Ground Squirrels Galore!

The clinic is closing in on 600 patients for the year which is right on schedule when compared to 2020’s record breaking year. This is in no small part thanks to the TWENTY EIGHT California Ground Squirrels in our care right now. In all of 2020, we had 38. It takes a small army of clinic staff and interns to get through all the feedings, weighings and cleanings for these guys.

Patient with eyes still closed nibbles on brocolli

Ground squirrels are different than Western Gray Squirrels in that they can transition to solid foods much faster. Ground squirrels will even start nibbling on solids when their eyes are still closed! Despite this advantage, they often are not able to get enough nutrition in the solid food and still require feedings. This is a time intensive task. Depending on the age of the patient and the skill of the staff member it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes per feeding.  This species needs 1- 5 feedings a day, depending on age. So let’s do some math…


28 California Ground Squirrels x 7 minute average feeding x 3 feedings a day = 588 minutes

That means we are feeding just California Ground squirrels for

9.8 hours a day!

Patient getting Benadryl for allergic reaction
Patient after surgery

This doesn’t account for any medical treatment of course… At the end of May, we had six ground squirrels come in from a construction site. They were itching, had thinning fur, and swollen heads. We treated them with Benadryl and saw some improvement.


Another patient came in with a significant wound to its abdomen from a suspected cat attack. We preformed surgery to close that injury. The patient also received a wrap to help protect the surgical site and stabilize a rib fracture.



Ever wonder what it looks like to feed 28 ground squirrels back to back?? Check it out!

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