How to Tell If a Squirrel Has a Broken Leg
A baby squirrel can have a broken leg just like a human child can. If you find it in distress, you should seek veterinary assistance. Look for discharge from the ears, eyes, nose, or mouth. A veterinarian can perform an X-ray to determine the condition of the leg. If the leg is broken, the animal will need surgery to stabilize it. The veterinarian can also give advice on treatment.
X-ray of a baby squirrel’s leg
A baby squirrel falls out of its nest frequently. The squirrels are top-heavy, and their big heads often cause them to fall over. An X-ray of this young squirrel’s leg revealed fractures to the tibia and fibula. While the veterinarians at WildCare are trained to repair broken bones, the problem here was that the location of the break interfered with growth plates. To avoid this, the veterinarians at WildCare performed a splinting procedure, which allowed the squirrel to continue its growth.
A baby Western Gray Squirrel was brought to WildCare’s downtown San Rafael location on May 6 after being grabbed by a dog. When the young squirrel arrived at the rescue center, she had head trauma and a badly broken leg. A second squirrel of the same age was brought to the clinic in Novato on May 13 with similar symptoms. WildCare is attempting to raise $1733 to help this precious little squirrel recover.
Signs that a squirrel has a broken leg
You may notice your favorite squirrel is limping and can’t climb. That could be a sign that they’ve been injured. Then you should get your vet to check it out. If you find that your squirrel has a broken leg, you’ll want to make sure you treat it immediately. It’s important to isolate the injured animal and keep it out of the way of other wildlife and noise. If you can’t get to it right away, you can try to move it into a cage.
A baby squirrel with a broken leg or hind leg is likely to heal very quickly if it is kept in a small container. Be sure to keep the squirrel in a small, well-padded container to prevent it from getting infected with disease. Your squirrel should be back to normal within two to three weeks. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, you should try giving it some formula. The safest formula for squirrels is Fox Valley Day One Formula for Squirrels, but other formulas may cause problems. For pain relief, you can give it Metacam, an anti-inflammatory medication.
Treatment of a broken leg
In most cases, the broken leg of a squirrel is not severe. If the break is minor, the leg will heal by itself, but if the broken leg is major, it will not heal and will make the squirrel a more vulnerable target for predators. Although minor fractures heal on their own, an infection can quickly spread throughout the body and can kill the squirrel. Therefore, it is imperative to treat a broken leg in a squirrel immediately.
The first step in treating a broken leg in a squirrel is to provide the animal with calcium supplements. A calcium-rich syringe, spoon, or eyedropper can be used to provide the animal with the necessary amounts of calcium. It is important to visit a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator if the squirrel is paralyzed. NSAIDs can be used to treat inflammation of the spine. In some cases, the injured squirrel may also require specialized care by a veterinarian or neurosurgeon.
Signs that a squirrel needs human help
If you notice a baby squirrel in your yard, it may need human help. Squirrels have very sensitive stomachs and can get injured easily by food or force feeding. The baby squirrel may have fallen out of its nest and be separated from its mother. If this happens, try to reconnect the baby with its mother by placing the kitten container close to the mother. Be sure to keep the area safe and watch for predators.
Another sign that your pet needs help is if it’s exhibiting unusual behavior. For example, a baby squirrel may seem to be hurt or afraid and unable to escape. In addition, it may be covered in fleas, fly eggs, or human scent. It may also be displaying other signs of needing help, such as urinating on its own, or it may be attacking a dog.
Symptoms of a broken leg
If your squirrel has recently hurt itself, you may be wondering how to treat a broken leg. While the leg may be healed, it is not completely cured and may remain a vulnerable target for predators. After all, predators prefer sick and weak prey. If the leg is broken, it may not heal and may be infected. Even a minor fracture can result in an infection, which can spread throughout the body and eventually kill the squirrel.
If you’ve seen a baby squirrel fall from a tree, chances are they broke their leg when it was still in the nest. These animals are very top-heavy, and often fall from trees. The baby squirrel had fractures to its fibula and tibia. A veterinarian at WildCare is trained to perform the correct surgery on broken bones, but in this case, the location of the break presented a problem. Pinging would have inhibited the growth plate, so the vet instead used a splint to allow the bone to grow.
How do you know if a squirrel has a broken leg?
If the squirrel is not putting any weight on the leg is holding the leg up or if the foot is hanging down then the squirrel has a broken leg.
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.