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Thread: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

  1. #1
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    Default backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Hello,

    I have been treating a squirrel in my backyard for mange - female, adult. She had her first two doses but started not showing up regularly. Saw her a couple of times but she was in and out very quickly which was unlike her not to hang around for more food. She was gone for 5 days then showed up almost unrecognizable. She was moving very slowly, had one eye half shut and was about 1/2 the size she had been. Her fur was also matted and crusty. She had some water, some hazelnuts and left. I didn't expect to see her again. She came back 3 days later - same scenario. I prepared to trap her if I saw her again. Long story short I caught her yesterday thankfully as it is supposed to be -28 degrees w/windchills of -65 here. I gave her a shot of Baytril when I first caught her and a bit of fluid (only 1/2ml) of ringer fluid also by injection. I didn't want to stress her anymore and so put her in a kennel which is full of clothing for her, it is completely covered and quiet and I have a heating pad on low under 1/2 the kennel. I had a dish of water inside and some nuts in and out of the shell.

    I checked on her this a.m. so afraid she would be dead but she wasn't! Her water was gone - probably some spilled and she had eaten 2 hazelnuts in the shell and perhaps some other nuts. I also need to mention that she smells like death - it is horrible and she is a mess as well. Both her eyes were open and bright, she wasn't under the t-shirts. I came back with some sliced apple (no seeds) and refilled her water with some ringer fluid too. I also put in 1/2 a Henry's.

    I am assuming she has a serious infection based on her presentation and her smell. Squirrels have been chasing each other here to mate and I wonder if she wasn't chased aggressively and perhaps some of her pink skin was torn open and an infection started as a result. I have been told you can't inject Baytril 2 days in a row. I will need to give the antibiotic by shot. I can do this by netting her again and that confines her. I have Clavamox and Amoxicillin on hand. Has anyone dealt with something like this before who can advise?

    Thanks!
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Iím sorry I canít help you with the meds, but I think it would be helpful if you could do some type of physical exam so you know exactly what is going on with her. Maybe you could put some heavy gloves on so you could handle her. Knowing whatís wrong will help with which medication will work best.

    Someone should be along soon to help with the meds.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Can you take some better pics? Your light source is directly hitting the area we need to see well.

    Does she still have mange? Are you sure it IS mange? It usually makes their ear tips look almost crispy and hers don't seem to.

    If you can get some assistance and some heavy gloves, it would be GREAT to be able to wipe her down with diluted Betadyne solution - it will deal with both bacterial and fungal issues, AND, it will help to get some of the gunk out of her fur, which is probably dried serous fluid weeped from the skin. Get 10% povidone iodine (Betadyne is the brand name) and dilute at the rate of about 25 drops per 1/4 cup water. If you can heat it so it is just about the same temperature as the squirrel (shoot for 105-110). You want to saturate the skin. If you can, I would get the area fairly wet with the solution, set it sit for a bit, then rub and wipe at that matted fur with a washcloth. When she is about to explode and kill all of you, go over her real quick and make sure you get the skin wet, and then just leave it. Make sure she is nice and warm until she dries.

    Make sure you have bandaids. Tape. Gauze. Tourniquets. Rum or vodka for afterward might not be the worst idea.

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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Can you take some better pics? Your light source is directly hitting the area we need to see well.

    Does she still have mange? Are you sure it IS mange? It usually makes their ear tips look almost crispy and hers don't seem to.

    If you can get some assistance and some heavy gloves, it would be GREAT to be able to wipe her down with diluted Betadyne solution - it will deal with both bacterial and fungal issues, AND, it will help to get some of the gunk out of her fur, which is probably dried serous fluid weeped from the skin. Get 10% povidone iodine (Betadyne is the brand name) and dilute at the rate of about 25 drops per 1/4 cup water. If you can heat it so it is just about the same temperature as the squirrel (shoot for 105-110). You want to saturate the skin. If you can, I would get the area fairly wet with the solution, set it sit for a bit, then rub and wipe at that matted fur with a washcloth. When she is about to explode and kill all of you, go over her real quick and make sure you get the skin wet, and then just leave it. Make sure she is nice and warm until she dries.

    Make sure you have bandaids. Tape. Gauze. Tourniquets. Rum or vodka for afterward might not be the worst idea.

  8. #5
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Thanks. Yes, I know the light hit her in a bad spot but I did the best I could at the time. Yes, it was mange but is morphed into something much more serious. I have treated about 10 squirrels this winter for mange and hers presented as all other cases. She was healthy and normal presenting she just had missing fur on her back and shoulders like the others. She was on her way to recovery and what happened to her when she wasn't around for those 5 days I can't say but something caused her to develop an infection.

    Update - I was able to get her into the net and check for urine and feces. One poop....but a nice one. She urinated when I had her in the net - concentrated but she did pee. I believe that some pus also oozed from her skin when in the net as it was a milky color perhaps from being confined. I was able to give her another dose of Baytril orally with a touch of vitamin B and some honey on the tip of the syringe. She did get away from me at first (but quickly captured) and she did give up a decent fight for her condition which I think is a good sign. My biggest concern is the infection and what it is. My hope is that Baytril is the best option for whatever the infection is.

    She did eat a Henry's I put in the cage and I added some fruit in the hopes she eat a bit. She definitely isn't eating normally but I know she feels horrible and she is stressed. I have only had her 27 hours. I do understand, however, that she needs to get clean so we'll see what plays out there.

    I don't know if she would tolerate me wiping her down. She isn't well but I lack experience handling adult squirrels. I am in touch with a couple of rehabbers close by and will hand her off later in the week when the weather improves but many folks are overwintering and not especially eager to take a squirrel that may have something contagious as having enough space to isolate everyone can be an issue.

    If anyone advises a different medication route please let me know. I am attaching another picture.

    Thanks as always!Name:  IMG_0927.jpg
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    How’s this little one doing? Were you able to clean her up and find out where the infection might be? If you did, could you post some new pictures? That might determine if there is a better antibiotic to use.

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    SammysMom is offline Administrator, Conn. Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    I am thinking that you could do some of the cleaning through the net. If you have clavamox, it would be my choice for skin infection.
    I am familiar with going two man jobs alone. Maybe use the net as the other set of hands. What dose of baytril are you giving? What strength clavamox do you have and what is your guess at her weight? You may be able to hide clavamox in something tasty like almond butter.
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    Default Re: backyard squirrel caught and in house - need help!

    Any update on this squirrel?

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