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Thread: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

  1. #1
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    Default can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Hello, I feed a number of Eastern Gray Squirrels in my backyard and one of them is obviously not well, he keeps falling over whenever he walks and hits his head on things. Sometimes he has to lie down to eat a nut as he has trouble standing upright. He's been like that for 2-3 months now and does not seem to be getting better or a lot worse, but I have no idea what is wrong with him. Unfortunately, here in Oregon no vet is allowed to treat Eastern Grays so there is probably nothing I can do for him, but I would still like to know what is wrong with him. Any thoughts folks? Thank you!

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Sounds like an equilibrium problem due to a head injury, roundworm, inner ear infection or it got into a toxic substance. I'll bet I can find a vet that will treat courtesy of a contact at the Oregon Zoo if you can catch him.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by SophieSquirrel View Post
    Sounds like an equilibrium problem due to a head injury, roundworm, inner ear infection or it got into a toxic substance. I'll bet I can find a vet that will treat courtesy of a contact at the Oregon Zoo if you can catch him.
    Thank you so much! We did catch him once only to find out that no one would take him, after I phoned several vets and the Audobon Society. If you can find a vet who will treat him I will try again to catch him. The poor little thing is so vulnerable to predators in his current state, many thanks! I am in Portland, by the way.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Oregon is dicey; most squirrel rescues will euthanize E. Grays if you leave them there, as they choose to view them as competition with the Western gray,

    this despite that a study showed that isn't a real issue, only an imagined one.

    I have a contact in Portland; they have a supportive vet that helps them with these squirrels.

    Just PM me to let me know if you would like them to help, and I will do my best to set that up for you.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Oregon is dicey; most squirrel rescues will euthanize E. Grays if you leave them there, as they choose to view them as competition with the Western gray,

    this despite that a study showed that isn't a real issue, only an imagined one.

    I have a contact in Portland; they have a supportive vet that helps them with these squirrels.

    Just PM me to let me know if you would like them to help, and I will do my best to set that up for you.
    Yes, please, thank you!! Yes it's an outdated law that makes no sense anymore. I'm not sure how to PM you via this board, I'm new here. Could you please PM me and I'll respond? - Roberta

  10. #6
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Yes at this point the damage is done and euthanizing makes no sense as the population is firmly established. I just got finished having this discussion with someone regarding releasing northern gray sub-species in Florida "just to get them in the trees". Doing so would basically cause the same problem for the genetic code of the invaded southern sub-species and is no different than what is going on with Eastern Grays on the west coast. the problem in England is way worse with red populations being decimated by grays! In Florida there is an idiot with Prevosts in flimsy outdoor cages that can get loose in a storm and ruin the environment by breeding like the pouched rats in the keys.

    Oregon should be more concerned about the feral house cat problem than Eastern Grays. Feral cat lover's here ya go: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...-year-7814590/

    Now the more aggressive black squirrels with their higher testosterone are taking over the grays is England: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/190...-squirrel.html

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by SophieSquirrel View Post
    Yes at this point the damage is done and euthanizing makes no sense as the population is firmly established. I just got finished having this discussion with someone regarding releasing northern gray sub-species in Florida "just to get them in the trees". Doing so would basically cause the same problem for the genetic code of the invaded southern sub-species and is no different than what is going on with Eastern Grays on the west coast. the problem in England is way worse with red populations being decimated by grays! In Florida there is an idiot with Prevosts in flimsy outdoor cages that can get loose in a storm and ruin the environment by breeding like the pouched rats in the keys.

    Oregon should be more concerned about the feral house cat problem than Eastern Grays. Feral cat lover's here ya go: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...-year-7814590/

    Now the more aggressive black squirrels with their higher testosterone are taking over the grays is England: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/190...-squirrel.html
    I want to mention that the narrative has been distorted about the eastern gray squirrels being the *main* cause of the red squirrel numbers declining. The true issue (as usual) is human encroachment on the natural habitat of the reds, specifically the conifer forests which are the preferred habitat of red squirrels (versus the deciduous forests being preferred by grays.) The lumber companies harvest the original conifer forests, then replant not what was there, but with a broader mix of trees that is more profitable for them. Thus, the increasing loss of red squirrel habitat is the real reason for the decline of this squirrel in UK. This type of stressor could very well make the red squirrel more susceptible to infection, but it is not the main cause and the vilification of the gray squirrels is misplaced.

    http://www.confor.org.uk/news/latest...of-tree-cover/
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    This is the study on the interaction of the Western and Eastern Gray squirrels.

    https://digital.lib.washington.edu/r...dle/1773/22917

    Here is another study that was done on the interaction of the Western Gray and the Eastern Fox Squirrel in Southern California.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ont_California

    It is interesting that these species by comparison that these species of tree squirrel do not consume the same food sources across the board, though they do share some. Of the foods they share at least some of them are consumed during the same exact paired group of seasons of the year. This diversity is what supports these species that may share the territory of where their different habitats intersect to survive. Where other species share habitat territory, like in the region of Duluth, MN. located at the tip of Lake Superior, where a number of indigenous species, including the Northern and Southern flying squirrels, the Eastern and Least chipmunks, the North American Red squirrel, and one of the northern ssp. of the Eastern Gray squirrel all share the same habitat, they appear to have no issue with one species driving the others out. For though they may move a short ways from one location to another, they aren't being moved out the area. In regions where they have decreased, it has been habitat destruction and fragmentation that have played a key role in the reduction of their numbers. This along with forest fires and disease are known to reduce populations, but not other squirrel species.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Now the more aggressive black squirrels with their higher testosterone are taking over the grays is England: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/190...-squirrel.html
    What a load of crap. They are the exact same species, and I have rehabbed litters of 3 black and one gray, three grays and one black, etc. Testosterone doesn't follow color! I never thought I'd see racism in a post or article about squirrels, but...Cripes -- figures it was in a rag like the Telegraph!!!!
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Couldn't agree more!

    Not just that the Eurasian red vs. the E. Gray, the Red is the more aggressive species, but in Northern Scotland, in a remaining old growth coniferous forest that is protected, they hold their own as the habitat favors their species. Humans cut much of the coniferous forest long time back. I have a book from Germany translated into English that is clear on that account, as the Euro reds were blamed for specific tree damage that they weren't the cause of, when the damage was from an insect. Sadly they were hunted then like vermin for reason of loss of profits. Humans blaming, when humans are to blame, nothing new under the sun there for habitat destruction, and reforestation of hardwoods over conifers. Some believe there is evidence the sqrlpox was already endemic to the Euro reds. As for the repeated falsehood that grays are immune to sqrlpox, where did they come up with that?

    Habitat Loss

    Forests are no longer simply a habitat for animals and birds. Many are managed by timber companies, which plant trees most suited to their business needs, irrespective of the effect this has on wild fauna populations. Recent forestry plantations tend to favour grey squirrels. If forests were composed of Norway spruce, larch and Douglas fir, red squirrels would be well catered for, and grey squirrels would be discouraged.

    Displacement

    There are areas of Britain where greys and reds have co-existed for a number of years but greys are hardier than reds and able to live in a wider variety of habitats. The competitive advantage they have is greater in deciduous woodlands but in coniferous woodland, the two can coexist for longer. Inevitably, species that can best adapt to their environment survive.

    Disease

    Red squirrels are particularly susceptible to disease, including a lethal pox virus. Whether grey squirrels were harbouring this virus when they were brought to the UK, or whether it was already endemic in the native reds by then is unclear but it is known that grey squirrels carry the disease without developing it whilst reds usually succumb. When the reds die out, greys take over their niche. However, a 2008 study found that some red squirrels had developed an immunity to this virus an indication that some red squirrels, at least, can survive it.24

  17. #11
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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Those aggressive BLACK squirrels sound as bad as those killer AFRICAN bees we had years ago.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cava View Post
    Those aggressive BLACK squirrels sound as bad as those killer AFRICAN bees we had years ago.
    Those are a very real thing. You almost cannot watch a newscast in Tucson without a story of some poor dog killed by them, or person hospitalized. The swarms are ENORMOUS. My mother lives there - a couple years ago I was getting ready to go out onto her little patio and walked over to the sliders and opened the vertical blinds...and the entire postage stamp backyard was dense with them. I couldn't see the wall behind the house - it was almost like a solid mass. It is one of the most shocking things I have ever seen.

    Many people have spent years trying to figure out how to breed the aggressiveness out of these bees and nothing has worked, it is some sort of super dominant gene that they can't even seem to weaken.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    And to respond to the original poster - a lot of these tippy, tilty squirrels are victims of falls. They fall more than you might think and while they are more than able to land safely they can't stop from hitting things on the way down. I also think that some may have tangled with and escaped from predators - I have a guy right now who cannot use his back legs independently and he leans to one side strongly. He prefers to lay down and eat. I thought he was neuro at first but having watched him for a while, I think his head is fine - I think something crunched his pelvis.

    I have had badly tilty squirrels get better over long term - like several years, and some of course never do. If they are around my house it is because they are making use of all of the supplemental food I provide, and it helps them survive a lot longer than they normally would.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Those are a very real thing. You almost cannot watch a newscast in Tucson without a story of some poor dog killed by them, or person hospitalized. The swarms are ENORMOUS. My mother lives there - a couple years ago I was getting ready to go out onto her little patio and walked over to the sliders and opened the vertical blinds...and the entire postage stamp backyard was dense with them. I couldn't see the wall behind the house - it was almost like a solid mass. It is one of the most shocking things I have ever seen.

    Many people have spent years trying to figure out how to breed the aggressiveness out of these bees and nothing has worked, it is some sort of super dominant gene that they can't even seem to weaken.
    I have read a lot about them and I know they for sure exist. I was just commenting on the verbiage that's all. Although they aggressively defend a hive and proliferate quickly causing swarms looking for a new hive home, they are more resistant to diseases Euro bees die from and heartier. They may also be the solution to hive collapse. Double edged sword, for sure.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    The article on melanistic (dark coated) E. gray squirrels, that calls them aggressive is clearly to malign the introduced species, like calling the squirrels a bad name. Pine (red) squirrels are far more territorial aggressive species than the Grays are be it across the pond or here at home in the USA. The The more recently introduced E. Grays, though more adaptable to the dominant hardwood forests, having moved in where the Eurasian red have been extirpated due to loss of specific supportive habitat, aren't at fault. Rather it is the irresponsible species on two legs that runs the show, who messed up the habitat and didn't put it back as it was when it supported the Euroasian Reds, that is to blame!! For by not replacing the forest as it was 400 years ago with a sufficient ratio of coniferous that the Euro-reds require, and then introducing a species that thrive son a mix forest, they ensured that the Euro red would not be able to thrive in those areas that they were extirpated from long before the grays arrived in Europe. Pine squirrels require a high portion of their diet to be provided from coniferous trees, not just acorns.
    A little know fact about Red squirrels is that they cannot get sufficient nutrition from oak dominant forests, for:
    The eastern grey squirrel can easily digest acorns, while the red squirrel cannot.

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Sounds like racism transference to me. Maybe everyone should just stop generalizing.
    We live in a heaven created by our virtues --- Muktananda

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    Default Re: can anyone help diagnosis this little guy?

    Another possible cause of ataxia in tree squirrels is West Nile Virus encephalitis.

    http://westnile.ca.gov/website/squir...0Squirrels.pdf

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...43#post1277343

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