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Thread: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

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    Default Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    I have always trimmed Skillet's nail tips every once in a while. He is 11 yrs old now. Suddenly, his nails are very thick and sloth like. They are way too long and he cannot hang on to anything. Is this a possible fungus? (I've heard of a human nail fungus that causes thick nails) There's no way I can trim them at all, it's like there is blood flow throughout, they are very thick. It's like his body used a burst of calcium and they just grew and grew. I've tried to file them, but this is getting me nowhere. Any suggestions? I want his little needle claws back! Pics coming soon.....(sorry I've frequented this site for years but never posted before, bare with me)

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Hi Skillet, thanks so much for creating your own thread. We always love meeting distinguished elderly gentleman. Can you post a picture of his nails and of course, Skillet?
    redwuff
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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Here are some photos, thank you! Skillet boy's profile pic coming up in the morning after my very early doctor's appointment! He needs a handsome one and he's not in the mood right now haha.
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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    One more thing, his "thumb" digit has always been a little pink nub, for 11 years. Now suddenly it looks like a black claw! It is soft, not sure why it developed into a claw shape after all these years. He has always held his pecans on his nubs while he ate. This happened at the same time as this other "thick claws" issue, like a calcium spurt. I'm confused about it as well...

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    One of my squirrels had really really thick nails and I cut them with a small/thin sharp bladed pair of cuticle clippers. He also had the thumb nail, as he got older, and his would curl into his thumb. I clipped those also. I never clipped below/past the white part of the tips of his nails.

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Wow, he definitely needs those nails cut. Can you cut any of it? Does he have a pain response if you cut close enough for it to bleed?

    What makes Skillet unique is his age. Eleven is a great age for your little man to get to. I am unsure about Skillets nails but will keep checking. They look dangerous to him that he might get one caught and hurt himself.

    We would love to hear Skillet’s story if you get a chance. Also a big challenge to help squirrels reach this age is having them on a healthy diet. Would you share what you fed him over the years? And of course pictures. We can never get enough....
    redwuff
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    Mel1959 (03-12-2019)

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    There are very sharp cuticle scissors that folks use to trim squirrels teeth when necessary. The ones I have are made by Sally Hansen. I think they cost around $20. I’m sure these would cut his toenails, but I’d take only the smallest amount off of the end of one to see if there is actually blood running to the tip. Have a styptic pencil ready if needed.
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    redwuff (03-12-2019)

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Man that's crazy! I would suggest using dog nail clippers. That's what I use for Sammy. I would get some of that styptic powder you can use for birds or dogs to dip their nails in if it bleeds. I'd want to confirm it was safe for rodents first though.

    “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan



    Sammy's TSB Thread Marvin and Charlie's TSB Thread Sadie's TSB Thread

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skillet the Skillsaw View Post
    There's no way I can trim them at all, it's like there is blood flow throughout, they are very thick.

    Personally my opinion if OP couldn't trim them before they got to this they won't be able to
    trim them now. This squirrel needs professional help with a qualified veterinarian!
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    PennyCash (03-12-2019)

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jen413 View Post
    Man that's crazy! I would suggest using dog nail clippers. That's what I use for Sammy. I would get some of that styptic powder you can use for birds or dogs to dip their nails in if it bleeds. I'd want to confirm it was safe for rodents first though.
    I can only say that my vet used the powder on Resilie when her nail was injured many years ago. Took multiple dips - presses to stop the blood. Nails bleed a bunch.

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    If this one has access to a vet it might not be a bad idea to get him looked at. If you google "thickened nails in animals" and look at dogs, etc, there are a number of health issues that can actually cause this. It may just be the effect of age - human nails, especially the gnarly toenails, do the same thing. And there was another person here a little while ago whose squirrel had also grown thumbnails.

    Have you tried working on him with a small emery board? I think that sanding the tips down slowly over time would be a lot safer than cutting and bleeding.

    What is his diet?

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    sorry for the delay, a hectic schedule this week! Thanks everyone for your replies. I am in Ga and have to drive to SC or FL to go to a vet for him, which I have done back in his younger years. I need to purchase the powder you suggested, I meant to before and waited, I think that will be my first step, actually clipping a nail and having that on hand. He ripped one of the nails off about a month ago, all the way down and I saw a nerve sticking out. I kept applying colloidal silver to it, gave him some baytril, and he was just fine, didn't seem in pain or anything and now it has completely grown back. I have tried to file these things many times, with fine metal files, with emory board, just not doing much good. He is a good sport about it though, and I can't wait to add some pics when I have a bit more time! Thanks, will update after I purchase the powder and get to clipping. I think I will file them afterwards, to a pointy tip. Maybe that will get him started again!

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    redwuff (03-13-2019)

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Also, his diet is about 4-5 rodent blocks a day, whatever veggies/fruit/applesauce or sweet potato I have on hand (not too much fruit, I don't want him to become diabetic or constipated) He likes broccoli and apples mostly, and loves banana but only gets that as a treat occasionally. I do tend to just hand him a citracal vitamin once in a while, for calcium. He will just nibble on it here and there, without me doing anything to it. Do you think this provided too much calcium to him possibly? I just ordered some Henry's vitamins for him, so I may stop the citracal…. And of course, he gets 2 of some type of nut almost everyday (pecan, walnut, almond) and random outside items like pinecones and tree fungus, mushrooms etc

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    What kind of rodent block are you giving him?
    redwuff
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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    I order the Envigo-Harlan Teklad Rat Food. I usually end up pulverizing them at some point and baking some home made pellets, with an egg, some peanut butter, applesauce or coconut oil, and maybe a small batch with added spinach.

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    That’s a great block. Is he good about eating them? Have you tried the Henry's Healthy block? Since you have had mr. Skilsaw for so long you know how important diet is. And how hard it is to keep them eating the ‘must have’ foods. What is Skillet back story?
    redwuff
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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    I'm sorry everyone, had some connectivity issues, at work currently but will post more after work. We clipped half of his nails yesterday, will clip other half tonight after work. Have to run, I'll update later, tysm

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    I no longer have a smart phone, so pictures have to be done with a good old camera but I will get some up after work today. We clipped his nails down about half the length they were and no bleeding, just a little squeak here and there, from nervousness mostly I think. He took his pecan and peanut butter treat afterwards with no refusing food or anything, but later he did look pretty upset. I'll wait until tomorrow and try to file the remainder down to a natural shaped "point". I snuggled him up real warm in his little bed and gave him some Henry's vitamins with some superworms. I forgot to mention before, I regularly order him the superworms and give him lizard and frog skeletons when I know they died of non poisonous means haha. Sounds gross, but since his head was bigger than the rest of his body, he has always loved his dried up lizard bones! Pics after work, thanks for the input y'all, that support is so important when someone's baby is in trouble. Ta ta for now.

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas? (Skillet's backstory)

    I will go ahead and include a little backstory on boy boy (Skillet). We got him when his head was bigger than his body, his eyes must have just opened. He looked like maybe a runt and we thought maybe he was "kicked out of his nest" b/c of that. He curled up in daddy's pocket and we obtained a small cage to put him in until he was stronger. He was too little and he slipped right out of the cage, so we had to use a bird cage for a bit. We never intended to keep him forever, and we still spread the word to people, "no, you don't want to keep a squirrel as a pet, it is cruel, they are destructive, and hard to care for properly. Also, If you think you're going to buy a bag of "squirrel feed" from the store, that little guy will be dead in 2 weeks, or paralyzed at the least!" I know people see how great Skillet is, he is so caring and loving and playful (although a little less playful in his old age) and they love him, but it just happened that way. I did a LOT of research to make sure he was taken care of, I've been reading your squirrelboard as a guest for 10 years, and I've been known to drive him to SC or FL to the vet if I thought he was really in trouble. (Ga illegal to have squirrel pet, so no vets) Anyway I digress, he never took to being outside and coming back in for nuts once in a while! (We had another squirrel a family gave us that they rescued, he was quickly rehabbed back outside) Skillet has stayed a little baby forever, and anytime he gets in a tree he goes straight to the top and the birds start to circle, and daddy has to climb up there with pecans to get him back down. We had a tunnel going from his inside cage to his outside cage and the tunnel had come away from the cage. We came home to find him still trying to find a way to get back into his outside cage, not exploring. I made a little harness for him so I could "walk him", a few actually, since he just got fatter and fatter for them haha.
    He has ridden in the car with us all up the East coast while we were traveling and doing computer work. There's nothing like seeing a car passing you, then slow waaay down to look at this squirrel sitting on your steering wheel haha! If I turn the steering wheel this way, his tail goes the opposite way as a counter-balance. He has been with us through a lot. He used to pull my cat's tail in the cage and "binky" it when she walked up against his cage. He chewed through his little beginner cage while my dad was babysitting him one time and got out. Well my mom gets a lot of pet food to feed strays and he got into that closet, FULL of cat food, and wouldn't come down. My dad had a bitten finger, and had created a new cage bottom out of metal trying to get him in there, sooo funny to think back on. He stays in a ferret cage with the middle and bottom removed, refashioned and filled in with hard ware cloth (metal sheet) for trees to fit into and we have 2 of those, an inside and an outside cage. Sorry I must continue this later, I'm being put into chat and phones were just so very slow today so I had a moment to gab To be continued...

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    Default Re: Thick nails I cannot trim, any ideas?

    Here's some after pictures, couldn't find my camera at the moment. I used the laptop camera with terrible lighting, sorry about that. I will post better ones after we file these bad boys down more. There is one nail on the back foot that's still pretty long, we need to work on that more. I just didn't want to stress him out any more at that time. Thanks again!
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