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Thread: Injured finger

  1. #1
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    Default Injured finger

    We got Iggy when he was 5-6 weeks old (eyes open but tail not all fluffed out) along with his sister Arya.

    They are now 11-12 weeks old, and will be overwintered.

    When Iggy was about 6-7 weeks old, he caught the claw of the ring finger on his right front paw in his cage. At first we thought the claw was injured, but it eventually became apparent that it was more the finger than the claw.

    There was a fair bit of swelling early on, although no sign of infection. Even within a few days of the injury, he was using the paw to slap at his sister, climb, etc. and so obviously not in severe distress.

    I took him to the vet a bit later, and she verified that there was no infection. Her opinion was that he had probably broken the finger but that it had healed up fine.

    Attached are four photos: three of the right front paw then one of the left front paw for reference.

    The injured finger is longer than the others, and the claw also seems longer. Iggy climbs and moves well, and will use that claw to hang. (When he is climbing around and grabbing with that paw, he does not always use all four claws at the same time, but that seems true of the other front paw as well.)

    What I do notice, however, is that when he is moving around on flat ground, this longer finger tends to twist (can be either to the inside or outside) as in several of the pictures, so that his weight is on the side of this finger rather than the pad.

    Iggy seems to move fine, so my guess is that he will adapt to his funny finger just fine. But what I am worried about is whether the way he uses this finger differently will result in this claw growing really long (i.e. not wearing down). It seems possible to me that if the claw passes a certain length, then the finger will always be used while twisted to one side, and the claw will just keep growing.

    This is not an immediate concern, as release is many, many months away. My plan is to keep close watch on the claw to see whether any issues develop. While being overwintered, I can trim the claw if needed, but that is hardly a solution once released.

    Anyways, I am wondering if anyone has any experience with a similar situation?

    Thanks in advance for any insights or advice!


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Hi olorin19..... long time no see.

    I have to ask. What formula did you raise the babies on? You haven’t been around for a while so you might not be aware of the issues with Esbilac. AT THIS TIME ESBILAC IS DEFECTIVE AND IS NOT SAFE TO USE!
    Sorry for the caps but it is an urgent issue. I just want to rule out this because babies on Esbilac are breaking bones. They have extreme Metabolic Bone Disease.

    If the toe is permanently rotated like that is might be better to have it taken off. He would never miss it.
    Edit.. you have a long time until spring so I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think it would be an issue left as is.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to HRT4SQRLS from:

    olorin19 (10-13-2019)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Hi olorin19..... long time no see.

    I have to ask. What formula did you raise the babies on? You havenít been around for a while so you might not be aware of the issues with Esbilac. AT THIS TIME ESBILAC IS DEFECTIVE AND IS NOT SAFE TO USE!
    Sorry for the caps but it is an urgent issue. I just want to rule out this because babies on Esbilac are breaking bones. They have extreme Metabolic Bone Disease.

    If the toe is permanently rotated like that is might be better to have it taken off. He would never miss it.
    Edit.. you have a long time until spring so I wouldnít worry about it. I donít think it would be an issue left as is.
    And hello to you, HRT4SQRLS!

    They are on the FV 20/50, but thanks for the heads up on the Esbilac.

    It has been almost two years since my last baby (Mookie), and almost a year since my NR Ziggy died, so I have not been on TSB all that often. Mookie turned two last month. He was released June 2018, and has been a fixture in my yard ever since. He moved back into his nest box last winter, then back to the trees in the spring. We see him pretty much every day. He remains very gentle with both of us - jumping up on us, taking food gently from our hands, etc.

    Iggy & Arya's cage is near my back door. When Mookie comes to the back door, I open it and he comes inside to get a treat. It is priceless to see the looks on Arya and Iggy's faces, especially the first few times. When they are out running around on my (enclosed) sun porch, they will now end up nose to nose with Mookie through the glass.

    I've raised and released four (Sam, Dustin, Amy, Mookie) singletons, but this is my first time with siblings. I am enjoying it, and learning all sorts of things that are not part of the solo squirrel experience. Among the more obvious is that getting two back into the cage is a lot trickier than one!

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    HRT4SQRLS (10-13-2019), lukaslolamaus (10-13-2019), Nancy in New York (10-13-2019)

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Oh I'm so happy to heard that your babies are on Fox Valley.

    Good to hear about your crew. You have that right... getting 2 OR 3 OR 4 back into a cage is a trip.
    It usually involved a few ugly words and a little blood loss.

    From my experience, those released as a pair or group don't stay as friendly as the singletons. I just adore those singletons that will walk right in the house and go to the nut bag. I had one that came in the house, climbed in the cat tree condo and went to sleep. I had to wait until the next morning to release her. I couldn't exactly put her back outside after dark.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Oh I'm so happy to heard that your babies are on Fox Valley.

    Good to hear about your crew. You have that right... getting 2 OR 3 OR 4 back into a cage is a trip.
    It usually involved a few ugly words and a little blood loss.

    From my experience, those released as a pair or group don't stay as friendly as the singletons. I just adore those singletons that will walk right in the house and go to the nut bag. I had one that came in the house, climbed in the cat tree condo and went to sleep. I had to wait until the next morning to release her. I couldn't exactly put her back outside after dark.
    My two winter/spring babies (Sam and Amy) both went wild within a few months. But my two August/September babies (Dustin and Mookie) who were overwintered remained permanently bonded with me.

    With Dustin, I had the idea that I should let him go wild, and so did not encourage him to jump up on me. He had other ideas, however, so eventually I decided it was up to him to dictate the contact.

    With Mookie, right from the time of release it has been up to him, and he seems to enjoy the contact.

    Both of them also seemed to innately understand the difference between me in a hoodie and sweats (okay to climb on Dad) vs shorts and a t-shirt: if high then jump onto the shoulder not forearm, if low then jump for the shorts not calf, and if descending then hang off the shorts and drop from there.

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    RockyPops (10-13-2019)

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Just an update:

    Iggy is now about 7 months old. While the injured finger is longer than its counterpart on the other front paw, it does not seem to cause him any problems whatsoever.

    When he is on all fours on a flat surface, that finger turns to the side, but as far as climbing, hanging, jumping, landing, eating, etc. he uses that paw just fine.

    There is also no apparent difference in mobility compared to his sister Arya.

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Thanks for the update.

    Glad to hear he's ok.

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    olorin19 (02-22-2020)

  13. #8
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Update -

    I have been meaning to provide an update on Iggy, as it looks like my last post was a year ago.

    Short version - iggy is fine, and a happy presence in my yard since his May 2020 release.

    Longer version - The injured finger is distinctly longer than it would be otherwise, much like in the photos at start of this thread. Yet it seems to have no adverse impact on his mobility or other activities - climbing, running, standing, eating, opening nuts, etc.

    When he places that paw flat, the finger turns a bit sideways, but this does not seem to cause him even the slightest issue. When he climbs or grabs something in his paws, that finger grasps quite normally - it is simply longer than it would be otherwise.

    Iggy is not a fighter. In fact, he has a remarkable aptitude for avoiding conflict with other squirrels. He is a bit of a ninja, in that at least 5-6 times a week when I am in the yard, Iggy sneaks up on me and jumps onto my back before I even know he is there. I would actually consider him as more agile than than average, not less.

    A typical example from this morning: Iggy was sitting on top of our windowsill eating a pecan I had given him. A more aggressive squirrel came over and figured he could get the pecan. When it jumped up to try, Iggy quickly dropped down, did a loop around the hose caddy, then took a perch 10 feet away on a planter and finished his pecan. When he was done, he came to the porch door for more. I dropped a hazelnut out for him. (I was on the porch with Harry, who is being overwintered, so I only open the door a crack so Harry does not get out.) When Iggy went for the nut, the aggressive squirrel prevented him but did not apparently realize where the nut had come to rest near the door. Iggy waited about 30 seconds, then made a quick dash around the hose caddy to evade the other squirrel, grabbed the nut, then disappeared into the bushes, leaving the aggressive squirrel spinning around wondering what had just happened.

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Thank you for the update on Ziggy. What youíve described about his toe sounds very similar to my flyers toe. He got the nail tip caught in a hinge and squirmed enough before I could get him released that Iím sure he broke it. It lays a little sideways and is longer than his other toes, but he has suffered no ill effects as a result of the injury.

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Injured finger

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Thank you for the update on Ziggy. What youíve described about his toe sounds very similar to my flyers toe. He got the nail tip caught in a hinge and squirmed enough before I could get him released that Iím sure he broke it. It lays a little sideways and is longer than his other toes, but he has suffered no ill effects as a result of the injury.
    There is a wild in my yard we called Mama Squirrel who adopted us two years ago. One year ago, her front right paw was badly injured in a fight. I was able to give her clavamox via pecan, so she did heal up, but she lost her second toe on the right front paw (equivalent of a human middle finger). I see her all the time (just a few minutes ago, in fact), and when she comes over, you can clearly see how the next toe (ring finger) sort of bends sideways a bit. She is happy, healthy, and continues to have two litters every year.

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