How to Trim Squirrel Teeth With
If you have a Sabertooth squirrel, chances are their overgrown upper incisors are causing them to curl backwards. Known as odontomas, these tumors can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: trim those teeth with wire cutters. But first, know your species’ needs. If they aren’t healthy, they can cause a number of other problems, too. You can trim adult squirrels teeth with sharp, straight edge toe nail nippers, super strong professional nippers, bone cutters or pointed wire cutters. However, It is strongly recommended that you only clip the teeth of squirrels with malocclusion and/or following the advice of a veterinarian.
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Sabertooth squirrel’s teeth are so overgrown that they are curling backwards
Jannet Talbott lives on a ranch in rural Alberta, Canada. There are many animals on Talbott’s property, including squirrels. Although she is a friendly neighbor, she recently took drastic measures to protect the squirrels living on her property. Unlike humans, squirrels don’t stop growing. Normally, their teeth are kept in check through constant use. But Talbott’s recent actions have caused a rash of teeth problems for the Sabertooth squirrel.
sabertooth squirrel suffers from tumors in the tooth root of the upper incisors
Sabertooth squirrels have long and curved teeth, and are among the most adorable mammals. They live in the forests of Madagascar. Their incisors are overgrown and grow until the tooth breaks. Often, these tumors can be so large that they can extend into the face or eye. Obviously, this makes eating food very difficult.
Fortunately, squirrels can undergo treatment for these tumors. It’s not known exactly how these tumors develop, but they may be caused by traumatic trauma, such as a fall while the squirrel was a baby. Alternatively, they may have been kept as captives and chewed the bars on their cages. Whatever the cause, these tumors can be life-threatening if left untreated. Specialists are trained to diagnose and treat such tumors.
Tumors in the tooth root of the upper molars can be caused by several things. For example, a squirrel’s teeth are made of a complex structure. For this reason, it can be extremely painful to extract teeth from a squirrel’s mouth. The process can take months or years. Depending on the severity of the tumor, the patient may have to undergo surgery to remove the tumor.
odontomas are lethal if left untreated
Odontomas refer to tumors on the teeth of squirrels. They are composed of tissues that usually make up teeth, including enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp. They are classified into two categories, namely complex and compound. Complex odontomas are more likely to affect a squirrel’s entire mouth. If left untreated, the tumors can become lethal and lead to its eventual euthanasia.
Complex odontomas appear on radiographs as a radiopaque mass that protrudes from the superior border of the mandible. An impacted second molar with its 14th root developed was also observed. CT scan revealed perforations in the buccal and lingual cortical plates and revealed the extent of the lesion on the anteroposterior aspect of the mandible.
Squirrels’ incisors grow with enamel coating below the gumline. This enamel growth provides the squirrel with a continuous surface for wear down of its teeth throughout its lifetime. Because squirrels are born toothless, their first teeth will not erupt until they are a couple of weeks old. These baby teeth are referred to as deciduous (milk) teeth and will eventually be replaced with adult teeth.
removing clipped teeth from squirrel’s mouth
Before you begin trimming the teeth of a squirrel, it’s important to protect the animals’ lips and gums. Wrapping the squirrel like a burrito will prevent it from moving, and covering its eyes will reduce stress. Trimming its teeth is best done by a vet or trained wildlife rehabilitator. This is not a task to attempt on your own – make sure you use the right safety equipment, and follow the proper procedure for your squirrel.
When a squirrel has a tooth issue, it can be painful. Generally, a clipped tooth will not hurt the squirrel, but it can cause an infection or a loss of one or more of the squirrel’s teeth. A maloccluded squirrel’s mouth can be a dangerous place for a pet, and removing clipped teeth from its mouth can result in serious consequences. Wildlife rehabilitators may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the swelling and relieve pain.
Also read: How to Identify a rabid squirrel
How to trim squirrel teeth?
You will need to use a small animal tooth trimmer and cut the teeth at a 45 degree angle.
How often do you need to trim a squirrel’s teeth?
You will need to trim a squirrel’s teeth every 6 to 8 weeks.
What are the consequences of not trimming a squirrel’s teeth?
If you do not trim a squirrel’s teeth the overgrowth can cause problems with eating and speaking and can also lead to infection.
What is the best way to restrain a squirrel for teeth trimming?
The best way to restrain a squirrel for teeth trimming is to have someone hold the squirrel in their lap with their feet facing away from them.
How much of the tooth should be trimmed?
You should only trim the very tips of the teeth less than 1/8 of an inch.
Can I use human nail clippers to trim a squirrel’s teeth?
No you should not use human nail clippers to trim a squirrel’s teeth as they are not made for cutting through tough tooth enamel.
Do I need to use anesthesia when trimming a squirrel’s teeth?
No you do not need to use anesthesia when trimming a squirrel’s teeth as long as you are careful and only trim the very tips of the teeth.
What if I accidentally cut the squirrel’s tongue while trimming their teeth?
If you accidentally cut the squirrel’s tongue while trimming their teeth have them drink some water or lick some honey to help with the bleeding.
My squirrel keeps biting me what should I do?
If your squirrel keeps biting you try covering their eyes with a cloth while you trim their teeth.
The squirrel keeps moving how do I keep them still?
You can try wrapping the squirrel in a towel to help keep them still.
I am having trouble seeing the squirrel’s teeth what should I do?
If you are having trouble seeing the squirrel’s teeth you can use a flashlight to help you see.
What is the best way to clean a squirrel’s teeth?
The best way to clean a squirrel’s teeth is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made for animals.
How often should I clean a squirrel’s teeth?
You should clean a squirrel’s teeth at least once a week.
What are the consequences of not cleaning a squirrel’s teeth?
The consequences of not cleaning a squirrel’s teeth can include tooth decay gum disease and bad breath.
What type of toothbrush should I use to clean a squirrel’s teeth?
You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean a squirrel’s teeth.
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.