WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Discussion about Flying Squirrels
sundown127
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WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby sundown127 » Sun May 13, 2007 11:13 am

I JUST FOUND A LONG SHRED OF A COTTON BALL WRAPPED AROUND MY FLYER'S WRIST ON HIS FRONT LEG, LIKE A TOURNIQUET!!!

Most of you know about my Squirrelly/Rocky by now, the wild flyer I rescued 3 months ago with major balance issues. And now, he is having severe issues again, and may not make it. We are trying him on an antibiotic, in case it is a middle ear infection. Otherwise, his prognosis is very poor.

On to the point of this post. My boy has always had pure cotton balls in his nest box, which he digs around in and shreds up pretty good, making a comfy nest. This morning, I took him out of his nest box, to hand feed him, as he has a hard time eating due to how unbalanced he is. I put him back in his nest box full of cotton balls, and left him. Normally, I would have just left him alone till at least this evening. But for some reason, I got this feeling I needed to go check on him again. Opened his nest box, and went to pick him up. I found a strand of cotton wrapped very tightly around his wrist. Twisted over and over again, so it was cutting off absolutely all blood supply. With a big wad of cotton hanging off that piece too, so he couldn't even move! No way could he have ever gotten that off, without chewing his leg too. I was sure his leg was ruined, broken, without blood for too long, etc.

I did manage to untwist the strand, and get it off his leg. Part of his gliding skin flap was caught in it too! His foot was very floppy, and he wasn't using it afterwards. Now, it seems to be recovering some feeling, and is getting bright red. He is able to grab onto things somewhat with his claws on that foot, so apparently, it was not without blood so long it died. I don't know if there is any permanent damage or not yet. With all his other issues, it may not even really matter. But if I had not gone back in there to check on him, there is no question his leg would have been totally destroyed by having that cotton wrapped around it so tightly for any length of time.

I do realize that most likely the reason why my little guy got that cotton twisted around his leg so tightly, is because he tends to roll over and over, due to his balance issues. But after my experience with him, if he improves, or I ever get another flyer, I will never use cotton balls again!! There was absolutely no bedding in his box except 100 percent pure cotton balls! I have since replaced the cotton balls with some cut up pieces of fleece that never fray or have any loose threads on the edges. I have also considered just getting him some soft, fine dried grass or some pine needles, which I would zap in the microwave first to kill any bugs.

Sue
Last edited by sundown127 on Sun May 13, 2007 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Helen
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Postby Helen » Sun May 13, 2007 11:19 am

Aws that's terrible. I hope he gets better soon.
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Warning Cotton Balls Can Be Dangerous

Postby Lora » Sun May 13, 2007 1:19 pm

You can also use Kleenex or Viva white paper towels torn into strips. Just Viva. They don't like any other brand.

den942
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Alternate to cotton balls

Postby den942 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:52 am

I have used nothing but Brand X toilet paper for nesting material for about
fifteen years now. They love it. They shred it to almost powder. I too
found a thread wrapped around a toe one time. I got it off but it was very
difficult. I've used only toilet paper since.

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Postby Debra » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:34 am

wow this is a very informative thread. i never thought about cotton balls doing that. dinky won't be getting anymore cotton balls.
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CatStina
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Postby CatStina » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:37 pm

thats scary! I just use tissues, Emo and the other two seem to like it.
~t Christina j~
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Moca
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Postby Moca » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:21 pm

Someone on Dennis's forum also lost a flyer pup to a piece of cotton ball.
I never offer them,I offer tissue paper,which the squirrel or rats can shred.
Protect wildlife,keep ye cat indoors.
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:coffee: Moca

Wild Flyer
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Postby Wild Flyer » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:08 pm

I give our Maggie cotton found in a cotton field, basically right off a cotton bush, does that qualify as a cotton ball? Please advise right away as I will discard all of it if I have to.

JC

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Postby Joan » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:10 pm

No, raw cotton doesn't qualify.
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Postby Wild Flyer » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:58 am

:multi: :multi: Great! :multi: :multi: , Maggie was already using some for the pups nest.

Joan, send me a pm reference the association donation or fee. Thank you.

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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby mojo » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:02 am

Hello,
I know it has been a while since you posted this. But i always get worried about my baby (mojo). I got him something called bed fluff( made by S.A.M.) It says its made of cotton, butt i have tried over and over, to wrap it around my fingure( since i read this article) and have not been able to do it. You can get it from any pet store close to you. You can pull off little tiny pieces with no threads to get wrapped around your babies limbs. He has had this in everything he sleeps in, and hangs out in and so far we havent hade any issue. He is only 11 months old, but i have had him since he was 5 weeks old.
I am very sorry, to hear about your baby. And im glad people post these things, to warn others. Please post what the out come( of your baby) was.
I get extremely worried, because i only have one doctor within 70 miles of where i live, to help me with mojo and he doesnt work everyday.
Thank this site for all its info

fsalter53
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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby fsalter53 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:10 pm

hello everyone out there, i am new here i was on the squirrel board and i found this because you all have flyers right
well i have 2 about 4 weeks old, girl & boy eyes not open yet, doing real good so far, my mom brought me some cotton
balls today and for some reason i took them out 10 min later, dont know why just did. i think i am going to like this site
much better, it has more info about my flyers, when do the eyes open, i cant wait for them to open them and see "me"
you know it will be our second bonding, touch was the first. i hope to be talking to you all again. :)
SADIE ^ SAGE

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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby rachaelA » Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:56 pm

If it is any help guys, I use pieces of good quality t-shirt cotton (without strong fabric dyes) cut up into large sections. Is this ok to use? dorothy seems to like it :-) xxx

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lynn
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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby lynn » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:48 am

I have had rehab animals chew on pieces of t-shirt and unravel them, then get the strings caught around a foot or tail. I think the concern here is the long, flexible fibers. I have use the bed fluff, T.P., and bits of leaves, for the most part. If I get desperate, I'll cut up cotton t-shirts into very small bits so they can't fray off in long strings. Most of my bunch prefer the purchased bed fluff, but Calypso can find a bit of yarn from anywhere - she has found pom-poms that I didn't even know were there!
Lynn's spastic nuts: Bunpei, Boeing, Calypso, Dixie, and Piper.

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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby Squirrel Freak » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:26 am

Can we use cut up fleece for bedding?.... I know people with sugar gliders use fleece a lot.
Kaneesh & Albrie

Judy C.

Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby Judy C. » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:52 am

Fleece is great. That, plus Viva paper towels, toilet tissue, and kleenex - plain white and unscented - is what I use for all of mine.

Judy C.

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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby Chippy » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:00 pm

I also like to use the round facial cotton pads. I was worried about cotton balls when I read this post over a year ago and tried the pads since I had some. I pull them apart to get two pieces and Chip and Cali love them. They shredd them up and it makes a nice bedding. I've also used tissue and paper towels and they work great too.
Martie.....
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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby flyer_1 » Wed May 06, 2009 6:10 pm

Thanks for the tip folks, I did not know that cotton balls were such a danger. :smt027
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Re: WARNING!!: COTTON BALLS can be Dangerous!!

Postby Kathy & George » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:07 pm

I had the same thing happen to a grey that I was rehabbing at the time. I took him to a vet because the thread was so tight a vet had to see what was going on. He removed the thread the the little guy was find and released later.

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