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Thread: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

  1. #1
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    Default Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Hello everyone,

    My favorite yard squirrel, Sweet Boy, has limited back leg mobility. He gets around well enough and will still climb some. Just a few minutes ago I was watching him climb a tree and he fell from about 7-8 feet. He is now sitting at the base of the tree in a form. Is there anything I can do to help him? I am so worried!

    thank you!

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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Doo View Post
    Hello everyone,

    My favorite yard squirrel, Sweet Boy, has limited back leg mobility. He gets around well enough and will still climb some. Just a few minutes ago I was watching him climb a tree and he fell from about 7-8 feet. He is now sitting at the base of the tree in a form. Is there anything I can do to help him? I am so worried!

    thank you!
    Others can chime in but I'd try and provide his favorite foods and water in a safe place so he can stay immobile and heal as much as possible without having to forage.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Under normal conditions, a fall of 7-8' probably will not hurt a healthy adult squirrel. But of course, there are exceptions.

    Is the leg injury/deficit something new or something he has had for a long time?


    In the short term, keep an eye on him and make sure he can still move around and climb.
    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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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Thank you all for your advice! I was worried that the fall would be automatically fatal, so I'm really glad to hear that it can be survived.

    Sweet Boy remained at the base of the tree for around 10 minutes before he attempted to climb it again. He made it this time, thankfully! Since then he has been laying on one of his favorite branches like he usually does in the afternoons.

    Sweet Boy's back legs/feet don't seem to move as well as they should but I have no idea what the problem is. Here is a video of him climbing a different tree just a few days ago.

    https://youtu.be/GQawzTI9dRo

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    He is having a pretty tough time climbing. I can't tell from the video, is one of his legs weaker or are they both affected? He would probably benefit from getting some extra food/treats from you and try to leave out a bowl of fresh water for him ,to drink from (clean it daily).


    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Doo View Post
    Thank you all for your advice! I was worried that the fall would be automatically fatal, so I'm really glad to hear that it can be survived.

    Sweet Boy remained at the base of the tree for around 10 minutes before he attempted to climb it again. He made it this time, thankfully! Since then he has been laying on one of his favorite branches like he usually does in the afternoons.

    Sweet Boy's back legs/feet don't seem to move as well as they should but I have no idea what the problem is. Here is a video of him climbing a different tree just a few days ago.

    https://youtu.be/GQawzTI9dRo
    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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    sundoesshine (07-23-2021)

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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    I think both of his legs are affected. Here is a video of him from a few days ago walking on the ground. https://youtu.be/C7qSkQJH4V8

    Here is a video of him climbing the tree yesterday after his fall. The branch he is climbing in the video is not the branch that he fell off of. He fell from the far left branch that you can see at the very beginning of the video. https://youtu.be/PzhqSs2Gjm8

    I am thinking I would like to modify the tree to make it easier for him to climb. I have a few different ideas. For one, I was thinking of adding a piece of wood along the left side of the left branch as a kind of guard rail. Or, I was also thinking maybe I could add some little strips of wood along the branch to give him extra things to grip, sort of like a rock climbing wall. Has anyone done anything like this before? Do you think either of these things would help, or would they make it worse? The left branch leads to a hollowed out area where he likes to sleep. I call it his canoe.

    Thank you all so much for your help!

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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Doo View Post
    I think both of his legs are affected.
    Aww, he really is sweet. It almost looks like his legs don't extend fully or correctly and it does seem as though they both are affected. The fall was probably because he doesn't seem to be able to grip very well. I would probably experiment with some modifications to the tree if it were me but I'm not sure what the experts would say. Is that a bump towards the end of his spine?

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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    He looks REALLY thin. I think he would really benefit from a couple weeks inside, plenty of rest and food and if there are no injuries to his pelvis/legs, a course of prednisone.
    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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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    What is the best way to get some prednisone?

    I'm not a rehabber (just a squirrel watcher) so I don't have any cages or set up to keep him in inside, though I would love to. I also don't know how he would react. He is super friendly and sweet in the front yard, but he doesn't seem to like it when I come near his favorite tree in the side yard and try to interact with him there. (He just stares at me.) What kind of setup would I need?

    I keep a really close eye on Sweet Boy and I would say I know where he is in the yard/trees about 70% of the time. I am confident I could give him the medicine if I can find some.

    I haven't noticed a bump towards the end of his spine, but I could easily be wrong.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    You need a prescription for pred. Unless you can find some leftover pills. But it would be best if a local rehabber could help you with him. Pred needs to be dosed pretty carefully and regularly. Sweet Boys coat looks pretty ragged, he is thin and his hind legs are compromised. Something is going with him, a good local rehabber could figure it out and how to best help him. I can only guess based on the video and it is not clear to me what is going on with your little one. I would certainly continue to provide him with extra treats and fresh water, it will help him to keep up his strength and hopefully to heal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Doo View Post
    What is the best way to get some prednisone?

    I'm not a rehabber (just a squirrel watcher) so I don't have any cages or set up to keep him in inside, though I would love to. I also don't know how he would react. He is super friendly and sweet in the front yard, but he doesn't seem to like it when I come near his favorite tree in the side yard and try to interact with him there. (He just stares at me.) What kind of setup would I need?

    I keep a really close eye on Sweet Boy and I would say I know where he is in the yard/trees about 70% of the time. I am confident I could give him the medicine if I can find some.

    I haven't noticed a bump towards the end of his spine, but I could easily be wrong.
    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

  14. Serious fuzzy thank you's to TubeDriver from:

    Rock Monkey (07-27-2021)

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Fall from tree 7-8 feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Doo View Post
    I am thinking I would like to modify the tree to make it easier for him to climb. I have a few different ideas. For one, I was thinking of adding a piece of wood along the left side of the left branch as a kind of guard rail. Or, I was also thinking maybe I could add some little strips of wood along the branch to give him extra things to grip, sort of like a rock climbing wall. Has anyone done anything like this before? Do you think either of these things would help, or would they make it worse? The left branch leads to a hollowed out area where he likes to sleep. I call it his canoe.
    He is definitely struggling.

    The tree has plenty of features in its rough bark. For small hands with sharp claws this should provide plenty of places to get grip. You might consider buying enough bags of mulch to cover the bare roots at the base with a couple of inches of mulch.

    Modern boards are quite smooth, much smoother than bark.

    I would consider putting food up in the lower part of his tree. There are plenty of features which would provide places where you could wedge some food. Consider giving shelled walnuts and pecans as they are soft. You can also put some small pieces of fresh, ripe avocado (no skin or pit as these contain toxins). Also try some cooked butternut squash or sweet potato with maybe a little brown sugar and cinnamon mixed in. Also try raw zucchini and apple. See what he likes.

    You might also strap a pet water bottle to the tree, changing it out every couple of days.

    Always taste any food before giving it to him. If it doesn't taste good, don't give it to him.

    Never stare at the squirrel. (This is something predators do.) Look at them indirectly and then look away. Be casual, almost indifferent. Talking to it calmly will help convey that you aren't a threat and will allow you to monitor you emotional state. They are extraordinarily sensitive and empathic.

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