Tumbleweed: The Brain Injured Squirrel

A few days ago, a reader of Beyond Adversity asked me a question I didn’t know how to answer. I was certain the answer was “Yes,”but I wanted to find proof before I replied. Now that I confirmed the answer, Tom, I can tell you with certainty, animals can have brain injuries. I am sure there are thousands of reasons why we hear more about human brain injuries than animal brain injuries, but the reason will have to be a topic of a future post.

2016-0728 Tumbleweed The Brain Injured Squirel
Picture credit: Sara Adams

By Sarah V. Schweig | The Dodo

Thankfully, a squirrel named Tumbleweed gets a lot of love and care, because his life depends on it.

When Tumbleweed was finally brought to a Sara Adams, Tumbleweed’s two siblings had already died at just 14 weeks old. Had Tumbleweed been given to someone who knew how to raise baby squirrels, I “could’ve helped him a lot sooner,” Adams told The Dodo. “The person who originally found him and his siblings kept them for 15 weeks and did everything wrong.”

When Adams took over his care, she raised $1,200 and got him a CT scan, which is how she found out about his condition — and that a third of his brain is missing.

“He can’t walk on his own, but we have a custom-made harness that allows him to feel the freedom of walking,” Adams said. “We have to make him homemade baby food and syringe feed it to him since he doesn’t have the coordination to hold his own food.”


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Sarah V Schweig for writing an article about Tumbleweed; The Dodo for committing its resources to the article; Sara Adams for taking care of Tumbleweed and sharing her story and pictures; Google for helping me find the answer; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to include the picture, text, and links in this post.




  1. Thank you for sharing this story. My son, Adam asks me if animals can get brain injuries. Now I know how to answer his question for sure. 🙂

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