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Thread: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

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    Default Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Maybe I'm losing it but his top 2 teeth are suddenly VERY short.. they are there but just little nubs! He's 4 or 5. He has had exquisite care his whole life. (I'm not new to squirrels).. He's on Henry's, and a varied veggie diet, eating well, doesn't chew on his wood all that much, they aren't "broken" off but it's very weird. He plays like a maniac like always and nothing seems to be bothering him at all. I know something is different b/c he likes when I rub his teeth but It's been a month or two maybe since I have.

    About a month ago I got real worried that he might have had a respiratory thing b/c he was making odd noises that I thought had to do with his breathing; it's not, it's more like a "sucking" sound when he eats or grooms; it's like a "slurp" and I can only put the two things together.

    And no, honestly I really can't get a picture.. I can't hold him like that and get one taken plus when I try to look too hard it just upsets him but it's exactly as I describe, a picture wouldn't do much, the teeth are both, evenly just suddenly short! Has anyone seen this? Age related, maybe? He's the only one I have had that was non-releasable so I have never had one that's his age.

    This is so odd.. Am I nuts?
    Thx.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Amanda, no you’re not nuts. There is a very good possibility that this is odontoma. The only way to diagnose this condition is with an X-ray. The teeth of rodents grow continually. If they appear to stop growing it is because they are growing backwards towards the root. This backwards growth causes an accumulation of bony dental material that gets larger and larger. It will push into the sinus cavities. This is when you start noting vague respiratory issues. Usually the first symptoms are respiratory. It is a painful condition so you might also see white tears in the eyes. They will also start rejecting hard foods like in shell nuts.

    The only ‘fix’ for this problem is surgical removal of the odontoma. It is far more involved than tooth removal as the sinus is opened to remove the often massive root mass (odontoma). IMO, there is only one vet in the country I would consider. She is in FL and does this procedure often. There are one or two other vets in the country that do this surgery and we could direct you to them if you would like. It is a very invasive surgery and does have complications sometimes.

    Before we get ahead of ourselves you need a diagnosis. He needs an X-ray of the head with a couple views. Many vets don’t even know about odontoma. Exotic vets ‘should’ know about odontoma but very few do the surgery.

    Edit: I wanted to add one thing. As long as he appears to be doing well, surgery is not indicated. Dr.Emerson will not remove odontoma that are not causing problems. They can grow back if removed too early. When they start causing significant difficulty they must be removed. Until that time I would just monitor the condition and be aware of what’s happening.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Just My 2 cents....
    I've had squirrels of various ages for the last 10 years. If the teeth " suddenly " became short I would think it was the result of an accidental fall or getting caught on a cage wire. If they don't re-grow...( about 1/2 inch per month ) then the odontoma prognosis is more likely. Be alert to diet changes.. No more hard nuts...? should result in tooth growth. Keep a written record for the next month. Good Luck.


    Is this similar to your squirrel's teeth ?
    Name:  uppers broken.jpg
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Size:  106.4 KB

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Amanda, no youíre not nuts. There is a very good possibility that this is odontoma. The only way to diagnose this condition is with an X-ray. The teeth of rodents grow continually. If they appear to stop growing it is because they are growing backwards towards the root. This backwards growth causes an accumulation of bony dental material that gets larger and larger. It will push into the sinus cavities. This is when you start noting vague respiratory issues. Usually the first symptoms are respiratory. It is a painful condition so you might also see white tears in the eyes. They will also start rejecting hard foods like in shell nuts.

    The only Ďfixí for this problem is surgical removal of the odontoma. It is far more involved than tooth removal as the sinus is opened to remove the often massive root mass (odontoma). IMO, there is only one vet in the country I would consider. She is in FL and does this procedure often. There are one or two other vets in the country that do this surgery and we could direct you to them if you would like. It is a very invasive surgery and does have complications sometimes.

    Before we get ahead of ourselves you need a diagnosis. He needs an X-ray of the head with a couple views. Many vets donít even know about odontoma. Exotic vets Ďshouldí know about odontoma but very few do the surgery.

    Edit: I wanted to add one thing. As long as he appears to be doing well, surgery is not indicated. Dr.Emerson will not remove odontoma that are not causing problems. They can grow back if removed too early. When they start causing significant difficulty they must be removed. Until that time I would just monitor the condition and be aware of whatís happening.


    Thanks. I'm pretty confident it's not odontoma, but I will keep in mind.. Do you think that would develop after so many years and SO quickly?.. It was like 2 weeks ago he had normal teeth and now they are half the length. NO struggles eating at all. MAYBE he DID break them off??? Nothing seems a reasonable answer to something that happened almost overnight.. Either way, he's going good..better than ever in fact, and we have no legit squirrel vets where I am, so not risking that, It's odd.. he is better and snugglier than ever.. I just thought maybe others had seen it.. They roots plus more are there.. maybe I made it sound worse than it is. They ARE there but went from the sizeof his bottoms to little nibbins.. way are more than just roots.. (that sounds dramatic).. since the keep growing I will keep track, it just took me by surprise and totally makes sense with the innocuous slurping. Anyplace I take him in my state will force surrender or kill.. not going there..he's a perfect peach. I'll keep an eye out and update with any valuable info.
    He's opening the rare nut treat he gets just fine... "Latching" on my hand as always- often too hard, so I still feel those teeth..Eating hard foods.. I'm not going to panic..Just wondering.Will keep posted if I "discover" anything new.
    Must be a loving momma over-reacting.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by stosh2010 View Post
    Just My 2 cents....
    I've had squirrels of various ages for the last 10 years. If the teeth " suddenly " became short I would think it was the result of an accidental fall or getting caught on a cage wire. If they don't re-grow...( about 1/2 inch per month ) then the odontoma prognosis is more likely. Be alert to diet changes.. No more hard nuts...? should result in tooth growth. Keep a written record for the next month. Good Luck.


    Is this similar to your squirrel's teeth ?
    Name:  uppers broken.jpg
Views: 120
Size:  106.4 KB

    Thanks for info-- he rarely gets nuts in the shell, or many at all. He's not my first squirrel rodeo, didn't fall or catch on anything but who knows.. as long as he's happy and healthy I'm good.. I hope to have many more good years with him. it has,as i said, impacted him in no way at all.. They ARE there.. I'm assuming the will continue to grow and will update.
    Will keep updated.
    Thanks for help

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    My 4 yr old boy is going through the same thing. We have been going to Dr Emerson in Port Orange FL. He has odontoma in his top teeth. They are extremely short, like little nubs and they have been that short for 2 months now and aren't growing any more. That's because instead of growing out into the mouth like they are suppose to, they are growing back up into the head in little curly fry shapes.. it's fatal if not fixed.
    My boys surgery is scheduled for this month and it's a very common and safe procedure but ofcourse im still nervous as hell lol

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Here's a pic of my boy, Roscoe's short uppers.

    When we took him to the vet he also had a huge abscess on the side of his face, after the x ray's we're taken we saw that the abscess was due to one of his bottom teeth being infected, so she removed one of his bottom teeth and then saw that his top teeth weren't growing because they were growing back up into his head, which is known as as odontoma.
    So when we take him for his next visit he will have both of his top teeth taken out. And this may sound scary with him only having one tooth, it definitely scared the hell out of me, but there are tons of squirrels that can do just about the same things they were able to do with all their teeth, with one.

    You just got to make sure you take him to an experienced vet. One that has experience with squirrels.
    May I ask what state are you in?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by amandaleet1972 View Post
    Thanks. I'm pretty confident it's not odontoma, but I will keep in mind.. Do you think that would develop after so many years and SO quickly?.. It was like 2 weeks ago he had normal teeth and now they are half the length. NO struggles eating at all. MAYBE he DID break them off??? Nothing seems a reasonable answer to something that happened almost overnight.. Either way, he's going good..better than ever in fact, and we have no legit squirrel vets where I am, so not risking that, It's odd.. he is better and snugglier than ever.. I just thought maybe others had seen it.. They roots plus more are there.. maybe I made it sound worse than it is. They ARE there but went from the sizeof his bottoms to little nibbins.. way are more than just roots.. (that sounds dramatic).. since the keep growing I will keep track, it just took me by surprise and totally makes sense with the innocuous slurping. Anyplace I take him in my state will force surrender or kill.. not going there..he's a perfect peach. I'll keep an eye out and update with any valuable info.
    He's opening the rare nut treat he gets just fine... "Latching" on my hand as always- often too hard, so I still feel those teeth..Eating hard foods.. I'm not going to panic..Just wondering.Will keep posted if I "discover" anything new.
    Must be a loving momma over-reacting.
    I said the EXACT same things. I was so sure that they had just broken off and that it wasn't odontoma.
    Roscoes teeth were JUST there and then just a few weeks later weren't... which made me believe they just broke off. But they DID break off and just didn't grow back BECAUSE of the odontoma.
    The best thing to do is get xrays, that will tell you EXACTLY what is going on.
    You can even send the x ray's to Dr Emerson and she will look at them for free. She's one of the best squirrel vets in the country. I drive 6 hrs just to see her. And know many who drive through multiple states to see her.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    So what is the long term result with the odontoma surgery? Do they have a good quality of life? Do they have to live the rest of their lives with the shunt in their little heads or is it removed later? My 4 year old baby was just diagnosed and I have an appointment with Dr. Emerson on the 24th for removal. He had the same issue...teeth one week and the next, poof, nubs. First vet I took him to, I explained that I suspected the odontoma but instead of doing xray, she just diagnosed him with broken top teeth and told me there was no odontoma. My gut told me otherwise so I took him to my rabbit vet for xray and I was right. Both top teeth have them. He won't eat hardly anything. He's lost a ton of weight. I could've had him diagnosed a whole week sooner had she simply done the stinking xray like i requested. I'll be driving almost 15 hours to get to Dr. Emerson.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    karriemed, the surgery is rough but Dr.Emerson is without question, the best in the country.
    Surgery is the only fix for odontoma. Without surgery, the quality of life declines until they pass. Odontoma causes inflammation, pain and infection. It is brutal. With the surgery, there is hope. The metal stent is removed after a few days. For those that travel, it is usually removed by your local vet. Because of inflammation of the sinus cavity, the stent allows them to breathe through this opening until the inflammation subsides. When the stent is removed, the opening closes and heals in a few days. When the hair grows back you wonít see anything.

    As far as quality of life, some do wonderful and regain their health and live a full happy life. Is it a curative procedure and they live happily ever after.

    There are some that have complications and donít do well. Some have even passed during the surgery due to cardiac arrest or blood clots. This is definitely the exception. I guess it is similar to human surgery where you are made aware of all of the possibilities.

    At 4 yo your squirrel is on the younger side for this surgery so youth is on his side. Many of the squirrels are older. Age would likely increase the risk of complications. I will add this. I have noticed that squirrels that have multiple odontoma removed in the course of a visit are at increased risk for complications.

    Several years ago there was a new member in a situation like yours. I told her about DrE and the next thing I knew she had an appointment and was traveling to FL. I still remember her name ... Fufi. She had the surgery and for an entire week it was brutal. She didnít eat and the owner was beside herself. She was back home and just losing her mind. I felt terrible. After that terrible week, Fufi started turning around and bounced back to health. She made a full recovery after a rough ride.
    I asked her mom, was it worth it? Would she do it again? In spite of the rocky road she traveled, she said it was 100% worth it. As far as I know, Fufi is still alive and well.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Thank you for the response. As long as he has any chance at all then I'm not giving up on him. He is my world. I just hope he holds on long enough to get there.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    karriemed, the surgery is rough but Dr.Emerson is without question, the best in the country.
    Surgery is the only fix for odontoma. Without surgery, the quality of life declines until they pass. Odontoma causes inflammation, pain and infection. It is brutal. With the surgery, there is hope. The metal stent is removed after a few days. For those that travel, it is usually removed by your local vet. Because of inflammation of the sinus cavity, the stent allows them to breathe through this opening until the inflammation subsides. When the stent is removed, the opening closes and heals in a few days. When the hair grows back you wonít see anything.

    As far as quality of life, some do wonderful and regain their health and live a full happy life. Is it a curative procedure and they live happily ever after.

    There are some that have complications and donít do well. Some have even passed during the surgery due to cardiac arrest or blood clots. This is definitely the exception. I guess it is similar to human surgery where you are made aware of all of the possibilities.

    At 4 yo your squirrel is on the younger side for this surgery so youth is on his side. Many of the squirrels are older. Age would likely increase the risk of complications. I will add this. I have noticed that squirrels that have multiple odontoma removed in the course of a visit are at increased risk for complications.

    Several years ago there was a new member in a situation like yours. I told her about DrE and the next thing I knew she had an appointment and was traveling to FL. I still remember her name ... Fufi. She had the surgery and for an entire week it was brutal. She didnít eat and the owner was beside herself. She was back home and just losing her mind. I felt terrible. After that terrible week, Fufi started turning around and bounced back to health. She made a full recovery after a rough ride.
    I asked her mom, was it worth it? Would she do it again? In spite of the rocky road she traveled, she said it was 100% worth it. As far as I know, Fufi is still alive and well.


    Update on my baby...
    Well, we are currently in Florida. Tuesday he had the big odontoma removed and Friday he gets the other one removed. He, unfortunately, has small ones on his bottom teeth as well but will have to be removed later. He did eat a little better today than what he has been the last few days. He is skin and bones, literally. I'm planning on ordering the mbd kit from Henry's when I get back home this weekend since he's in such bad condition. Thanks for the story of your friend's baby because that helped my hopes tremendously. I'm still really worried about him but he definitely still has the will to live and I will do everything in my power to get him back to his plump, happy self. Thank you!

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Wow, karriemed, glad he got thru this so far. Sad he still has more, but praying you and he get through it all. You are such a good squirrel Mom! Poor baby. Pulling for you both!

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by karriemed View Post
    Update on my baby...
    Well, we are currently in Florida. Tuesday he had the big odontoma removed and Friday he gets the other one removed. He, unfortunately, has small ones on his bottom teeth as well but will have to be removed later. He did eat a little better today than what he has been the last few days. He is skin and bones, literally. I'm planning on ordering the mbd kit from Henry's when I get back home this weekend since he's in such bad condition. Thanks for the story of your friend's baby because that helped my hopes tremendously. I'm still really worried about him but he definitely still has the will to live and I will do everything in my power to get him back to his plump, happy self. Thank you!

    karriemed, thanks for the update. I have been thinking about you this week. I knew the surgery was scheduled this week but due to the COVID-19 I wasnít sure if it was a go. My goodness, the timing couldnít have been worse but I know the surgery needed to happen soon.

    If you think he needs a little calcium, I wouldnít wait until I got home. You could buy Tums at a pharmacy and give him a little. Ask DrE before you do it. I watched a webinar about isofluorane gas and they mentioned that it reduces the calcium level. She might even give him calcium glubionate while he is there. That seems to be what vets use.

    It seems like you already have done everything in your power. You have gone to great extremes during the most trying times for your baby. I will be thinking about you tomorrow. Prayers.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    karriemed, thanks for the update. I have been thinking about you this week. I knew the surgery was scheduled this week but due to the COVID-19 I wasnít sure if it was a go. My goodness, the timing couldnít have been worse but I know the surgery needed to happen soon.

    If you think he needs a little calcium, I wouldnít wait until I got home. You could buy Tums at a pharmacy and give him a little. Ask DrE before you do it. I watched a webinar about isofluorane gas and they mentioned that it reduces the calcium level. She might even give him calcium glubionate while he is there. That seems to be what vets use.

    It seems like you already have done everything in your power. You have gone to great extremes during the most trying times for your baby. I will be thinking about you tomorrow. Prayers.


    We made it back home. Sorry for the late update, it's been hectic. He did well and Dr. E is happy with how it turned out. To talk about timing...as we were leaving Florida they had blocked the entry to come into Florida. If he had been a week later showing symptoms then I'm pretty sure we would've been out of luck. About 2 days after we got back they started trying to close a couple other state borders down. The Angels were really watching out for my boy. He's already had his stents removed and is eating his blocks again (ground up)...finally. I've been mixing calcium from Henry's and the critical care Dr. E sent home in with his favorite...sugar snap peas. Still chopping up his other veggies but also offer them whole, just in case. He's mostly sleeping and sneezing right now, waiting on his face to heal but he is definitely picking up a little weight now. This has been the most stressful last 3 or 4 weeks I've had in ages! Thank you for the well wishes and prayers and please keep them coming because he still has a ways to go before getting back to himself.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Thank you for the update. Wow! Talk about making it by the skin of your (his) teeth! So relieved on your behalf that it worked out and he's on the mend! So scary to think how close it was, but life is good.

    And prayers continue.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by karriemed View Post
    We made it back home. Sorry for the late update, it's been hectic. He did well and Dr. E is happy with how it turned out. To talk about timing...as we were leaving Florida they had blocked the entry to come into Florida. If he had been a week later showing symptoms then I'm pretty sure we would've been out of luck. About 2 days after we got back they started trying to close a couple other state borders down. The Angels were really watching out for my boy. He's already had his stents removed and is eating his blocks again (ground up)...finally. I've been mixing calcium from Henry's and the critical care Dr. E sent home in with his favorite...sugar snap peas. Still chopping up his other veggies but also offer them whole, just in case. He's mostly sleeping and sneezing right now, waiting on his face to heal but he is definitely picking up a little weight now. This has been the most stressful last 3 or 4 weeks I've had in ages! Thank you for the well wishes and prayers and please keep them coming because he still has a ways to go before getting back to himself.
    Oh wow! That really was close. Iím glad you were already here when they closed the state. I canít imagine explaining to the State Troopers why you had to get into the state.

    Iím not sure how you handled the stress. Your boy was failing fast, facing grueling traumatic surgery TWICE, businesses closed everywhere, away from home in the middle of a global pandemic. Wow! Did I miss anything? My goodness, that stressed me just typing it.

    Seriously, I am SO thankful that everything worked out. You definitely had angels going before you. It will take some time to get back to 100% normal but Iím sure you have a better understanding of the process now. Iím glad Dr.Emerson could offer you hope and a future for your boy. Thatís why we love her.

    Keep us updated. We need pics when he is feeling better.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Oh wow! That really was close. Iím glad you were already here when they closed the state. I canít imagine explaining to the State Troopers why you had to get into the state.

    Iím not sure how you handled the stress. Your boy was failing fast, facing grueling traumatic surgery TWICE, businesses closed everywhere, away from home in the middle of a global pandemic. Wow! Did I miss anything? My goodness, that stressed me just typing it.

    Seriously, I am SO thankful that everything worked out. You definitely had angels going before you. It will take some time to get back to 100% normal but Iím sure you have a better understanding of the process now. Iím glad Dr.Emerson could offer you hope and a future for your boy. Thatís why we love her.

    Keep us updated. We need pics when he is feeling better.


    It certainly wasn't an enjoyable feat. Anytime I get that worried, especially about someone I care about, I get very irritable. The butterflies in my stomach were doing loops the entire week. She said he has small odontoma on his bottom teeth as well but those rarely have to be removed, but I'm definitely going to be paying much closer attention to the way he eats, just in case. I'm just so relieved that we made it back home and he is putting on a little weight. I honestly didn't think he would make it through the first surgery simply because of how malnourished he had gotten. I was terrified. His will to live is so strong. As for now, I'm taking full advantage of getting to snuggle with him while he's recovering. I'm so ready for his face to be healed so I can give him kisses again! Love this little guy so much! I'll try to figure out the picture thing so I can post some after surgery pics.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chirps View Post
    Thank you for the update. Wow! Talk about making it by the skin of your (his) teeth! So relieved on your behalf that it worked out and he's on the mend! So scary to think how close it was, but life is good.

    And prayers continue.


    Thank you for the prayers! I think his prayer chain has really moved mountains for him. Just so happy it's over and his pain is now at tolerable levels.

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    Default Re: Top teeth suddenly SUPER short?

    To post pics, you will see an area under a post box that says Manage Attachments. Click that and you will see an area that says ADD FILES. Click that and you will see the option to Choose File. It will bring up different options for finding the pics. I choose Photo Library. After clicking that it brings me to my photos. Select and download. That is one way to post pics. Iím sure there are others. I use an iPad and Iím sure an iPhone would be the same.

    By the way, did you tell us his name?

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