Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

For other than life threatening medical situations with your flyer.

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Laurak
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Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:27 am

So here is the issue.

For the last 6-8 months or so, Momo has had an arm chewing problem. She has a "hot spot" on her left arm that she randomly will pull the hair out of. She will let it grow for a few weeks, then randomly one day we will get her out of the cage and all the hair will be gone on that spot again.

It has been an ongoing issue, so we know it's not some current injury that is causing it. We have tried:

-widening her nest box door
-building her a bigger cage
- making sure her diet is varied
- providing wild items (branches, leaves, acorns) to play with
- and, last night, we tried to resort to the e-collar.

I ordered an e-collar off Henry's, and she shrugged right out of it in less than a second, and I had it on as small as it would go.

I purchased a bottle of 'Bitter Apple' but haven't used it on her yet. That is the next thing I am going to try. But if it doesn't work, I am out of ideas.

Can anyone help? PLEASE??? Any tips??

Here is the rundown on Momo:
-she is a Southern Flying Squirrel, about a year old
-she has been domesticated her whole life, and has only been outside once, months ago. So I am thinking this is not a flea, tick, or mite issue.
-she gets a very good diet. She has yogurt, an HHB for flyers, protein, and veggies daily. Her fur is otherwise smooth and shiny.
-she gets 3-5 hours of out of cage time a night. She is well socialized and loves to play.
-she has an enormous rectangular cage with toys, a wheel, ledges, pouches, two nest boxes, and branches.
-she is otherwise free of problems. Healthy poops and pees, does not bite, is happy, friendly, and active.

Below is a recent picture of her - you can see the bald spot on her arm.

If I can't stop her from pulling out her hair, is it ok? I want her to be in perfect health.
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Joan
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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Joan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:49 am

It may just be a nervious habit like nail biting in humans. Since it's only in one area and not spreading, I wouldn't worry about it.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Laurak
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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:06 am

Thanks Joan :) That makes me feel better at least.

*sigh*

She just looks really gimpy. But I love my gimpy squirrel, naked armpit and all.

You should have seen the whole e-collar incident. Me and the fiance chasing her around for 15 minutes, finally corraled her and slipped it on, and she wiggled right the heck out of it and gave us a dirty look. It was kind of funny but I also felt a little bad for traumatizing her, so I gave her a pecan piece to make up for it.

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Joan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:50 pm

You could have had an award winning video of the E-collar adventure! :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:41 pm

Lol! I said I wish there had been a third person there to videotape. Pinning down a flyer to attempt to put an e-collar on it is *definitely* a two person job, and we are only a two person household! :D Anyone who doesn't own a flyer would never believe that it takes two fully grown humans to corner a hamster-sized rodent...

Oh, and Anne PMed me about the Benadryl. I will give it a try tonight and for a few days, and will report back on what happens. Thanks Joan!

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Joan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:14 pm

Laurak wrote:...:D Anyone who doesn't own a flyer would never believe that it takes two fully grown humans to corner a hamster-sized rodent...


I own a flyer and can't believe it ONLY took TWO humans! :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby DinNorman » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:02 pm

Often it is just habit, self perpetuated irritation. It could also be an indication of an inflammatory process that is not visible. Benadryl MAY help. Other things that we try on dogs and cats would be impossile on a flyer. Give her lots of attention and variety in her environment in case it is a product of boredom.
David

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:06 am

She gets a TON of attention and she has a huge cage. I really hope it's not boredom because I don't know what else we could do :-/ I ordered a Stealth Wheel over the weekend so hopefully that will help with stimulation.

I didn't have a chance to get the Benadryl yesterday, but I wish I had! For some reason, Momo was acting like she was on squirrel crack. She was running without taking a break from 11 pm to 1 am. My evening went something like this:

*run run run run* - jump on mom - *run run run* - cold feet on mom's belly while she is trying to nap, hehe - *run run run* -climb a curtain - *run run* - giant 6 foot jump to faceplant, hehe - *run run runrunrunrun* - try to eat mom's phone - *run run run* - 6 foot jump - *run scurry run run* faceplant again *run run run run run run run run run run run run*

Try that for two hours non-stop. :twisted: I am buying that Benadryl today!

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Joan » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:58 am

I know she's not bored. LOL I suggest YOU take the Benadryl with a stiff drink and you will feel fine about everything. LOL :twisted: Seriously though, let us know if the Benadryl helps Momo.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Laurak
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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:39 pm

Haha! I just bought four bottles of wine today so I am set :)

I will report back on how the Benadryl worked.

PS- I went to the pharmacy to get a syringe to mix it all in, and they just gave it to me for free! Isn't that awesome?

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Laurak
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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:49 am

Update for anyone who has been following this (Hi Anne!)

I tried some of the infant Benadryl - I'm not sure if it really helped or not. The arm looks about the same. Then again, it would take a little bit for the hair to grow back in, so... yeah. Life would be a lot easier if I could just talk to Momo. :roll:

Can anyone PM me the mailing address for Henry's Healthy Pets? I need to return the e-collar but I can't find the address anywhere. I emailed Leigh, and she said it's ok to return the collar, but she hasn't given me her address yet.

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Re: Arm Chewing! Help! I am out of ideas!

Postby Laurak » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:35 am

Update - Leigh told me to just keep the collar (she's too nice - she didn't have to do that!) so if anyone knows a deserving squirrel - full size squirrel, this won't fit on a flyer! - I can donate them a collar.


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