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View Full Version : Is there any squirrel diseases people need to worry about?



Chatterluv
12-21-2007, 03:17 PM
I am sure there is, but I was wondering how often it happens and it just seems like there are alot of people rescuing baby squirrels. I wonder if there are any concerns about disease that need to be addressed? I have myself spoken to many different rehabbers in my area and most do not seem very concerned with disease transmission to humans by squirrels?:thinking

susanw
12-21-2007, 04:24 PM
I have helped raise squirrels for the last 3 years without any problem! I am not talking one or two, more like 300.

TexanSquirrel
12-21-2007, 07:07 PM
Just curious - what state are you in?

island rehabber
12-21-2007, 07:11 PM
I believe the only things humans need worry about catching from squirrels are fleas and mange mites. The fleas won't stay for long. The mange mites are another story but there are medicines for it and it goes away in a couple of weeks. As GB said very clearly, squirrels are NOT a rabies vector species and rarely if ever survive to 'pass along' the rabies virus. They also don't carry parvo -- a concern when rehabbing raccoons, for instance.
Maybe this is why we love squirrels so much -- they're adorable, smart, and pretty much disease-free. :):Love_Icon

4skwerlz
12-21-2007, 10:36 PM
Squirrels carry only one disease you need to worry about, but it is a chronic condition: squirrelmania. The symptoms include: 1. a compulsion to collect anything squirrel-related, however corny or tacky it may be; 2. the first item on every grocery shopping list is "peanuts"; 3. you spend hours talking to trees; 4. wherever you go, you are more interested in any squirrels that might be around than anything else (even at outdoor weddings); 5. everyone who thought you were "eccentric" now concludes that you're "totally nuts."

Like I said, this is a lifelong condition, and the only cure is.....MORE SQUIRRELS!!!! :D :D :D :D

Rhapsody
12-22-2007, 01:01 AM
Squirrels carry only one disease you need to worry about, but it is a chronic condition: squirrelmania......... and the only cure is.....MORE SQUIRRELS!!!! :D :D :D :D


I NO! -
I do believe I have this disease as I can check off all the symptoms you listed and I have already gotten myself on the path to help raise more Squirrel's - I must now be Hopeless, but at least I am curable per your words - if you can call it that. :crazy

muffinsquirrel
12-22-2007, 01:15 AM
A very low number of cases of a louse-borne typhus caused by flying squirrels have been reported. This is thought to be spread by air in closed, dirty locations, such as cleaning out a little used cabin where flyers have been making their home. Like I said, the incident of these cases is very low. Typhus is easily treated once it is diagnosed. From what I have read, this seems to pertain only, or mostly, to wild flyers and their nests, which might be infested by lice and/or fleas. For more information, Google 'typhus flying squirrels'.

I have been raising and/or rescuing flyers for many years now, and I am not concerned with the health risks. My squirrels don't have parasites, and I try to keep their cages reasonably clean. If I should ever show symptoms of typhus, (the symptoms are very generalized, and could pertain to a number of diseases), I will tell my doctor to test for typhoid, rather than eliminating other things first. Specific antibiotics cure it quickly.

muffinsquirrel

rippie-n-lilgirlsmom
12-22-2007, 08:44 AM
YES there is!!!:dono
Its called love for squirrels......once you have loved one you will never be the same again!!! :Love_Icon :Love_Icon
Arent they great??
The rehabbers have given you great info, :flash3 I only know of mange also..and there is a sure cure medicine for that.

pelohojo
12-24-2007, 03:54 PM
LOL 4skwerlz! You got my number! I also have a rescue bird who is an omnivore, so between talking to the trees and hunting in the grass for insects for my bird, my neighbors just scratch their heads, hehe

I have long ago crossed over as a totally nuts eccentric, ah well, there is freedom in embracing who you are! :rotfl

And thank you everyone else for answering seriously too, as that is a good question...

philomycus
12-25-2007, 06:55 PM
Squirrels carry only one disease you need to worry about, but it is a chronic condition: squirrelmania. The symptoms include: 1. a compulsion to collect anything squirrel-related, however corny or tacky it may be; 2. the first item on every grocery shopping list is "peanuts"; 3. you spend hours talking to trees; 4. wherever you go, you are more interested in any squirrels that might be around than anything else (even at outdoor weddings); 5. everyone who thought you were "eccentric" now concludes that you're "totally nuts."

Like I said, this is a lifelong condition, and the only cure is.....MORE SQUIRRELS!!!! :D :D :D :D

I LOVE IT! Thx for making my laughon a really crappy day. I needed that. I just got back from GA today and saw a HUGE black squirrel. It made the trip!

TimDolbear
05-14-2011, 02:40 PM
Hey all, Mods, please repost this if needed in a different area.

Over the last month (April-May 2011) here in Central Texas hill country.

Our little guy got flees and we used a flee treatment on him and all is good with him, But in the process I was either bitten by a Flee or he scratched me and had flee waste on him that got into the scratch. Very rare but very real. This is the most likely way I got sick.

Result, I came done with a low grade fever and shakes, flu like for 3 days, Shakes got worst. 3rd day I though I was getting better but that night I couldn't breath, even though my lungs were clear. I was rushed to the ER and got serve Rigors (Shakes X100) and I was tested for everything, heart, bacteria... after 4 hours I was rushed to the ICU. A RN asked what the scratches on my arm are and my wife said we had a pet Squirrel and the RN ran from the room and the infectious disease specialist started me on Doxycycline hoping I had a form of Typhus, which I did! So with in 8 hours my vitals were back to normal and I was recovering.

When I was brought to ICU, my fever was 105.3, heartrate of +150, blood pressure was almost nill (low number was 30), and my liver and both kidneys had shut down. If the doctors had not started me on Doxycycline (I was already on another antibiotic but ONLY doxycycline works for Typhus) Doctors said I was within an hour or two. I was in ICU for 3 days and the hospital a couple more.

The virus I got is a strain of Epidemic Typhus and is 100% fatal without treatment.

So, if you get a "flu" but its only fever, and chills, not stomach or sinus problems just a low grade fever and generally feeling crappy... remember my story and see a doctor right away before it gets bad.

I've been out of the Hospital for 2 week and doing good, the virus was gone that day, but left me wasted. Kidneys and liver seem ok, but that was too close.

Rescue04
05-14-2011, 04:12 PM
Squirrels carry only one disease you need to worry about, but it is a chronic condition: squirrelmania. The symptoms include: 1. a compulsion to collect anything squirrel-related, however corny or tacky it may be; 2. the first item on every grocery shopping list is "peanuts"; 3. you spend hours talking to trees; 4. wherever you go, you are more interested in any squirrels that might be around than anything else (even at outdoor weddings); 5. everyone who thought you were "eccentric" now concludes that you're "totally nuts."

Like I said, this is a lifelong condition, and the only cure is.....MORE SQUIRRELS!!!! :D :D :D :D
LOL...that was totally funny!!

djarenspace9
05-14-2011, 05:28 PM
The one think I am concerned with is Giardia as it can be passed from animals to humans.

I know someone who got it from a stray cat he was caring for.
Both were treated easily though it was an unpleasant time period for both. :D

I restrict my rehab squirrels to one room of the house and always wash my hands well after handling them or their cages.

island rehabber
05-14-2011, 05:35 PM
Very scary about typhus -- thank you for posting that!
Besides giardia and ringworm, there is also a risk of mange mites jumping from an infested squirrel to a human. This usually results in an itchy red rash, often around the waistband area (:dono) . It can be treated with prescription meds -- don't waste time trying to treat with home remedies.

mugzeezma
05-14-2011, 05:38 PM
I believe the only things humans need worry about catching from squirrels are fleas and mange mites. The fleas won't stay for long. The mange mites are another story but there are medicines for it and it goes away in a couple of weeks.


It's the fleas, ticks, etc, that carry the diseases and squirrels carry these blood suckers.
As long as you are careful to prevent any fecal contamination of your human food stores there will not be an issue with worms.
Squirrels can carry worms...tapes , rounds , hooks, pins , etc.

Just don't eat the poop!!! :D ie., watch for brown croutons in the salad!

island rehabber
05-14-2011, 06:18 PM
Just don't eat the poop!!!

As a wise rehabber once said on another board, trying to quell an anti-raccoon frenzy about the risk of baylisascaris, "Friends don't let friends eat raccoon poop." :D

mugzeezma
05-14-2011, 06:33 PM
As a wise rehabber once said on another board, trying to quell an anti-raccoon frenzy about the risk of baylisascaris, "Friends don't let friends eat raccoon poop." :D
SICK!!!
:rotfl

Busysqrl
05-14-2011, 07:34 PM
As a "Friends don't let friends eat raccoon poop." :D

:rotfl :rotfl :rotfl THAT was HYSTERICAL!!!!

UDoWhat
05-14-2011, 10:49 PM
You don't hear about this kind of thing much but very real and very scary. :shakehead Sorry this happened. Hope all is well now.

asweetdiversion
05-17-2011, 11:40 PM
I get tangled hair disease from my squirrels not sure if it's mentioned anywhere in any medical books but it's a real pain. :jump

ljhpsauce
05-21-2011, 04:09 PM
Squirrels carry only one disease you need to worry about, but it is a chronic condition: squirrelmania. The symptoms include: 1. a compulsion to collect anything squirrel-related, however corny or tacky it may be; 2. the first item on every grocery shopping list is "peanuts"; 3. you spend hours talking to trees; 4. wherever you go, you are more interested in any squirrels that might be around than anything else (even at outdoor weddings); 5. everyone who thought you were "eccentric" now concludes that you're "totally nuts."

Like I said, this is a lifelong condition, and the only cure is.....MORE SQUIRRELS!!!! :D :D :D :D
:Love_Icon :Love_Icon :rotfl :Love_Icon Love This XX

TimDolbear
06-05-2011, 08:45 PM
All is well know. I appreciate the comments about eating poop, where were you when I need you?

Sorry no sense of humor yet about it...

UDoWhat
06-05-2011, 09:14 PM
All is well know. I appreciate the comments about eating poop, where were you when I need you?

Sorry no sense of humor yet about it...
I am glad to hear that you are better now. What a scary time you had. I have a feeling it was a flea biting you but you can't really tell. Something we need to take notice of and be aware of.