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Thread: Hello! Newbie here

  1. #1
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    Default Hello! Newbie here

    Hi!

    I can't believe I've just found this group. I raised my first orphaned grey several years ago and since then have steadily become the 'squirrel lady' in my local area.

    I've raised 3 into adulthood and sadly last year was a terrible year with me getting three poorly ones who just weren't well enough to make it. The year was finally finished off with my latest addition, Sandy who is doing great.

    Sandy's the first squirrel I've actually kept at home - the other two went wild successfully and did great but Sandy falls a lot and so she stayed with me.

    Here in the UK it's not legal to help grey squirrels anymore (all the licenses are being revoked so the only option will be pts) so it's all a bit on the quiet (hence I don't disclose who I am!) and there's really not a lot of info available. I've very much been experimenting and guessing when it comes to nutrition for her (I found some bits to read and have read up as much as possible!) so I'm really excited to be able to read up on the all the nutrition threads and make sure she gets what she needs.

    As a baby, Sandy wasn't raised with the intention of keeping her in captivity so whilst she is 'ok' she is not entirely handleable - doesn't like to be restrained. We get around it though because I have clicker trained her to follow a target stick, to go into a carrier on cue and to sit on scales so that she doesn't have to be physically placed anywhere. The only problem is when trying to check her over.

    I just wanted to say thank you for the board because it's going to be a massive help when it comes to info that just isn't readily available in the UK!

    Oh also... what do you all do with those insane nails?! I think at some point I'm going to have to clip them but will need someone to help as it will take one to hold her and the other to clip, and I worry about stressing her!

    She does have her own facebook page, but don't know if I'm allowed to share that here?

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  2. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to SandyPants:

    Diggie's Friend (03-13-2019), island rehabber (03-14-2019), Milo's Mom (03-13-2019)

  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    We are all a bit nutty for squirrels on this forum so you are in great company!

    Your Sandy is adoreable! . You are wise to worry about a healthy diet for Sandy. Lack of proper nutrition is the number one health problem, that can lead to other problems, with captive squirrels. Can you tell us what Sandy eats on a regular basis?

    Yes, the nails are like little razors. The very tips that are white can be clipped, but it may compromise her ability to grab hold of things as she jumps.

    What did you mean when you said she falls over a lot. Can you elaborate?

    Please ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. There is a wealth of information here and many rehabbers that know lots about squirrels.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    We are all a bit nutty for squirrels on this forum so you are in great company!

    Your Sandy is adoreable! . You are wise to worry about a healthy diet for Sandy. Lack of proper nutrition is the number one health problem, that can lead to other problems, with captive squirrels. Can you tell us what Sandy eats on a regular basis?

    Yes, the nails are like little razors. The very tips that are white can be clipped, but it may compromise her ability to grab hold of things as she jumps.

    What did you mean when you said she falls over a lot. Can you elaborate?

    Please ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. There is a wealth of information here and many rehabbers that know lots about squirrels.
    Thanks Mel

    At the moment she's on a variety of things, but I'll be reading through the files and information on here to come up with a staple for her as I know she's not got a good balance in every day.

    I must admit, the clipping nails thing worried me as she has trouble anyway, I don't want to reduce her ability to hold on, the problem is I have a bleeding and clotting disorder and very thin skin on one of my legs haha! So I have to layer up before I can let her out to ensure she can't cut me and cause a bleed. I've been asked a few times if I have new kitten LOL.

    Basically, she walks and runs absolutely fine, and actually as she's getting older she seems to be improving, but she didn't develop skills as well as previous babies have. She would climb things but fall off part way up. She fell off the house wall on an outing to the garden and bloodied up her nose and after a previous baby died from a brain injury after falling and landing on his face (not with me, from a tree) I decided she simply wouldn't be safe. She is for the most part fine but occasionally she'll fall off the curtains or something and she chews one of her hands a bit, so I don't know if there's some issues with that hand, the reason she lets go of things and falls. It's just a guess.

    She's also a pathetic jumper but this is slowly improving I think. She attempted a 2 foot jump earlier from my laundry basket to my bed and landed on the floor between the two! However, sometimes she surprises me with a pretty decent jump so maybe she is getting there, just a bit late!

    I appreciate the offer of help very much. There's always something to learn and unfortunately here in the UK you can't really ask anyone because of their legal status so it's good to have somewhere to ask! I'm expecting babies again this year especially now rescues have had licenses revoked
    Owned and tormented by Sandy Squirrel
    www.facebook.com/sandypantssquirrel

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    So glad you found the board. We have had other folks from the UK here, so you are not alone. You guys just have to have a way to meet. Actually we do have a forum for the Uk. Let me go find it so I can tell you.
    redwuff
    State Licensed
    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    Ok, go to Breed Soecific, Pet Squirrels, and UK.
    redwuff
    State Licensed
    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

  7. #6
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    Mar 2019
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    ah fab, thank you

    I know a couple of other people locally with squirrels so we have our own little chat but they're newer to it than I am so it's kind of the blind leading the blind!
    Owned and tormented by Sandy Squirrel
    www.facebook.com/sandypantssquirrel

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    That’s okay you’ll figure it out together.

    Please be sure Sandy’s diet contains a good quality rodent block. We have a few in the US, but I’m not sure what’s available to you over there. Two that come to mind must be purchased online, so maybe you can get shipping to the UK. They are Henry’s Healthy Blocks and Harlan Teklad 2018. Henry’s is a supplemental block and you must provide some fresh veggies to go along with it. They should only have 2-3 per day. Harlan block is a hard block and not as readily liked. It is nutritionally complete and they can have as many as they want. In order to make it more palatable I grind it up to a powder and mix it with a variety of baby foods and some coconut oil and roll it into balls. The wilds will even eat it when I give it to them!

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    That's really helpful, thank you! I'll look them up
    Owned and tormented by Sandy Squirrel
    www.facebook.com/sandypantssquirrel

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    The Harlan Teklad blocks are out there under both the Harlan Teklad name AND "Envigo" (HT has apparently been purchased by Envigo) so look for both. This is the number one lab rat diet - it is technically not sold by the company to the pet trade, only in large quantities to places that raise rodents for laboratory testing (ugh). But they want top quality chow for those poor doomed creatures, and people want it! Here in the US, folks buy in quantity and repackage into smaller one and five pound bags and resell on Ebay. I tell you this because I would not be surprised if some enterprising souls are doing the same over there. I ALWAYS get my HT on ebay...

  11. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    island rehabber (03-14-2019)

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    That's really sweet.

  13. #11
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    Her falling, not being able to hang on things, missed jumps along with chewing on her hand
    is really concerning. I'd be suspicious that her needed calcium levels are not being met.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


  14. #12
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    Default Re: Hello! Newbie here

    Along with supporting a healthy diet, it sounds like she may have some nerve damage in her arm.

    https://www.amazon.com/Trace-Mineral...ateway&sr=8-11

    This active form of Vitamin B-12 has been found in rats to heal and support nerve function.

    This source also contains trace minerals that support nerve function.

    If you have access to a 1 cc ml needle syringe, add one single needle drop of this source daily.

    Do not give this source from a non-needle syringe, the dropper included, or any other dropper, as that would be at least four times this dosage.

    Formulas that contain a higher B-12 content should not be used for this purpose.

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