What are some of the symptoms of a sick squirrel?
A normal, healthy squirrel is famous for its perky nature, healthy-looking fur, a high level of energy, speed, and precision. Although squirrels can carry disease and show absolutely no visible symptoms, noticing some changes in usual squirrel appearance and behavior can indicate that the creature is not healthy. Although a general suggestion is to treat the squirrel as the wild animal it is, and not trying to capture it on your own or get in the physical contact with it, some of the symptoms you might find in squirrels are definitely a sign for you to contact authorities, as a risk of infection may be present.
Some of the most common symptoms of a sick squirrel involve different changes in their behavior, like weakness, fever, baldness and spots on the skin, as well as visible tumors. All of these symptoms indicate that the squirrel is not healthy, and that they can spread the disease to human and other animals. Not only that the infected squirrel can spread the disease to other squirrels, creating a mass infection, they can also infect humans and other animals. Domestic pets and farm animals are also at risk of contracting these infections through squirrel bites. These infections can also spread through polluted water, which can happen in contact with a squirrel corpse.
Lethargic behavior and weakness are definitely a sign of illness in squirrels, as it is far beyond their normal behavior. These symptoms can indicate that the animal is suffering from various diseases from rabies to internal organ infection or even bubonic plague, and is definitely a justified reason for you to stay away and seek expert help.
Any skin conditions or abnormalities, such as bare skin showing spots, baldness or tumors, indicate that the animal is suffering from some kind of skin disease. Bacterial and fungal infections in squirrels may cause hair loss and dark patches on their skin. Noticeable tumors on the skin of squirrels is a sign that the animal is suffering from squirrel pox. This infection is normally not particularly dangerous to squirrels, and only in rare cases it will spread
Squirrels usually get infected with various diseases through bites, both from insects and other animals. Insects can spread infections to squirrels, as well as other animals. Squirrels can also get infected by drinking polluted water. Although physical contact with wild squirrels is not anyways recommended, contact with the corpse of a dead squirrel is even more dangerous, as the bacteria and fungus are left to spread in the open. To conclude, any type of behavior that stands out from normal squirrel-like behavior might indicate that the animal is ill. Especially if the squirrel shows the signs of losing its strength and energy, it could be a sign of an infection. If a squirrel is showing signs of any changes on their skin or damage to its fur, is is possible that it has some kind of a skin infection.
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