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  #1  
Old 11-07-2009, 10:55 PM
yoda yoda is offline
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Default squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

Hi,

I came across this forum while searching for what could be wrong with this squirrel I came across yesterday on the college campus where I work:







You can see larger versions of the above pictures here:

http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/~gbhuang...l/P1060198.JPG

http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/~gbhuang...l/P1060204.JPG

http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/~gbhuang...l/P1060207.JPG

You can see scabs around the eyes and ears, on the nose region, and on the side of the body.

From what I've found while searching, it most likely seems to be squirrel pox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squirrel_parapoxvirus). For instance, here's a similar looking picture - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mudder_bbc/3072251893/ Also, I'm in New England, which seems to be one of the areas listed where squirrel pox is found.

I'm wondering if this is correct, and if so, if there is anything I can do, as far as either feeding him medicine or specific foods to feed him to keep him healthy? I haven't found any information on what can be done, although what I read seems to indicate that gray squirrels generally recover from squirrel pox. Is this just something that will be fine with time?

Thanks for your help!

Yoda
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:08 PM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

I have never seen squirrel pox nor have I ever dealt with it, but it sure looks like it would fit the symptoms. I'm not sure what to advise here, so hopefully somebody else here has an idea!

Thanks for caring!
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:03 AM
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squirrelsrule&bunniestoo squirrelsrule&bunniestoo is offline
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

It definetely looks like squirrel pox to me. Squirrel pox is caused by a virus I think and the only thing you can offer is supportive care. The problem is that it is often deadly (most rehabbers try to treat if there are 10-15 or fewer bumps, but more that that they euthanize, so this guy has it really bad) and it is highly contagious. Any squirrel that comes in contact with this guy will most likely get it.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:06 PM
yoda yoda is offline
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

Thanks guys both for your help.

I'll keep an eye out for this fellow while I'm on campus, and hope that he can make a recovery.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:40 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

Thanks for the input Katt! However, I have to disagree with the "90% of diet: (this is for rehab squirrels but wouldn't hurt to offer some to this wild one) Purina Puppy Chow or Hill’s Canine Growth Science Diet (Dry chunks)" big time!

Squirrels are herbivores, not carnivores, meaning they live mainly off seeds, nuts, grains, fruits and other plant matter.

I do mix a few pebbles of dry catfood in with the mix I prepare for my squirrels, but that's more like 3% of the entire diet, not 90%. If feeding in harsh winters, more protein should be added to the diet such as an egg or more dog or cat food, but it's still far away from 90%.

I wonder how they came up with such a diet.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

You'd be surprised how many people believe that squirrels are meat eaters. The majority of people I met, including ACO and shelter workers, gave the squirrels they had to deal with soaked catfood. The past 30 years! Now they know better of course.

I hope the sick squirrel in the pics is going to make it!
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: squirrel skin problem - squirrel pox?

It seems more and more people are feeding squirrels dog food. I don't know if it is because they get puppy formula as babies or what but that seems to be a growing trend among finders.

There is some meds. used for squirrel pox, but they are very expensive and hard to get, I can't remember the names of them. There is no certainty that it actually helps either. Supportive care is about the best you can do.

Grey squirrels and fox squirrels can both get squirrel pox. This year seems to have been a bad year for it.
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