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Thread: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

  1. #1
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    Default Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Hi everyone!!!

    I feel so awful that I'm on for a bit, and disappear for a LONG TIME, and then come back on again and again. Been quite busy that I'll catch up on at the end of the note here.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY: Lulu-Bean is going on 9 this July. And as of about 1.5 weeks ago, during a tooth trimming (yes, had to go back to that ) she screamed, peed in my eye, and scratched my hand so bad that it's scarring--all of which is totally out of character for this normally snuggly, loving little girl. After every teeth trimming (once per month), she goes back in her nest to "cool off".

    That night she wouldn't come out. Nor the next day.

    Once she finally came out of her nest and her cage to get her veggies and fresh food, we noticed she was walking, not scurrying or hopping, but walking with a bit of a hunch over to her food with her tail dragging behind her. While odd, we thought she was just really down after the ordeal and maybe a little under the weather (the weather is going from warm to rainy and cold in SE Wisconsin lately). A week later, and she STILL won't lift her tail, and is still lethargic. I'm terrified that during the tooth trimming, my husband (yes, wedding bells) may have held her too tight and damaged a nerve in her tail or hurt her spinal cord. Diagnosis notes:

    -Her back toes are still ticklish, and her tail will twitch if I touch it (her toes aren't cold)
    -She will, however, squeak or grunt when I massage her hindquarters, near the hips and base of her tail
    -She is still drinking water, though not as much
    -She is still pooping and pottying
    -We monitor her calcium since she was an MBD baby
    -She gets Kaytee rodent blocks every day, and she eats them every day (they are always available to her). Even with this concerning behavior, she is still eating. She has also returned to coming out nightly to eat her plate of veggies
    -She sunbathes daily, even when there is no sun (we have a Vitamin D lamp for her)
    -Her balance isn't so great right now and she's avoiding climbing and jumping
    -We've moved her nest closer to the bottom of her cage so she doesn't have to climb as far, and we've given her a heating pad, on low, to relax on

    ...SO what's going on with my baby? I feel terrible. Attaching a picture I took of her a few days ago, though you can't see much through the cage. I put food in the cage that day since she didn't want to come out. I have to be off to work soon, but I will respond ASAP.

    On the plus side, and for some afterthought reading:
    -Lulu-Bean and I moved to Phoenix about 5 years ago to chase the marketing field
    -We met who is now Lulu-Bean's Daddy about 2 years ago in Phoenix
    -He spent a year patiently gaining her trust
    -He and I got married by Elvis last October in Vegas
    -We moved back to the Milwaukee area this past December
    -We bought my grandparents' house (50 years in the family, and we are the 2nd owners) in May
    -Lulu-Bean will FINALLY get a room all to herself and doesn't have to share with Mommy anymore
    Attached Images Attached Images  

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Welcome back! So this tooth trimming was different from the last teeth trimmings? She was more upset? Did she squeal or act like she had been injured during the trimming? Nerve damage would just be a guess. The fact that she squeaks and grunts when you touch her hind quarters or the base of her tail says that the area is sensitive.

    Have you given any metacam to reduce the inflammation? Do you have any Gabapentin? It is used for nerve pain/injury. Do you have a vet?

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Thanks for the response, Mel1959!

    The tooth trimming didn't start out any different than other trimmings. She, as always, wasn't happy with us since I know it is an uncomfortable, unwelcomed experience. But, everything was status-quo until she kicked and then screamed/peed/clawed and I think that's when it happened. But she was still spunky.

    I don't have any meds for her nor a vet. I couldn't get my rehab license living in apartments so no vet would sponsor/help me (which is what actually brought me to TSB many years ago). Now that I have a house and a dedicated room in the works for her, I'm looking into that again, but until then I don't have a way to get her in.

    Are any of the meds available OTC? I will spend an arm and a leg if I have to.

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Infant ibuprofen can be used in a pinch for inflammation, but metacam is better. If others think that a Gabapentin and metacam or prednisone would be good to start her on, I will send you some of all three meds. I’d just need you to pm me your address.

    Nancy in New York has had great success when she has used metacam and Gabapentin. I hope she will advise what she suggests for this situation.

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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    OK so gotta ask—does Miss Bean get the calcium she needs? Just wondering as metabolic bone disease can sneak up and an older squirrel may need extra. I’m glad to hear she’s doing well (with this little setback not included). Hopefully she will respond to the meds Mel is sending but guess in the meantime you could try the MBD protocol and see if there’s improvement. Folks will chime in if this is off base but if she feels better quickly her nutritional needs might have changed and MBD snuck up on her. Otherwise, hope she heals up just fine.

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Thank you both!!

    I will PM my address and also go get some children's ibuprofen today for her in the meantime to help. Proper dosage?

    Lulu's calcium, in all honestly, could be better. We give her tums that she likes to nibble (I think she looked at them like a treat) but it HAS been a while...since we moved back I think so about 6 months. I saw the thread about MBD maintenance and get her going on that today with some force feeding.

    Decided to work from home this afternoon so I can be a lot more attentive.

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Quote Originally Posted by Lulu-Bean's Mommy View Post

    Decided to work from home this afternoon so I can be a lot more attentive.
    Of course when the kids are under the weather, you stay home with em. Goooooood mommy!

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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    she's the closest thing to a daughter that I'll have!

    Husband is usually home during the day (we work opposite shifts most days) but he has noted that she's been, recently, staying in the nest.

    She just came out willingly and I put a tum on her plate to see if she'd take it before I had to force feed her. She nibbled, but isn't on board, so I guess the eyedropper will come into play later. Her eyes say she's more alert than she has been in the past week, so I think the heating pad had started to work its magic, although tail is still down, back is still hunched. She didn't really move/adjust herself to not potty on her feet though (which, however, has now resulted in giving herself a bath, which is taking a lot of movement that doesn't seem to be too difficult for her).

    Lunch today included red and yellow tomatoes, snap peas, romaine, and mushrooms, all washed. She ate her tomatoes and took one nibble of the tum, but pushed aside everything else. Did not want me to pick her up right now, so I let her do her thing since later she won't get a choice as I work on getting her more nutrients.

    Is anything visible that I'm not seeing with her stance that I should check on?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    I think CK's suggestion to start MBD protocol (adding Tums) is a good idea. As we age, we process nutrients less efficiently so a diet that might have worked for LB when she was younger, may not be enough as she ages. Nine years old is a pretty advanced age for a squirrel. You could try dusting some of her foods with calcium powder, this would avoid having to try and feed her with a dropper. It certainly will not harm her to add some additional calcium.

    Did the tooth trimming go fine, do her teeth look correct (proper length and no splintering)?

    She looks sort of spikey in that photo, make sure she is hydrated?
    The adventures of Sir Max and Explorer Millie!
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    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post

    Did the tooth trimming go fine, do her teeth look correct (proper length and no splintering)?

    She looks sort of spikey in that photo, make sure she is hydrated?
    Teeth trimming wasn't the best result, but it wasn't the worse. We didn't get the length we wanted so we'll have to have another go sooner than we'd like, but wanted to get her feeling better first. She's not having trouble eating or closing her mouth, at least. No splintering; good clean cuts.

    She did just clean herself in the picture, but she isn't drinking as much right now so it's possible she's dehydrated too.

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Since I didn’t see where anyone had posted a recommendation for which meds would be best, I sent all three items today’s mail. I hope it helps Lulu-Bean.

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  23. #12
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Since I didn’t see where anyone had posted a recommendation for which meds would be best, I sent all three items today’s mail. I hope it helps Lulu-Bean.
    THANK YOU!!

    This is why I have always loved TSB...the love and camaraderie is beyond belief.

    As soon as I can clock out (at home, but still on the clock) I am heading to the drug store to get more tums, and infant ibuprofen. Should I give her about 1/2 of one, crushed?

    Getting her back on MBD treatment tonight, and will monitor SUPER close for her to get hydrated. Not sure she needs Pedialyte (just water should be good, right?)...buuuut I'll pick some up in case there's any bad turn.

    Will keep everyone posted

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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  25. #13
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    You’re welcome. . A whole one crushed won’t hurt her as the amount of elemental calcium is not the amount shown on the front label.

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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Make sure she is hydrated before giving any Infant Ibuprofen! Let us know if you need dosing help?
    The adventures of Sir Max and Explorer Millie!
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...e-the-Explorer!

    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    See the sisters Pip and Nip!
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-(Pip-and-Nip)!

    “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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  29. #15
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    Make sure she is hydrated before giving any Infant Ibuprofen! Let us know if you need dosing help?
    Will do! I picked up 24, grape flavored 100 mg. I couldn't find anything less or not flavored, but maybe she'll like the grape? I taste-tested one and it's kind of bitter.

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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  31. #16
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Late night (and before bed) update:

    Didn't give Lulu-Bean ibuprofen tonight. After weighing if I would need to force feed her calcium or ibuprofen, and not wanting to subject her to both, I opted to go the calcium route. Luckily, I tried dusting her food with it first (I really didn't want to force anything on her tonight) and she ate everything right up! All veggies on the plate are gone. I'll be sure to keep up this regiment

    She pottied 3 times that I saw today, and drank a little water before bed. However, after she was done eating din-din, pottied, and drank water, she went right to bed. Usually she stays out for as long as she can. But she did stop over by me (I sat on the floor tonight) for a couple of scratches first before she went to bed. Still walking, and still dragging her tail, but overall better spirits than even yesterday. I think the heating pad has really helped.

    I'll definitely give her ibuprofen tomorrow knowing that I can get calcium on her food instead.

    If this is nerve damage (which I believe is likely) is this permanent? Or, because she still has ticklish toes and reactions to her ta being touched, could it be just temporary?

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    It could definitely be nerve damage or just inflammation around her spine. That’s where the ibuprofen (and metacam when it arrives) will help. When you get the meds I think the folks on here will have to help you dose. I’m not sure if all three meds can be given together, or if it’s even necessary, but someone will know.

    I had a release that had a head tilt from a fall and after dosing her for several weeks with prednisone she completely recovered. There are dozens of other similar stories on TSB. Squees are amazing healers and the folks on here know so much about how to help them do that.

    If it is nerve damage it may take awhile for you to see improvement. But don’t give up hope!

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  35. #18
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    I don’t think you can give Ibuprofen and Metacam at the same time. I’d opt for the Metacam so if it’s going to get there soon so might want to hold off on the ibuprofen.

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  37. #19
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Quote Originally Posted by Chickenlegs View Post
    I don’t think you can give Ibuprofen and Metacam at the same time. I’d opt for the Metacam so if it’s going to get there soon so might want to hold off on the ibuprofen.
    Ahh, got it, thanks CL and Mel1959!

    Update from husband today that Lulu came out and wanted/ate her calcium snack. We decided to split the tum in half and give half to her during the day, and half crushed on her dinner so we can make sure that she is getting it, Then he took a video of her walking around and drinking water. She was a little wobbly walking, but took a nice, long drink of water.

    ~Lulu-Bean's Mommy



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  39. #20
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    Default Re: Lulu-Bean Isn't Lifting Her Tail

    Does she get some sunlight a but each day? Not enough to endanger her from too much or sunstroke, but some daylight for vitamin D.
    Keep the spirit that is within you undamaged, as though you may have to give it back at any moment. --- Marcus Aurelius

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