How to Determine How Many Weeks Old a Squirrel Is
If you’re wondering how to determine how many weeks old a squirrel, keep reading! In this article, we’ll discuss the age of a baby squirrel, how to spot encephalomyocarditis, and the best way to keep a baby squirrel in a quiet room. First, if you discover a baby squirrel, you should determine whether it is orphaned or a normal healthy one. If you suspect the baby is orphaned, stay away until it’s ready to be released on its own.
Information on how to determine how many weeks old a squirrel
The easiest way to determine how old a squirrel is by looking at its appearance. At around six weeks old, the animal already looks like a squirrel. At eight and nine weeks, it’s more likely to be alive if it fell from the nest and was cared for by its parents. Release it back to its nest is the best option. By 10 weeks, its tail is bushy and full. Its teeth are also fully grown.
Symptoms of encephalomyocarditis
If you notice signs of encephalomyocarditis in your squirrels, you may want to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. This infectious disease, also known as ECM, causes inflammation of the heart and skeletal tissues and can destroy a squirrel’s nervous system. The disease is spread through contact with infected rodents and secondary bacterial transmission. This disease can be fatal if not treated in time. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for the disease.
Age at which a baby squirrel can care for itself
At around twelve weeks of age, a baby squirrel is ready to be released outside. Nail a nesting box into the crook of a tree, and keep a supply of towels or hay inside. Once it’s warm, the baby can be placed in the box. It will continue to be dependent on its mother until it’s about 12 weeks old. Once it’s older, it can start to wean itself from its mother.
Keeping a baby squirrel in a quiet room
One way to tell if a baby squirrel is old is to check its genital area. While male squirrels have a larger gap between their anus and genital opening, females have a smaller gap. A soft washcloth or Q-tip dipped in warm water should be used to massage the squirrel’s genitals. This stimulation will likely cause a bowel movement or urination. However, if the baby is still too young to urinate or bowel, you can leave it alone for some time.
Hand-rearing a baby squirrel
There are several ways to find out how old a baby squirrel is. You can observe its temperature and the way it cries. You can also check its body temperature by using a soft washcloth or a warm water bottle. Baby squirrels are very vulnerable to cold weather because they cool down quickly when they are outside the nest. If the squirrel appears to be cold, you should take the baby to the nearest wildlife rehabilitator.
Preventing a malocclusion in a baby squirrel
Malocclusion, or uneven teeth, is common among baby squirrels. Malocclusion can lead to a wide range of dental problems including overgrowth and broken incisors. In some cases, the overgrowth can be deadly, as a squirrel can suffer from starvation, bleeding, or even death. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent malocclusion.
Keeping a baby squirrel in its habitat
You can tell a baby squirrel is four to six weeks old by the color of its fur. It is pink when it is not yet fully furred and has no hair. It grows a few white hairs around its mouth after two weeks and a few front teeth by a month’s time. After a month, it has white hairs on its back and belly. It also has a short tail. You can safely leave a baby squirrel in its habitat once it is six weeks old.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.