How to Rehabilitate a Hurt Squirrel
If you have a sick, injured, or orphaned squirrel, there are several options for rehabilitating him. In this article, we’ll discuss how to contact a wildlife rehabilitator and the symptoms of an injured squirrel. Also, we’ll discuss where to take a sick, injured, or orphaned squirrel. Then, we’ll discuss how to call a wildlife rehabilitator, and how to get your animal home after an accident.
Animals in need of rehabilitation are often spotted near homes, parks, and gardens. Wildlife rehabilitators may be able to help. Most of these animals are easily visible and exhibit unusual behaviors. After being injured, the animal should be placed in a box covered with soft, non-stringy material and kept in a warm, quiet area. No food or water should be offered until professional advice is sought.
Animal care professionals must have certification in veterinary and wildlife care to provide rehabilitation to wild animals. In order to provide care to animals, wildlife rehabilitators must be licensed by the state. Wildlife rehabilitators must also have veterinarians on staff. The Kentucky Game and Fish Department does not recommend any specific wildlife rehabilitator, so it’s important to use your own judgment when selecting a qualified professional.
Orphaned or injured squirrels
If you find a baby squirrel on the ground, you should call animal control immediately. The squirrel may have fallen out of its nest and is no longer able to fend for itself. Put the baby squirrel in a shoebox with some warm things in it, and keep it out of the reach of domestic cats and dogs. If the baby squirrel is not yet fully furred, you can leave it outside for a few hours. You can also use a wicker basket to place high on a tree trunk.
If you discover an injured squirrel, you can take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. You can also care for the baby squirrel by placing it in a box with a towel and leaving it in a warm place. You can also feed the baby squirrel flavorless Pedialyte to keep it hydrated. If the squirrel has become dehydrated, call wildlife rehabilitators right away to take care of it.
Symptoms of injury
Symptoms of injury in a squirrel may not always be obvious, but they may be telling you something about their health. Internal squirrel injuries are very hard to diagnose, but you can look for signs of pain and listlessness. It may also bleed from its nose and ears. If the injury has happened to the head, the animal may also appear listless and show signs of infection. Although minor injuries can be treated at home with patience and antiseptics, you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible.
A squirrel injured by a car may have suffered a spinal injury. In this case, the animal was unable to use three of its four legs while on intake. Fortunately, it recovered after four weeks in intensive care. In addition to syringe feedings and anti-inflammatory pain medications, the animal was given supplemental gruel to gain weight. Once the animal has recovered, the veterinarian can release it.
Contacting a rehabilitator
Calling a wildlife rehabilitator for a hurt squirrel is crucial if you want to save your squirrel’s life. Wildlife rehabilitators are specialists in caring for certain species, but many also treat a wide variety of animals. If you suspect your squirrel has been injured in an accident, contact a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. They will advise you on safe collection techniques and provide directions to the facility. You should always remember to be courteous and respectful when calling a wildlife rehabilitator for help.
Injured wildlife is dangerous to handle. Always use gloves and cover any exposed areas with blankets to prevent infection. Don’t attempt to handle the animal in the first place, but try to cover the area around the injured animal with a non-stringy cloth. If possible, don’t offer the animal food or water until professional advice arrives. It’s important to call a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible – and never try to handle a squirrel unnecessarily.
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.