George, Grey aged 6yrs

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Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Glly M » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:39 am


I thought I'd post an update on my gorgeous George. After his illness in December 2016 he went on to make a full recovery and up the morning of 19th November was at his most glorious. He'd been out in the sunshine in his travel cage and when I brought him inside I said, hang on a minute whilst I clean out your big cage. Sadly he decided to make a comment by biting his cage bars and in doing so hooked his one remaining incisor on it. He tucked hard and the whole thing came out and he was bleeding quite a lot. I took him to the vet who checked and said everything seemed ok and that she would have been proud to have extracted a tooth so cleanly! She gave him some pain relief and long lasting antibiotics and home we went. He ran for 12 hours on the morphine based pain relief then settled down. Things seemed ok and he was eating fine with smaller portions.

Two weeks later he screamed every time he put food to his mouth, just as if he was getting an electric shock. Off to the vets and she said he seemed to have an infection around one of his lower incisors, which had reappeared. She x-rayed him and couldn't see anything else wrong but felt that the tooth should be extracted. After a good deal of thought and thorough explanations from the vet we agreed to take it out on 8th December. Over the weekend he didn't do well.. I was struggling to get him to eat or feed him and he was losing ground (although the weight seemed stable). I took him back to the vets twice and on Monday 11th December took him in again and he had some sub cut fluids and antibiotics to take home. He died two hours later.

I have spent the last month doing the what if thing. What if I'd taken him straight out of his cage, what if it had rained (he wouldn't have been n his travel cage), what if he'd not chewed the bars, what if I hadn't had his other tooth taken out. I know this is part of the grieving process by heck it is hard to love and lose one of these marvellous creatures. A friend who rescues squirrels in London said that I should remember that every rescue is dead when we find them and we give them their lives back. Yes, I'll go along with that but I feel like someone cut part of me out.

George was a one off gift from the wood elves who had 7 and almost a half very happy years. It was a privilege to raise and keep him. In the future I hope to apply for a permit to keep a couple of non-releasable squirrels. I won't get one to release as the governing body wont issue it in the area I live in as they are killing all the greys to bring back the reds that never lived here and whose favoured type of habitat they have destroyed.

Thank you so much for your help and advise last year and may you all have many years of happy squirreling.

Gill and the late great and very gorgious George Mander (grey and proud to the last!)
Georgie Nut.jpg

Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Daddy Squirrel » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:01 am

Gill, I am unable to upload the food data chart as either a Word document or a pdf. If you are willing to provide your email address, I can mail it to you (I think). Please keep us posted about George. He may provide us all with information we can use in the future. I hope he pulls through. I had a NR who at about age six also started going down. I spent a couple of thousand on "Buddy"--vet appointments, meds, ultrasounds, xrays--but other than what my vet thought might have been a small heart valve problem, I never conclusively found out the cause. Unfortunately, after a few months of his hanging on but not really getting any better, I had him euthanized, and though this might not sound very "professional" as far as being a rehabilitator, doing so broke my heart.

Take care--Jack

Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by SquirrellyMomma » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:36 pm

Hi Gill, and welcome to our board. I'm sorry that your buddy George is not doing well. I don't have any advice to offer but want you to know I'm following your posts. Please continue to keep us updated on George. I'm hoping for the best for him!

Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Gilly M » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:32 pm


I took George to the vet today. They were unable to get blood to test in order to see if he has a renal issue, but x-rayed him. The vet thought his bones looked thin and that there were signs of arthritis in the spine, hips and knees. He couldn't find any sign of tumours or any other obvious abnormality. I asked if he could do a blood, urea, nitrogen dip test but they don't use them. My friend is going to send me some and if i clip a nail to the qwik there would be enough of a drop to carry out the test, which would give an indication as to his renal function. The vet did give him calcium subcutaneously but was reluctant to overload his kidneys.

We discussed how long he can go on without rallying and neither of us will let him get any worse. He hs gone form 750 g to 500g in 2 weeks. If I can't get him to pick up then the only option I can see is to euthanise him.

On coming home he had moved his bowels a little (and he did a huge pee on me at the vet's, nice one George!). He is very thirsty and has had a nibble at pear, tangerine, papaya and a red chard stalk. No interest in nuts, brocolli or kale. I have put nutribal in his bottle and there was some in the cup he was drinking from. We have a product called Critical Care, made by Vetark, which I have and put in his water. Two identical cups and he knew which one he didn't want to drink! He also has no interest in Syd's milk.

Hopefully he will be here in the morning and I will try to get him to pick up. We've done it before so maybe we can succeed again.


Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Gilly M » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:14 pm

Hi Jack,

Thanks for getting back to me. He has been very well, fit, health and happy until the day he vomited, but after I posted the message and started re reading all my squirrel care documents I was starting to wonder if the MBD had crept back. The vet suggested on Friday that if he was no better we might consider bloods. I found the pdfs with readings on your board so have copied them across via email and will give them to the vet tomorrow.

I use a product called Nutribal in his water and if I am off work and the weather is warm he goes out in his carry cage. He also has a full spectrum light that I had recommended to me when he had MBD. He does have a good diet, with just as we do, favourites which are not necessarily the best for him. But if he comes through this I will have to have a firmer hand with him. I've just noticed green peas are in the iffy list and he loves sugar snap peas. Do you have the list in PDF format as it runs all over the place when I try to print or email it?

Oddly since I posted he has rallied a little. I dipped his urine again and all seem ok although protein and bilirubin might have been one point up. It's not easy to be accurate with these sticks. Tonight though he is very thirsty, drinking water, tea and wanting to drink my blackcurrant drink. I'm in two minds how far I let him go with the drinking. On the one hand he is dehydrated, on the other I don't want him putting too much stress on his kidneys. I've just mixed up some of the recovery powder in with papaya and sieved it. I'm going to get that into him and then its bedtime 11pm Sunday night here. I'm at the vets at 0830 tomorrow.

Re the esbilac, my boys have both been raised on 2parts goat milk, to one part full cow milk, a dash of probiotic and a few Abidec infant vitamin drops in it. I also drop a bit of fruit in it too. When George was of an age to start saying no to his milk (6 weeks and far too young sir) I bought some esbilac powder and nearly lost him. There was no clear info on how much to use, nothing on weight, level scoop, compacted scoop, lose scoop etc and I later found out that they'd changed their drying process and that lots of rehabbers had been losing babies to it. £25 of food went in the nearest bin. Because Syd is blind, even at 6 months old he is still on the bottle as he "loses" a lot of the other food sources. He is going to be a challenge to keep well.

Fingers crossed George continues to improve. I will let you know what happens tomorrow.

Thanks again,


Re: George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Daddy Squirrel » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:51 am

I'm sorry to hear about George. When you get him to the vet and a blood sample is taken, have them check for blood calcium levels. You said he had had MBD, and that is a difficult condition to remedy fully. It can be a lifelong battle. You also said he vomited what appeared to be corn and nuts. Both of these are high in phosphorus and can contribute to MBD. The weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite can be symptoms. If you have access to puppy formula such as Esbilac (I use Goat's Milk Esbilac), you might try syringe feeding that (I have kept several adults alive on formula). Has George had access to sunlight or other source of UV light? Lack of Vitamin D can also be a contributing factor.

George, Grey aged 6yrs

Post by Gilly M » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:53 am

I am in the UK where greys Squirrels are classed as vermin and the scourge of the woods.

I have a 6yr old grey raised from 4 weeks old, had MBD at 2yrs old which was sorted but resulted in malocclusion so his teeth are trimmed 4 weekly.

He was fine until Boxing Day when he vomited copious amounts of what appeared to be mini sweetcorn and nuts. (So much for the recent research paper that stated squirrels can't vomit - oh yes they can!)

Since then he has been losing weight and generally refusing food. He is passing urine and has passed whatever food he had in him.

I have taken him the the vets 3 times, but they have no experience of squigs and we can only presume that he is physiologically similar to a rat. On examination there was no sign of blockage or tumour, his teeth are fine. They dosed him up with Baytril,Laurabolin, Vit b12 and Cerenia. After the steroid he showed a little interest in food but that passed.

Tomorrow this will have been going on for 2 weeks. When last weighed at the vets he had lost 200g from his 700g start and has certainly lost more since then. I have been trying to get Supreme recovery into him to keep his guts mobile. After the Baytril he was producing what looked like long liquorice logs rather than normal stool. These had started to normalise but his food intake is now minimal. I made up some rehydration liquid and he did take this for a day and I have tried with pureed fruit with the recovery mix in but it is a battle that I am losing. He flinches every time he sees me and I am worried about him taking it into his airway.

I dipped his urine on Thursday and that seemed ok but possibly one mark up on glucose. However we unsure of they were 30 or 60 second dips and the result would probably have been inaccurate (human sticks anyway).

I have managed to source some Emeraid and this should be with me on Tuesday but I am concerned that George won't be.

He is sleeping his days away, emerging every so often for a stretch and clean before going back to sleep. Last night I felt that when he lay on his tummy his breathing seemed laboured. Today he has had some water and tea, and I syringed some of the milk I used for Syd,my 6 month old blind squig, into him. He took this under protest. He has had a few bites of papaya, avocado and melon which is more than he's had in days.

We are back to the vets first thing tomorrow when he has mentioned trying to obtain a blood sample. He is satisfied that he has fully palpate the tummy and that theres no blockage.

I love this little man to pieces and he's had 6 happy years, which is 6 more than he'd have had if I'd left him. But I am not ready to lose him yet and certainly not when I don't even know what's wrong. I have a friend who is a vet nurse and rescues squiq and she too is at a loss as to what is wrong. Touchwood theres nothing wrong with Syd.

Have you any suggestions or advice please?