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Thread: sick squirrel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    Florida
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    Default sick squirrel

    Hello All, I'm finally registered! I'm a Molecular Biologist/Microbiologist conducting drug discovery to treat TB. I'm an animal lover and avid reader. So, about 6 wks ago a baby grey squirrel crawled up my husband's leg while he was working in the yard. We put a towel in our cat carrier with water and put him in there until nightfall, having read that the mom should come by nighttime. The baby followed my husband around the yard on and off, and the mom didn't come, so we are fostering him. We call him Nutz. Nutz has been doing wonderfully on Esbilac for 6 wks now, supplemented with Henry's Healthy Blocks and veggies and store-bought mushrooms; we estimate that he is about 12 -13 wks old. He lives in a big bird cage and sleeps in a ferret hammock at night (covered). During the day, he naps in his 3 favorite hanging plants in the screen room, which he has the run of all day. When he is old enough we plan to release him in the back yard. Everything was fine until 2 days ago. I noticed that his left eye looked slightly swollen and irritated. Now, both eyes are kind of gummy and he is sneezing. I don't know what to do. For the life of me, he looks like he has a common cold. He isn't clicking with his breathing, so I don't think that he has aspiration pneumonia. Nutz is still greedily taking his morning and evening bottle, but he isn't really eating any of the hard food, and was prior to this. I always collect fresh hibiscus flowers/shoots, moss, myrtle, and bamboo shoots for eating and his nest. Two days ago, I added fern leaves to the mix because they are soft. Could he be allergic to them? This morning I gave him a long bath with warm water to clean the milk off of him and to wash his eyes. He squeaked when I washed his left eye, so I'm guessing it's sore. Help! I don't know what to do! I do know that squirrels are very hardy, as last year a resident male showed up at the feeder with a neck abscess and a damaged eye. He lost the eye, but recovered all on his own; goodness knows that I don't know how he did it. Anybody have any ideas how to help, or do I need to? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    SC (Madison)
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    Default Re: sick squirrel

    It would be helpful if you could post pictures of the eye. Pictures speak volumes.

    This could be almost anything form an infection, to a fall injury... or something scratched his eye? And yes, new plants being introduced could be the issue... the plants themselves or maybe come "hanger on" critters (bacterial, insect, etc.).

    I am curious: Does he eat the bamboo shoots? I've just never seen a squirrel eat bamboo, but that does not mean they will not...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Florida
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    Thanked: 0

    Default sick squirrel

    Hello All, I'm finally registered! I'm a Molecular Biologist/Microbiologist conducting drug discovery to treat TB. I'm an animal lover and avid reader. So, about 6 wks ago a baby grey squirrel crawled up my husband's leg while he was working in the yard. We put a towel in our cat carrier with water and put him in there until nightfall, having read that the mom should come by nighttime. The baby followed my husband around the yard on and off, and the mom didn't come, so we are fostering him. We call him Nutz. Nutz has been doing wonderfully on Esbilac for 6 wks now, supplemented with Henry's Healthy Blocks and veggies and store-bought mushrooms; we estimate that he is about 12 -13 wks old. He lives in a big bird cage and sleeps in a ferret hammock at night (covered). During the day, he naps in his 3 favorite hanging plants in the screen room, which he has the run of all day. When he is old enough we plan to release him in the back yard. Everything was fine until 2 days ago. I noticed that his left eye looked slightly swollen and irritated. Now, both eyes are kind of gummy and he is sneezing. I don't know what to do. For the life of me, he looks like he has a common cold. He isn't clicking with his breathing, so I don't think that he has aspiration pneumonia. Nutz is still greedily taking his morning and evening bottle, but he isn't really eating any of the hard food, and was prior to this. I always collect fresh hibiscus flowers/shoots, moss, myrtle, and bamboo shoots for eating and his nest. Two days ago, I added fern leaves to the mix because they are soft. Could he be allergic to them? This morning I gave him a long bath with warm water to clean the milk off of him and to wash his eyes. He squeaked when I washed his left eye, so I'm guessing it's sore. Help! I don't know what to do! I do know that squirrels are very hardy, as last year a resident male showed up at the feeder with a neck abscess and a damaged eye. He lost the eye, but recovered all on his own; goodness knows that I don't know how he did it. Anybody have any ideas how to help, or do I need to? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northeast
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    Default Re: sick squirrel

    Can you guys get a look at his teeth? Gummy, weepy eyes can actually be tooth related. A fall you don't know about could be part of a problem.

    If not, can you get your hands on human antibiotics? Maybe some amoxicillin/clavulanate? If you can, if you can provide us with the weight of the squirrel and the size in milligrams of the meds, we can help you properly dilute and dose.

    Generally speaking, where in FL are you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Florida
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    Default Re: sick squirrel

    Spanky and Crittermom, thank you both for replying! I will try to get a picture of his eye tonight when I get home, and will post it. Spanky, I don't believe that he eats the bamboo; the shoots are tender and he uses them in his bedding along with moss, etc. CritterMom, interesting that you should mention his teeth. From the beginning of fostering Nutz, I've wondered if he maybe had something wrong with his mouth/teeth/cleft palate? His bottom teeth look a little long, but he has a cuttle bone, some rocks, and a wooden block to chew on. Again, I'll try to get some pictures of his teeth. We are located near the Mouse House.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
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    Default Re: sick squirrel

    Well, you are about 60 or so miles from the most experienced squirrel "dentist" in the country, in Port Orange, so you are very well situated if this is a tooth issue.

  7. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    Spanky (06-10-2021)

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