Symptoms of a Sick Squirrel
Squirrels are normally cute, friendly creatures but some squirrels carry diseases that can alter both their appearance and behaviour. Rabies is a well-known example of a disease that can drastically affect a squirrel’s demeanour. Although a disease like rabies is uncommon in squirrels, knowing how to approximate a diagnosis for a squirrel is vital to the safety of your household and your community.
Squirrels can contract a wide range of diseases including squirrel pox, fungal infections (ringworm), bacterial infections (tularemia, Lyme disease, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis), the bubonic plague, and rabies. The symptoms of these diseases can vary greatly and can intensify dramatically at any moment in both humans, squirrels, and other pets alike. Squirrels contract these various infections and diseases through ingesting contaminated water, insect bites, or other animal bites.
Although, with these diseases, a squirrel must be close enough to you to scratch or bite you for them to spread to humans– especially if you’re outside. When diagnosing a squirrel’s condition, safety is one of the most vital parts. Be sure to keep a bit of distance between the squirrel and yourself. These diseases don’t transmit aerially; the diseases generally can be transmitted through a squirrel breaking your skin with a bite or scratch or by coming into contact with the squirrel’s excrement.
If you come across a squirrel that you believe has sickly symptoms, contact your local authorities or a local vet to ensure that they’re aware of the outbreak and can deal with the matter appropriately. The most common changes in the behaviour of a sick squirrel are lethargy, not eating, throwing up, and aggression. Keep in mind that a sick squirrel just has to have one of the aforementioned symptoms to be considered a danger to your household.
The most common changes in the physicality of a squirrel are bald spots, tumours, dark spots, hair loss, and bite marks. If you see a squirrel with any of the symptoms mentioned, especially multiple symptoms, be sure to contact your local authorities or a local vet and make sure that they’re aware of the disease in the area for the safety of your household, your neighbours, and the squirrels.