View Full Version : Does this look like pox?

05-04-2014, 12:30 AM
In someone else's thread the other day, I mentioned the following:

I'm just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and last week noticed one of our backyard regular grey squirrels (brown coat) had a swollen cheek and white crud around its eye on the same side. I hadn't seen him for a few days but when I did again yesterday was shocked to see that the affected cheek is now massively disfigured and the cheek and crown of his head are all mangy, and the eye crud even more prevalent.

I've seen manginess before but never the eye crud or lesions.

My initial search led to pox (SSPV), and then to this board and this thread!

Our other squirrel regulars are at present seemingly unaffected.I hadn't seen the squirrel again until, I think (if it was indeed the same one) today, Saturday, so it was probably 8 or 9 days between sightings. Our local regular backyard squirrel visitors (2 brown coated and 2 grey coated eastern greys) usually make multiple visits to our deck every day. If it was the same squirrel today, then good news, it seems - the cheek swelling is all gone and the eye crud is gone and it looks like he's recovering from whatever had 'got' him.

The squirrel today was absolutely nuts for food (pun intended) -- he came to our kitchen glass sliding double-doors and stood on his hind legs and looked in to see if anyone was inside (as they do), then when I noticed him and came to the door, he jumped up onto the fly-screen that was over the other (non-opening) door and climbed up to my head height. Chipmunks do that occasionally, but never the squirrels. They usually stand outside the door acting all confident up until the point when the door opens and then demeanour is one of nervousness and suspicion. They have recently been trained to hand feed, but they are still totally paranoid. But not this one today - when I unlocked the door (loud click) he jumped down and when I started to slide the door open he ran towards the opening, prompting me to have to shut it, just in case!

He eventually backed off, then ravenously ate all the nuts and carrot ends I could throw out. He even chased off 2 chipmunks he tried to steal the nuts off him.

I took some photos, but the quality is not the best as he seemed to be quite shy about sitting still with the 'bad' (left) side of his face to me:
Although he'd been naughty climbing my fly-screen, he didn't mind showing me his good side..

His left cheek has a lesion that seems to be healing and some missing fur around and underneath the eye..

.. but unlike last week, there is no eye crud and no significant swelling, and it's not nearly so painful looking

I'd forgot to mention last time that last week he was eating with the right side of his mouth only. Today, full mouth.

I'd originally posted that the "cheek and crown" were 'mangy' but this one's crown was normal, and as a 2nd 'fully healthy' brown coated squirrel was in the garden at the same time, either I was mistaken or this is an intruder. The fact that he looked in to the window suggests that I was probably mistaken about the crown and this is indeed a healing squirrel.

So question is, is this all consistent with pox, or something else?

05-04-2014, 12:46 AM
Looks more like a fight with another squirrel and the wounds are starting to heal.
I would watch him and make sure it doesnt become infected or become worse.