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Thread: Saber-toothed Squirrel

  1. #1
    Nutball Guest

    Exclamation Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Hello, I am new to this forum...

    I search for a simaler topic, but dint ind one sorry if this is a redundant post.

    I have a concern... but first some history.

    About four years ago we recieved a baby squirrel from a friend who's dog had entered their attic and ruffed up some grey squirrels, They stopped it as soon as they could and found two living squirrels with one having an injury to its forehead... and the other very small and scratched up. knowing my mothers experience in vet hospitals they brought the remaining squirrels to us and we took care of it them. Over the course of a few weeks the squirrel with the forhead injury recovered and the other which we found to be male became aggresive while the female was more subdued, the female was great as long as she was well fed (never handle a hungry squirrel!) Over the course of a few months we learned little things like that... the male was not even holdable and we released him back into the wild that spring into a great area with much food and little apparent competition... Knowing thru observation how many squirrel survival techniques seem programmed in... we werent concerned given the weather and obvious tenacity of this male squirrel...

    We have housed and fed, played with "brooks" for about four or five years now... She spend alot of her time in a cage about 30deep by 55wide and 55tall, when she isnt let out inside the larger metal screen porch 7x7x6 her housing is in... except for colder months when she is located downstairs for better temp control... She is fed several different kinds of hard shell nuts and vitamin supplements berries and vegatables I get items from work, I work at a pet store... she gets new logs to crawl up and down... etc...

    As for the problem...

    A few days ago I noticed she wasnt eating normally (protectively) and I watched her eat a piece of food I would let go of... It seems her upper teeth
    "had" grown to long? this was not something that ever occured could happen given her diet?... Upon further inspection I have learned one tooth broke off and the other while still connected to the pink gum is not anchored to the skull? I have asked several local vets about this issue regarding "rodent" tooth health, but I dont get much info...

    Will the dislocated tooth fall out?

    Will she eat it and die?

    Should I pull it?

    I am having a real hard time finding the legality of grey squirrel ownership in mn?

    She is a great squirrel and the best pet ever given the rules I have learned about her..

    any help?

  2. #2
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    Red face Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Sorry to hear your girl is not doing well. I don't have a clue about the upper teeth growing too large. I know the lower teeth grow and if not worn down by knawing can lead to several problems, and will need to be clipped.
    Could she have fallen and hit her teeth somehow? Sorry I am not much help...I was hoping one of our seasoned rehabbers would have the answer.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Rebecca <
    SC Wildlife Rehabilitator
    I'm a squirrel watcher, I'm a squirrel watcher, watching squirrels go by, my my my!

  3. #3
    Nutball Guest

    Default Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Well I hope they can... I think time could be an issue here, I wouldnt want her to die. If I should yank it... I want to know... I am only assuming she would bleed to much... but squirrels have survived worse... I think...

    I just dont know.

    If I cant get any help, I'll just wait... I couldnt forsee me actually yanking it out... I just dont want to find her dead of ingesting a sharp curved body...

    Besides she is a large squirrel and I know how angry she can get when she was hungry at half that size, so I can imagine a squirrel might see a tooth grab as an attack...

    not that she could really bite me...

    waiting for an experienced opinion.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Try checking with the Parks and Wildlife department about the legality of keeping a grey in your state. Then try to find a vet that treats exotics or wildlife in your area. If you can't find one that will treat her, try the Humane Society - they may know of someone. Also try your local rehabbers - they should certainly know who to take her to.

    If the tooth isn't bothering her, I wouldn't pull it. I don't know whether she would bleed or not, but I'm fairly certain that you would!! I know that in humans they can reinsert a knocked out tooth and it will be OK for years-don't know whether that's true of squirrels or not. The two biggest problems I see are that (1. she is no longer able to eat her usual foods and this may affect her nutritional intake, and (2. since she can no longer eat her usual foods (in-shell nuts, tree branches, etc.) her bottom teeth are going to grow and will need frequent trimming, something that is better left to a vet, from what I understand. Make sure that the foods she can, and will, eat have plenty of calcium - try her on yogurt, it's good for them and all mine love it. Just make sure it has the live culture in it. I usually give mine Dannon LaCreme, in any flavor - they like them all. And give her a vitamin supplement - I use L&M liquid vitamins for my flyers, and give it in their water. L&M packages their vitamins for hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferretts, etc., but the only difference in them is the dosage, so don't worry about what animal they say it is for. You'll have to give them by the weight of your animal. I use one drop per ounce of water for my flyers. You might be able to contact them by email and see what they would recommend.

    I really hope you are able to find a vet that will see her. Don't give up - there's bound to be one out there somewhere! Is there a zoo anywhere near you? Maybe you could find out what vet they use. Or check with a university that has a vet medicine school. And please be aware that if squirrels are not legal in your state, you run the risk of having the squirrel taken from you, as well as being fined.

    I'm sorry not to have better, and more cheerful, advice to give you. I hope one of the rehabbers with a lot more experience than I have comes on here and can be of more help.

    muffinsquirrel

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutball
    Hello, I am new to this forum...

    I search for a simaler topic, but dint ind one sorry if this is a redundant post.

    I have a concern... but first some history.
    Will the dislocated tooth fall out?

    Will she eat it and die?

    Should I pull it?

    I am having a real hard time finding the legality of grey squirrel ownership in mn?

    She is a great squirrel and the best pet ever given the rules I have learned about her..

    any help?
    So sorry I didn't see this thread until today....and I wish Nutz4Squirls was here because she would really know a lot more than me. Here's what I've found about tooth problems:
    "Normally slightly loose in their sockets, with a small amount of side-to-side play, these teeth must be aligned exactly right or overgrowing from improper occlusion can become a serious problem. Injury, birth defect or lack of sufficient hard material to gnaw on may result in a maloccluded condition. ....the overgrown tooth can be cut off evenly with the one next to it using a pair of dog nail clippers or sharp side-cutting pliers....this operation should be performed by a vet.....rarely will a tooth be broken or shattered so badly that it will not grow back eventually...diet during the rocvery period should be a combination of soft foods (rodent blocks & formula mixed which can be eaten easily, along with harder foods available ad lib......average growth of rodent incisors is about 1/16" per day.) INJURY AND ILLNESS IN TREE SQUIRRELS, @2002, PC Hanes; Central Texas Wildlife Institute. "

    Hope this helps a little....please ask and I'll try to look up anything else you may need on this subject. I have not had the misfortune of having a rehab baby with teeth problems (yet) so I can't answer from experience.
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

  6. #6
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    Exclamation Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Nutball, I see that some other folks here have recommended that you see a vet, and explained that the tooth can be trimmed, but I want to reinforce the urgency. Squirrels teeth will continue to grow unless they are able to wear them down naturally. If you try do the trimming, the tooth could crack, and she could get an infection and die. If left untreated, the tooth could grow into her mouth tissues, cause an infection and death. You need to get her to a vet ASAP, because that tooth is continuing to grow.

    I had a wild squirrel that visited me each day, and she had fallen from a tree. Her injury caused her teeth to be misaligned, so she was unable to eat well or knaw on things to wear her teeth down. The lower tooth grew into her sinuses and she died. I didn't know what her condition was until it was too late. Please don't make the same mistake I did.

  7. #7
    Nutball Guest

    Default Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Thanks for all your help!

    The tooth's base looked darker for a while and just now I noticed this morning it was lying on the bottom of the cage...

    She still has a stub of her left-top-front and that may be an issue later on down the line from not growing striaght, but I dont know if two teeth are needed to grow straight??? we will find out...

    I feel better for now...

    I cant imagine once a tooth falls out completly a new one could grow? I am sure it cant...

    So I will keep a eye on my one toothed squirrel and hopefully the one tooth I found wasn't the other tooth that broke off...???

    I never did find two teeth...

    I hope she didnt eat it...

    She seems very happy to eat without that giant "saber" in her mouth...

    I am going to look thru her shavings agin now... for the other tooth...

    thanks everybody for your help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Saber-toothed Squirrel

    Thanks for the update, please continue to keep us posted.

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