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Thread: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

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    Default Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    So today Tuff my boy turned a tad bit aggressive. No food involved. Noticed the teeth chattering thing right off, then he charged the cage???? So I left him for a bit to see if he would calm him down...yea that was a nope. No aggressive behavior? Opened the cage, that changed quickly. Ran up one arm down the other and bit the crap out out my finger. That won the award of going back into the cage. He was mad 😡. Any ideas? Heís about 9 weeks at this point and this is the first time Iíve seen this.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    So today Tuff my boy turned a tad bit aggressive. No food involved. Noticed the teeth chattering thing right off, then he charged the cage???? So I left him for a bit to see if he would calm him down...yea that was a nope. No aggressive behavior? Opened the cage, that changed quickly. Ran up one arm down the other and bit the crap out out my finger. That won the award of going back into the cage. He was mad 😡. Any ideas? Heís about 9 weeks at this point and this is the first time Iíve seen this.
    It sounds like a protecting stash behavior, are you giving nuts to him?
    What is his daily diet?
    Step-N-Stone
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    His daily diet consist of fox valley formula, Henryís blocks for snacks, and boo balls to eat because I was a dummy and made him a picky eater. No nuts except for what is in his boo balls. He eats great and I havenít found a stash in his cage as of yet, but I did clean the cage this morning. He is currently under treatment for MBD, early stages, my fault again. He is in his first week of treatment for that.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    His daily diet consist of fox valley formula, Henryís blocks for snacks, and boo balls to eat because I was a dummy and made him a picky eater. No nuts except for what is in his boo balls. He eats great and I havenít found a stash in his cage as of yet, but I did clean the cage this morning. He is currently under treatment for MBD, early stages, my fault again. He is in his first week of treatment for that.
    What made you determine mbd and what do you contribute the mbd to?
    Are you following the mbd protocol?
    Any nuts, including what is put in boo balls is counter productive to mbd treatment.
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    I had a vet (also a rehabilitation person)look at him and with everything that described to that person it was determined that he had early MBD. I can make different boo balls without nuts not a problem. Waiting on rodent blocks to be delivered though. He is on 250 mg of calcium carbonate from Henryís per day given in three separate doses. He isnít doing the bunny hop anymore since treatment was started. His energy level is way up and so is his appetite. I did as recommended take the nuts out of his cage, no veggies, no fruits, strictly rodent blocks, boo balls, and formula. I did the boo balls because he wouldnít take the formula with the calcium in it. He takes his calcium without issues at all now. What would you recommend? Yes I know I made him a picky eater by starting him on food to quickly. I didnít feed the proper formula in the beginning either. But we are on the right track to a healthier baby.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I had a vet (also a rehabilitation person)look at him and with everything that described to that person it was determined that he had early MBD. I can make different boo balls without nuts not a problem. Waiting on rodent blocks to be delivered though. He is on 250 mg of calcium carbonate from Henryís per day given in three separate doses. He isnít doing the bunny hop anymore since treatment was started. His energy level is way up and so is his appetite. I did as recommended take the nuts out of his cage, no veggies, no fruits, strictly rodent blocks, boo balls, and formula. I did the boo balls because he wouldnít take the formula with the calcium in it. He takes his calcium without issues at all now. What would you recommend? Yes I know I made him a picky eater by starting him on food to quickly. I didnít feed the proper formula in the beginning either. But we are on the right track to a healthier baby.
    Sometimes they can just be territorial over their space but I'd have to say his behavior is saying he's pissed about something.
    They also can react aggressively over changes in smells such as new soap, detergent, air fresheners, colones, perfumes, hand lotions, etc.
    When you get the chance I would still thoroughly go through his cage and nest box, cubby or whatever to see if there is anything stashed.
    I have a 10 year old that eats snap peas and stashes the dried out skins, she don't eat them but will rip your head off to protect them!
    She has an open cage and free run but still very protective of her space, she still chatters at me a lot and even rushes at the bars whenever
    I approach her cage / space. Even when I'm just passing in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom! She will attack (or try to) when I
    check out or clean her nest box or cubby.
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Right now we have tons of fleece in his cage, no box as of yet, he borrows into his fleece and sleeps. Oh I gathered he was pissed off after he drew blood, actually prior to that. After posting this he seems ok. I let him out for a little while, cleaned his cage from top to bottom, no stashes...he has been fine ever since. I put on gloves that are extremely protective for my digits. He didnít seem to care for those at all. I would assume going forward I will have to give it a while to settle down before I open the cage. Just made me more aware of his behavior going forward. I just gotta figure out what it was that set him off. I had just cleaned the kitchen since you mentioned smells. Could have been that.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    Right now we have tons of fleece in his cage, no box as of yet, he borrows into his fleece and sleeps. Oh I gathered he was pissed off after he drew blood, actually prior to that. After posting this he seems ok. I let him out for a little while, cleaned his cage from top to bottom, no stashes...he has been fine ever since. I put on gloves that are extremely protective for my digits. He didnít seem to care for those at all. I would assume going forward I will have to give it a while to settle down before I open the cage. Just made me more aware of his behavior going forward. I just gotta figure out what it was that set him off. I had just cleaned the kitchen since you mentioned smells. Could have been that.


    Definitely could have been what triggered his hostility, they are pretty sensitive to strange odors.
    I was rehabbing a flyer once and my girl would viciously attack me over handling the flyer.
    Washing my hands wasn't enough, I actually had to change my clothes afterward.
    And don't let me forget to wash after feeding my wilds...
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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Be careful about cleaning the cage. I had shook out Helen's bedding on a number of occasions. When she saw me bring them back she was always a little upset. A couple of times I washed them using All Free Clear without any scents.

    Eventually I made the big mistake, the bedding was getting dingy so I decided to throw in a little bleach in the washer. I washed them again a second time without bleach to diminish the smell. The towel was trashed already so I shouldn't have bothered. Well, the bleach was a big mistake. Whenever she went near that bedding she would start chattering her teeth. I had to remove it and she never slept in that location again, even though that was the only location she had slept in since she graduated from her box when she was little.

    Also, I have learned not to clean up pee and poop in front of her. That is erasing her territorial claim. That winds her up.

    On the same front, be sure to close the bathroom door when you are using it if they are free roaming. That can get you mauled too. I think she sees that as a counter territorial claim.

    Also, I don't think she likes the smell of my dish detergent. That has lead to some aggression.

    Also, after I come in from outside, she smells my feet and shoes. Busted. There have been a number of occasions when she has pounced on my feet, partly, I think, because during the summer I don't wear shoes, then when it gets cold I go back to wearing shoes. I don't think she likes the way wearing socks has altered the smell of my feet.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    😱 that makes sense now. I wiped everything down in my kitchen with bleach today...😂😂😂whew no wonder he was mad. I also noticed he went for my dominate hand which is the hand that had the most bleach on it...wow never thought anything about it. Was just doing some New Years cleaning...man was he mad at me....that was right after cleaning out the bedding also. He has grown accustomed to me cleaning shaking out his cage every other day, cause it gets so dirty and I have read where they keep a clean ďhouseĒ. But I would assume they are also hoarders too. Maybe if I get him counseling 😂😂😂. I was super shocked when he did it, even when the MBD reared itís ugly head and he was hurting he wasnít like this. I learn something new about this little guy everyday.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    This is cracking me up! A couple of my family members think Tinkerbelle is a domestic terrorist. Even got me a t-shirt with a squirrel brandishing a switch blade for Christmas!

    It's such a relief to hear other squirrels do this to their squirrel guardians. The good news is, they don't seem to hold a grudge, and we have to remember they are not doing it to hurt our feelings!

    Tink's mom

    PS - Tink's dad is still a bit wary after she went ham on him when he was scratching her back, which she had been thoroughly enjoying until she snapped!


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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Lord I was not laughing at all...I was so made I went out side to cool off and since it was like 29 degrees out it didnít take long...I racked my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong???? He bit me...🤦🏻*♀️ Everything seems to be going ok today, no aggression, but I havenít given him the opportunity to be hostile either. He let me love him a little as he was sunning. Let him out and let him play for a bit and he went back in the cage on his own. At this point I am super protective of my digits. That bite was no joke...lol itís killing me because I donít trust him anymore. I mean I went as far as getting a shower and coming out and letting him smell my shampoo and body wash just to make sure he wasnít going to attack me. Iíve always loved on Tuff even when he was a pinky, so I am not for sure what to do now.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Their emotions can arise as quickly as their reaction times, which are blazingly fast.

    I don't think there are thoughts involved in the process. It is just triggered.

    Also, I don't think they form a lot specific long term memories. I will never forget, but it sort of seems like she has.

    The impulse to attack resides in the most primitive part of their brains. I am pretty certain there is very little reasoning involved.

    If he starts chattering his teeth or moving in aggressive fashion, which is slightly different from normal speedy movement, definitely back off and began soothing verbally. I have found that helps.

    If they are mad or angry getting mad or yelling at them only seems to wind them up more.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    I screamed in pain, not at him, and it was more of a OMG moment. He has always been so sweet and loving. I got him back in the cage quickly and shut the door and latched it. I went out side to cool off cause crap that hurt. More to calm down cause crap that hurt. Think about what happened and why? Was it something I did, or what? After a while he was fine, I let him out of the cage and we played. Not without protection on my hands though. Today I was skittish about loving on him, even though he wanted me to. Just really gun shy at this point. We played today, he ran all over me, climbed up and down me, and we played, but I kept something over my hands all the time. I never thought he would retain what he did, but I retain it. I am sure it was the bleach I was using to clean my kitchen with that set him off, but what else do I use that will set him off again. Not a mistake I would like to continue to make.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    I understand exactly what youíre saying....once that trust has been breached itís hard to regain it. I know that he is only 9 weeks old and youíre treating for MBD. Once the treatment is done and spring has sprung, do you intend to release him? Does he have any other medical conditions, besides the MBD, that would prevent release?

    I ask because what you experienced is typical, especially when squirrels mature. When females go through their first estrus cycle most times they turn into witches for about 2 weeks. Once males get the scent of wild females in heat they go nuts! Erratic, unpredictable behavior, that may include unexpected biting, usually follows. This is one of many reasons that most agree makes squirrels an undesirable pet. There are always exceptions, but they are more rare than common.

    I speak from experience. Several years ago I had to bring a female I released back inside because of an injury. It took several months for her to recover. During that time she was the sweetest, most cuddly creature anyone could want. She enjoyed evening cuddles while being held and rocked in a rocking chair. .

    Unbeknown to me she must have entered her first estrus cycle because out of the blue she bit me while playing one day. The trust was breached and I was gun shy after that. For the next two weeks she anxiously paced at the windows looking out and stopped being the cuddle bug that she once was. It was at that point that I knew she should be in the trees and not kept in a cage. Honestly, the fact that the trust had been broken made it easier to do the right thing, which was release her to live the life that nature intended in the trees.

    It is a success story for me....and her. She still lives in a nest box on the side of my house. Sheís had 5 litters and although she doesnít let me cuddle her, or really touch her, she does jump on me for treats and is still quite friendly.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    MBD is the only health issue he has that I can tell. When it comes time for a release I will have him evaluated again. Tuff has been a god send. Two weeks prior to finding him I lost my sister to breast cancer. He really gave me the comfort and the strength to move past that. Basically he redirected my thought process. I refused to let him die. He is my first rescue/rehab. I have learned a lot from him. During his really younger weeks he almost died twice. I worked with him and worked with him, I refused to let him just give up. He didnít give up, and here we are today. I played with him today without gloves on momentarily, Iím still skittish of him, but he played as normal. Iím trying to get back to normal. He is back to normal. I shook out his bedding today, I could tell he didnít care for it but tolerated the fact that I was going to anyways. He inspected everything carefully and then all was normal again. I just hope I can read the warning signs a little better next time to avoid this in the future. Sure love him bunches...

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    I totally get the amount of love you feel....theyíre magical! But.....sometimes you have to love them enough to let them go and be who they are and not what you want them to be. Itís never an easy decision.

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    Default Re: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    "Once bitten, twice shy."
    "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: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Monkey View Post
    Be careful about cleaning the cage. I had shook out Helen's bedding on a number of occasions. When she saw me bring them back she was always a little upset. A couple of times I washed them using All Free Clear without any scents.

    Eventually I made the big mistake, the bedding was getting dingy so I decided to throw in a little bleach in the washer. I washed them again a second time without bleach to diminish the smell. The towel was trashed already so I shouldn't have bothered. Well, the bleach was a big mistake. Whenever she went near that bedding she would start chattering her teeth. I had to remove it and she never slept in that location again, even though that was the only location she had slept in since she graduated from her box when she was little.

    Also, I have learned not to clean up pee and poop in front of her. That is erasing her territorial claim. That winds her up.

    On the same front, be sure to close the bathroom door when you are using it if they are free roaming. That can get you mauled too. I think she sees that as a counter territorial claim.

    Also, I don't think she likes the smell of my dish detergent. That has lead to some aggression.

    Also, after I come in from outside, she smells my feet and shoes. Busted. There have been a number of occasions when she has pounced on my feet, partly, I think, because during the summer I don't wear shoes, then when it gets cold I go back to wearing shoes. I don't think she likes the way wearing socks has altered the smell of my feet.












    "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: Non life threatening!!! A tad aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuff View Post
    I screamed in pain, not at him, and it was more of a OMG moment.
    Yeah I had that OMG moment when I stupidly was petting my baby's back as she was sitting on my wrist/arm eating pine nuts from my other hand. She did warn me, but not much before she got my pinky good. And I had to just stand there and take it because she kept eating and I didn't want to tick her off more. I can't remember if I eased over to a big cage we had out there that she was used to eating on top of, or if I just prayed she'd go of her own accord when she'd finished and not attack me thinking it was my fault the food was gone. I was kind of in shock. It bled really good.

    I got over it much later than she did. A few times over the course of the winter and spring (she was released in the fall and lived in a house built for her in my yard) she'd get her head in my treat pocket while my hand was in there, and I'd keep it deathly still in fear she'd think I was competing to get what was in there. I was even afraid she'd move my hand and think I'd done it and bite me. But that happened rarely and I was just careful not to set it up for her to get aggressive.



    He has always been so sweet and loving. I got him back in the cage quickly and shut the door and latched it. I went out side to cool off cause crap that hurt. More to calm down cause crap that hurt. Think about what happened and why? Was it something I did, or what? After a while he was fine, I let him out of the cage and we played. Not without protection on my hands though. Today I was skittish about loving on him, even though he wanted me to. Just really gun shy at this point. We played today, he ran all over me, climbed up and down me, and we played, but I kept something over my hands all the time. I never thought he would retain what he did, but I retain it. I am sure it was the bleach I was using to clean my kitchen with that set him off, but what else do I use that will set him off again. Not a mistake I would like to continue to make.
    It sure does sound like the bleach is the culprit. It is such an intrusive smell to our poor noses so I'm imagining how it must assail a squirrel's olfactories. I think protecting your hands is a good idea just for your peace of mind, and since he doesn't seem to treat you any differently with them on? I guess if you get the teeth chatter on approaching his cage you'd just do a mental checklist of your activity prior and if you're "stinky" change it or wait for it to dissipate and play with him later?
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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

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