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Thread: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

  1. #1
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    Default I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    I received this baby 2wks ago today when the hurricane came through. She was found on a concrete patio under a tree. She must have taken a hard fall.

    I estimated her to be just under 3wks when I got her. She did not have any teeth yet. She now has bottom teeth and she opened her eyes on Monday.

    When I received her she had a good size bump on the right side of her head above her eye. It seemed like a cephalohematoma. The bump was soft and over the last two weeks it has gone away.

    Once I got her stabilized and on FoxValley… I began to notice her issues. I will say she is difficult to feed… she doesn’t have a strong suck unless I get her in just the right position… she just seems uncomfortable until we get it right… I have to burrito wrap her and kinda let her turn til she gets settled in.

    So some of the issues…. She is very twitchy, which I brushed off as baby with closed eyes behavior. She is very, very wobbly when she tries to move. I thought that would improve when her eyes opened. It has not… it’s actually more heart breaking now because I think she wants to try and move but just can’t do anything properly.

    Her ears are opened but they kind of just flop down… she doesn’t seem to react to sound or seem to be visually right either.

    How would I find someone who can assess this little girl? We haven’t settled on her name yet…. But she is getting a place in our hearts. This is the 11th squirrel I’ve rescued… and it’s so sad to see one that might not be able to do all the things she was made to do!

    I’m going to try and attach pics and video of her on a post below.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

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    This is when she still had the bump… it’s gone now. It was bigger that that at first.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    I have a video of her but I don’t know how to get it in an acceptable format. The video is on my iPhone.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Can you upload it to a host site - like youtube or something, and then give us the link in your thread?

    She certainly is eating well!

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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Hi! If you can post more recent pics, the experts can assess. Also video would be good. If you can put one on, say, YouTube and post the link here, people can see it. I am wondering if she has continuing neurological issues from her head injury. There are many people who have had special needs squirrels who turned out to be nonreleasable. But maybe she will just need more time to develop past her injury.

    Hoping someone with that experience sees your post. Video is worth a thousand words, hope you are able to get some up.

    Thanks for caring for this baby!
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Okay I’ve never posted something on YouTube… so I’ll head over there and try.

    ..and I’ll go take a pic of her from today… I know I can do that!

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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    https://youtu.be/-PsnjBmKT3w?feature=shared

    Hopefully I did that right?

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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Aw, the poor little thing. Yes, you have a special needs squirrel.

    I am going to steer others to this thread...but why don't you at least start seeing if you can get your hands on any prednisone or prednisolone. It is a steroid med used to knock down inflammation causing issues with all sorts of ailments. Sometimes what appears to be things like this or paralysis are caused by nerves that are being "pushed around" by inflammation in the area and if you can quickly knock down the inflammation, the nerves *sometimes* can heal, at least to some degree. We have seen some really amazing results in the past. Obviously it isn't always being caused by that and it doesn't work, but even given that it has mostly gone down on it's own, it could help.

    People take prednisone - bad coughs, other respiratory inflammation caused issues like asthma and COPD; I just got two dental implants put in and they gave me a round of prednisone before each procedure - so it may be available if you ask around - friends, family, co-workers.

  10. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to CritterMom:

    10xmama (09-15-2023), Chirps (09-15-2023)

  11. #10
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    I actually have some prednisone… I have a teen with asthma. I have 5mg tablets.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    I just weighed her and she’s 106g

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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Excellent. I assume you have a 1ml or smaller syringe with clear markings?

    I am trying to speak to someone else off the board about this - if you start it you would want to start in the morning anyway. Give me a bit.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Thank you so much for the help. Yes I have a new 1ml syringe.

    I’d love to know if there’s a way to determine her eye sight and hearing abilities. We’re questioning if she has issues in both.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Sent you dosing via Private Message. Ask any questions you have before you begin.

    As far as how to check for eyesight and hearing, at her young age I don't know how pronounced her reaction to a sudden loud sound or the old pretend to poke the eye trick. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    She had her first dose of prednisone early this morning. Her last two feedings have actually been a bit easier. She seemed more comfortable and not twisting about as much. Maybe that’s a little improvement?

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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Quote Originally Posted by 10xmama View Post
    She had her first dose of prednisone early this morning. Her last two feedings have actually been a bit easier. She seemed more comfortable and not twisting about as much. Maybe that’s a little improvement?
    A little soon for that...prednisone has a number of effects - some people become super awake and aware - I worked with a guy who's daughter took it for asthma and I could tell if she was on prednisone by HIS condition the next day after being up with her. Some people want to chow down. Maybe she has found her food to be better than it was before! As I mentioned, please keep up her thread with anything you see so we kind of know what is going on with her and can make course corrections if need be.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    A little soon for that...prednisone has a number of effects - some people become super awake and aware - I worked with a guy who's daughter took it for asthma and I could tell if she was on prednisone by HIS condition the next day after being up with her. Some people want to chow down. Maybe she has found her food to be better than it was before! As I mentioned, please keep up her thread with anything you see so we kind of know what is going on with her and can make course corrections if need be.
    Her feedings have continued to go better than they were prior to the prednisone. I’m feeding her the same amount but perhaps as you suggested she is simply more interested.

    The only other change we’ve seen is she’s become a bit vocal. She’s grunting/squeaking before the feed when I pick her up; and last night after her feed she flipped herself out of her box in her cage and my daughters her heard grunting/squeaking and went and put her back in her little nest/box. Not surprising with her uncontrollable movements but that she complained which drew attention/help is good.

    Maybe like you said she’s all charged up from the medication… but she did settle in and sleep through the remainder of the night in her box.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    We decided to name this little girl Helen. She’s definitely got the cards stacked against her; but she’s alive, eats well, and seems to have a sweet temperament.

    Since starting the prednisone, I’ve simply seen a bit more coordination when eating. She strokes the syringe pretty much like a healthy baby would as long as I’m holding her just right while feeding. Other than than, most of her behavior is erratic and lacks coordination. She will flip flop around in her nest for a few min after a feed and then goes to sleep.

    I did a bit of research and have found a wildlife animal sanctuary not too far from me who is willing to take her in and try to help her. While I hate to give up; I am aware I do not have the time or wisdom to do more than I am doing for her. The sanctuary has vets advising and assessing their incoming animals— so I think Helen has a better chance of improving at the sanctuary.

    I appreciate y’all’s help over the last several days! Squirrel Board is a great resource and community!!

  20. #19
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Final update on Helen from my perspective… someone from this board actually reached out to someone in my area (I believe she’s a member here too) and she was willing to take Helen. So instead of the wildlife sanctuary, she’s found a home with a fellow squirrel lover! Super thankful! We were sad to see her go; but am so very grateful that someone can give her the long term care she will need! Here’s our final pictures with her before she left:Name:  IMG_6185.jpg
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  21. #20
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    Default Re: I think I have a special needs squirrel?

    Does she kinda fall to one side or have a cloudy eye?

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