Hi about two days ago I found a baby squirrel. She is big, maybe close to 2 months. One of her eyes was completely clouded over and white but it seems to be clearing up. She acts and looks healthy (fur, eyes,activity level) but has no real control as to where she is going. Her head wobbles somewhat and she gets disoriented in spaces bigger than 12 square inches. She will walk in circles, fall off of ledges, stand up and fall etc but she is also hardy, very playful, hungry, thirsty, curious etc. It is not a physical injury. Her body looks good. Her ears also appear clean and her head is not visibly leaning or tilted in any direction. What is wrong with her ?! Her motor skills are horrible but she is otherwise ok seeming.
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: <1
Type of Animal: squirrel
Shes eating fruits, rat blocks and I do the puppy milk concoction they say to online.
Hello,I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question.It was kind of you to rescue this little squirrel. I'm sorry to hear that it is having a problem. The best thing to do for the squirrel would be to turn it over to a wildlife rehabilitator. These are people trained to raise and treat all types of wildlife, then release the babies when they're old enough. There is no charge for their services - they just want to help the animals. Here are links to state-by-state directories of rehabilitators:http://wildliferehabber.org/st_disp_list.phphttp://wildliferehabinfo.org/There are several possibilities for the squirrels behavior. These are often signs of a vestibular disorder, which can result from tan ear problem or the brain. It could be an ear infection. It may have fallen from a tree and injured its head before you got it. Encephalitis causes these symptoms, too. In recent years there have been reports of West Nile Virus infecting squirrels and causing them to run in circles and lose their balance. You can read more about that here:http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2006/08/emerging_disease_and_zoonoses_10.phpThough very unlikely in a squirrel, rabies can also cause such symptoms. If you want to continue to raise the squirrel, it will need to be seen by an exotic animal vet. You can find one here:http://www.inyourarea.net/local/exotic-animal-vets/?gclid=CKXUrPS-tp4CFQEhDQod-mSZmQThere is also a Yahoo group for people who rehab squirrels or keep them as pets. You may want to join it because the experienced squirrel-keepers there will perhaps have some suggestions on all aspects of care and treatment of illnesses for you. For more information:http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ultimate-Squirrel-list/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=3Besides proper food, squirrels need the right conditions to thrive. after a vet visit, the following site will give detailed information on raising orphaned squirrels, how to feed, other necessary care, and how the little squirrels grow and develop. You may have already found it:http://www.squirrels.org/raising.htmlIf you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I do believe the best option for the squirrel is a rehabber, but I hope that whatever you decide to do, the squirrel will recover. Anna(The above answer is intended for informational purposes only. If your pet is ill, you should consult a veterinarian. If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)Anna41019.6078645486
My only concern for her is that she would be euthanized as unreleasable. I would love for her to thrive wherever that may be. Despite her severe disability she seems normal, happy if you will.As she acts like any baby should. I will first see if an exotic vet can cure her and if so give her to a rehab but if they say she is handicapped for life, do you think a rehabber will keep her? It's a big investment but I do think she deserves a shot at life. Also rabies sounds frightening : ( Could she be so messed up and as active, alert and clean as she is? Overall do you think this is a plan or should i just give her to a rehab ? Sorry and thank you for all the info
If your finances permit it, I think a vet would be a good first step in your plan. Whether rehab would euthanize varies so much from one to the next, that it would be impossible for me to predict that. Rabies isn't a big concern. It is not common in squirrels. I only mentioned it because it is something we have think about with any wild animal. Most (but not all) animals with rabies do have other symptoms. Chances are excellent that this is something else entirely.AnnaAnna41019.6875535069
40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Hi I wasn't able to get a vet to see her between my schedule and all the people who said no. But i remembered I found her on Monday and in the time I've had her she has only gained strength and weight. Could a rabid or otherwise sick squirrel, go so many days with no new signs of illness or deterioration? Someone agreed to see her on Monday but that is still a ways away. I will try to get her seen tomorrow by anyone who will but in the mean time, am just worrying about the elapsed time if something is truly wrong and quite so contagious : (
As I said, it probably is not rabies. Since you found the squirrel on the ground, an injury is likely. Depending on where you live, encephalitis could be, too. Since she is eating well, and gaining strength, you ahve some very good signs. Try not to worry too much. Let me know what you find out when you see the vet. Anna
I am in Manhattan. Do you still see animals? Are you any where close to me? I would drive . Sorry. I'm just seeing more and more about the legality and while my interest is not in keeping her, it is in keeping her alive. I am a vegan and would hate to have picked her up just to have her put down unnecessarily. I have no real options but to risk it if I cannot see someone like you, but i am concerned I will walk in and when they see this little spinning squirrel they will tell me the law of the land concerning potentially sick wild mammals rather than try and save her and test for other things. Most laws are not in favor of animals, its hard when you are sensitive to that...
I live nowhere near you, but I am a biologist, not a vet, so I wouldn't be able to treat the squirrel anyway. I suggest that you contact vets by phone and explain the situation without giving your name. Ask if they will help. That way, you'll know ahead of time if they will see a wild squirrel. I did a little research and found that there have been cases of West Nile Disease in squirrels in New York, including New York City itself. If a vet diagnoses an untreatable illness, they will probably recommend euthanasia, and there are many cases where that is the most humane decision.An injury, however, could probably be treated.If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.Anna
Hi ! So I got her to a vet and things are well. Umm first though I spoke to my local rehab which was very adamant about euthanasia involving unreleasable squirrels so that was a no go. But the vet was awesome. He said the eye is white due to scarring and that it may get a little better. But he felt that the eye was enough to assume she may have some head trauma. He did say she could have been born with something though that caused her to fall out the nest and injure her eye. Also he noted that the eye is an old wound while falling was more recent so possible birth defect. He also said it could possibly be a virus that they get so he gave antibiotics for that and we will see if any signs of improvement. Without pressure or fear she is getting more capable every day but if afraid she reacts with the circles and sometimes falls. Either way he said her quality of life is unaffected and that there is no reason to euthanize a healthy, alert and mostly capable baby. So far so good. Now its just a waiting game to see if she can improve enough to be free or needs a care taker to live out her life. Thank you for your kindness. If you would like I can write back when we have our final answer. But things are well, thank you -Kat
Hi Kat,Thank you for the update. I'm so glad you found a helpful vet, and that he is optimistic. That is wonderful news.since it sounds like you're going to have the squirrel for awhile, I'm going to give you a link to a site with diet information. One of the biggest problems captive squirrels have is inadequate diet. Most of the time diets are deficient in protein and calcium. In the wild, squirrels eat insects, birds’ eggs, and nuts for protein. The best base for a squirrel diet is the block foods made for pet rats. That has to be supplemented with specific fruits, vegetables, and other foods. If you haven't already found it, I recommend that you read about the healthy diet for squirrels described on this site:http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/showthread.php?s=a957b65ef385ad3f4f88c4bfbb7767f5&t=11323If you already know all this, I apologize. I just wanted to be sure. And yes, I would like to know the final outcome. I wish you success in returning this little squirrel to health.Anna