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Thread: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Default My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    So, Tinkerbelle is a non-releasable California Ground Squirrel that is now 7 months old, and in her full stature and strength (not to mention attitude!). I've had her since she was just a few days old. She lost one top incisor for unknown reasons at around 4 weeks old and it has never grown back. The remaining top tooth gets very worn down by her chewing, but at its best it's about 3/10th of an inch long. Of course her bottom incisors grow continuously and I trim 2 to 3 mm. off them every 3 weeks to keep them from touching the roof of her mouth.

    First problem/question - We have not figured out a way to really hold her (restrain her) effectively for this process. She is fat and feisty, and convinced this is a battle of life or death. I think if she were properly restrained (and her eyes covered) she would be calmer. The trimming only takes a moment once we have her lined up and her tongue protector in place. She seems to get over the trauma quickly and doesn't hold it against us... (well, not for very long anyway). I would LOVE it if she could just be chilled out/relaxed/lightly sedated for this process.

    So, second question - I've tried cbd nibble treats and Pet Releaf hemp/cbd oil. These haven't seemed to do the job. I can't get her to take even a sip of booze (kidding - not kidding). Im considering ordering some diethyl ether, but it's such an unstable chemical that I'm a little freaked out having it around (let alone trying to actually use it on her!).

    It is not legal to keep her in my state. A wildlife refuge center had more or less indicated they would probably euthanize her, so I'm trying to do this myself. The process of tooth-trimming is not a big deal, I just would like to minimize the struggle so it is as easy on her as possible. I haven't quite figured out a sure way to do that, if there is one.

    So come on squirrel people! Any ideas/advice would be very much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    I feel your pain, I had one who was a doll about getting his trimmed but I'm a BIG CHICKEN and thank God I have a vet who has a vet dentist!

    Ok I'm sure you've done the obvious burrito wrapping her, cover eyes which takes 2 people?
    Maybe in time the struggle will lessen, hard to say.

    Only thing I can think of if you could daily burrito wrap her cuddle and massage her mouth making this the norm so when its teeth trimming day she might not be as freaked out. Kinda like when a dog only goes for a car ride to see the vet 😬

    Let us know and keep trying👍🐿
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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    A product at the health food store called Rescue Remedy has been used for anxious squirrels and supposedly helps calm them.

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    A product at the health food store called Rescue Remedy has been used for anxious squirrels and supposedly helps calm them.
    good stuff. You can rub a few drops inside their ears to get a calming effect, too
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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Thank you for the suggestions! I will try the Rescue Remedy. Tinker is really fat and the 'burrito' wrap turns out more like a 'chimichanga' with her! My husband and I have switched roles - he holds her and I trim - since his hands are bigger. I'm going to cut out her snacks and save them for rewarding calm behavior. She's definitely smart - I'm just not sure who is training who at this point!! HA.

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle View Post
    Thank you for the suggestions! I will try the Rescue Remedy. Tinker is really fat and the 'burrito' wrap turns out more like a 'chimichanga' with her! My husband and I have switched roles - he holds her and I trim - since his hands are bigger. I'm going to cut out her snacks and save them for rewarding calm behavior. She's definitely smart - I'm just not sure who is training who at this point!! HA.
    Well as I ALWAYS say...
    MY SQUIRRELS ARE TOO SMART FOR MY OWN GOOD 🤣
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

  10. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Charley Chuckles from:

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Yes, they are very observant and very strong willed.

    Have you seen any seasonal or age related behavioral changes?

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Yes, they are very observant and very strong willed.

    Have you seen any seasonal or age related behavioral changes?
    Yes Rock Monkey, I have noticed some things for sure: First, letting her have access to all the nuts she wants to hide is a big mistake. While it was super cute watching her stuff her cheeks and run off to hide them, it was NOT fun being attacked for merely entering her bedroom to feed her or the birds that share the room. I understand now that she was protecting her cache, and feeling very threatened by my presence. After a couple of days without that activity she is acting more like her normal self again, so I am encouraged (and my bite wounds are healing nicely).

    My husband thinks some of her touchiness may come with an estrous cycle, but these squirrels are supposed to only breed in the Spring after hibernating, and she is only 7 months, so I'm not sure about that. Another California Ground Squirrel owner on here indicated her male squirrel preferred hands-off only interaction after reaching 1 year of age.

    Tinkerbelle is definitely a wild animal, and she knows she's a squirrel. I will restrict the nut treats to being a reward only for behaviors that I need from her - such as staying on my shoulder, or letting me bodily hold her. I will try the Rescue Remedy as well, and possibly make a 'cloth cone' restraint I saw a wildlife biologist had developed. I need to either keep her tame enough to be able to hold her still for the tooth trimming, or resort to a technique used for wild critters - either way.


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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle View Post

    My husband thinks some of her touchiness may come with an estrous cycle, but these squirrels are supposed to only breed in the Spring after hibernating, and she is only 7 months, so I'm not sure about that. Another California Ground Squirrel owner on here indicated her male squirrel preferred hands-off only interaction after reaching 1 year of age.
    I think that is definitely a possibility. It is about that age that females start to become fertile, not sure about ground squirrel time table. They become much more territorial about others in the vicinity of their nests and I think become more upset by their poop and pee being cleaned up because that is part of the way they assert their claim to a piece of territory.

    They start looking for a secure place to build a nest, a location where larger predators can't readily access, so preferably something solid with a small opening.

    I hadn't thought about protecting the cache. Interesting. Those squirrel varieties that create middens can be quite aggressive if any one approaches their cache. I don't know if ground squirrels make middens or are scatter hoarders.

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Regarding Ground Squirrel cache, what I've read is that they store their hoard in parts of their underground tunnel systems. I'm not sure of the meaning of 'midden' vs. 'scatter hoard'. In my house Tinkerbelle has hidden food stuffs in multiple places - magazine rack, boots, any box she can get into, corners of cabinets, behind furniture, in her various nesting spots, digging boxes, litter box, desk drawers, linen closet....

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    Default Re: My squirrel needs a 'chill pill' so I can trim her teeth. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle View Post
    Regarding Ground Squirrel cache, what I've read is that they store their hoard in parts of their underground tunnel systems. I'm not sure of the meaning of 'midden' vs. 'scatter hoard'. In my house Tinkerbelle has hidden food stuffs in multiple places - magazine rack, boots, any box she can get into, corners of cabinets, behind furniture, in her various nesting spots, digging boxes, litter box, desk drawers, linen closet....
    That sounds like scatter hoarding, placing food in an assortment of locations, more difficult to defend, but if some are lost it doesn't doom the animal. Those species that create middens pile all the of food that they have gathered in just a few places. They might pile 10 lbs of pine cones in one place, then aggressively attack creatures trying to take food from their midden. Which strategy is employed may also depend on what their main foods are. The shells of nuts will soften some in the ground, but won't rot.

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