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Thread: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

  1. #1
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    Default Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    Hi all - This is a very timely thread as I was just about to post some similar teeth questions. My squirrel Tinkerbelle is a California Ground Squirrel. She also lost one top incisor for no apparent reason when she was still a bottle baby. She is now almost 9 months old and it has never grown back. The remaining top tooth was white for a long time, and got worn down very quickly to just a button. I don't know whether the white color was because the tooth was growing so much to try and gain leverage against the bottom ones, or was part of her age, or irrelevant.

    But in the last few months I notice the top tooth seems to be more hardy. It is closer in color to the bottom ones, and it actually looks wider, but that may be because it never gets a point, or it may be an illusion. I was trimming her teeth every 3 to 4 weeks. At this point I have not trimmed her bottom teeth since November. I am wondering if her adult tooth, even though it's just the one, may be able to hold its own against those bottom teeth now that she is reaching adulthood? I am also wondering how long I would need to continue to monitor her tooth wear until it is safe to draw a conclusion that she could be released? Or would it ever reach this point? She is an avid chewer, remodeling any wooden part of a cage that she can get to, cardboard boxes, blankets and towels, branches, etc.

    She manipulates food normally in her mouth I believe, and is able to stick her tongue out and lick, so I do not see the tooth configuration interfering with her eating at this point. I also do not think the bottom ones are hitting the roof of her mouth. At least there is no red spot up there to indicate any irritation.

    I believe that in other respects Tinker would be a good candidate for a soft release. I just don't know how to evaluate her tooth situation now that it possibly appears she is managing the wear on her own.

    I am not sure whether the differences between grey squirrel teeth and ground squirrel teeth would make advice for Jazz different than advice for me. However, they are similar problems. And Jazz, yes, if Tinker has snacks she will FOREGO all healthy food and act like she's been sooo abused. Such a drama queen. If your baby can eat nuts, he can eat healthy foods too. I throw in bird seed, meal worms, chicken scratch, cat food, weeds from the property - pretty much anything I think the wild ones around here may find.

    Here are pics of Tinkerbelle's teeth. Again, at 9 months old. California Ground Squirrel:
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Tinkerbelle:

    Chirps (01-14-2021), TubeDriver (01-14-2021)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    That is a tough call IMHO. It certainly looks like her teeth are now self-wearing correctly. I guess my hesitancy come from the fact that once she is released, you may never get the chance to rescue her if the teeth start having issues. I would certainly overwinter her and monitor her teeth. Try to make her diet closer to what she will actually have available in her wild environment. If they are looking perfect after ~6 months total, that might be enough time to consider her teeth "fixed". I would be interested to hear other opinions/experiences that might help you with this decision.
    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

  4. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to TubeDriver:

    Buddy (01-16-2021), Chirps (01-14-2021), lukaslolamaus (01-14-2021), Tinkerbelle (01-14-2021)

  5. #3
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    Default Re: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    TubeDriver - Thanks for the input! I agree it worries me that I doubt she would come 'begging for help' if she were to need it in the future. Inside she has a pretty great life, rules the roost so to speak, and has us all wrapped around her teeny tiny finger.

    One thing I wonder, as I watch her chew, is whether she would actually chew as much outside as she does in here. After all, she takes out her cage energy on her perches and branches, but out and about in the house she really only chews to get through something that's in her way - a shelf, a door, the wall, the floor.....

    We have a sturdy population of wild CGS on the property and in our rural neighborhood - burrowing under wood piles, barns, shops, chicken coop, etc. It seems like they must spend more time digging than chewing.

    Any thoughts?

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    I don't personally have any experience with ground squirrels. They live in colonies sometimes so I am not sure how a singleton release would do? I think the longer longer she goes with needing any help with her teeth the better and since she seems happy with you, I would give her plenty of time in order to make sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle View Post
    TubeDriver - Thanks for the input! I agree it worries me that I doubt she would come 'begging for help' if she were to need it in the future. Inside she has a pretty great life, rules the roost so to speak, and has us all wrapped around her teeny tiny finger.

    One thing I wonder, as I watch her chew, is whether she would actually chew as much outside as she does in here. After all, she takes out her cage energy on her perches and branches, but out and about in the house she really only chews to get through something that's in her way - a shelf, a door, the wall, the floor.....

    We have a sturdy population of wild CGS on the property and in our rural neighborhood - burrowing under wood piles, barns, shops, chicken coop, etc. It seems like they must spend more time digging than chewing.

    Any thoughts?
    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

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    Yes I agree. I'm not in any hurry to release her since there would be no going back. I will try to take photos of her teeth from time to time as well so I can compare them. Thank you again!

    Tink's mom

  8. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Tinkerbelle from:

    TubeDriver (01-15-2021)

  9. #6
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    Default Re: Squirrel with tooth issues - release possible?

    Hope to hear good news from you in a couple months! Let us know if anything changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkerbelle View Post
    Yes I agree. I'm not in any hurry to release her since there would be no going back. I will try to take photos of her teeth from time to time as well so I can compare them. Thank you again!

    Tink's mom
    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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