How to Save a Squirrel With a Broken Leg
In my last article, I discussed how to save a baby squirrel that had fallen. I talked about sarcoptic mange and how to care for a baby squirrel. This article will also talk about bruising caused by a fall. You’ll also learn how to provide a shallow cardboard box and bedding for your baby squirrel. If you have more questions, you can always contact me.
Bruising after a fall
A young Western Gray Squirrel fell from its nest, and was subsequently captured by a dog. He was transported to the Wildlife Hospital with a broken leg. Its leg is immobilized in a plastic cast (normally used to heal pigeons). Despite its large stump, the young squirrel quickly learned how to climb. Afterward, it has recovered enough strength to move into the big squirrel cage.
The first step is to find a rehabilitator or wildlife rescue center in the area where the injured squirrel is injured. The squirrel must be taken to an area where predators are minimal. In the meantime, it will take several days for the injured squirrel to readjust to its natural environment. Also, it is best to avoid releasing the injured squirrel near highways, busy streets, or intersections.
If you’re trying to save an adult squirrel with a broken foot, you may be wondering how to treat sarcoptic mange. This cutaneous skin infection is treatable but can also lead to neurological symptoms. A veterinarian is the best source of information on the best treatment for sarcoptic mange. However, if you’re not a wildlife rehabilitator, veterinary treatment may be necessary.
Keeping a baby squirrel warm in a shallow cardboard box
If you’ve spotted a baby squirrel, you should not approach it unless you’re sure it’s in the best condition possible. A shallow cardboard box with some warm material placed inside will keep the animal comfortable. A flannel shirt or other covering is also a good idea. Keeping the baby squirrel warm in the box can prevent the animal from becoming dehydrated.
Keeping the animal warm is essential to its recovery. Make sure it has a safe hiding place in the box, such as a corner or the bottom of a shallow plastic bag. Then, let it rest and destress for 15 to 30 minutes. The box should have a lid and ventilation holes to prevent the animal from overheating and becoming dehydrated.
Providing a nest box and bedding
An injured squirrel needs supplementary heat. A nest box with bedding should be made of soft, rag-free material. A fleece or knit t-shirt is a good choice. Do not use terrycloth towels, as these can catch a squirrel’s claws or toes. A nest box made of cedar chips may not be appropriate.
If the baby squirrel is too young to be released outside, you may want to provide a crook-side nest box for them. When the nest box is ready, place it in a warm tree crook. Provide bedding and towels for the baby squirrel. The baby squirrel may vocalize and may even attempt to climb onto humans. The baby squirrel may have been left alone for a long time.
Humanely killing a squirrel
While it’s not always necessary to kill a squirrel with a broken leg, there are some things you should do if you find one in your neighborhood. First, keep the leg raised. Breaks can result in the protective shell around the nail breaking off, exposing the tender tissue underneath. While a broken leg can still be very painful, you should try to keep the animal from eating until you’ve visited a doctor.
In addition to calling animal control, you should also try to catch the injured animal. It may be easy to spot an injured squirrel, since it’s often gnawing on things. Additionally, squirrels are constantly making scraping and rubbing sounds. Baby squirrels, on the other hand, make chirping noises, which is another warning sign. Regardless of how you decide to kill the animal, be careful to follow all laws and act quickly.
What do you do if you find an adult squirrel with a broken leg?
Answer 1: You should take it to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.
Is it legal to possess a wild squirrel in most states?
Answer 2: It is generally illegal to possess a wild squirrel unless you have a permit.
How can you tell if a squirrel has a broken leg?
Answer 3: Look for signs of obvious injury deformity or dangling limbs.
What should you do if you find an injured squirrel in your yard?
Answer 4: If you can safely catch the squirrel you should take it to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator.
Otherwise call your local animal control.
How can you tell if a squirrel is injured or orphaned?
Answer 5: Look for signs of obvious injury such as bleeding or a dangling limb.
If the squirrel is a baby it may be orphaned if it is not with its mother.
How do you humanely catch an injured or orphaned squirrel?
Answer 6: Use a small live trap baited with food.
How do you transport an injured or orphaned squirrel?
Answer 7: Place the squirrel in a well-ventilated box lined with soft cloth.
What should you do if a wild squirrel is living in your attic?
Answer 8: Call your local animal control or a wildlife rehabilitator.
Do not attempt to remove the squirrel yourself.
How can you tell if a squirrel is sick or injured?
Answer 9: Look for signs of illness such as lethargy ruffled fur or discharge from the eyes or nose.
What should you do if you find a sick or injured squirrel?
Answer 10: Take it to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.
How can you tell if a squirrel is orphaned?
Answer 11: If the squirrel is a baby it may be orphaned if it is not with its mother.
What should you do if you find an orphaned squirrel?
Answer 12: If you are able to find the mother squirrel place the orphaned squirrel in her nest.
If you cannot find the mother call a wildlife rehabilitator.
How can you tell if a squirrel is injured?
Answer 13: Look for signs of obvious injury such as bleeding or a dangling limb.
What should you do if you find an injured squirrel?
Answer 14: Take it to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.
How can you tell if a squirrel is sick?
Answer 15: Look for signs of illness such as lethargy ruffled fur or discharge from the eyes or nose.
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.