What are some of the symptoms of a sick squirrel?

You won't know that a squirrel is sick to look at it. Well, unless you fallow it for some time, of course, and know how the squirrel would usually act. Sick squirrels will have symptoms that vary dependent on what the squirrel is sick with. For example, if the squirrel has been injured in a fight, it may limp or be docile for a few days. That might also be the case if the animal hasn't eaten for a few days, or has eaten something not agreeable. Rabies is a very rare disease to find in squirrels, and the earliest symptoms of this is often an aggressive nature. A squirrel that has been cornered, particularly one in a trap, is going to act aggressively because it is on the defensive. You can't connect that to a rabies diagnosis. Because you can't know whether or not a squirrel is sick by looking at it, you should avoid approaching it. These animals carry fleas and ticks, as well as the slim chance of rabies, and ticks alone can cause Lyme Disease, which is very unpleasant for humans. The fleas could infest your home also, causing a nuisance for your household cat or dog. That's before you get to the subject of squirrel poop, which could actually be a lot more dangerous than you first may have thought. In short, if there's a squirrel about, leave it alone. Unless it's in your home, then you should definitely call in the professionals and let them deal with the problem. There are a lot of disease risks present when you're dealing with wild animals, and that's not something you will want to invite into your home. Many illnesses of the squirrels are yet to be understood by the vets and most often they prescribe antibiotics for them. The symptoms that may show that the squirrel is sick, are:
  • Sickness, coughing, sneezing, wheezing and shivering
  • Discharge in the mouth, nose, eyes and ears
  • Lesions, rashes and scabs
  • Passing and diarrhea that contains blood
  • Evidence of the parasites may include heavy flea burden
  • Spasms, wobbling and seizures
  • Overgrown incisors

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Flying, tree and ground squirrels live in forest and trees near the home while others can live in underground burrows. The rodents may be susceptible to diseases and some of them may be spred to the humans.

Bubonic plague is caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis and it is common with ground squirrels. Some squirrels may not show any symptoms but others may show a petechial rash because of hemorrhaging underneath, gangrene, fever and weakness. The plague can spread to the humans through the bites of squirrels or from the fleas which fed at the squirrels. If there are squirrels with plague had been discovered in the campgrounds or parks, then the officials in these parks will close them and they will treat the place from the fleas. Antibiotics are used to cure humans who have contracted these diseases because of squirrels.

Squirrels can be affected by squirrel pox also called squirrel fibroma, spread of this virus takes place through insect bites like mosquitoes. The virus may cause skin tumor at the body. These tumors may not cause more problems from the squirrels unless the skin infection follows. Skin tumor may spread into the lymph nodes, kidney, liver and lungs.

When you find a balding squirrel, then the problem can be notoedric mange. Small notoedres douglasi mites live on the skin of the squirrels and it will lead to dark and thickening skin and the hair loss. Notoedric mange will not cause more damage and most of the time the full recovery will take place. The squirrels can also get balding because of dermatophytoses and fungal infections. The fungal infection will leave the hair looking brittle and it will then break off and leave only short stubble which makes the squirrel to look as if it is bald.

Besides the ability of the squirrels to spread the plague to the humans, the squirrels may spread additional diseases like Tularemia which is caused by bacterium francisella tularensis and it spread with the bites of an infected animals, or contact with dead or sick squirrels, or it can be through ingesting contaminated water. Leptospirosis can also be spread by squirrel. It leads to liver and kidney failure while infected squirrels do not show symptoms. In order to avoid contracting the disease from a squirrel, you should not attempt handling or feeding squirrels when they look sick. You can use insect repellent spray in the place where tick or flea bites can take place.

Squirrels can suffer shock but it may be hard to know about. When a squirrel suffer shock, it is good to offer it warmth, shelter, darkness and quietness. Normally, you should not cause the squirrels to get more stress.

Sometime the squirrels may also suffer broken and bleeding bones, abscesses and flesh wounds and they should be treated at once. Internal injury can be hard to know but some symptoms may be bleeding in the mouth, ears or nose.

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