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Thread: Taz again

  1. #1
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    Default Taz again

    Hi Everyone,

    At the risk of posting squirrel porn, the two areas I have circled in the picture are very hard. Not his testicles but those two areas on each side of his anus.

    He is eating, drinking, somewhat peeing (but seems to be straining a bit again) and pooping, but those two areas seem rock hard. Are those some kind of glands? I called the vet to get him in again, but she has to call me back. Like I said he is eating and active, but seems a bit stressed. One thing he does love is a good groin massage, it seems to calm him and hopefully move things around in there to get his system going.

    Hoping the vet will see him again soon. Taz's regular vet is out till next week, but his wife should see him for me.

    Taz shows no signs of pain in his belly or groin, I can massage him all day and it just makes him close his eyes and relax.

    Help on the areas that are hard would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Yes - those are glands that produce sort of a stinky, oily substance that they rub all over branches, etc., to territory mark. An old member with a vet that didn't know what they were doing had surgery done to remove them because he didn't know what they were (!) They look like little cashew halves.

    I would imagine that it can get backed up - perhaps it can be expressed like anal glands??

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Yes - those are glands that produce sort of a stinky, oily substance that they rub all over branches, etc., to territory mark. An old member with a vet that didn't know what they were doing had surgery done to remove them because he didn't know what they were (!) They look like little cashew halves.

    I would imagine that it can get backed up - perhaps it can be expressed like anal glands??
    That is what I thought as I used to work for a vet years ago and we saw it in dogs a lot. Hmmm, should they be so hard and kind of large? I'll have to look through the other thread as I think Diggie said something about that recently. Not sure if they can be expressed? Thanks!

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    Default Re: Taz again

    The vet called me and we decided to do another x-ray to see what has changed, but we are going to have to mask him down for the x-ray. It will likely be later next week before we can get it done. She did send me the original x-rays, but I never got them. She is going to resend them, so hopefully I can post them.

    Other than that, he just had bedtime snacks and a good groin massage. I loved all over him and he is happy tucking himself into his nesty box right now

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Taz slept well and was up at 4am. He did pee a decent amount and pooped very well. He ate some Henry's and I left him with all his breakfast items. He is picking away at everything and I will miss him all day!

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Think really long and hard about the sedation. The older an animal is, the higher the likelihood of issues with anesthesia. It may be a good idea to discuss this with your vet. I would spend the intervening time working to see if you can get him to relax and be still for an x-ray if you are there - and see if your vet will allow you to do that. An x-ray isn't going to tell you anything detailed - it will see the lumps but only surgery will give you details...

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Perhaps some long, warm baths would help to soften things up and expel any buildup? I would say use epsom salts but not if he might drink it?
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Try hot soaks before anesthesia. He could die from it, whereas hot baths are non-life-threatening.
    We live in a heaven created by our virtues --- Muktananda

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    Default Re: Taz again

    For anal gland impaction warm compresses may help a bit, but if the glands are enlarged and heavily impacted as you describe, then surgery would be needed to remove the build up. According to the vet that did this procedure to remove the waxy build up (impaction) of these same glands in an older male squirrel, unless all of the impaction is removed, it won't resolve the problem. The vet said they were surprised at so much being in the glands, with many strips of the waxy substance removed; not sure if the glands weren't removed or not.

    With anesthesia there is always risk in putting a squirrel under. Our squirrels were older, one 7 and one 9 1/2 put under for just a few minutes to draw blood, which took about 5 min. ; one grossly obese, both woke up quickly. Both of our vets drew the blood from the jugular, yet others use the leg or tail vein. With an older animal it may be needful to take it from the tail.

    If you have him put under, just be sure to relate your concern that the the blood draw would be done right upon your squirrel being up under, and then x ray to follow so that doing both won't cause a delay on the part of the vet to get the blood draw done while he is under.

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Thank you, everyone. I am concerned about the anesthetic too. I thought another x-ray would help us determine any changes. Attached is the first x-ray from late June this year. We did this one without the anesthetic and it was really tough and the doc got tagged by Taz.

    He had anesthetic a little over a year ago for a nail that grew around and was hitting his pad. He did fine then, however he is even older now.

    I didn't discuss blood work with the vet so that was not on the agenda, just a quick x-ray. I'm just trying to do what is best for Taz because otherwise I'll just have to nurse him along with things like you guys suggested, warm baths and massages, oils and drops.

    He has been sipping cranberry juice and taking the pumpkin seed oil the past few days. I had gotten out of the habit when he was doing so well and I should have kept it up.

    I guess if the x-ray isn't going to determine anything that can be fixed, I should not put him through it. I just feel so helpless not doing anything and having to watch him struggle. Though right now he is peeing and pooping better, eating and drinking well and Loves to play. He is climbing and gets around his room pretty darn good for not being able to see.

    The pycnogenol extract should be here tomorrow so other than that, I will just have to nurse him and keep his struggles to a minimum as best I can with the oils and drops, etc.

    Any other thoughts are welcomed
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Good using the Pumpkin seed oil, but don't overdue it is a high source of plant fat after all. With anesthesia one of the key issues has been found to be allergy to the anesthesia, yet since he has had this done more than once that doesn't appear to be an issue for him.

    I thought to amend what I wrote prior, as anesthesia would be needful in order to squeeze out the waxy build up, which is needful for this condition from what I was told from the other squirrel that had it, for it stopped him from being able to eliminated well, and wasn't getting better before the intervention.

    I would definitely do soaking, perhaps put a drop or two of the PSO on the area so it doesn't dry out too much afterwards. Keeping the areas soft may prevent possible ruptures. I would ask your vet about this being a potential problem if the gland isn't opened and cleared.

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Good using the Pumpkin seed oil, but don't overdue it is a high source of plant fat after all. With anesthesia one of the key issues has been found to be allergy to the anesthesia, yet since he has had this done more than once that doesn't appear to be an issue for him.

    I thought to amend what I wrote prior, as anesthesia would be needful in order to squeeze out the waxy build up, which is needful for this condition from what I was told from the other squirrel that had it, for it stopped him from being able to eliminated well, and wasn't getting better before the intervention.

    I would definitely do soaking, perhaps put a drop or two of the PSO on the area so it doesn't dry out too much afterwards. Keeping the areas soft may prevent possible ruptures. I would ask your vet about this being a potential problem if the gland isn't opened and cleared.
    I only give him the 1/64 teaspoon per day of the PSO. The thing is I'm only guessing his glands are impacted. I'd say they are slightly bigger than a cashew and very, very hard. The very, very hard part is what makes me think they are impacted. How would we go about squeezing them?? That's what concerns me

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Good using the Pumpkin seed oil, but don't overdue it is a high source of plant fat after all. With anesthesia one of the key issues has been found to be allergy to the anesthesia, yet since he has had this done more than once that doesn't appear to be an issue for him.

    I thought to amend what I wrote prior, as anesthesia would be needful in order to squeeze out the waxy build up, which is needful for this condition from what I was told from the other squirrel that had it, for it stopped him from being able to eliminated well, and wasn't getting better before the intervention.

    I would definitely do soaking, perhaps put a drop or two of the PSO on the area so it doesn't dry out too much afterwards. Keeping the areas soft may prevent possible ruptures. I would ask your vet about this being a potential problem if the gland isn't opened and cleared.
    Also, are those glands considered anal glands like a dog?

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Look what I found...

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...p/t-48735.html

    In part from Trooper's Dad!!

    "Also, boys eastern gray squirrels have two marble-sized glands on either side of their anus, where they store a serum, waxy secretion they will usually excrete through their penis after copulation with a female, to plug their vagina and prevent any other male that may encounter her from being successful as well. This is mother nature's way to assure preservation of one genes. Non releasable males sometimes get these glands obstructed, infected or just plain full of this serum, and they will need to excrete the waxy substance through urination."

    This explains the wax coming out during urination!! Yes?? No?? I think so!! I didn't realize the wax plugs come from those glands!!

    Marble sized is about what they are now, but again, they are very hard, so they must be impacted??

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    Default Re: Taz again

    I agree they are impacted. The vet removes the compacted material of course under anesthesia.

    As for soaking in warm water and giving your boy a drop on these areas that is fine.

    If I recall correctly, the vet that did this procedure had to open up the gland to get the impacted gunk out, as it wasn't coming out quickly or well otherwise.

    In doing an exam to check this out, even so he is blind, he may be able to see shadows, keep his head under the covers (a towel ok to use for this venue above him and below wrapped so that the opening on the side facing you), which dampens the sound as well. Put the fold on your side, and with one hand pressing down on the front open of the towel so he can't get out that way, and your other hand over the back and his head and shoulders gently but firmly holding him down, so he can't back up either. For if his feet are put in contact with the metal exam table this will support him getting away from you, for the pads of the feet that are like rubber tires give him much traction.

    While you wait talk to your boy in a lower slower tone as to not relate your concern for him to him by using baby talk in a high voice that excites. Then when the vet comes in he can just lift the towel to do the exam while you hold your boy in place. Be sure to let your Vet know your plan ahead of your arrival at the clinic, so the exam can be done quickly.

    In regards to anesthesia, if your vet uses a box for anesthesia, have a towel be put over the box immediately upon putting him in it, so that he can't see any light; this supports him to feel like he is safe in a nest instead of hitting the inside walls to try to get out.

    During any procedure under anesthesia it is needful that heated towels and a heat lamp be provided during the procedure, and an incubator afterwards in recovery.

    If you can post the first x ray in a format that I can view would be helpful. It may not be needful to take an x-ray since he had one recently.

    If you and your Vet agree to have them attempt to remove the build up in the glands, best to do that another day; for testing the blood is important to do prior to a procedure that may require surgery so that any other conditions that might be revealed in his blood would be known going into the procedure; also important not to add more time to him being under anesthesia.

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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Hi everyone: those marble or hazelnut sized glands on either side of a male eastern gray squirrel are called "mating plug glands", also known as a copulation plug, sperm plug, vaginal plug, sement or sphragis and are used to store a sebaceous/waxy/gelatinous secretion used in the mating of some species. It is deposited by a male into a female genital tract, such as the vagina, and later hardens into a plug or glues the tract together.While females can expel the plugs afterwards, the male's sperm still gets a time advantage in getting to the egg, which is often the deciding factor in fertilization.

    When the plug fails, is the situation where a female has several squirrels babies whom have different fathers. The mating plug glands are not unique to squirrels, other species including several primates, kangaroos, bees, rats, reptiles, rodents, scorpions, mice, and spiders. The mating plug plays an important role in sperm competition and may serve as an alternative and more advantageous strategy to active mate guarding. In some species, such a passive mate-guarding strategy may reduce selection on large male size. Such a strategy may be advantageous because it would allow a male to increase reproductive success by spending more time pursuing new female mates rather than active mate guarding.

    The glands on squirrels are supposed to feel to the touch like a hard shelled hazelnut. In that condition they are neither impacted nor inflamed and unless one notices the male squirrels trying to "suck" his penis (pardon the explicit language) consistently, it should not be a cause for concern. Incidently, when the glands become full they will try to "suck" it empty or at least to lessen the pressure. Attached are pictures of the waxy material from my Trooper. Sometimes this waxy/gelatinous substance will be left after male squirrels urinate and after a while it may - in warm weather- melt down to mix with the urine, making it appear as a greasy oil slick afterwards or when one tries to clean it.

    Hope this helps explain the function and its usefulness.

    Trooper's dad

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___
    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    I agree they are impacted. The vet removes the compacted material of course under anesthesia.

    As for soaking in warm water and giving your boy a drop on these areas that is fine.

    If I recall correctly, the vet that did this procedure had to open up the gland to get the impacted gunk out, as it wasn't coming out quickly or well otherwise.

    In doing an exam to check this out, even so he is blind, he may be able to see shadows, keep his head under the covers (a towel ok to use for this venue above him and below wrapped so that the opening on the side facing you), which dampens the sound as well. Put the fold on your side, and with one hand pressing down on the front open of the towel so he can't get out that way, and your other hand over the back and his head and shoulders gently but firmly holding him down, so he can't back up either. For if his feet are put in contact with the metal exam table this will support him getting away from you, for the pads of the feet that are like rubber tires give him much traction.

    While you wait talk to your boy in a lower slower tone as to not relate your concern for him to him by using baby talk in a high voice that excites. Then when the vet comes in he can just lift the towel to do the exam while you hold your boy in place. Be sure to let your Vet know your plan ahead of your arrival at the clinic, so the exam can be done quickly.

    In regards to anesthesia, if your vet uses a box for anesthesia, have a towel be put over the box immediately upon putting him in it, so that he can't see any light; this supports him to feel like he is safe in a nest instead of hitting the inside walls to try to get out.

    During any procedure under anesthesia it is needful that heated towels and a heat lamp be provided during the procedure, and an incubator afterwards in recovery.

    If you can post the first x ray in a format that I can view would be helpful. It may not be needful to take an x-ray since he had one recently.

    If you and your Vet agree to have them attempt to remove the build up in the glands, best to do that another day; for testing the blood is important to do prior to a procedure that may require surgery so that any other conditions that might be revealed in his blood would be known going into the procedure; also important not to add more time to him being under anesthesia.
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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Taz again

    Thanks for all the good info!

    The concern is for reason Taz is straining to poo, which indicates that something is causing him not to be able to eliminate stool normally.

    The prime suspect appears to be these glands, this based upon another male squirrel that had difficulty eliminating stood normally for reason of these glands having being enlarged.

    Whether the cause is actually the glands, constipation from insufficient fiber in his diet, or another cause, that is preventing him to eliminate stool normally,

    needs to be determined by a veterinarian.

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    Default Re: Taz again

    Thanks Diggie's Friend. I did not read all posts, failing to realize the issue was bowel movement related. I cannot add anything to that, other than to say when Trooper is in the mating season (and you'd know because he paces from window to window in his indoor lair), his plug glands become enlarged, probably the result of a hormonal trigger to ready him for mating.

    In those instances over the past 7 years, he never showed bowel movement abnormalities. Having said that, the glands could be impacted or infected and then all bets are off and only a vet can tell.

    I hope a vet can get to see him ASAP.

    Thanks,

    Trooper's dad
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    " When you save someone's life, you're responsible for theirs for the rest of yours" - Confucius
    Trooper's Troop: Plain, Rufina, Scratchy, Runty, Blackie, Beanie, Biff, PreetyBoy, Limpy, Jaws, Scarface, Badtail and Housemama
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    Default Re: Taz again

    For (1 mg.) dosage for Pycnogenol liquid by Organika, 1 drop from the dropper included with the bottle, or the more accurate measure of 2 drops from a ml syringe,

    (0.05 ml ) (1 mg.) dose daily for maintenance dosage; noted to contain (20 mg.) PYC in (1 ml.).

    I found another study in rats on Pumpkin seed oil; apparently it is also 'hepato' (liver) protective, offering protection from liver injury by certain kinds of toxins.

    (1/64 Tsp. internal) daily.

    Also included in my squirrel diet is Milk Thistle seed extract that also has hepato-protective properties, countering alfatoxins and mycotoxins to prevent liver damage.

    2 drops from a ml syringe daily (1 drop AM & 1 drop PM) with meals for maintenance dosage.

    https://www.amazon.com/Oregons-Wild-...st+low+alcholo

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    Default Re: Taz again

    For those with an inquisitive mind and time to read, I attach these papers on research of this subject.

    Trooper's dad
    Attached Images Attached Images
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________________________
    " When you save someone's life, you're responsible for theirs for the rest of yours" - Confucius
    Trooper's Troop: Plain, Rufina, Scratchy, Runty, Blackie, Beanie, Biff, PreetyBoy, Limpy, Jaws, Scarface, Badtail and Housemama
    Trooper's Story at: http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/interests/trooper-friends-9554554?vk=759PD8gn7A

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