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Thread: Directed here by Vet staff!

  1. #1
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    Default Directed here by Vet staff!

    Good Morning!

    I have been enjoying my lil squirrel lady's company for the past 3 years, and watched her grow up as well as have a few babies along the way.
    She always comes to the door when she wants her food and time sitting on her chair next to me.

    Yesterday, a car came by and I gave her an alert call. She did her little prairie dog stance, and got out just in time to survive.

    I had to collect her and take her to the vet after getting struct by a car.

    Long story short, (too late)...

    She has some fractures to her pelvis, a fracture at the base of her tail, a fracture to the 'mickey mouse ears' on the base of her spine... and about an inch at the tip of her tail was amputated.
    I will be working with her, for the next 10 weeks +, before she can be released, as she needs ample healing time and PT before it's safe to be outside again.

    Any information on cage setups, food selections, and best practices would be welcomed with open arms!
    Since she's technically a wild squirrel, things are more complicated than non-wild.

    Her :
    Grey squirrel
    At least 4 years old
    she has 3 kids that are still here, outside. (they aren't babies)

    Current Treatment :
    partial tail amputation
    Daily oral pain medication
    2-week vet appointment for removing sutures from tail (may5th)

    Monitoring her use of the tail (that she can still move it) since the vet said that if she loses the ability to wiggle it, then she will have to amputate the whole tail.
    She was injured almost exactly 24hrs from this post.

    Current tasks :
    Building a rectangular enclosure this weekend, so that she has more room than the med/small dog carrier that was the biggest crate/carrier available at local pet store.
    getting ensure (vet advice) for emergency feeding if she doesn't eat anything by end of day.
    Research/get a variety of greens/nuts/berries/etc that can help gettign her a solid diet that doesn't consist of just black sunflower seeds (in shell) and rabbit pellets (only thing I could get fast).

    If you're able to help with pushing me towards good information, that will cut my research time down a LOT, as the interwebs are filled with hot garbage, and I'm not making my squirrel lady suffer if I can help it!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Aw. She sure is lucky to have you in her corner!

    So first and foremost, since you are building something for her, make sure the wire you choose has small openings - perfect is 1/2" x 1/2" wire mesh (called "hardware cloth "in the biz.") These small openings will prevent her from chewing the cage wires which is very bad for their teeth. Since squirrel's "happy place" is up high, but you don't want her to do a lot of climbing, wither building a stand or buying something like the inexpensive PVC shelving units they sell at HD and Lowes for storage that you can place the cage on top of so that when you walk up to it, instead of looming over the top of it you are more at eye level will make her feel a lot safer. On that same vein, I always suggest people in this situation is a sheet or blanket to cover the back, top and two sides of the cage so there is only one way for her to look out (and thus, in her head, only one side a "predator" could sneak up on her). Since you are building something, you could make some of the sides solid instead of wire. If you want, you could make it tall enough that you could put some wide, shallow ramps up to the top of the cage (you want to cover them so they aren't slippery - you can even staple some felt or something on there) and put a large, wide shelf near the cage top with a big pile of fleece pieces so she can make a sleeping nest up there. Put a board across the front of the shelf to act as a lip to keep the nest stuff up there.

    The crock lock dishes are the best for water https://www.chewy.com/frisco-cage-cr...SABEgKEQPD_BwE. They lock onto the cage wire or bars and the bowl locks in to the holder so it cannot be tipped over.

    This stuff: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Foss-Unb...J1VH/202800194 is unbound rug material, made from old plastic bottles though you would never know that, which can be cut easily with scissors. It does not have loops so it will not snag nails. It is fantastic for covering ramps, shelves, and solid cage sides because you can just sit to size and staple it on. Most Home Depot's have the gray color in stores. I use this %$#! for EVERYTHING!

    I would strongly suggest you get a few bags of these: https://www.henryspets.com/squirrel-diet/ - and of the first three items on the page. The Picky and the Hazelnut are favored. 2-3 of these provide all of the vitamins and minerals they require, and are actually designed to taste good. This page: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels has lots of food ideas. I will tell you that the veggies they seem to love the most are things like sugar snap peas, little baby carrots, they love avocado (do not let them have the pit or the skins as they have a toxin in them that could make them sick). If you get dandelions down there, unsprayed flowers are very tasty. Unsprayed hibiscus, which I KNOW you have are as well.

    Other rodent blocks, though not nearly as tasty as the Henrys are made by a company called Envigo Teklad and sold mostly on ebay since they are manufactured for lab rodents and only sold commercially in 50 pound bags. https://www.ebay.com/itm/23385020909...8AAOSwyjBW5xS~ Just get the 2 pound bag - it is a lot of blocks! The Henry's are a food and a supplement so you shouldn't give more than 3 a day. The Teklad are a "free feed" product so you can leave them in the cage for her to eat at will. They also last a long time. The Henrys have no preservatives and should be kept in the freezer (I keep a couple day's worth in my refrigerator and the bags in the freezer). They should also be removed from the cage daily as they WILL go bad.

    Probably more info than you wanted, right?

    My last piece of advise a a veteran cage builder: If you don't happen to have a compressor driven staple gun, spend the money and buy a plug in electric one - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-...550Z/100388382. Unless you just want to spend the next two weeks with a crumpled, deformed and extremely painful hand, using a hand powered stapler is just nuts. It s quite literally the most important tool I have other than wire cutters!

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Thanks for the reply!

    Quick update :

    She has to stay in her large pet carrier (big fat kitty/ small dog sized) until May 5th.
    I'll be rebuilding the final enclosure for her, since I had planned on using 2, 1 for intermediate use, and final for PT and full squirrel fun.
    The 2 enclosures might still be the way forward, though. I'll know more once her May 5th checkup and stiches get removed on her tail.

    Food :

    She is picky as heck... and sticks to only the stuff that's natural to her.
    I've tried all the fresh fruits/berries/greens/etc, and no dice.
    She loves her sunflower seeds!
    Because of time not being something I can play with now, I dropped by a farm store and picked up a bunch of 'no waste' nuts to help her out, as well as some mixed berries/nuts for birds that had vitamins and such.
    She's always been good at throwing out seeds that she didn't think were good enough to eat.. and only eating the stuff that was good, so I figured she'd let me know what works until the food that you listed would get here!

    I do have a couple questions about temperature ranges and chewing stuff she can have.

    Temp :
    Shes trapped inside, until she moves to an enclosure, so I make sure that house is warmer for me than normal. (it's basically early spring temps for her, if she were outside... mid70's daytime, 69 to 72 at night.
    If she has a bunch of bedding and stuff to nest in, and cover up, I think she'll be fine and won't be bad?

    Chewy Stuff :
    I'm ADHD, so I know I'd be bored as hell if stuck in a box with scary people grabbing me and making me drink pain meds and clean my hard work at nesting everyday... then spend the rest of the day bored and alone.
    Would giving her some sticks/branches (small ones, pinky or smaller sized) be ok with giving her something to chew on?

    Thanks again for all the help and pointers!
    it has helped a TON!

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    In dealing with injured wilds , in my experience, it usually takes a long time to convert their diet to "cultivated veggies". And some tough love. Wilds tend to be okay with eating fresh corn, avocado, sugar snap peas. initially along with dandelion leaves, rose hips, maple spinners and whatever wild foods that can be provided. It takes weeks and weeks to convert from their wild diet to "cultivated grocery store" veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and all the other stuff they have likely never encountered in the wild. I am sadly going through this conversion again currently with a hawk caught girl that has lost her eyesight as a result of the attack a few weeks ago.

    Know she will not allow herself to starve to death with a bowl full of broccoli and cauliflower sitting next to her, but she'll surely hold out for seeds if you are willing to provide those if she is not eating the veggies.

    If you feed her nuts and seeds for a prolonged period she will develop MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease)... there is lots of info on this if you search TSB, including a dedicated forum to MBD. Captive squirrels can usually only get 2 -3 nuts max a day, and that is only if they have a very balanced diet. It takes weeks or months for the bones to deteriorate to the point where there are observable symptoms, and by the time the symptoms pop up it has become a life threatening situation; as a prey animal, squirrels are hard wired to mask any injuries or illnesses so by the time they have observable symptoms, they really are critical.

    Rabbit pellets are not good as squirrels are not "grass eaters" (over simplified, but is basically the case). Ditto gerbil / hamster food. A squirrels' nutrition are better met with rodent (rat / mice) food.

    Sunflower seeds (and nuts and dry corn stuff) are like cotton candy to a human toddler, but nutritional worse than cotton candy. And like a toddler, she'll eat all the seeds you are willing to give her...

    Fruits (and berries) should only be about 20% of the diet and veggies 80% if using a supplement block like Henry's. If you go the extruded commercial rodent block (Teklad, Mazuri, Oxbow) from the store, then the rodent block needs to be 80% (or more) of their diet.

    It is okay to provide her fresh sticks that have not been sprayed with pesticides. I'd avoid any pine type sticks and focus on fruit trees and hardwoods like maple or beech.



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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Thanks for the heads-up on food stuff!

    I have a bunch of veggies and will start pushing that as 90% of the offerings tomorrow.
    She lives in my camphor trees, so id give her those berries, but its wrong time of season.
    Currently available foods i got to try for her :
    Fresh :
    snow/snap peas
    Blueberries
    Raspberries
    Cherry tomatoes
    Salad greens (mixed)
    Strawberries

    Nuts : (not fdup by hoomans)
    Sunflower seeds
    Peanuts (shelled)
    Mixed nuts with vitamins (shelled)
    ^^ 2 different types meant for birds.

    When i give her the pain meds in the morning, i give her some ensure (strawberry flavor) since she needs food with it... she seems to like it, or is getting used to (scary guy forcing stuff in muh face) in the morning.

    I'll update you all on how the food transition goes!

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Adding any nuts and seeds to the Teklad diet that is formulated for maturing juvenile rats with no other foods added; will tip the Calcium to Phosphorus closer and perhaps equal or inverted when adding nuts, seeds and or other foods that are higher in phosphorus than calcium in ratio.

    The HHB diet, which is formulated with a higher Calcium to Phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio than that of the Teklad now "Envigo Rat" block diet with a closer (1.42:1) (Ca:P) ratio; allows a limited amount of whole foods with other than a positive (Ca:P) ratio and greens with nil to lower levels of oxalic acid (that bonds with calcium in the diet making it no longer available for the body to utilize) to be added to the diet daily. For a wild, I recommend feeding their, "Picky Eaters" diet version, that contains pecans, which encourage will squirrels to accept the diet, as this nut has a moderate P:Ca ratio compared to other nuts sources found in the eastern regions of the US.
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 04-26-2022 at 04:04 PM.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Quick Update and future state plans (for those interested in my lil Squirrel lady's journey) :

    I rushed her back to the vet for a checkup, as I've been very hesitant to really move her around or do multiple minutes or Observation.
    She was lethargic, didn't fight/run when I gave her the pain meds and cleaned her cage in the morning.
    From what I had read about squirrels, from you awesome folks, I didn't want to take a chance by waiting.

    Outcome : She had spilled her water in her cage, and didn't 'nest' deep in her towel fort, since she soaked the base towels and they wicked upward.
    She warmed up, and back to normal! I've updated care to migrate her into my garage in the early evening, before my home AC drops the temp for comfy sleeps.

    I brought up the food issue with the vet/surgeon, and she gave me some emergency food mix to use with her meds, so she gets at least some of what she needs while testing new foods with her.
    I will be moving her into her outside recovery habitat this weekend, if there isn't something negative from her Margarita-meet-n-greet with the vet on the 5th.
    Cage is built by me. It's a 4'x3'x7' with a hidey-box that I can section off and recover her if needed. It also has a way for me to enter it to clean.
    With the need to take a branch off the tree's, that she and her kids all live in, I'm going to clean the branches and build some climbey-stuff for her to run around on.
    There will also be a flush mounted set of food/water dishes that can be removed and cleaned.

    With summer coming on, (tampa florida area) I'm wondering what kind of effective steps I can take to make sure she has a cooler place to escape to.

    Future outside cage location : covered (top) backporch that is West facing so it gets sunsets.

    Plans for dealing with heat : Venting top of her hidey-box and having a tarp that covers from top to 1ft below the lowest part of her hidey-box.
    With the whole cage being wrapped/covered in hardwarecloth/cage-wire, there should only be a heat trap in her hidey-box. (thus venting it)

    Since having her in the large pet carrier, I've seen how she will try to escape, so I'm wrapping every wood board with hardwarecloth, while using metal brackets for joints.
    All access points have at least secondary fail-safe build, and the cage has the ability to section her off if/when any repairs would be needed. (any power tool need would require her removal prior to work.

    I probably went super overkill, but whatever.
    There is a pair of Kestrels that hunt the neighborhood, so I want her to be strong and fast before she can get back to the trees!

    Anything that I've missed, or might need to pay more attention to, please let me know, as once she's in the cage, it would take some time to get her back out, and the stress could cause her to hurt herself.

    as always, THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL THE HELP!

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Update :

    Shes moved into her new enclosure!!!
    She got to see all her kids for the first time since the accident... and her oldest daughter kept trying to get into the cage with her. Once shes released, end of june/ early july, i'm going to find a squirrel rehabber in my area to give the cage to.

    Attached 3 pics.. 1 of cage, 1 of momma hanging in her new house, and momma and her kid saying henlo for the first time since mom got hit by the car and went missing.

    Cant say thankyou enough for all the food information... youve saved the long term health of my lil tree frens... and my kitty thanks you too... since she thinks theyre just derpy cats... (my cat only goes into hunt mode over birds)
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    I can't believe I missed this thread. Thank you so much for all you've done for this sweet girl
    What an amazing story bless you both
    It's not often they can be released after such an ordeal
    Can't wait to see her back in the trees with her kids
    She really knows you love her
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Update :

    I was worried about the cage not giving her enough running room since i placed a plywood shelf (where the towel fort is). It turns out that its her favorite spot to sit and relax when she gets tired or sore from climbing and using her back legs.

    Her kids hang out with her until its time for 'mid day nap'..

    Im going to spend the rest of the time, until her release date, working on some squirrel homes to hang in each backyard tree, so she can pick which one she wants.
    The box she has now doesnt have a defense shelf in it, to block idiots from trying to eat her.... will have a 2 entrance setup with defense on both... came across a bunch of plans online and some are amazing!

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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Make sure to hang them really high. Wild greys have their nests 30 feet up in the tree, not just 6 feet or so.

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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    And hang one in her cage as soon as it is done. It will be familiar to her, then, when she finds it in the trees.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    I hung a bigger version in her cage, since having lower back/leg/spine issues made me opt for more room so she wouldnt have to get crazy and possibly hurt herself.

    Im going to build the same 'looking' ones to hang in the trees, while theyll be a little smaller, but easily recognizable.... depending on how it goes, she might keep her current home.

    The neighbor has one of those giant ladders that can easily hit a 2nd story roof, so im going to borrow that to hang them in the trees... just need to get up near the level that they have their treeleaf nests made...
    Or as high up that i can secure them without worry of branches failing from wind/weight.

    Thanks again for even more great info guys!
    I dont think i would be able to keep her healthy and recovering as well, had it not been for you all!

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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Forgot to add a pic of her relaxing after a busy morning of running around, eating her picky squirrel blocks and veggies, and chewing on things...
    Mommas just looking over her kingdom
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    She looks awesome 😍 great job👍
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Im sure all of you know this already...
    I have/had 2 mating pairs of kestrels and was worrying about my momma release time....
    Turns out, someone, sadly, hit and killed 1 of the kestrels with a car, so down to 3 total birds now..
    (Good but sad)

    I have a few mockingbirds that have claimed my area...

    THOSE BIRDS ARE AWESOME!!!!
    They straight up mob the kestrels when they fly over.
    They go NUTS and alert everything...

    And to add extra winning.... they even mob the crows!
    Used to have to play crow distress sounds to make em leave the squirrels alone... because the crows would mob the squirrels while they buried food... only to have the crows dig it up and eat it.

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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Status update for anyone that wants to know how mommas doing :

    She is eating like a queen... and kills her veggies every day!
    Her lower back strength is getting back and shes holding her back legs up with much less spread-eagle action!
    With the strength increase, shes able to get her tail into the normal salute when sitting, and shes no longer chewing on it, since the 2 days she was chewing scabs off the amputation area. (Thank god!)

    Also, I caught her doing the prairie dog standup this morning.... that made my MONTH!!!!

    Her kids are playing and having fun in the mornings, and her oldest daughter still spends time with momma, as they try to chew through the cage from both sides...

    I did get a package of dried mealworms to add some variation to food, and that stuff worked like gangbusters.

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  30. #18
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    Thumbs up Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Quote Originally Posted by gerbel View Post
    Status update for anyone that wants to know how mommas doing :

    She is eating like a queen... and kills her veggies every day!
    Her lower back strength is getting back and shes holding her back legs up with much less spread-eagle action!
    With the strength increase, shes able to get her tail into the normal salute when sitting, and shes no longer chewing on it, since the 2 days she was chewing scabs off the amputation area. (Thank god!)

    Also, I caught her doing the prairie dog standup this morning.... that made my MONTH!!!!

    Her kids are playing and having fun in the mornings, and her oldest daughter still spends time with momma, as they try to chew through the cage from both sides...

    I did get a package of dried mealworms to add some variation to food, and that stuff worked like gangbusters.
    I love wonderful news in the morning😊
    Great job 👏
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

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  32. #19
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    Default Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    Its been awhile, but wanted to update when some big milestones were reached!

    Shes healing great!
    Shes scratching her head/neck with her backlegs while on all fours...
    This week, she even got to the point where i noticed her pulling with her hips while chewing a sacrificial board that i put in her 'chew on stuff' spot... already replaced it 2x.

    Shes still a really picky eater, and i figured out why.
    Her kids come hang out with her in the morning, and i noticed some of the greens that i gave her, and didnt give the kids, actually outside the cage....
    Mom was giving it to them!

    I'll try and sneak a pic of her this week, so anyone who wants to, can see the progress.
    Shes gonna be SOLID by june30th for her release!!!!

    Painful note : i apparently decided not to pay attention when reading that squirrels peel grape before eating them..... have to wash the back porch this weekend, because some of the peels just stuck/dried to the concrete... took some time to get em off without spooking momma, while in her cage.

  33. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to gerbel:

    Diggie's Friend (06-08-2022), TubeDriver (07-13-2022)

  34. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL.
    Posts
    10,341
    Thanked: 1795

    Thumbs up Re: Directed here by Vet staff!

    I'm so HAPPY for her and you AND the kids😀
    THANK you what a great job you have done
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

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