Wild flyer rescued. Questions about teeth and appetite

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Wild flyer rescued. Questions about teeth and appetite

Postby sundown127 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:10 am

... I do have some concern about his bottom teeth. I had not paid too much attention to them before, except I did notice one was longer than the other one. Now, when I took a much more careful look today, I realize they are both now about the same length, but both MUCH shorther than a pic I saw in another thread here of correct flyer tooth length. And the ends look rather jagged too. When his mouth is fully closed, they do not even come close to meshing together. I had to wonder if this perhaps has anything to do with his sudden reduction in food intake, particularly sunflower seeds, since they require being chewed open. Could he perhaps have had one broken bottom tooth before, and now the second one broke too, making real chewing difficult?


Image

Their teeth will break or be worn down. They grow like beavers'. Some do get malocclusion that makes eating difficult. offer a variety of foods including hard and solf. He'll know what to eat and when.

Well shoot me sundown127! I hit EDIT instead of QUOTE and messed up your well stated and thought out message. :oops: Anyway, if all your questions don't get answered ... please repeat them and I'll get a "keeper" before I answer again. :roll: Joan

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Postby sundown127 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:57 pm

Darra wrote:Are you giving him any kind of vitamins to help him absorb the calcium?

It does look as though he has broken his teeth. Shell the nuts for him for a while, soft food, baby food is good. Just for a couple of weeks I think. Are you planning on releasing him? .


First, no, I have not gotten him vit drops yet. Just the Rep-Cal with D3. Was not sure how long I would even have him, as he was so bad when I first got him I did not know if he would even survive 24 hours. The shopping I have done for him in the past couple of weeks rivals shopping for myself! The longer I have him, the more I end up buying for him. LOL

As for baby food, what type would I get for him? He sure seems to have no interest in any veggies I have tried so far. I have read the diet section at this forum, and info on feeding at other flyer sites, which is why I now have a kitchen full of packages of various nuts, seeds, and fruits he likes. I have to say his favorite by far has been shelled hazelnuts. And he used to go crazy over sunflower seeds, but now seems to be unable to eat them. I did just buy a wild bird mix at Petsmart that has shelled sunflowers, pumpkin seeds, various shelled nuts, and bits of fruit in it. Not the Nut N Berry everyone here talks about, as they did not have it, but similar type.

I do intend to release him back into the wild, if he recovers fully from whatever is causing his head tilt. He is vastly better, but still has a bit of a tilt and seems to lose his balance easily. I don't know if this is permanent or not, but unless he fully recovers, my guess is the poor little guy wouldn't stand a chance in the wild. When I first got him, he was so bad that the right side of his head was always facing completely down, and he would actually roll over and over to the right. I had to hand feed him, because he was so unsteady that he couldn't even hold onto food. His right eye was crusted shut and had a nick in the eyelid, so obviously he incurred some trauma to that side of his head.

So now, I guess he needs time to see if he can recover fully, and also to grow his lower teeth out to more normal length, before I can make any decision about whether or not he is well enough to have a fighting chance in the wild. Also, here in New England, it has been brutal weather for the past week, with every night down to near zero. Better if it is closer to real spring before I consider releasing him.

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Postby sundown127 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:46 pm

Just checked, and the mix I bought earlier today at Petsmart is "Wild Delight Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Chickadee blend", which I just now found listed in another recent thread here as a good choice. Will have to wait till tomorrow morn, to see if my guy ate any of it, as he does all his eating overnight.

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Postby Pam » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:14 pm

Such a sweetie , and he doesnt seem to be afraid of you. I hope all goes well for the two of you......Pam
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Postby gloryaf88 » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:35 pm

He looks precious. Please keep us updated as to how he progresses.
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Postby Deb » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:57 pm

He doesn't look like he is planning to go back outside ever :twisted:

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Postby sundown127 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:21 am

Deb wrote:He doesn't look like he is planning to go back outside ever :twisted:


I do have to admit that the thought of putting this poor little guy back outdoors to fend for himself is pretty horrible, especially when he came within seconds of being lunch for the neighbor's kitty! And I have hawks that regularly pick off birds at my birdfeeders too. I know flyers make nice little snacks for them.

Plus, he is soooo much more endearing than the crazy hyper red squirrel I rescued off a local road a few years ago. That one also had a head injury, with blood crusted in one ear, and absolutely no balance whatsoever. I thought he had little hope, but just couldn't give up on him. He recovered totally within a few weeks, and I did release him way back in the woods in a state park. Talk about hyper!! That red squirrel is what gave me real hope that my current little flyer could recover too, from an apparent similar injury. And his recovery so far has been just as amazing, even if he is not 100 percent yet, in the balance department.

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Postby gloryaf88 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:24 am

I have found that mine love mashmallows, to both eat and play with, so you might try giving him one of those as a little soft treat. I also have found that mine like yogurt drink with apple juice mixed in it.
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Postby Vickie » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:53 am

Such a sweet little guy. I'm so glad you found him and took him in. Hope everything goes well!
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Wild Flyer Rescued. Questions about Teeth/Apetite

Postby Lora » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:07 am

Baby food is one of the few things I can get Mr. Bojangles to eat. I use only stage 1 & 2 that have no added sugar. Check the label. He likes peaches, pears, bananas & sweet potatos. You might also try the peas & carrots. For fresh veggies the only thing he likes on a regular basis is sweet peas & asparagus tips. They seem to like most any flavor yogurt. Just make sure it's full fat or low fat with live active cultures & no aspartame. Bojangles' favorite is Yo-Baby peach smoothie. One way I found to get him to eat his leafy greens (kale, spinach) was to clip them to the side of the cage instead of putting in a dish. For some reason they taste better this way lol... he eats them every time. You can use an alligator clip, binder clip or clothes pin for this. Bojangles' was a wild rescue too. I know what you mean about the expense, lol. I went crazy on him for the first few weeks. It sure was fun though. We had also intended to release him until we found out the life expectancy in the wild was only 1-2 years. That put an end to that idea.

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Postby Joan » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:57 pm

[quote="sundown127"]... First, no, I have not gotten him vit drops yet. Just the Rep-Cal with D3.

That's all he really needs.

I do intend to release him back into the wild, if he recovers fully from whatever is causing his head tilt. He is vastly better, but still has a bit of a tilt and seems to lose his balance easily.

That is likely a head/neurological injury that may or may not get better. I know of one that improved some, but she ran in her wheel with a pecan in her mouth to counterbalance the tilt. She's had several litters of babies and doing fine.


I don't know if this is permanent or not, but unless he fully recovers, my guess is the poor little guy wouldn't stand a chance in the wild.

It would be a definite handicap in the wild.


In your first post ... the one I messed up :oops: ... you asked about age.
It's difficult to tell when they reach adult size, but since you're in New England, I imagine the youngest he'd be is from a Fall litter and would be adult now. Testes dropping is happening to all adult males now as Spring breeding season approaches.
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Wild Flyer Rescued

Postby Lora » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:45 pm

Bojangles is appx 6-7 mos old. We found him on 10/23 & figure he was anywhere from 5-8 wks old then. His testicles just dropped like a month ago. So that would make him a late summer/early fall baby. Your little guy is probably around the same age. I would think he'd be a little more difficult to handle if he were any older, even with a head injury.

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Postby Judy C. » Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:23 pm

Seeing the photos and reading about him is almost like two different animals! His yellow/orange teeth, and the time of year and where you live say that he is bound to be several months old. But his coat has the wet, greasy look of a fairly young weaned pup!???

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Postby Deb » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:25 am

How unusual for an older flyer to be this easy to handle! Even with a head injury, it doesn't seem very likely to find one that will tolerate human contact without a fuss. This little flyer acts like a hand raised little monster. Already knows how to work his HOF and everything :cool:
Better just name him and be owned like the rest of us :twisted:

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Postby sundown127 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:18 pm

That greasy look in the earliest photos of him, the day I found him, were because he was crawling with some sort of long bodied bugs, larger than fleas, and NO WAY was I going to have him in my house with my two Weimaraners (big gray German hunting dogs, for those who don't know) with those parasites. So I used a very mild flea spray on him. Had no idea if it was safe for him, but then, the condition he was in when I found him looked pretty hopeless anyway. Tough little bugger he turned out to be, still here 3 weeks later despite everything, and doing MUCH bettter.

Also, when I first found him, I fed him watered down natural peanut butter with a dropper (he was too messed up to hold any food on his own), which he LOVED! It worked absolutely great for the red squirrel with a severe head injury I rescued several years ago, so I tried it with him too. But it sure made him greasier. And I still give him a bit at times, when I hold him. He laps that stuff up like crazy!!! But it does make him greasy. It also might explain why he went from biting me several times when I first found him, to never even trying any longer, and happily sitting on my shoulder. Bright little guy, isn't he? :wink:

Big problem now is that it does seem he will never be 100 percent, as far as his balance and that head tilt. But I live in a VERY tiny house with two big dogs, and cannot even begin to imagine where I can possibly put any proper housing for the little guy, even any cage on the small side of adequate. Plus, I am in an "illegal" flyer state. If I knew of someone else in the area with flyers who would provide for him properly as a pet, I might seriously consider giving him up, so he could have a better life, but in my area, as far as I know, it is just rehabbers who release.

BTW, here is the link to his photo album again, since Joan deleted it with her "editing". :wink:
http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k194/sundown127/Rocky/

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Postby sundown127 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:28 pm

I just looked at some pictures of parasites, and what he had all over him when I found him were obviously lice. I guess I always assumed lice were smaller than those bugs I saw on him. But at least they all seem to be gone now, 3 weeks later. Have not even seen one of them since I treated him, the day I found him.

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Postby Joan » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:32 pm

He probably was too sick to fight them off when you first got him. Laura's Rockie was a sicl wild one too and turned out to be the sweetest furball around. They know when you're trying to help them ... even adults.
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Re: Wild flyer rescued. Questions about teeth and appetite

Postby Joan » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:55 pm

sundown127 wrote:... I realize they are both now about the same length, but both MUCH shorther than a pic I saw in another thread here of correct flyer tooth length.


Normal Flyer TeethImage
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Postby immatater » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:07 am

Ow ow ow!!! I was worried about being bitten BEFORE I saw that pic. **shudders**

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Postby lynn » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:36 am

I would advise waiting quite a while before deciding whether to release this wild SFS. Head trauma can take weeks to improve, and often the progress is incredibly slow. If he begins to run in a straight line, and can be accurate in his glide/landings, I would return him to the wild. :fly:
I know I'm treading on toes a little bit, but I think there is a difference between wild-born and captive born squirrels. I have pets, but I wouldn't even consider keeping a wild-born SFS, especially an adult who has known freedom. I have read many posts that criticize pet stores or other sellers who capture wild flyers for profit. I would argue that it isn't the animals' choice to be HBC or cat-caught, and they probably just want to go home as soon as they can fend for themselves.
Just my opinion. The world is big enough for different viewpoints. :earth:

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Postby Joan » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:04 pm

[quote="lynn"]I would advise waiting quite a while before deciding whether to release this wild SFS. Head trauma can take weeks to improve, and often the progress is incredibly slow.

Very true and sometimes there can be a permanent head tilt.

If he begins to run in a straight line, and can be accurate in his glide/landings, I would return him to the wild. :fly:

Both good indications of recovery.

I know I'm treading on toes a little bit, but I think there is a difference between wild-born and captive born squirrels.

Truth be told, even the captive born are wild. Flyers are not domesticated even though they have been kept as pets for hundreds of years by Native Americans. People need to understand that when they take on the responsibility of one. They cannot expect dog or cat behavior from one.

I have pets, but I wouldn't even consider keeping a wild-born SFS, especially an adult who has known freedom.

I can't imagine an adult making a very good pet unless it was severely injured and just didn't want to leave. I know Tom and Judy both have adults in their Wild Bunch cages (rescues or born there) who won't leave, but you can't blame them with all the good room & board they get.

I have read many posts that criticize pet stores or other sellers who capture wild flyers for profit. I would argue that it isn't the animals' choice to be HBC or cat-caught, and they probably just want to go home as soon as they can fend for themselves.
Just my opinion. The world is big enough for different viewpoints. :earth:

Your opinion is as valid as anyones. :D I know people who think NO animal should be rehabbed or saved from death as it interfers with the natural order of their life cycle. I just finished a module of a Master Naturalists class where one of the instructors was against wild bird feeders because he felt it interferred with migration and natural reproduction. I won't tell you what he thought should be done to dogs and small children who chased flocks of shore birds. :twisted:
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Postby sundown127 » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:50 pm

I am the owner of this injured wild flyer. I am not sure how this thread ended up active again, but I posted this message about my "Squirrelly" (formerly known as Rocky) over a year ago!! I found him in Feb of 2007!

Anyway, I do still have him, but he never really recovered significantly. He is still pretty messed up. He trembles all the time, and certainly cannot run a straight line. He acts like he is perpetually dizzy. The head tilt is gone, but he has some major issues. He will move a very short distance in his large cage, and then just totally stops, like he is disoriented. If on a branch vertically, he will just let his head fall back, and then slowly lower it again. He will do this over and over. I read on the squirrel board that this is a sign of brain damage. They referred to it as "floating", if I recall correctly.

He also seems to have no ability to chew on nuts in the shell. I have to trim his teeth very regularly. Once, I let his lower teeth go for a while without trimming them, and they grew so long that the roof of his mouth was bleeding from being impaled by them. He does always have nuts in the shell in his cage, but will literally starve before even trying to chew them open.

I am quite amazed that Squirrelly is still hanging in there, 14 months after I found him in such horrible condition. He did go through a really bad time last June, when he could not even move at all, without just falling over on his back. For weeks, he could not even leave the floor of his 6 foot tall cage. I took all of his climbing stuff out, and just covered the floor in bedding. And then, he improved, to the point where he can now climb right up to the top of his cage, where he has a fleece tunnel he loves. He also has a nest box on a high shelf that he uses all the time. All his climbing branches and ropes are back in the cage, and he has been able to get around the entire cage since last summer. But he would not last even one day in the wild, with his major disabilities.

I do handle him every single day (in fact, just had him out a few mins ago), and he absolutely never tries to bite me. As long as he is eating and able to climb all over his cage, I won't be giving up on him. Last summer, my vet actually advised me to euthanize him, but I couldn't, without giving him every chance.

Susan

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Postby Joan » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:59 pm

Susan, Laura ... Rockie's mom did physical therapy with him. He had neurological problems too. Have you tried PT? I wonder if patterned exercises would help ... also massage. Tom rarely got bitten with little ones he would help. Even when he had to do painful things. They seem to know when you try and help them.
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Postby lynn » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:50 am

Now that I look at the dates, I see that the original posts were last year! :headsmack: In my state, we are not allowed to keep non-releasable wild animals. It is heartbreaking to be forced to euthanize an animal that you know would do well in a large enclosure . . . but it is the law here.
Good for you for taking all the time with 'Squirrelly.' He is an exception to the situation I hear so frequently, which is, "He was just so cute I couldn't let him go." Unfortunately, many animals are kept as pets that would rather be free.
In your case, you are keeping him safe and he is happy where he is.

Joan, I've heard that side of the argument, too!! Ultimately, we have to follow our conscience (and the law).

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Postby Joan » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:23 pm

[quote="lynn"]Now that I look at the dates, I see that the original posts were last year! :headsmack:

It brought up some good discussion though. :D

In my state, we are not allowed to keep non-releasable wild animals.

I think that's true in a number of states.

It is heartbreaking to be forced to euthanize an animal that you know would do well in a large enclosure . . . but it is the law here.

I think the South is more lenient ... if we can't eat it, we can keep it as a pet. :twisted: LOL

Unfortunately, many animals are kept as pets that would rather be free.

That's one thing about gray squirrels ... try and stop one when he wants to go. Better count your fingers afterward. :twisted:

Joan, I've heard that side of the argument, too!! Ultimately, we have to follow our conscience (and the law).

Yes, I guess the problem arises when the law and conscience conflict. :wink:
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Postby Deb » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:10 am

That's why some folks discover what they have is a plain ol' flat -tailed hamster :twisted: No laws against those :cool:
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Postby lynn » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:02 am

I mentioned to my husband that we may have "flying hamsters." :cuteandinnocent: (I'm not sure if there is a town ordinance against flyers. We tried to check before purchasing, but nobody knew the answer.) Apparently, that conjured up a disturbing image in his mind!
:eeeeek:

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Postby sundown127 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:55 pm

That's why some folks discover what they have is a plain ol' flat -tailed hamster No laws against those


Yup, that's what my Squirrelly is! A flat tailed hamster. :wink: Hamsters are legal here. Flying Squirrels are not. My guy can't fly anyway. No wonder. He's just a plain old hamster. :-$

Now I know why my vet thought I was being silly, worrying about them confiscating him if I brought him in.


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