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Thread: head drooping

  1. #1
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    Default head drooping

    8 week old female eating well with fox valley powder and origianal bites very active but she wil hold her head up to eat and andthen slowly let it come dowm to rest on her chin for a few seconds and then back to normal but continues to eat she seems normal in evert othr way has anyone seen this before and is the anything i can do to alleviate this condition we have a short video if it would help thanks for your help

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    Default Re: head drooping

    I would like to see the video if possible. Hard to say what this behavior is all about without seeing it.
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    Default Re: head drooping

    I know this sounds crazy for an 8 week old but check the teeth. Make sure the bottoms are not touching the palate. The baby might be older than 8 weeks. I have seen the head tilt back eating on a squirrel with the teeth poking the palate.

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    Default Re: head drooping

    just read my post Please excuse my misspelling and grammar it was 4 am I will get the video as soon as my daughter (vet school at UT) downloads it from her phone.

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    Default Re: head drooping

    here is a link to the head drooping video https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YYa...w?usp=drivesdk
    the video doesn't give thw whole picture because she is very active, climbing limbs in her cage, playing, eating well (Fox valley and Henrys) and all around very active. Hope this will help with the diagnosis

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    Default Re: head drooping

    That looks neurological. What was the situation of her coming to you? Do you know if she fell out of the nest?

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    Default Re: head drooping

    Crittermom she was given to a student by her next door neighbor something about a dog finding it we are just caring for it while she is away visiting family I can get more info when she gets back on sunday do you think that this means she won't be able to be released? I am going to hate telling her present owner but maybe she can find someone in knoxville that can take her in. everything else about her seems healthy she's very active but gentle

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    Default Re: head drooping

    If this continues this squirrel would never survive in nature. Very odd behavior.
    I agree it looks like it is neurologically compromised.
    Do the eyes move back and forth (nystagmus)?

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    Default Re: head drooping

    definately no nystagmus present when she does this she just stares for a split second

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    Default Re: head drooping

    is there a possibility she will out grow this?

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    Default Re: head drooping

    There is as always a chance. Just watch very carefully.
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    Default Re: head drooping

    Looks almost like an absence seizure? You could consider trying a short term course of an anti-seizure med like neurontin to see if this reduces or eliminates this behavior.
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    Default Re: head drooping

    HRT4SQRL The caretaker came back to town and took Francis back and got a good closeup video of her eyes (heres the link https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...NhbGl1eG13)and the nystagmus has definately become more apparent although slight when she does just stare off for a split secondly Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: head drooping

    Sorry, the link doesn't work but nystagmus would suggest vertigo or vestibular disease. Here is a copy of the Wild Mammal Baby book about vestibular disease. It might not be that but at least you can read about it. It would be good if a vet could examine the baby and also check the ears. If it's neuro issues it probably won't get better.

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    Name:  IMG_4240.jpg
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    Default Re: head drooping

    Boxerpup took care of the squirrel mentioned in this thread for me a few weeks ago, and I wanted to gives some updates and hopefully put up a link to a video of her nystagmus that would work for you all.

    A few bits of background info that might be pertinent are that she presumably fell out of a tree and was found on the ground by a dog at night with a bloody nose. When I received it, the nose was was not bloody but had a small scab around it. As she began to walk, I noticed a few odd behaviors such as bumping into walls and obstacles in a small room, attempting to walk straight off of counters and tables, occasional circling, the head drooping that was depicted well in the video earlier, and strange head tilting when still.

    Like boxerpup already mentioned, she can be very active and is capable of climbing up and down sticks and hopping on the ground during play, but she has not attempted to jump from branch to branch or off any ledge. She is 10-11 weeks old and is still drinking ~60 mls a day of fox valley and eating Henry's. She also has available sweet potato, corn, grapes, apples, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, and water which she is beginning to drink (listed in order of her preference not in quantity available). Her favorite activities are stripping lichens and bark off of tree limbs and ear and chest rubs.

    In the link below, there should be a video (let me know if it isn't working for you all) that shows her nystagmus and head movements. From my limited amount of knowledge, it looks like she has horizontal rotary nystagmus with the slow phase moving to the left and the quick phase to the right. This is consistent in both eye. Although it is difficult to tell, I am not convinced the nystagmus is present constantly. The symptoms seem to be worse after eating which is when this video was shot. I think a vet visit is probably necessary, but what are your all's thoughts on her behavior?

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...gI?usp=sharing

    Also, HRT4SQRLS, I checked her teeth, and the bottoms do not currently appear to be poking the palate. Thank you all for your time and for sharing your expertise! It is much appreciated!

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    Default Re: head drooping

    Welcome to TheSquirrelBoard nfalconn

    Thanks for the update. I did watch the video. It is working. Unfortunately when these little babies fall, they fall head first. Luckily, most only sustain a the bloody nose and no permanent damage. Then there are those that sustain jaw damage that causes a lifetime of malocclusion and others permanent neurological complications from brain damage including seizures. Compared to the neurological damage we see here, this is relatively minor but unfortunately it will probably make this one a non-release.

    I'm not sure what your intentions are but I will say that often those with neurological deficit make the best pets. It's like they lost a little bit of 'squirrelliness'.
    I would definitely have a vet evaluation. There might be medication that could help with the nystagmus and possible vertigo.

    Edit... do you think she can see?

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    Default Re: head drooping

    Thanks HRT4SQRLS, and that is an excellent question. I have been suspicious about her sight for a while; however, I am not sure that she is completely blind in both eyes because I have seen her stop and walk away when someone moved to block her path. Her goal often was to try to escape the bathroom and would wait for the door to open for her to make a move for it. She also will respond when I walk in the room, but it is hard to tell how much vibration and sound she is relying on for these responses. As a younger baby, I was always surprised that she didn't visually recognise the syringe and nipple I held in my hand, things she was always excited about. I had to snap my fingers and call her over for her to find the nipple. Even then it took her awhile to find my lap, crawl on it, and to find the nipple. She just wanted me to pick her up and put the nipple in her mouth. If it was lying on the floor close to her, she would sniff around until she found it and suckle on it. She never when straight for it, but I didn't know how much of a blind spot they had directly in front of them to know if some of this was normal. I have tried the menace response test, and she never blinks, but I don't know if that is normal for squirrels. She barely blinks if I touch a whisker.

    There are times she gets in the frenzy and seems to aimlessly run in one direction until she bumps into something and redirects to hit another thing. Then there are other times she is more careful, seems to look around, and more purposefully walks in a direction like to tackle the toy bear I am playing with. Again, I don't know if she was just listening to where the toy was as I pretended it was walking around. She has no problem though crawling up and down and all around you with her needle claws.

    I know she hears, and she does know her name as well as my voice. I think she relies on more touch, smell, and hearing than sight. Again, not sure what is normal. I have questioned her sight and am just not sure how much she can see. Then again, I don't know how difficult it is to see well and walk without bumping into things if you have dizziness and nystagmus.

    As a side note, she does not seem to be scared especially of my dog and not too phased by my cat (who would definitely kill her if given the opportunity). What should their normal response be towards dogs and cats. My concern is that even if she was releasable, she would not be afraid of predators.

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    Default Re: head drooping

    There is a vet in the Chattanooga area that has been recommended for squirrels. Iím not sure how close you are to this location. If anyone else knows of other vets in Tennessee, I hope they will post.

    If you would like the name of the vet hospital in Chattanooga, pm me and Iíll pass it along.

    About your question regarding familiarity to domestic animals. The first two boys I raised were kept in a cage in the living room with a dog and multiple cats around. They got used to them, but when they were released all their natural instincts kicked in and they had a healthy fear of the neighbors dogs and cat.

    My large (85lb) herding dog is an anomaly. The wild squirrels that get fed in the back yard have learned that heís not a threat. They will routinely run right past him to take a nut. He has never flinched or responded in any way that would be threatening to them. They are always very cautious at first, though. My point, is that even wild squirrels can be in close proximity to a particular animal thatís non threatening and maintain their natural instinct for animals that are a threat.

    I hope you can get your little one to a vet. Medication for the vertigo could make a huge difference in his ability to get around.

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