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Thread: 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

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    Default 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

    Took my 8yr. old grey squirrel for an exam, have had him since he was 5 weeks old and vet said he was missing his front tooth, just has a nub next to the missing one on top, but she said she wanted to do an x-ray to make sure it isn't growing up into his skull ,if it didn't grow back after 6 weeks, and just checked ,no new growth. I'm just worried about putting him under at his age, do you think it's safe,and are their many cases of their teeth growing up like that, Just worried and wondering what you think ?

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    Default Re: 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

    Hi Teri, your vet is referring to a condition called odontoma. Rodents teeth always grow. If they stop growing it indicates a problem. If they aren’t growing out they are usually growing backwards at the root. This accumulation of bony dental mass can grow so large that it invades the sinus cavity. At that point you will often see vague respiratory issues like a runny nose or sniffles like a cold. You might also see white tears in the eyes which is an indicator of pain. It is a progressive problem that gets worse and worse as the odontoma grows. The only cure for this is surgical removal of the odontoma. It is a very invasive surgery. Luckily we have the best odontoma surgeon in the country in FL. (Port Orange) Just to be honest with you, the surgery would be extremely difficult for an 8 year old. Even in the best hands there are often complications.

    As far as the safety of anesthesia in an older squirrel, I would want a vet experienced in anesthetizing small mammals. There have been many older squirrels on this board anesthetized without problems. Actually there is an excellent squirrel vet in Largo that’s isn’t far from you. She could X-ray and give you a diagnosis but she doesn’t do odontoma removal.

    To answer your last question, yes... we are seeing more and more odontoma especially in older squirrels.

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    Default Re: 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

    Thanks for Info, will have x-ray, Should I quit giving him hazelnuts , He chews right through them, but can that cause problems with just that nub tooth he has left on top? , I have your site to Thank for my two precious little ones ,also have a flyer, Day and Night Squirrels, Best of both worlds, I feel like I'm in Squirrel heaven! They always bring a smile to your face! Hard to fathom not having the joy they bring every day! You provide such a Great service for us and them. A Heartfelt Thank you for all that you do!

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    Default Re: 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

    Quote Originally Posted by Teri View Post
    Thanks for Info, will have x-ray, Should I quit giving him hazelnuts , He chews right through them, but can that cause problems with just that nub tooth he has left on top? , I have your site to Thank for my two precious little ones ,also have a flyer, Day and Night Squirrels, Best of both worlds, I feel like I'm in Squirrel heaven! They always bring a smile to your face! Hard to fathom not having the joy they bring every day! You provide such a Great service for us and them. A Heartfelt Thank you for all that you do!
    Actually the fact that he can chew through hazelnuts is a GOOD thing. When odontoma is present you will notice that the squirrels stops cracking nuts because it is painful. If you had said black walnuts or hickory nuts (very hard nuts) I would have said stop giving them until you get X-rays but hazelnuts arenít the hardest nut out there. He can still have them as he does still need to keep the bottom incisors filed down by chewing. Let Dr. Zelner advise you after you get the X-rays.

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    Default Re: 8yr. old ,Grey Squirrel missing upper front tooth

    You can chop up shelled hazelnuts, pecans, or English Walnuts for him so he can just grind them up with his back teeth; yet limit the nuts in total to no more than (1/2 Tsp.) chopped nuts daily, split fed AM and PM with meals.

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