Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: A pretty little Penny

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default A pretty little Penny

    Hi there! Just wanted to pop in and finally introduce myself and baby girl Penny (a.k.a Queen P) What a great resource this board has been in keeping our little one alive so thank you all for your time and participation in helping us help our fuzzy friend.

    Back story : We cut down a sick oak tree Feb 22nd. There were 3 nests that were checked before cutting but apparently one nest had two super quiet babies in it so we didn’t know until it that limb was lowered to the ground. My tree guys were great, there were no dramatic falls everything was lowered via a pulley system so they were fine! Mom took one baby that evening but didn’t come back for the other one. We spent the following two days in the morning and evening trying to reunite… and her mom definitely came and sat on the fence over her as she called but mom just never grabbed her. It was heartbreaking and we finally called it quits on trying. We’re in FL and all the rehabbers I called didn’t have room so finally just hit up google, found TSB and figured it out. She’s doing great by the way!!!

    So I estimated her at 5-6 weeks when we got her 2/22 so if my math and aging were correct she’s going on 15-16 weeks now. We have an outdoor release cage we’re putting the finishing touches on (6H x 4D x 4W) but I’m thinking of expanding it since I feel like it’s too small. She has a double critter nation in a whole fairly baby proofed room that she gets full run of for most of the day. Actually the most she’s ever been locked up besides overnight is 4 hours and that’s rare, since I work from home and can keep an eye on her easily. So that’s why I feel the release cage is like a jail cell since she has a whole room right now. She’s very well behaved too, she has a nice little jungle gym play zone set up on top of her cage which is where she spends most of her time, bouncing between that a cat tree and the trees we make her.

    Diet : Henry’s blocks!! We alternate the blocks because she’s fussy over which one she wants. I’d say she actually eats a full 1 a day. Boo balls made with Henry’s blocks and fox valley 20/50. She’s still on these, 2 a day. She weaned much earlier than I would have liked so I’m glad she still takes them. We also have HT2018 which she will sometimes munch but she’s definitely not a fan. Salads in the brunch time - 1 blueberry, 1 Brussel sprout, 1 small cauliflower floret, 3 sugar snap peas, 1 radish chip and we alternate greens between arugula, spring mix and radicchio. If I have them maybe some kale, romaine or leaf lettuce. Afternoon we try to do half wild foods (hibiscus flowers, oak sprouts minus the acorn, dandelions, sunflower seed sprouts (she loves those tiny leaves!), a small veggie from the garden - maybe a cherry tomato or a green bean, plus some fresh greens and usually another Brussel and cauli or broccoli floret. Usually for treats we do a frozen piece of acorn squash or her favorite a red grape, no skin. We limit actual nuts because they make her mean. I’d say she gets less than 1 nut every other day. She’s pretty happy with a frozen fruit treat so we just roll with that instead. I know the boo balls have ground nuts but they don’t seem to turn her into a uber B.

    So here’s where I have some questions, I’m sorry if they’ve already been answered many times over. I have spent a lot of time searching prior threads but I just am not finding what all I need.

    1- She’s definitely well behaved, no biting or bad behavior since we eliminated the nuts. I HAD been giving 1 almond as a treat at night. It took me two days of naughty behavior to figure she ate none of them and was having a dragon hoarding thing. That solved that quickly! But I also know to be released she should be able to open a nut plus it benefits her teeth. Once a week we try an in shell nut and she can’t open any besides a peanut. We tried hazelnut, black walnut & almonds. She will try to open them for 20 minutes or so then give up and hide them. Of course I remove them later and throw them outside for the wilds. Should she be able to open these?? I feel like a dummy asking but if she needs to be able to open them and she can’t what does that mean?

    2- Speaking of teeth, I think maybe she only has one bottom front tooth. Is this concerning? It’s really hard to say for sure but it definitely looks like only one. Her top teeth are fine little nubs. As a follow up, how the heck do you look at their teeth? I tried sticking a dowel behind her teeth to look but she’s not really into being restrained. As good as she is, there’s no burrito happening, and I definitely can’t just manipulate her mouth / face. She gets a fresh large branch “tree” every three days so she’s definitely using them and I’m not very concerned they need to be cut but I would like to look without losing an eyeball or finger. Tips or tricks to handle her for a dental exam for a squirrel who is not into being held? If she only has one bottom tooth is this detrimental to her survival outside?

    3- We started doing a few minutes outside with her on a screened in patio and she seems very scared. Like her heart is pounding through her chest and she runs for the door to get back in panicking at any sound level scared. Is that what I have to look forward to when we move her to the release cage? Is there an option to hold off on the release cage timeline without stunting her growth and ability to thrive outside? I want her to live her best life but she seems petrified with us there I can’t imagine leaving her alone like that. She shows no urge to explore for very long, 5 minutes max and I must be within jumping distance.

    4-Also release related she is not building a nest despite my leaving her supplies and attempting to show her and interact and make it a game by offering random stuff and showing her spots I think would be a good place to practice (like in a basket / hammock). She also has a nest box we built and she will not go in it. It’s stuffed halfway with fleece and paper towels and I’ve had her sit on my arm and put more stuff in it and she appears to think its scary. She does like to chew on the top though. Is this normal? I thought that was something she should be able to do before starting the release process. She’s currently sleeping in a hanging pouch at night and semi interested a new big hammock but prefers for naps to sleep on a stuffed animal on top of her cage out in the open.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice. She’s absolutely got a place in our hearts and our home as long as she wants or needs it. I just want to make sure before we throw her out into the wild (properly of course!) she is as physically and mentally prepared as we can get her. If you were ask me if I believed she were I would say absolutely not so I need some expert advice from those with more experience. I’m going to try to attach photos of 1-the day after we found her 2/23, a week after we found her and she showed us she can climb 2/28, a picture of bottom tooth 4/18 which may or may not be helpful, and then a few pictures from this week. She’s quite the character and now rides me hanging out of my pocket whenever possible.

    Name:  223 copy.jpg
Views: 98
Size:  108.8 KBName:  228 copy.jpg
Views: 96
Size:  47.7 KBName:  onetooth4-18 copy.jpg
Views: 96
Size:  116.3 KBName:  penforscale copy.jpg
Views: 96
Size:  88.2 KBName:  thisweek.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  93.6 KBName:  thiswk2 copy.jpg
Views: 94
Size:  88.5 KB

    Okay so all the pictures inserted sideways but they were right side up? The only proper one is #5 her reclining off of me. Sorry I can't figure out how to turn them

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    15,548
    Thanked: 8791

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    It does not sound like she's ready for soft release, no need to rush her thinking you have to adhere to any schedule. You don't.

    She should be able to at least open an almond I would think but not with one tooth on the bottom and nubs on the top as you describe.
    That is an issue and a major one. It can make the difference between releasable and non releasable. I would like to see better pictures
    of her mouth/teeth although I too only see one on the bottom. If you cannot handle her, trimming is out and would be required.
    "She’s absolutely got a place in our hearts and our home as long as she wants or needs it."
    Good to hear as there could be that possibility. I'd start looking for a squirrel friendly vet, she needs to have her teeth/gums examined
    for a future determination.
    Last edited by stepnstone; 05-05-2019 at 12:28 AM. Reason: Moving thread to non emergency for better observation
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to stepnstone from:

    Nancy in New York (05-05-2019)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    5,091
    Thanked: 6499

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Hi there and . It sounds like you’ve done a great job with Queen P! Congratulations! Her diet sounds great and she appears to be a happy little camper!

    As Step said the teeth might be an issue and definitely need evaluated. Because I see you’re located in Central Florida you have a couple of good options. One of the best squirrel vets in the country is located in Port Orange. She also happens to be an expert on squirrel dental issues. Her name is Dr. Alicia Emerson, Ravenwood Vet Clinic, 4540 S. Clyde Morris Blvd, Port Orange, FL 386-788-1550. Your other choice is Dr. Diaz, Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando, 24 W. Sturtevant St., Orlando 32806, 407-286-3484. I personally have never gone to Dr. Diaz, but I know folks who have. I know Dr. Emerson is very good with any type of anesthesia and has a special dental X-ray machine for squirrels.

    As for release, because you live in Florida you can release much later in the year and sometimes all year long, depending if there’s tree coverage and not too cold temperatures. So there’s no hurry. Also, all squirrels can benefit from being older when released, but especially single ones. They have no one to buddy up with.

    My advice would be to get her teeth checked and then go from there. She may be one of those rare squirrels that doesn’t want to leave. . Or when she goes through her first estrus cycle she turns into a b***ch and then decides outdoors is where she really wants to be and you’ll be very happy to accommodate her.

    Please keep us updated on how Queen P does.

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Diggie's Friend (05-09-2019)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Thanks to both of you for taking the time to respond. It sounds like all my other questions are of no great concern at the moment since it sounds like getting her to vet for an evaluation is priority number 1 before contemplating soft release. I’m also very grateful for the vet recommendations. While Dr Diaz is much closer to me it sounds like Dr. Emerson may be a little more suited to Pennys particular issues having the equipment for a full dental exam. If we are going to make a 4 hour road trip I’d rather at least have all the information I need on the first go!

    I will look into a travel kennel and accidentally also buy her 10 more toys at the same time. Maybe take a few short test trips with her first and will definitely get her to see the doc very soon. If I can get any teeth pictures on my own I will definitely put them up as well. Thanks again!!

  7. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to QueenP:

    Nancy in New York (05-09-2019), stepnstone (05-05-2019)

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    5,091
    Thanked: 6499

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    I think you’re making a wise choice on the vet. You’re gonna love her! She’s always booked so you might want to call so you can get it set up, it could be a couple of weeks before you get in.

    Squirrels are actually quite easy to travel with. Put a cover over the cage and hang the item the sleep in inside with toys, etc.

  9. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    stepnstone (05-05-2019)

  10. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Well Queen P is set to see Dr. E early next week. I can NOT get a photo but have seen it twice this week that she definitely one has the one bottom incisor. I've been watching her eat pretty intently and in comparing how she eats to the wilds with a test sunflower seed she definitely is much much slower to both open and eat the seed. That makes me really sad I didn't think it was concerning at all when I saw it a few weeks ago, figured it was just a baby tooth thing.

    Is there anything I can do to prepare her to see the vet? I have a travel kennel coming in tomorrow and we'll do a test drive this weekend but the receptionist wasn't very forth coming in any info aside from saying that she'll go under for the exam. I was surprised at that... I guess I assumed the doctor had magical squirrel handling tips I didn't have

  11. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to QueenP:

    Nancy in New York (05-09-2019), stepnstone (05-09-2019)

  12. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,882
    Thanked: 1786

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    There is a product, "Rescue Remedy" by, "Bach Flower Remedies", that may help to reduce stress in transport.

    Do not get the sleep formula for transport.

    http://bachflowerpets.com/rescueremedy.html

    A number of vitamin stores carry this product, also Whole Foods. Amazon.com offers this, yet not sure they can get it to you in time.

  13. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Diggie's Friend from:

    QueenP (05-09-2019)

  14. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    5,091
    Thanked: 6499

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    The way Dr. Emerson usually “does” squirrels, is that she has you drop off in the morning. This gives the squirrel a chance to settle down. She is VERY good at administering anesthesia and uses the smallest amount for the shortest period of time to get the job done. There are exceptions to this drop off policy and maybe her office staff has told you something different. She is very good at what she does.

  15. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Nancy in New York (05-09-2019), QueenP (05-09-2019), stepnstone (05-09-2019)

  16. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    I will look into the Rescue Remedy, if only for my own sake of wrangling her into the travel cage as long as the vet says it’s safe to use in conjunction with the anesthesia she’ll be getting. It sounds like it can’t hurt to have around the house.

    I was completely not questioning the doctors plan for how she “does” squirrels! I’m no specialist lol. It was just ignorance on my part because it never occurred to me as a first timer that they can’t just take them out of the cage and magically make them comply. Which I sure as heck can’t do! It makes sense now that I think about it and as scary as it sounds to put her under I’m glad she’s in the best hands I could find.

  17. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to QueenP:

    Diggie's Friend (05-10-2019), Mel1959 (05-09-2019), stepnstone (05-09-2019)

  18. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Hey y'all just wanted to pop in for a quick update. Penny saw Dr Emerson today (and I met another squirrel mom in the wild!) and apparently the toothless wonder has .... all of her teeth and they are in perfect condition! I don't know it looks like 1 to me? Said she's super healthy so yay for her! There's no medical reason she can not be released. I specifically inquired about her not opening nuts or eating whole nuts and she said she sees no reason for it but I can come back for follow up x-rays if I'm concerned but she is definitely not.

    I think we will hold off on the soft release for a bit just to let her mature a little bit more mentally. Maybe let the miserable summer run its course if we can. Our AC broke down yesterday so this morning when it was 81 in here she was all drama hot lazy pancaking all over her cage! Such a sass.

  19. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to QueenP:

    Diggie's Friend (05-15-2019), Mel1959 (05-15-2019), Nancy in New York (05-15-2019), stepnstone (05-15-2019)

  20. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    5,091
    Thanked: 6499

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Great update! I think squirrels that are released when they’re a little older do better.

    I was at Dr. E’s today, too. I just did a squirrel drop off and pick up so I missed you. I wish I’d known you were going to be there. ��

  21. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    QueenP (05-15-2019)

  22. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,567
    Thanked: 7534

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    I’m happy that you got a good report on Penny. I wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Penny’s thread. I love your writing style. If was also a pleasure to read a thread where a squirrel parent is doing everything right.

  23. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to HRT4SQRLS:

    QueenP (05-15-2019), stepnstone (05-15-2019)

  24. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    9
    Thanked: 13

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    I'm not even going to pretend I can figure out how to quote so I'm just going to wing this response... Mel I'm sorry I missed you. How funny you were there the same day! I could have used a coffee date with anyone who understood my nerves were beyond shot after dropping her off. My husband was on the phone telling me I was being ridiculous - which was true of course! I eventually pulled on my big girl pants and found Home Goods!

    Hearts for Squirrels - Thank you for the kind words. I have tried to do everything right for Penny - especially since we're the jerks who cut down her tree and separated her from her furry mom. But I have to give credit where credit is due. I would have absolutely failed her if I had not found this board as soon as we realized we had her for the long haul. This is an incredible resource and I'm sure most people don't find it until it's too late and they've already made huge mistakes with the babies. I was incredibly fortunate I over research obsessively so I had the right formula from day 2 and already knew about Henry's from my neighbors raising a pinkie last year. So while I have contributed the time and money, I wouldn't have been as successful at doing it "right" without you all

    Penny made her first nest which covered half of her cage (critter nation so fairly wide) which she later tweaked to just be exceptionally tall once I moved it in the cage. Apparently the key was Kleenex... I guess paper towels and fleece wasn't good enough. Can I still post pictures even though I'm not asking anything regarding help needed? And how do you turn the pictures? They're right side up when I upload them but then sideways in the preview?

  25. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to QueenP:

    HRT4SQRLS (05-16-2019), Nancy in New York (05-16-2019)

  26. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,567
    Thanked: 7534

    Default Re: A pretty little Penny

    Please do post pics. You can start a thread for Penny if you would like to. Start it in the Grey Squirrel Section. Don’t worry about them being sideways. Some of mine are also and I have no earthly idea why some are and some aren’t.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •