View Full Version : One vet response on mange treatment

01-14-2009, 05:44 PM
When Jackie went to get TinyMite last week, she & I had been PMing about Ivermectin & mange. I had called my vet because hers was closed the day she went to get her. My vet tech's response was "DO NOT GIVE IVERMECTIN!! It will fry the little one's liver".

Now, I know others on the list have used it with positive results, so I did the next thing that I could think of & posed a question about Sarcoptic Mange on www.AllExperts.com. (I've had very good responses from this site before on other topics & it's volunteer/free.)

Sounded very interesting and something worth exploring. Below, you will find my question and the response from a PhD in Biology at Univ of Miami.

Subject: Sarcoptic Mange in Eastern Grey Squirrel
Question: I am a foster squirrel parent. (People find squirrels, call the Humane Society or a vet & get my name as someone to raise & release orphaned squirrels.) I am about to go pick up one that seems like it has sarcoptic mange. He's approximately 10-12 weeks old. *Judging from pictures* What is the best way to treat him? How isolated does he need to be from my other squirrels? How long should he be isolated? (My vet's office is closed, otherwise I would be calling them.)

Thank you for any info that you can offer!



We've found that the best treatment for mange is Revolution (selamectin), which is applied topically to the back of the neck where the animal can't reach it to lick it off (it won't hurt him if it does, but it's better if he doesn't). This GABA agonist paralyzes the mite parasites within about 12 hours, at which point the squirrel can probably safely be with other squirrels. But if you want to be extra careful, wait about 48 hours.

Many rodents harbor sub-clinical populations of mites, and don't show signs unless they are stressed or ill. So it's possible your other squirrels are already exposed, too, but it won't be a problem.

The dose we use for rabbits (and it's the same for dogs and cats, so I assume for squirrels, too) is 6mg/kg once every 3-4 weeks. The cat formula is 60mg/ml, so for a 1kg squirrel (which would be gigantic), you'd use 0.1cc. Scale down from that, depending on the little guy's weight.

You'll need to get Revolution from the vet. We've used it on even very small baby cottontails with excellent results and no adverse side effects. As long as there is no head injury (which might compromise the blood/brain barrier and allow the selamectin to cross over into the brain, causing harm), the Revolution should be safe. Consult with your vet to be sure.

Hope this helps.


Dana Krempels, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
University of Miami

01-14-2009, 05:50 PM
OMG. Is this a concern only for YOUNG squirrels; or for adults too?

01-26-2009, 03:34 PM
Just talked to my vet tech.....she said that liver toxicity is a huge risk for any age squirrel being given ivermectin.

01-26-2009, 04:06 PM
It can be very lethal for any squirrel with head trauma because it does something to the blood levels (pressure) in the brain. That's why our vet chooses to use Revolution, but not all vets will administer this to squirrels. Also, Ivermectin, in the wrong dose is lethal for animals.

01-26-2009, 06:14 PM
OK, but how the heck would you ever get a drop on a wild squirrel?

03-15-2009, 11:29 AM
This is great information, thanks!

I'm the one posting in the non life-threatening questions forum (didn't see there's a whole forum on mange!) about my latest foster baby possibly having mange.

The problem is he's barely 3weeks old... had his top hair but none on legs and belly yet.. but scabby scaley skin on neck, arm and leg, all one side of his body. Eating just fine, not weak or sickly though.

I believe he's way too tiny to treat for mange just yet and am wondering how long I'll need to wait to treat it with Revolution. I don't have a grams scale to weigh him with either to know how much he weighs or would need. I'm assuming only a very tiny drop.

Waiting for word back from the licensed rehabber we're working with to see if she has the medication. Next step is to contact the vet and ask if we can get revolution from them as I'll need to treat the other two I have (7-8wks old) since they were in contact with the tiny baby until we moved them out of the incubator box into a cage this week.

03-15-2009, 02:34 PM
I can't conceive either of how you could get a drop on the back of the squirrel. They will generally not let you or anything in your hand get within 4 feet of them, unless it is good to eat. Any advice would sure be appreciated because we have a lot of mange going on in the back yard.

island rehabber
03-15-2009, 02:48 PM
I'm echoing another post with the question "Revolution is no doubt a much better, more controllable drug, but how on earth do we dose wild squirrels with it?" :dono

03-15-2009, 03:59 PM
I'm only the researcher not the field tech, guys! :D

03-18-2009, 12:26 PM
Right, but can the Revolution be taken orally like the ivermectin? Maybe someone with rehabber or vet knowledge can help us out with this. My guys have had some significant mange and I have been giving them ivermectin in the right dosage, but I sure don't want to "fry their livers" what ever that means it sounds awful. I'm real worried now because while I have given it to a lot of my backyard buddies, I gave it two of them two and half weeks ago and haven't seen them since. These are my Pookie's daughters and I am getting pretty anxious about them.

03-29-2009, 01:23 AM
this is probably going to sound insanely stupid but what are the signs of it? is it life threatening? cn people get it from them?

island rehabber
03-29-2009, 06:40 AM
May I (very politely in a non-challenging way :D) say that people CAN get mange mites from squirrels. It usually starts around the waistband area, for some reason, and can be tricky to cure for a couple of weeks. I've never had them, but a few rehabbers I know have and wouldn't want to ever get them again. It required a doctor's visit to get prescription cream.

Giftee's Mom
03-29-2009, 08:43 AM
Hi all, and yes, IR is right, humans can get mites from squirrels.

The type of mange humans can catch is called "sarcoptic" mange in animals. When a person catches it, it's called SCABIES, you may have heard of it. In humans, they burrow under the skin leaving an inflamed zig-zag or "S" pattern across the skin. The hallmark of human infestation is intense itching. The mite is extremely tiny and, when seen under a microscope, kind of resembles a disgusting fat tick with wiggly legs all flailing around. Gross little things. To get rid of it, you have to take Ivermectin orally.

And no, Revolution is not meant to be taken orally, unfortunately.

I wonder if, say, you took a 1cc syringe, put 0.1cc Ivermectin in it, diluted it with water and squirted it at the squirrel if that would get enough on the skin to work, but might be worth a try. Squirrel might be scared of you squirting things at him, but it's for their own good! Edit: of course be careful not to squirt in the eyes.

Just a thought. . .

04-06-2009, 12:42 PM
OK, then. how do I get revolution? I had been getting ivermectin from Chris.

04-08-2009, 07:50 AM
My squirrels got into a tube from the vet and nibbled into it. Didn't appear to damage the squirrels but sure did give me a heart attack! Moved the drug drawer to a more secure area:D

04-08-2009, 08:27 AM
Thanks for the web tip.