View Full Version : getting meds in my squirrel

05-29-2012, 11:35 AM
I'm brand new to this board, but have come out of frustration trying to help my squirrels. I've been feeding them for years and have successfully treated them for mange in the past using ivermectin (from a local rehabber) in peanut butter on toast or saltines. However, I have a couple of younger squirrels now who have mange and refuse to eat the peanut butter - even after removing the regular food so that there was nothing else to eat!

One of the guys in particular looks pretty bad. He has a couple of patches on his side and it seems to be getting worse - reddish and sore looking. He does eat well here, but is very nervous when I'm around and will not take food from me directly. In fact, he frequently takes off when I quickly whip up a batch of peanut butter to try and get him treated when he's here.

Do you have any suggestions for treating a reluctant guy? I know how awful it can be because I came home earlier this spring to find a dying squirrel under the feeder. I was able to catch her and take her to a university vet clinic to be euthanized. She had hardly any fur and was either having tremors or seizures.

I really love my squirrels, but have deliberately tried to not get them too comfortable with me because there are a lot of really cruel people out there and I'd hate for something awful to happen.

Also, the ivermectin that the rehabber gave me was liquid and I'm to put 1 drop in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Is there ivermectin I can get that might work better? I always worry that it isn't mixed in well enough and that they aren't getting the dose they need.

Any other suggestions? I only feed sunflower seeds (cost is a factor) but would certainly spring for some good treats if it will help the squirrels. Right now everyone shares the same feeders (birds, chipmunks and squirrels).

Thanks for any help you might give me.

05-29-2012, 12:25 PM
Yes, there is a better method and you might not even have to trick him.

If you have any feed shops, tack shops - any place that deals with livestock, Ivermectin can be purchased by the tube in a paste form - it is an equine anti parasitic. I just bought 3 tubes of the stuff from one of the online suppliers a week or so ago for less than $2 a tube. Because it is intended for horses, it is APPLE flavored. To use for a squirrel, you would squirt the entire contents out into a little tupperware bowl so you can stir it well (it sometimes separates in the tube) and apply a tiny fragment the size of an UNCOOKED grain of rice onto something like a pecan half that cannot be resisted. The pleasant flavor means you don't have to mix it into peanut butter to hide it.

I get the stuff at horse.com but EVERY horse place has it.

Also from a feed shop I buy 50# bags of Mazuri rodent blocks (they call it "rodent breeder") and that is what my wilds get - nutritious, inexpensive and lots beter for them than sunflower seeds or peanuts.

05-29-2012, 12:43 PM
Thanks - there is a Tractor Supply store that sells that kind of stuff. I do have a couple more questions, though.
Once I have mixed it and dosed him, can the rest of it be kept? Would it need to be refrigerated?
And, how do I get him to eat that one nut? I have many squirrels who come here to eat (10 - 12 is not unusual). Perhaps emptying the feeders the squirrels use and just putting that one nut in it? Trying to hand it to him? He's very nervous and does tend to come by himself, but not always at the same time.
And, finally, thank you for the idea about nutritional food for them. Will it be safe for the other critters who come here to feed?

05-29-2012, 01:01 PM
Yes, Tractor Supply will have it. There are a million brands of the stuff and they try to give it cute names like "Zimectrin" and "Horsemectrin" etc., but it is all (I believe) 1.87% ivermectin.

You need to be careful - easy to overdose, so you need to do this in a way that ONE squirrel gets ONE dosed nut, not two. I would sit out there with them so they get used to me and so that you can toss an individual squirrel a dosed nut.

I would keep the stuff in a WELL MARKED container in the fridge - like with a skull and crossbones on it. If you have little kids, pitch it - you don't want anyone getting into the stuff and eating it.

And everyone eats my rat blocks - birds, squirrels, chippies, etc.

05-30-2012, 10:46 AM
Thank you so much. :thankyou My boy came to eat just after I got back from Tractor Supply. I put a drop (very tiny) and spread it around on a walnut half and put it on the fence he travels to get to the feeders. He loved it, ate the whole thing and then started looking for more.
When do I need to do the second dose?
Also, I asked about the rodent block and the only thing I saw was a wildlife block (like a salt block) and I thought that I saw smaller portions during my reading. Guess I'll check out the nutrition thread now.
I am so happy that my boy has taken the medicine. Now I hope for a quick recovery!
Bless you all!

06-03-2012, 12:35 PM
UPDATE :thumbsup
My boy is looking so much better already. When he came for lunch today, he stayed in the feeder and allowed me to place a walnut (or several) right in front of him without taking off.
Should I give him the second dose of the ivermectin 2 weeks after the 1st? I didn't see any itching/scratching and his skin looks like it's healing and he's starting to get a bit of fur back on a couple of the spots.

Thanks for all of your help.