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Thread: Chipmunk with head tilt?

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    Default Chipmunk with head tilt?

    New rehabber here - Acquired a chipmunk with what looks like head tilt 4 days ago. He is a junior chipmunk, not yet an adult. Would have given him to the wildlife center, but my calls weren't answered those 2 days, so I took care of him myself. Initially the animal was rainsoaked and either shivering or having seizures. One eye appeared larger and was twitchy, and his head was cocked to one side, he didn't walk.I gave him a bath, dried him, warmed him up. He was also hydrated and given a small bit of ibuprofen. He ate a few birdseeds later that night and went to sleep. The next day when he woke up, his head was tilted and he walks in circles. He is being given 5cc of prednisone [2.5mg in 20ccwater] for past 3 days. He eats well and is responsive. His head is less tilted, but has not improved completely. When taken outdoors in his cage, he comes out of his little tissuebox hut and runs excitedly in circles until he tires out. My question is will this animal ever get better - enough to be released Also, could he have a disorder other than injury related head tilt, like roundworm, etc?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qurly View Post
    New rehabber here - Acquired a chipmunk with what looks like head tilt 4 days ago. He is a junior chipmunk, not yet an adult. Would have given him to the wildlife center, but my calls weren't answered those 2 days, so I took care of him myself. Initially the animal was rainsoaked and either shivering or having seizures. One eye appeared larger and was twitchy, and his head was cocked to one side, he didn't walk.I gave him a bath, dried him, warmed him up. He was also hydrated and given a small bit of ibuprofen. He ate a few birdseeds later that night and went to sleep. The next day when he woke up, his head was tilted and he walks in circles. He is being given 5cc of prednisone [2.5mg in 20ccwater] for past 3 days. He eats well and is responsive. His head is less tilted, but has not improved completely. When taken outdoors in his cage, he comes out of his little tissuebox hut and runs excitedly in circles until he tires out. My question is will this animal ever get better - enough to be released Also, could he have a disorder other than injury related head tilt, like roundworm, etc?
    Hi, there! Awww, this poor little sweetie. So two things that come to mind when I read this. One, I have a neuro squirrel who I rescued last year who has a head tilt. The reason for his head tilt is not due to any injury. He actually got a parasite in his brain from mosquito bites while he was still out in the wild before I rescued him. There is a certain parasite, and I can't for the life of me remember the name of the parasite, that normally gets into a bird from mosquito bites. When it gets into the bird it goes into the intestines. But when it gets into a squirrel's body it gets confused, and ends up going into the brain because a squirrel's body is different than a bird's body. The parasite eats holes in the brain causing damage. Some squirrels survive this parasite invasion, and some don't. The parasite eventually leaves the squirrel's body, but it leaves behind damage to the brain. This is why my squirrel has a head tilt. Obviously, I don't know if this is what is causing your chipmunk's head tilt, but it's definitely something to think about, and be aware of. Two, my squirrel also did the running around and turning in circles thing you are describing. He was diagnosed with something called Nystagmus. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye movement that causes the eyes to move rapidly from side to side, up and down, or in circles, causing dizziness and blurry vision. Then all of a sudden, the eyes stop moving abnormally, and the squirrel's head will kind of jerk the other way because it's trying to stop the abnormal eye movement and return its vision to normal. Again, I don't know if this is what's wrong with your chipmunk, but it's also something to think about and be aware of. Maybe try and look at his eyes while he is running around in circles and see if they are moving around abnormally. I know you said one of his eyes was twitching. I'm wondering if maybe this could be Nystagmus because the abnormal eye movement doesn't always have to be both eyes. Sometimes it's just one eye. I also rescued a squirrel back in 2014 who started running around in circles like that, but he didn't have abnormal eye movement while he was turning around in circles. It turned out that he had gotten a parasite in his brain too, but from racoon feces while he was still out in the wild before I rescued him. He actually made a full recovery, and I was able to release him when he was old enough and ready. My neuro squirrel that has Nystagmus and had the parasite in his brain from mosquito bites is not releasable back into the wild. The treatment for both types of parasites was Ivermectin. I was told by my vet there is no cure or treatment for Nystagmus. But my squirrel was started on Gabapentin for seizures, and since he has been on it since last September, he has had very minimal problems with Nystagmus. I hope this helps you, and at least gives you some place to start looking. As for your question about if your chipmunk will get better enough to be released or not, I can't answer that. One of my squirrels got better, and one didn't. I am thinking only time will tell. But if he actually does have Nystagmus and has to be on medication every day...I'm thinking he probably won't be releasable.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qurly View Post
    New rehabber here - Acquired a chipmunk with what looks like head tilt 4 days ago. He is a junior chipmunk, not yet an adult. Would have given him to the wildlife center, but my calls weren't answered those 2 days, so I took care of him myself. Initially the animal was rainsoaked and either shivering or having seizures. One eye appeared larger and was twitchy, and his head was cocked to one side, he didn't walk.I gave him a bath, dried him, warmed him up. He was also hydrated and given a small bit of ibuprofen. He ate a few birdseeds later that night and went to sleep. The next day when he woke up, his head was tilted and he walks in circles. He is being given 5cc of prednisone [2.5mg in 20ccwater] for past 3 days. He eats well and is responsive. His head is less tilted, but has not improved completely. When taken outdoors in his cage, he comes out of his little tissuebox hut and runs excitedly in circles until he tires out. My question is will this animal ever get better - enough to be released Also, could he have a disorder other than injury related head tilt, like roundworm, etc?
    I'm confused, how much prednisone is he getting daily?
    Are you continuing the pred?
    What does this little one weigh?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy in New York View Post
    I'm confused, how much prednisone is he getting daily?
    Are you continuing the pred?
    What does this little one weigh?
    He started out as 58g and now he weighs 75g. He is definitely eating. He takes the 5cc once a day. He is still running in circles even though he has improved. I don't want to use prednisone long term on him, so wanted advice on discontinuing since he has improved, but isn't completely cured.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Thank you for your detailed response. It is difficult to tell if his problem stems from a parasite or if he had an injury. Are there any ways to differentiate between the two?

    If this chipmunk were to be given Ivermectin, what would be the dosage? Currently, he weighs 75g. I have heard of the method where you use a toothpick to put a small dot of Ivermectin on a nut, but a chipmunk is a fraction of the size of a squirrel, so is just a proportionate fraction ok and for how many days ?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qurly View Post
    He started out as 58g and now he weighs 75g. He is definitely eating. He takes the 5cc once a day. He is still running in circles even though he has improved. I don't want to use prednisone long term on him, so wanted advice on discontinuing since he has improved, but isn't completely cured.
    What is the strength you are dosing?
    We typically use 5mg/ml
    and dose at 2.2 mg/kg
    That would mean that your little one would get 0.033 daily.
    Who gave you the dosage?
    Let me know what you have and I will figure it out.
    Something is off here.
    I don't think your little one would be alive if dosed 5 mls daily
    if you are dosing like we do.
    Let me know the strength.

    Why would you want to use ivermectin on him?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy in New York View Post
    What is the strength you are dosing?
    We typically use 5mg/ml
    and dose at 2.2 mg/kg
    That would mean that your little one would get 0.033 daily.
    Who gave you the dosage?
    Let me know what you have and I will figure it out.
    Something is off here.
    I don't think your little one would be alive if dosed 5 mls daily
    if you are dosing like we do.
    Let me know the strength.

    Why would you want to use ivermectin on him?
    2.5mg tablet divided into 40 doses.
    2.5 mg dissolved in 2ml water ų 40 doses = 5cc
    5cc is (.05ml) or 0.0625mg.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Please note initial post should say


    He is being given 5cc of prednisone a day [2.5mg in 200cc water.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    [QUOTE=Bella's Mom;1294927]Hi, there! Awww, this poor little sweetie.


    Thank you for your detailed response. It is difficult to tell if his problem stems from a parasite or if he had an injury. Are there any ways to differentiate between the two?

    If this chipmunk were to be given Ivermectin, what would be the dosage? Currently, he weighs 75g. I have heard of the method where you use a toothpick to put a small dot of Ivermectin on a nut, but a chipmunk is a fraction of the size of a squirrel, so is just a proportionate fraction ok and for how many days ?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qurly View Post
    Please note initial post should say


    He is being given 5cc of prednisone a day [2.5mg in 200cc water.
    5cc? Are you giving 5ml of this? 5cc is the same as 5ml.

    We manipulate the concentration of the suspension so that the volume of the dose is low.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    5cc? Are you giving 5ml of this? 5cc is the same as 5ml.

    We manipulate the concentration of the suspension so that the volume of the dose is low.
    Sorry about the dosing confusion. 5 units on those small 50 unit insulin syringes. Those syringes say 0.50 ml. Is that considered 50cc or 0.50cc ?

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    A 50 unit insulin syringe equals 0.50 ml or 0.50 cc.

    Thatís why I was so confused. 5 cc (ml) is a LOT.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Name:  B5F94783-9FB3-4144-A7A7-6B168D4C18EE.jpeg
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    Are you referring to where the red arrow is?
    If so, that is 0.05ml (cc)

    I donít use insulin syringes for dosing. It can be confusing.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Name:  B5F94783-9FB3-4144-A7A7-6B168D4C18EE.jpeg
Views: 102
Size:  20.1 KB

    Are you referring to where the red arrow is?
    If so, that is 0.05ml (cc)

    I don’t use insulin syringes for dosing. It can be confusing.
    Yes, that is how much I was using, but wanted to stop giving it to him, because he seems to have improved as much as he can. He took 5 doses so far including this morning. He takes one dose per day. He made progress the first two doses, but has since remained the same.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Over a year ago, I took in a juvenile chipmunk with severe head tilt who was also running in a very small tight circle continuously.COLOR="#0000FF"]TubeDriver[/COLOR]) provided me some meds and his head tilt improved quite a bit. What I noticed over time was the head tilt disappeared completely on it's own and the running in circles disappeared completely. Same chip is 100% rid of those symptoms but does not do the things chipmunks need to do to survive (ex. store food away) so he is non-releasable.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk with head tilt?

    Lots of possibilities but 3-5 doses of pred may not be long enough. Head trauma can take a while to heal. All things being equal, I would continue treating with pred for at least 10 (or longer) days and then do a short taper. See how he does at that point.

    I would be VERY careful and precise with dosing Ivermectin if head trauma is suspected and with an animal as small as a chip.
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