How Can I Help a Wild Squirrel With Mange?
While it is not uncommon for captivity-raised squirrels to suffer from mange, it is quite common to find outdoor animals with this condition. While mange can be debilitating for animals, it is curable. Treatment is relatively easy but precaution must be exercised. Read on to learn about the various methods of mange treatment. Here are a few tips to consider:
Table of Contents
Boosting their immune system
If your wild squirrel has been diagnosed with mange, it may be time to boost its immune system. Mites cause mange by feeding on the skin of the squirrel. This can lead to thick skin and hair loss, as well as balding. While mange will not kill a healthy squirrel, the itch caused by the mites can make the animal anemic, making it more susceptible to predators. There are several ways to boost the immune system of a wild squirrel with mange.
The disease is caused by a parasite called Sarcoptes scabiei, which affects both mammals and birds. While mange is not dangerous to humans, the rash and crusty skin may be a sign of underlying disease. If your wild squirrel has mange, it may need treatment to get back to normal. While it is possible to boost its immune system, it is important to wash thoroughly after handling diseased animals.
Getting rid of mites
Curing mites in wild squirrels can be tricky. The mites must be removed physically or with a bleach solution. There are two types of mange: sarcoptic and notoedric. The former is contagious, while the latter is not. Both are curable, but it is important to keep in mind that mite treatment is much like treating mites in humans. Unfortunately, squirrels cannot be isolated for long periods of time while taking medication. The mites live in their nests and quickly reinfect a treated squirrel. Although squirrels are semi-tame, they can still get infected with mange.
In addition to mange, mites in wild squirrels can infect humans, including your fur and rugs. But do not panic. Most mites are harmless and don’t pose a health risk. Bird mites cannot survive in the air-conditioned environments of buildings and will disappear in a few weeks. Moreover, mites are very tiny: they are only about a third of an inch long, which is so small that they are visible with the naked eye. Young mites have six legs, while adults have eight legs. Their color can vary, but they are all visible.
Managing a wild squirrel
Managing a wild squirrel with mange is a complicated task, and it requires the expertise of a veterinarian. Squirrels with mange are thin and lacking in appetite, and their skin is thick and crusted. Mites can live in the squirrel’s nest, so this method is not recommended in severe cases. You should also be sure that you treat your squirrel as soon as you notice the onset of symptoms, because once the disease has set in, the mites can easily reinfect the animal.
Once you’ve identified the cause of the mange, the next step is to find a veterinarian. If you can’t find one locally, visit a veterinary clinic in your area. A licensed veterinarian can prescribe the right medication and dosage for your squirrel. The website will also offer a formula guide. You can also consult a farm animal veterinarian if you can’t find a wildlife veterinarian in your area.
Treating a squirrel with mange
When you think of mange in the context of animals, you probably picture a furry rodent covered in patches of tangled hair. In reality, this condition is caused by mites, which burrow into the skin. These mites then cause the itching, flaking, and even hair loss associated with the disease. Although it is not fatal to healthy squirrels, mange can result in anemic animals, which make for easy prey.
A severely infected animal displays distinct signs of ill health, including a loss of tail hair. A severe infestation may even lead to death. Mange is also known to cause a marked decline in the number of foxes in several states. While not directly fatal to humans, the disease can be transmitted from animals to humans. Consequently, you should always wear rubber gloves when handling an infected animal, wash your hands thoroughly, and seek professional advice.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.