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Thread: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

  1. #1
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    Default Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    We found a red squirrel that couldn’t use his back legs 3 weeks ago. Initially I thought we could bring him to a rescue and problem solved. Unfortunately the rescue said we had to bring him to our local humane society for assessment. If he was potentially releasable, the Humane Society would send it to the rescue. Our local humane society doesn’t have the best record (euthanizes perfectly healthy animal) so I didn’t go that route. Contacted a few other people that I thought could help but no one could help.

    I did a pinch test and he still has reflexes in his back legs (less in one of them) and tail. I figured maybe he just needed a little rest. Each day, he would get a little better and become more active. He’s still very apprehensive of us and tries to swat our hand if we get too close. We gave him branches to practice climbing and he was successful but not the most graceful. So on the weekend, we planned his release. We had him in a box with his fleece blanket. We waited 1 hour and he didn’t leave the box. We left him there and checked back an hour later and he was gone. An hour later, we see him on a branch in our neighbors big pine tree. An hour later, he’s still on the same branch, not really moving, just kinda munching on the bark. It was almost dark and I was starting to regret my decision. Once it was dark, we checked the tree with a flashlight and we couldn’t spot him. We left the box outside with the blanket in case he came back. I worried all night and woke up at 6 to check the box. It had been turned on its side but no Nugget. We looked in all the trees but couldn’t spot him. There are lots of black, grey and red squirrels around our yard and we have lots of large mature trees. Then in the afternoon, we notice he was back in the box, curled under his blanket. He looked exhausted and that’s when we noticed he was dragging his weaker leg.

    He’s been back indoors for 24 hours but he’s not acting the same. He’s either depressed or maybe he injured himself. He’s sleeping a lot and just seems down. It’s apparent to me now that he’s not releasable. I’m at a lost on what to do. Do I invest in a multi –level cage and keep him as a pet? Will he be happy? Is he too wild for this? Would it be better to have him euthanized?
    I’m so lost. I just want to do the right thing.

    PS I’m not even sure if Nugget is a he, maybe it’s a she.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Being released can be stressful for a squirrel that has an injury still on the mend, or even if mended a weakness that makes them non releasable. You can't always know till they are given more time to heal. A number handicapped squirrels are cared for in captivity that once recovered as far as pain goes, go on to live a happy life in captivity.

    As for the behavior, pretty normal' yet most often it is due to the pain they are in.

    Rehabbers here can recommend meds for him. What is often recommended for nerve damage in the back is Gabapentin. If you don't have any let me know I may be able to help. Another possible source is prednizone.

    For back injury to nerves, Vitamin B 12 known to support healing in damaged nerves in rodents. This includes the two bio-identical forms the body uses; this one organic without additives save for the base.

    https://www.amazon.com/Vimergy-USDA-...2&s=hpc&sr=1-4

    Using only a 1 ml (1cc) small needle syringe to add one needle drop every other daily to the food.

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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Thanks for your reply. I do have Gabapentin in 100mg pills. My dog took some for having coincidentally trouble using his back legs .

    What would be the dosage for a squirrel? How would it be administered?

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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Melvin View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I do have Gabapentin in 100mg pills. My dog took some for having coincidentally trouble using his back legs .

    What would be the dosage for a squirrel? How would it be administered?
    It would be administered orally, crushing it to powder to divide the dosage to reduce it.

    To determine dosage rehabbers need the weight of your squirrel, and approximate age if you know it.

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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    I forgot to ask, is the red squrirel an older juvenile or an adult, do you know?

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Don't forget that Gabapentin has to be gradually dosed down, and never cut abruptly at the end of the treatment.
    "In the midst of our lives we must find the magic that makes our souls soar."
    My sweet Scooter, darling Hami, beloved gentle Simon... YOU are the ones who brought that magic in my life. You've changed the way I see all things around me now and, because of you, I want to be a better person. This is not goodbye, my sweethearts. You be at peace, your work here on earth is done... now you are finally, truly free. Until we meet at the Bridge again, just remember that I will always love you.
    The greatness of a nation can be measured by the way it treats its animals.
    - Gandhi -

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    Melvin (06-04-2020)

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    With a weight of your squirrel we can dose the Gabapentin for you. It has worked wonders for other hind end paralyzed squirrels.

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    Nancy in New York (06-04-2020)

  12. #8
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Not sure on the age. I'm not that familiar with reds. weight is 89 grams

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    I will send you dosing info in a private message.

    Edit, dosing sent in a pm.

  14. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Diggie's Friend (06-04-2020), Melvin (06-04-2020), Nancy in New York (06-04-2020)

  15. #10
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Melvin at 89gr. Nugget is very small. I can only assume that he must be young. Can you post a picture of him? Have you offered him any formula to eat? What is he eating?

    I think he needs to be on formula. The appropriate formula would be Fox Valley 20/50. You can order it online at Henrys Pets.

    A full grown male red squirrel should weigh 244gr.

  16. #11
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

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    Here he (maybe she) is. I don't think I can order anything from the US without it taking 2-3 weeks to get here. I'm in Canada and shipping anything even within the country is taking forever.

    I would be open if there was a rehabber that could take him until he's back on his feet. I'm close to Montreal or Ottawa.

  17. #12
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Squirrels with back injuries involving the legs saly don't generally do more than see that the squirrel is euthanized.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Do they sell Royal Canin Baby Dog powdered formula in the local pet stores? It would be a great substitute for Fox Valley.

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Do they sell Royal Canin Baby Dog powdered formula in the local pet stores? It would be a great substitute for Fox Valley.
    I don't think they do. Unless it's only sold by the vet. Most stores aren't open here yet either so it's a little more difficult.

    are any of these suitable:
    https://www.petsmart.ca/dog/food/milk-replacers/

  21. #15
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    Default Re: Nugget’s story – moral dilemma

    If you're still up Cathy, pls call me. I left you my number in a private message.

    You can find Royal Canin at Global Pitou Minou and at Chico's pet stores. There is a Chico in Gatineau, I don't know about elsewhere in Ontario. Maybe the one in Gatineau would accept mailing it to you if you pay by credit card over the phone.
    "In the midst of our lives we must find the magic that makes our souls soar."
    My sweet Scooter, darling Hami, beloved gentle Simon... YOU are the ones who brought that magic in my life. You've changed the way I see all things around me now and, because of you, I want to be a better person. This is not goodbye, my sweethearts. You be at peace, your work here on earth is done... now you are finally, truly free. Until we meet at the Bridge again, just remember that I will always love you.
    The greatness of a nation can be measured by the way it treats its animals.
    - Gandhi -

  22. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Scooterzmom:

    Mel1959 (06-05-2020), Nancy in New York (06-05-2020)

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