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Thread: Wild w swelling on head

  1. #1
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    Default Wild w swelling on head

    One of my backyard regulars showed up Sunday morning with significant swelling on the top of his head, and a down around the back of the jaw as well. His right eye is about half closed from swelling above it.

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    He is eating without dropping food, just slowly. He is climbing and making short jumps - movements are coordinated, but also slow and ginger, like everything hurts. He's alert enough to keep an eye on the other squirrels and move away if they get too close.

    The swelling is a little worse today (Monday). Injury might have happened early Saturday- my dad saw him and gave him some snacks, said he was eating very slowly but he didn't notice any swelling.

    I'm not seeing any neuro symptoms, and no scratches or punctures, but goodness that swelling is bad and he is clearly uncomfortable.
    I'm providing food and water (he hasn't been interested in Henry's blocks but I'll keep offering) and there's an old nest box on the patio shelf that he's already been in.
    I have infant ibuprofen but I'm not sure about offering that to a wild (he's a little bigger than the release I doctored a couple months ago; we could estimate dosage from her).

    I don't think there's much more I can do for him, but I'm still a novice when it comes to injuries so I want to check in here and see if anyone has thoughts or advice.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Well, hope this is a puncture wound somewhere that has turned into and abscess, and that is causing the swelling. I fear that given the pain while eating, that this poor little one has a bad tooth or two - and that requires a vet and anesthesia. Infant Ibuprophen would help the pain.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Good morning, the swelling has gotten worse.
    I didn't get a picture but it has swollen down the right side of his face and that eye is almost completely closed. He was a little clumsy.

    He ate a little bit but another squirrel made him uncomfortable so he left and is now napping in a sunny spot in the tree in the front yard.

    He will take food out of my hand... I might be able to lure him into a cage.
    I have one clavamox tablet. I also have a squirrel friendly vet but I don't want to put either of us through the stress of driving an hour on highways unless we have to.

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Is the swelling pretty much confined to one side of his face? Where exactly do you see the worst swelling - the part that is the worst will be the point of origin for the injury/whatever.

    If it is in the area of the jaw it is almost certainly a molar or two that got broken and have abscessed. One of our long time members JUST had this happen with one of her releases - https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...jaw&highlight=

    If it is a broken, infected tooth, it MUST come out for the infection to subside.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    I have some pictures from Sunday. The worst of the swelling was above his right eye.
    You can see the goose egg. And his right ear is actually turned forward from swelling under/around it.

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    The puffiness at the jaw is pretty even on both sides - my first thought was it looked like the way subcu fluids will drift from the shoulders around under the chest.

    Now the swelling is just... everywhere. Still worse on the right side, judging by the ear and eye. Here's the only pic I got this morning:
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    Could this just be from whacking his head?
    Addendum: idk if it matters any, but im pretty sure he's one of last summer's babies, so about 14 months old.

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Little Boy came back around for lunch and I was able to get a better look at him.

    Now, the swelling seems to be the worst on his right cheek, under the eye.
    He was eating better (faster) though, and I saw him run several feet across the yard and jump on the tree when something startled him.

    I've prepped the travel cage and set it out by him while he was eating so he can get acquainted with it in case I have to catch him.Name:  20221101_150648.jpg
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Update: I didn't see him at all on Wednesday, but he came by for breakfast today. His right eye is open a bit more than it was, and the swelling around the ear and cheek looks to have improved too.
    He is definitely more energetic and moving easier.

    When I saw him Tuesday he rubbed over his face once or twice with his foot, like something was stuck on his face or irritating his eye. Today, he has rubbed fur off of half of his face. Idk if this is just the swelling irritating him or indicative of something else.

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    I haven't had any luck getting him to eat anything other than pecans and sunflower seeds. I've got HHBs and some boo balls out there right now, we'll see if he tries them.

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Wow. I wonder if this poor baby stumbled into a nest of hornets or the like and got multiple stings? The all over swelling with no clear point of injury sure does look insect bite-ish. Eager to hear how the food goes.

    Just for the heck of it, grind/chop super fine some pecans and sunflower seeds, and add just enough peanut or whatever nut butter you have to it just to hold it together enough that you can roll it in a ball. If he will eat that, you can then use the nut part to try giving meds like perhaps some infant ibuprophen. Chop up the nuts, add the meds and mix, then add the peanut butter...

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    I hadn't considered insect bites, but it's certainly possible, we've got a variety of wasps and such in the area. He does look a bit like a puppy that ate a bee.

    He didn't touch the HHBs or the boo balls (hhb crumbs, peanut butter, a pinch of crushed tums) today. I'd like for him to get some vitamins and calcium from the blocks... I will mash one up and add ground pecans and sunflower seeds and a spot of peanut butter and see if he'll take that.

    I did get him a little bit of ibuprofen on Tuesday. I diluted it (the only way I could get Sister to take it, the flavor is pretty strong) and put it in a dish. He only sniffed it. I dipped a piece of pecan in it and he ate that... he most certainly didn't get the full dose but hopefully it was enough to help.

    Looking at the pictures, the swelling has gone down on his forehead too, so we're moving in the right direction
    Boy had me a little worried there when it was just getting worse.

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Quote Originally Posted by applecrisped View Post
    I hadn't considered insect bites, but it's certainly possible, we've got a variety of wasps and such in the area. He does look a bit like a puppy that ate a bee.

    He didn't touch the HHBs or the boo balls (hhb crumbs, peanut butter, a pinch of crushed tums) today. I'd like for him to get some vitamins and calcium from the blocks... I will mash one up and add ground pecans and sunflower seeds and a spot of peanut butter and see if he'll take that.

    I did get him a little bit of ibuprofen on Tuesday. I diluted it (the only way I could get Sister to take it, the flavor is pretty strong) and put it in a dish. He only sniffed it. I dipped a piece of pecan in it and he ate that... he most certainly didn't get the full dose but hopefully it was enough to help.

    Looking at the pictures, the swelling has gone down on his forehead too, so we're moving in the right direction
    Boy had me a little worried there when it was just getting worse.
    That does sound a lot like how many stings progress. Swelling gets worse over the next day or more then starts to subside. Hopefully it was a sting. That could even account for the hair loss.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Quote Originally Posted by applecrisped View Post
    I have some pictures from Sunday. The worst of the swelling was above his right eye.
    You can see the goose egg. And his right ear is actually turned forward from swelling under/around it.

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    Update: he's doing much better, the swelling is gradually going down and his behavior is pretty much back to normal. He's rubbed a little more hair off his face and has a little scab from scratching, but nothing serious.

    A picture from Sunday - one week after the above picture. I wanted to compare these two because there does seem to be a focal point on the right side of the forehead. Looks a lot like a welt from a bug bite/sting in this pic.
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Update, ~two weeks out now. He looks like a Flowerhorn 😂

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    His snout area looks about normal, which is making the swelling still on the forehead look worse. Puff spot under his right eye still. His eyes are fully open tho and he's back to his old self behavior-wise. I'm not worried, but I did want to share today's pictures.

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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

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    Exclamation Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Ok it looks bad again. Abscess? We're just over two weeks from the first post.

    A picture from Monday:

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    And from today (Tuesday):

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  20. #15
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    So does the stuff in the center of the bare area look like hair crusted up with old pus and seepage to you up close? I think it is an abscess that has burst. Which is great! Hopefully enough has drained that it will resolve on it's own now.

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  22. #16
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    The crusty stuff looks like gnarly scabbing, which I suppose also looks like dried pus/fluid. Bear with me, I've never actually seen an abscess before! I Googled some pics of them in rats, and it looks about the same.

    I got a look at him from a different angle shortly after I posted - the swelling has decreased considerably from yesterday, so I agree it probably burst and drained.Name:  20221115_184133.jpg
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  23. #17
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    Here are some more pictures of Little Boy's progress. He's looking better
    Tomorrow will be three weeks since the swelling started.

    The 17th. A dark spot came up on his cheek and it opened the next day.

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    Today (19th). Swelling gone, just lots of crusty stuff now, and his fur is coming back in.

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  24. #18
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    Default Re: Wild w swelling on head

    I am so happy to see him looking better!

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