty high calcium
    requirement. Nuts should only be given as a treat for captives.
    Below is the link for the mbd protocol. Bear in mind mbd is painful and mbd will kill left
    untreated.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)
    Step-N-Stone
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    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post

    I'm betting there's the problem and calcium deficiency is her problem.
    I personally would recommend starting the mbd protocol. It can help restore
    her calcium levels and hopefully regain use of her legs. It will not hurt if not
    the problem but when one considers nuts/seeds rob their bodies of calcium I
    would be really surprised if it isn't.
    Regardless of what's fed after weaning squirrels need a good quality rodent block
    to supply their daily nutritional requirements and they do have a pretty high calcium
    requirement. Nuts should only be given as a treat for captives.
    Below is the link for the mbd protocol. Bear in mind mbd is painful and mbd will kill left
    untreated.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...dated-3-31-09)

    I will look this up and give it a shot! I had no idea that the
    Nuts and seeds were so harmful in captivity....
    I can not thank you enough. I'll keep posting updates about my lil Lilly. I'm so happy this board exsists!

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Lauren, I would see if Lilly will take formula from a syringe. You could also offer full fat vanilla yogurt. We have even used butter pecan Ensure to get nutrition into squirrels when they are debilitated. If the metacam gets the pain under control, her appetite might pick up. You could offer avocado or sugar snap peas also. Most squirrels like them.

    There is SO much information to pass on but I don't want to overwhelm you.

    I'm glad you are going to treat for Metabolic Bone Disease. The diet definitely does indicate that it is highly likely. I would call the vet and ask him to look at the X-rays and evaluate the bone density. You can actually see the effects of MBD in severe cases on X-rays. The bones will look very pale and thin. In some cases the toe bones are almost invisible due to thinning.


    I know that you'll think I'm crazy but acorns are unsafe for captive squirrels. I actually do give my flyers FRESH acorns that have been picked from the tree when they are in season. Picking acorns off the ground is very risky because they can harbor mold. Mold inside acorns CAN (but not always) produce aflatoxins. These toxins are deadly so we refrain from giving acorns out of season. Some rehabbers are so afraid of this toxin, they won't ever feed acorns. It's a personal choice but it does come with risks even when feeding fresh acorns. Off season acorns are 100% NOT worth the risk.

    I live in SE Hillsborough County so I'm not far from you. If I can help I would be happy to. We have a couple members in Lakeland.

    Here is a link to the healthy diet.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    Here is another link for a squirrel block that would benefit Lilly. It is a picky eater block. The base is pecan so squirrels usually like it. It is packed with minerals and vitamins.

    https://www.henryspets.com/picky-blocks-adult-formula/

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurenMKVarner View Post
    I will look this up and give it a shot! I had no idea that the
    Nuts and seeds were so harmful in captivity.... I can not thank you enough. I'll keep posting updates about my lil Lilly. I'm so happy this board exsists!
    In the wild squirrels eat a large variety of things to balance their daily nutritional requirements. Vegetation, roots, bark, rock, bugs, etc. They know what to eat and how to eat to keep that balance. In captivity we have to try and meet that balance with what we know with what we have learned. This is why a good quality rodent block is so essential to a captive's diet.

    I just let out a release this week. I thought for sure as soon as he hit the ground he'd go for the scattered nuts I had out for the wilds but he didn't. Instead he left the yard, came back all excited a few minutes later with something in his mouth, jumped into the release cage and was chewing on his prize with gusto. I wasn't really surprised to see what it was, just amused. It was a small pocketed dirt packed stone and obviously he was really enjoying it.
    Step-N-Stone
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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Lauren, I would see if Lilly will take formula from a syringe. You could also offer full fat vanilla yogurt. We have even used butter pecan Ensure to get nutrition into squirrels when they are debilitated. If the metacam gets the pain under control, her appetite might pick up. You could offer avocado or sugar snap peas also. Most squirrels like them.

    There is SO much information to pass on but I don't want to overwhelm you.

    I'm glad you are going to treat for Metabolic Bone Disease. The diet definitely does indicate that it is highly likely. I would call the vet and ask him to look at the X-rays and evaluate the bone density. You can actually see the effects of MBD in severe cases on X-rays. The bones will look very pale and thin. In some cases the toe bones are almost invisible due to thinning.


    I know that you'll think I'm crazy but acorns are unsafe for captive squirrels. I actually do give my flyers FRESH acorns that have been picked from the tree when they are in season. Picking acorns off the ground is very risky because they can harbor mold. Mold inside acorns CAN (but not always) produce aflatoxins. These toxins are deadly so we refrain from giving acorns out of season. Some rehabbers are so afraid of this toxin, they won't ever feed acorns. It's a personal choice but it does come with risks even when feeding fresh acorns. Off season acorns are 100% NOT worth the risk.

    I live in SE Hillsborough County so I'm not far from you. If I can help I would be happy to. We have a couple members in Lakeland.

    Here is a link to the healthy diet.
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    Here is another link for a squirrel block that would benefit Lilly. It is a picky eater block. The base is pecan so squirrels usually like it. It is packed with minerals and vitamins.

    https://www.henryspets.com/picky-blocks-adult-formula/
    It was by pure coincidence I ended up with my first squirrel, Scarlet. Ever since I've had people bring them to me. I've always loved them but never had a clue as to just how much love I had for them and how much love they give in return. I'm so surprised at the nutritional need these little guys and gals require. I've learned so much already from you all.
    I work in down town Tampa so I'm probably not too far from you at all. I will give the yogurt a try and get some avocado as well. I just got home and crushed up a cherry tums added some water and gave it to her with her medicine. Surprised to say she didn't hate it lol!
    I can see her little legs twitch every now and again which is promising. I know this may sounds nuts (no pun intended) but can some squirres be mentally slower than others? I tried telling the vet that Lilly wasn't catching on to the squirrel thang but he didn't really want to listen. Out of the few I've had and released they were all strong willed, smart, aware of their surrounding and I still see them from time to time and they are excelling in their natural habitat. Lilly just won't catch on....lays on the roof out in the open or sun bathes in the grass, won't climb any higher than about 6ft in a tree... the vet insisted I try to release and then now this happens.

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    Red face Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post
    In the wild squirrels eat a large variety of things to balance their daily nutritional requirements. Vegetation, roots, bark, rock, bugs, etc. They know what to eat and how to eat to keep that balance. In captivity we have to try and meet that balance with what we know with what we have learned. This is why a good quality rodent block is so essential to a captive's diet.

    I just let out a release this week. I thought for sure as soon as he hit the ground he'd go for the scattered nuts I had out for the wilds but he didn't. Instead he left the yard, came back all excited a few minutes later with something in his mouth, jumped into the release cage and was chewing on his prize with gusto. I wasn't really surprised to see what it was, just amused. It was a small pocketed dirt packed stone and obviously he was really enjoying it.
    I love that!!! I have a little house set back in the brush where I put food for the wild ones. I saw one tiny little dude climbing backwards up a tree with a fresh pine cone bigger than him! I was thinking, "you don't want the water melon I put out?" He dropped it so I went over to maybe help, he stayed on the tree just looking at me. I examined the pine cone and I have to admit it looked delicious! Lol!
    Thanks for the rodent block tip, I will searching for a good one tonight!!!

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurenMKVarner View Post
    Thanks for the rodent block tip, I will searching for a good one tonight!!!
    These are great and concentrated, you feed only 2 - 3 a day:
    https://www.henryspets.com/squirrel-diet/

    And Teklad and Zupreem can be provided all the time...

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    There is NO doubt that some squirrels 'are' a little slow. Often it is due to head injury as a baby or they just might be 'slow'. When a rehabbed squirrel doesn't develop the necessary skills or natural instincts to survive in nature they are deemed non-releases. Most states wildlife regulations make no provisions for non-releases and requires these to be euthanized. In FL, squirrels don't require a permit so they are often kept as 'pets'. We usually want to give them a chance to be free but unfortunately, in Lilly's case, release didn't go so well.

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    There is NO doubt that some squirrels 'are' a little slow. Often it is due to head injury as a baby or they just might be 'slow'. When a rehabbed squirrel doesn't develop the necessary skills or natural instincts to survive in nature they are deemed non-releases. Most states wildlife regulations make no provisions for non-releases and requires these to be euthanized. In FL, squirrels don't require a permit so they are often kept as 'pets'. We usually want to give them a chance to be free but unfortunately, in Lilly's case, release didn't go so well.
    I knew from the moment I saw her she was "special." And I had a bond with her. I wish nothing more than for her to be wild and do what God intended her to do. However, I would have no qualms with keeping her as a "pet" 😊 It just hurts my heart to see her wanting out so badly and she can't. I hope that the calcium works and I can teach her some ninja skills so she can go play in the wild! Bless her little heart.

    Hard to believe other states treat non-releases that way... glad I'm a Florida girl!

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    You already know more about squirrels than your vet...having raised a few and released them...I would trust your judgement over a vet's it's not so bad being a non releasable squirrel you can create an environment that mimics the outdoors without all the dangers. I find hope in the fact that the vet didn't see any fractures...soft tissue damage can heal over time....and following the MBD protocol should take care of the problem if it's a diet deficiency. It can't hurt and would be good for her since she will be staying in. I had a paralyzed squirrel, Poppy, and she climbed and jumped....rather well...of course, I had soft landings everywhere you can check me out and see my threads...and you will see all that lil Miss Poppy could do

    Rest assured, you are in the best hands here....and having HRT close to you is an amazing plus
    Make the world a better place...one animal at a time



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    I come into the peace of wild things
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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LaurenMKVarner View Post
    . I know this may sounds nuts (no pun intended) but can some squirres be mentally slower than others? I tried telling the vet that Lilly wasn't catching on to the squirrel thang but he didn't really want to listen. Out of the few I've had and released they were all strong willed, smart, aware of their surrounding and I still see them from time to time and they are excelling in their natural habitat. Lilly just won't catch on....lays on the roof out in the open or sun bathes in the grass, won't climb any higher than about 6ft in a tree... the vet insisted I try to release and then now this happens.
    Hi Lauren,

    We just lost our 8 year old boy who totally fit that description. He was just a simple goofy guy and when he was released as a young squirrel he just did not get that he needed to sleep in the trees not on the ground. He was brought in and held for awhile to hopefully mature, but when he was released again, he did the same thing again....slept on the ground. That's when he came in for good. He never bit anyone and everyone was his friend. He was a magnificent squirrel and we miss him so much. He had a good life and was always happy.

    I hope you have the same with your girl.
    redwuff
    State Licensed
    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by redwuff View Post
    Hi Lauren,

    We just lost our 8 year old boy who totally fit that description. He was just a simple goofy guy and when he was released as a young squirrel he just did not get that he needed to sleep in the trees not on the ground. He was brought in and held for awhile to hopefully mature, but when he was released again, he did the same thing again....slept on the ground. That's when he came in for good. He never bit anyone and everyone was his friend. He was a magnificent squirrel and we miss him so much. He had a good life and was always happy.

    I hope you have the same with your girl.
    Did you make a separate room for him? Or did you let him have the run of the house??? I was talking to my husband last night about how Lilly will most likely spend the rest of her life with us and how we will need to make some changes. Ive read how people make rooms for them but I'm concerned about my baseboards, antique furniture (I love old stuff &#128513 and her happiness. My lanai is very large which is where I had her before. I bought a huge rabbit house that looks like a little cottage and a huge exotic bird cage, raised them both up high and connected them. So she had her house, play pen and then the rest of the lanai to play. I know now that I'll have the lower them both and maybe put them indoors??? Any recommendations will be welcomed.
    Your little boy sounds amazing 😉 they are so special. I know I get so many laughs at the things Lilly does that it out of the "norm."

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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    Quote Originally Posted by redwuff View Post
    Hi Lauren,

    We just lost our 8 year old boy who totally fit that description. He was just a simple goofy guy and when he was released as a young squirrel he just did not get that he needed to sleep in the trees not on the ground. He was brought in and held for awhile to hopefully mature, but when he was released again, he did the same thing again....slept on the ground. That's when he came in for good. He never bit anyone and everyone was his friend. He was a magnificent squirrel and we miss him so much. He had a good life and was always happy.

    I hope you have the same with your girl.
    Also, I'm so sorry for your loss..... I know he crossed the rainbow 🌈 bridge and is having a blast in heaven

  38. #20
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    Default Re: Feeling desperate.... PLEASE help!

    I'm not familiar with lanai is this like an enclosed porch....screened in? If your temps are mild year round....then I think that would do great. Even cold temps aren't bad when they acclimate with the changes I have a large Florida room...completely enclosed but tons of windows...that my squirrels rule when I had Poppy...I bought lots of small thick cotton rugs...you can get them fairly cheap at discount stores...Ross's, Marshalls....I also bought several memory foam dog beds from the same stores. I placed these strategically around places she jumped and climbed for falls. I'm hoping your Lily will regain her legs...but it wouldn't hurt to have the extra padding...since she's special another nice thing, is I could pick them up when she was up...made it easier for cleaning...and the rugs were easy to wash I also found that a carpeted cat tree was very easy for her to navigate with her disability...I hate even using that word because she never seemed disabled
    Make the world a better place...one animal at a time



    The Peace of Wild Things
    BY WENDELL BERRY
    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  39. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Shewhosweptforest from:

    LaurenMKVarner (08-12-2017)

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