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Thread: Neurological damage

  1. #1
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    Default Neurological damage

    I am new to posting and appreciate any help and guidance. I am a licensed rehabber in Des Moines, Iowa but, my knowledge is limited to what I have researched, read, and gleaned from another out of state rehabber via phone council. I have not taken any formal classes and do not have medical training. I have had one successful rehab and release, one rehab who is a NR and now....a situation I am struggling with. I received a text about a squirrel in need in our city. There had been a storm, although not violent, shortly before. We found the squirrel sprawled on the sidewalk, soaking wet, head craned to one side. She did not move when we approached but was alive. We brought her home got her in warm water, blew her dry on low, and began rehydration. There was one mild abrasion on her upper leg, though did not appear severe. The neck situation was extremely concerning. The next morning I got her to the vet. Raccoon Roundworm was ruled out, an x-ray was performed and showed no broken bones. The vet assessed most likely a fall, neurological damage. Pupils were checked but the vet had a difficult time discerning the condition of her vision. I have not found a vet other than her in my area who is willing to treat squirrels and she admits her knowledge is limited but, she is wonderful and caring. I am still unsure at this point if she is blind. I am thinking she is. She does seem to respond to sound in some ways. That day she exhibited no "squirrel behavior" she was docile, probably terrified. I have been treating her with Prednisone and Clavamox (in case of infection) since as prescribed. We are on day four of the treatment and I have witnessed no improvement other than behavioral. She is estimated to be between 9-11 weeks. Initially, I tired Esbliac which, I was relieved she took. Throughout the course of the last three days I have discovered she will take semi-soft (applesauce, peeled grapes, watermelon) as well as nuts. I have to hold them for her, a challenge. I wake her to give her medicine and feed any hydrate, when feeding she is active (squirming and such) besides that she sleeps. She "rolls" when disturbed in the direction of the head tilt. And is desperate to burrow under the fleece. It is gut wrenching to witness. She will eventually settle and I try and adjust her body so her body and head are somewhat aligned. She is eliminating. So......does anyone have ANY advice. Anything I can do to help? Do conditions like this ever work themselves out? As mentioned, I have one NR so I understand the commitment, that doesn't concern me but, I need to make sure I am doing everything and anything to help her, and I certainly don't want her to suffer. I keep hoping it's ear mites but, there is no discharge, no smell. In my heart believe it is neurological and I am unsure if this caused suffering for the animal. Does anyone have an experience with this? What can I do? At her next feeding I can try and get video and or photos....I believe there is a way to upload here? If any of you think it may be helpful.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    I would continue the prednisone for a while - 4 days isn't that long. Also, continue giving the esbilac if she will take it - formula is a nice, healthy diet as long as they will consume it. Go very easy on nuts. Do you know about metabolic bone disease? That is to be avoided like the plague. We have lots of info on it here.

    We have seen a number of fairly miraculous recoveries here over the years. Obviously, without knowing exactly what all got "tweaked" when she fell it is hard to predict, but I would sure keep her on the steroids for a fairly long course.

    I have even seen several of my wild yard squirrels make amazing long term recoveries. I had one that was unable to sit and eat without falling over and had to lay on her side to eat when I first noticed her at my feeder, and over a two year period she improved to the point that I couldn't usually pick her out any longer by sight! And that was with nothing but food support - no meds at all!

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    island rehabber (07-12-2021)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Methlycobalamin and Adenocobalamin, the organic non toxic forms of Vitamin B-12, may help; there is laboratory evidence
    that this form of B 12 may improve the function of damaged nerves.

    Global Healing Vitamin B 12 liquid 2500 bottle. Dose 1 needle drop using a (1 ml) (1 cc) needle syringe.

    https://www.amazon.com/VeganSafe-B-1...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel Girl Des Moines View Post
    I am new to posting and appreciate any help and guidance. I am a licensed rehabber in Des Moines, Iowa but, my knowledge is limited to what I have researched, read, and gleaned from another out of state rehabber via phone council. I have not taken any formal classes and do not have medical training. I have had one successful rehab and release, one rehab who is a NR and now....a situation I am struggling with. I received a text about a squirrel in need in our city. There had been a storm, although not violent, shortly before. We found the squirrel sprawled on the sidewalk, soaking wet, head craned to one side. She did not move when we approached but was alive. We brought her home got her in warm water, blew her dry on low, and began rehydration. There was one mild abrasion on her upper leg, though did not appear severe. The neck situation was extremely concerning. The next morning I got her to the vet. Raccoon Roundworm was ruled out, an x-ray was performed and showed no broken bones. The vet assessed most likely a fall, neurological damage. Pupils were checked but the vet had a difficult time discerning the condition of her vision. I have not found a vet other than her in my area who is willing to treat squirrels and she admits her knowledge is limited but, she is wonderful and caring. I am still unsure at this point if she is blind. I am thinking she is. She does seem to respond to sound in some ways. That day she exhibited no "squirrel behavior" she was docile, probably terrified. I have been treating her with Prednisone and Clavamox (in case of infection) since as prescribed. We are on day four of the treatment and I have witnessed no improvement other than behavioral. She is estimated to be between 9-11 weeks. Initially, I tired Esbliac which, I was relieved she took. Throughout the course of the last three days I have discovered she will take semi-soft (applesauce, peeled grapes, watermelon) as well as nuts. I have to hold them for her, a challenge. I wake her to give her medicine and feed any hydrate, when feeding she is active (squirming and such) besides that she sleeps. She "rolls" when disturbed in the direction of the head tilt. And is desperate to burrow under the fleece. It is gut wrenching to witness. She will eventually settle and I try and adjust her body so her body and head are somewhat aligned. She is eliminating. So......does anyone have ANY advice. Anything I can do to help? Do conditions like this ever work themselves out? As mentioned, I have one NR so I understand the commitment, that doesn't concern me but, I need to make sure I am doing everything and anything to help her, and I certainly don't want her to suffer. I keep hoping it's ear mites but, there is no discharge, no smell. In my heart believe it is neurological and I am unsure if this caused suffering for the animal. Does anyone have an experience with this? What can I do? At her next feeding I can try and get video and or photos....I believe there is a way to upload here? If any of you think it may be helpful.
    Hi there - Iíd just like to give you some hope more than anything. I have a juvenile squirrel that had fallen from a tree and has neurological injuries and was behaving very similarly to how you have described, but just with rest and care he is so much better. In my case he didnít have any medication as I have only found this board fairly recently, but I just made sure to feed him a proper diet and observe him, ensuring that when he is roaming free I can easily support him if heís a little wobbly to prevent any further falls. Iíve had him for about 4 months now and he has gone from barely moving, to spinning in circles (never a good sign) to now behaving like a fairly ďnormalĒ squirrel. Unfortunately he is non releasable as he cannot open his own nuts and he cannot jump properly (and still sometimes has spells when heís a little wobbly, he does have somewhat of a head tilt on some days; it really does vary day by day) but he has a good quality of life and gets around very well. Sending you and this squirrel good thoughts.

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

    sundoesshine (07-12-2021)

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    I have treated HBC type trauma in adults when they get the "wild" knocked out of them for quite a few days. With the adults, when they start returning to normal they can become rather bitey. This one sounds young enough for that not to be very worrisome, but be prepared just in case.

    And since she is young, her chances of recovery are better. I agree with the advice to continue the prednisone for a while...

    I assume she has been been treated for mites just in case that is a factor?


  9. #6
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the replies. I am so incredibly grateful and now at least, have a bit of hope! On ear mites: I did not remember my vet checking for those and I feel remiss for not insisting she did. I know she's trying her best but is not an expert and admittedly so. On the advice of a fellow out of state rehabber I did swab her ears which she seemed to enjoy, no fuss and they were filthy (mites? dried blood?) I took out four swabs of "dirt". It is black in color. I do not see anything crawling but my eye sight is not the best. I sent the photo to my fellow rehabber who confirmed she thought it might be mites. Is there a definitive test that can be performed to see if that is the issue? I swabbed out the ears gently with alcohol and am treating with mineral oil as advised. Can someone answer is there a better treatment for this? Is there a prescription? I went back to work today after a week's vacation, came home over lunch and she did take some food. Literally, tonight, she wasn't interested in eating, just half a grape and spit formula out, which is a problem. Stinker. But when I did her ears she was still as could be and her eyes closed so maybe it feels like relief? I just don't know. She is very squirmy but when I did this she was very calm. Seemed to enjoy it? Maybe a good sign? If there is a prescription or another course of action I could take for this? I would welcome the suggestions. Also, I have been trying to get nourishment in her every 4-6 hours. She gets very stressed and "rolls" so much I am worried (about everything!) that this might be too much stress. Is every 4-6 hours too much for her age and current condition? Again, thank you so very much for your help. And thank you for the hope.

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    I'd recommend Henry's Picky blocks as a supplement to her diet, 2 each day.
    https://henryspets.com/picky-blocks-...rats-and-mice/

    Here is the link for the healthy squirrel diet just in case:
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    The mites can be treated with a small drop (not the entire ampule) of kitten / puppy Revolution... the original, plain selamectin not the "plus". Your vet should be able to provide this as it is prescription.

    Yes, those are good signs!!!

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Spanky, thank you so much for the information I have ordered the blocks and working on getting the Revolution today. I had a small glimmer of hope this morning! For the first time she sat up and held a grape and fed herself! I haven't seen her do that before!

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    [QUOTE=Spanky;1334076]I'd recommend Henry's Picky blocks as a supplement to her diet, 2 each day.
    https://henryspets.com/picky-blocks-...rats-and-mice/

    Here is the link for the healthy squirrel diet just in case:
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    The mites can be treated with a small drop (not the entire ampule) of kitten / puppy Revolution... the original, plain selamectin not the "plus". Your vet should be able to provide this as it is prescription.

    Yes, those are good signs!!! [/QUOTE

    Spanky, I got the Revolution! I am assuming the drop goes between the shoulder blades not in the ear right? Stupid question but want to make sure I get it right!

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel Girl Des Moines View Post
    Spanky, I got the Revolution! I am assuming the drop goes between the shoulder blades not in the ear right? Stupid question but want to make sure I get it right!
    Yes, between the shoulder blades is perfect.

    Good news on the sitting up eating grapes!

    Keep up the good work and please keep us updated!

  14. #11
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    Default Re: Neurological damage

    Gloria update! Thank you for all of the assistance! I have discontinued the Clavamox on advice of a fellow rehabber as she has not shown evidence of infection. I am continuing the Prednisone as recommended for the full 14 day cycle and will touch base with the vet after that time. She was treated with Revolution on July 13th. Over the last three days there have been signs of improvement which I am taking as hopeful. She has started to groom although not much, maybe it's a start, after eating, she is occasionally using her front paws to help feed herself as I am feeding her. While being held she appears to be holding her head more uprights. She is spinning and diving less, whether this is a neurological/inner ear improvement I don't know. I suppose she could just be less frightened by me and her situation which has calmed her. She does seem to be ever so slightly more active. After feeding this morning, she did poke her head out of her bedding three times and once walked over to a bowl which has her fruit. She didn't take any, but, it made me feel better to know she at least might be aware it exists. I have gotten the Henry's Blocks...so far no luck with those but I am trying!!! I cannot for the life of me get her to take formula or water!!! I'm adding lots of water to mashed avocado and I can still get her to eat the peeled grapes which I hope is enough hydration. Her skin bounces back well with the pinch test. I do think she is blind. Any advice on how to make her more comfortable with that situation would be welcome. Any advice on what to do with her habitat? Thank you so much, wanted to provide an update as you have all be wonderful!

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