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Thread: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

  1. #1
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    Default Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Hi guys! I am normally a small rodent foster/rehabber specializing in deer mice and field mice. Yesterday while feeding a friend's cat I found a young chipmunk in their rock wall. Here's the thing...we do NOT have chipmunks normally in this area at all. The biome I'm in is high desert and after being here for 40 years, I have never seen a chipmunk before yesterday. Our neighbors do a lot of camping and I suspect this little guy somehow got tangled up in their gear and hitched a ride back with them. This little guy was clearly out of his element and looking for help. He allowed me to approach and gently pick him up. He appears to be about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks old according to a chart I found online. I have been giving him Pedialyte and FV 20/50 and basically treating him like a big mouse and so far he has been eating and using the potty well.
    What worries me is it appears he has had some sort of severe head trauma. When I found him yesterday he had blood on his chin and coming out of his nose. Both of his ears were also full of blood. I brought him home and today after a good night's rest and a few good meals, gently cleaned all the blood off him. The blood on his chin was hiding a scrape I've treated with a little antibacterial cream and his ears don't seem to still be bleeding but his nose is. He is sleeping constantly and wakes up just to eat. I have been keeping him on my chest where he has been curling up over my heart to sleep or undery chin (I had him in a tank but he was crying and only stops if I hold him). I did some reading on head trauma and saw prednisone might help. Any other suggestions? Also, where should I go to get prednisone? I will need a prescription, correct?
    He is the sweetest little thing and i want to do everything I can to help this poor little wayward sprite survive.


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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    More info and links to photos:
    Also, although his eyes were open yesterday when I found him, as soon as I picked him up he closed them and has not opened them since. I honestly dont know what happened to him. Cat? Something while he was travelling here? I don't see anything obviously wrong with his head that would indicate trauma beyond the blood on his nose, chin and in his ears.
    He is the sweetest little thing and i want to do everything I can to help this poor little wayward sprite survive. I named him Piff for the sound he makes when he sneezes. Photos of his injuries and his general condition here:
    http://imgur.com/a/MdFpXdz

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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    He is just adorable and I LOVE his name!

    Will he move around for you at all? Can he walk? He looks quite *normal* in your pics so it is hard to tell if he is exhibiting any neuro signs at all. The fact that he is eating and eliminating is encouraging.

    Prednisone is indeed a prescription drug. Happily, if you can find some - and it is very commonly prescribed for humans, so asking around, begging on Facebook, etc., may help. As long as we know Piff's weight and the size in milligrams of the prednisone (or prednisolone) we can give you instructions for properly diluting and dosing it to him. But it would be nice to know that he does in fact, have neuro signs - circling, holding his head oddly, etc. - before going that route, because while it is good for quickly knocking down inflammation and swelling caused by trauma that may be impinging on nerves causing the neuro symptoms, it does have lots of down sides and if he isn't showing signs I wouldn't use it.

    So now a question: you were feeding a cat and then you found him. Could the cat have gotten this guy? Because if so, he absolutely needs meds, but not prednisone. Ideal would be Cipro, which is commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections. As a source I would ask any female friends, since we get the majority of the UTIs... Another good choice is called Clavamox if it is for cats and dogs, and brand name Augmentin for humans. The drug name is amoxicillin clavulanic acid, and it is sold generically under a number of names, "Amoxiclav" and "Clavulin" are two of them).

    Cats carry Pasturella in their saliva so if this baby was cat mauled, he would need antibiotics ASAP.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Critter Mom,

    Thank you! I am afraid Piff isn't doing well at all today. He can't walk and he is now just laying here gasping and his nose is bleeding even worse. As for the cat it is a distinct possibility although not the one I was feeding...that cat is strictly indoors but we do have a few in the neighborhood. I weighed him and he is 27grams if that helps.
    I'm attaching another link so you can see the video. All he wants is to be held now. He is refusing all food. My heart is breaking.

    http://imgur.com/a/UPx2ZH3

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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Aw, I am sorry. Just hold him and love on him since he seems to like that.

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    36Monsters (07-16-2020)

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    I have prednisone... I have 5mg tabs. Piff is 27 grams..

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Critter Mom,

    Piff passed this afternoon in my arms. I am so sorry we couldn't do more but it appears on top of the head trauma he may have had a punctured lung and he slowly just lost the fight against all the cards stacked against him.
    I pray he isn't my last chipmunk experience as I really fell in love with him and I would love to be able to help more tiny guys like him.

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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    I am so sorry - he was such a sweet little thing. They are so tiny and fragile and t doesn't take too much. I am glad he passed with someone who cared, with a full tummy. He was certainly in good hands - if you rehab MICE you know what you are doing - they are some of the most difficult babies to raise. I had a little deer mouse named Nate that I successfully raised and who lived with me for 5 years.

    Piff. I love that name. It was perfect.


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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Was following this thread and hoping. Poor little Piff. Even though his luck ran out, he did at least have someone who cared and loved on him.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Poor little one. At least he passed warm, dry and with a full tummy.

    Godspeed little chip.
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Chipmunk far from home and with possible skull fracture...help!

    Thank you all for all your support and kind words. Piff got all the love I could give in his short time with me. There is so much craziness in this world right now and doing this sort of work soothes my soul and makes my heart glad, even when the results aren't ideal. I'll just keep pushing forward and raising my silly wild mice and keep my fingers crossed I have another opportunity with a chip.
    If anyone wants to follow along with my rescue and animal adventures, I have set up an instagram that is all animals and wholesome content. @Tye_Rannosaurus... and please.share your own IG accounts here as well so i can vicariously live through your squirrel and chipmunk adventures.

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