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squirrels losing hair

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From: Gary Tesinsky
City:
Chicago, IL
We have been feeding our back yard squirrels for the fall and winter and we noticed that a few of them have missing fur. One has a patch missing down his back and under both arms. Also another has some missing on his whole chest. They are all eating and seem to have a good appetite. We feed them a variety of nuts ( walnuts, pecans, hazlenuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds). They also have fresh water daily. We do not feed them with feeders, we place the nuts in several places on the ground. They do not all congregate there, they each will grab a nut and go and eat it in a seperate area away from each other. My question is, is this mange or are they molting their fur early? I live in Chicago IL and it has been unseasonably warm here this winter. I have searched online and everything they say about mange is bad and that it is fatal. Can a squirrel overcome mange on it's own? And also with us feeding them, does this give them a good fighting chance?

 
Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
lkammin@illinois.edu
The hair loss you have observed could be a result of several conditions. Notoedric mange, caused by a mite, is one possibility. Sometimes the hair loss can be fatal due to exposure in the winter. However, full recovery of squirrels has been observed in many cases. Access to clean water and a good food supply will help. There are also several superficial fungal diseases that can cause hair loss. Squirrels will often develop a an immune response to these infections, recover and regrow their hair. Treatment for either condition is not practical for wild squirrels.

 
From: debra dobler
City:
mount prospect, IL
Two squirrels have moved into a bird house in our back yard. One now has a large patch of missing fur on his back by his nect. Could the bird house be infected with mites?? What can we do to try and save the squirrel?? We don't know if it is the female or male but think one might be pregnant

 
Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
lkammin@illinois.edu
Yes, birds often carry mites and if the box has been used recently it could contain mites. Though use of the box and the missing fur could be unrelated events. Are there any other squirrels in the neighborhood that are losing fur? Is it possible to take the box down and clean it with a 10% bleach solution?

 
From: Mary Jo NIeson
City:
Livonia, MI
I started putting diatomaceous earth in the areas where they feed. On their fur it will kill fleas, ticks and other kinds of bugs. NOt sure about mites but its worth the try. If they have worms and eat it this can help rid them so I sprinkle it in the area and on the feed. They werent deterred by it. My winter feeders looked good but these scraggly ones have been coming in this last few weeks.

 
From: Tom Jasinski
City:
Joliet, IL
We also have numerous squirrels with patches of missing fur. A few are quite serious with front half of body completely bare. Others have small patches missing, usually on the back. We see this with both red/brown and gray squirrels. We have never seen this before in winter.

 
Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
lkammin@illinois.edu
Do have photos you could share? My e-mail is: lkammin@illinois.edu

 
From: Donna B
City:
St Augustine , FL
I have one in my back yard. I live on the beach. Here is a picture. What can I do .. I have pictures how can I send them to you

 
From: Shane Tupa
City:
Salina, KS
Our squirrels here are also victim to this fur loss. This is the first I have researched the possible causes, and after reading the comments on this thread, I noticed coincidental problem that we have with oak mites in our area. Bites from oak might have been showing up in abundance I'm on humans in the midwest region obtained by engaging in outside activity within close proximity of trees. Perhaps the squirrel population shares this common pesky misfortune of nature?

 
From: Brittany Walraven
City:
Auburn , GA
Hey my pet squirrel is losing hair and will sleep all day and won't move around she will eat and drink but will barely move do you have any idea what's wrong with her? She won't sit up and she squeals when you move her around? I need help?

 
From: Shelley Robichaux
City:
Houma , LA
Get calcium into the squirrel IMMEDIATELY, not later, not tomorrow, NOW. Delaying treatment can cause death or permanent paralysis.

You will need: Tums, rolaids, or calcium supplement (any kind)* a syringe or spoon Crush one pill and add a little water or fruit juice to make a toothpaste consistency. Use a syringe or spoon to force-feed the mixture.

After you give the initial dose of calcium, give 100 mg every 4 hours (50 mg for smaller squirrels such as red squirrels, flyers, or juveniles less than 12 weeks old). The first day, getting calcium dosed quickly is more important than the type of calcium or amount. Going forward, most squirrels will need around 500 mg per day (250 mg for small squirrels). See the “Long-Term Treatment for MBD.” *Any kind of calcium pill is okay for the first dose, and you can use Tums for a few days, but long-term it’s best to use plain calcium carbonate (without Vit D).

Dosage Methods The easiest way to dose calcium longer term is to mix it with a small amount of peanut butter, crushed nuts, yogurt, baby food, or any food the squirrel likes. This way you don’t have to continue to force-feed the calcium, which stresses the squirrel.

Example: If you mix 500 mg of calcium with 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter and roll it into 5 little balls, each ball will contain 100 mg calcium. You can also mix the calcium with formula or fruit juice which can be licked from a syringe or spoon. You might need to experiment to find what works best for your squirrel.

 
From: Susan Parry
City:
Clearwater, FL
I've rescued a baby squirrel and she is doing great but now suddenly she is losing hair every where. Her hair is finding everywhere. I also have another squirrel but he seems to be fine. Could you tell me what do you think it is? Thank you

 
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