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Thread: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

  1. #1
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    Default Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    I know that ferrets were part of the front lines in treatment testing for SARS, considering the similarity in nutritional needs between squirrels and ferrets I'm wondering if anyone knows how at risk squirrels are to the virus. I tested positive and I'm afraid that I'm gonna accidentally kill my baby. I disinfected everything and started keeping him in his cage and feel horrible because he's not used to being locked up like this and there's no way to make him understand. Every time he hears me or the dogs move he gets excited thinking he's coming out but I'm coughing too much to risk it until I know whether it's safe or not. He won't play with me with gloves on and he recoils at the smell of hand sanitizer.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    We just don't know what animals can be infected with COVID-19. I hope you are doing alright and can get through this without any major issues. I would wash your hands WELL before feeding your squirrel, keep him in a room away from where you normally are in and the safest thing to do is to stay away from him until 3-4 days after your symptoms are gone. He will not be happy for the next couple weeks but you are helping to keep him safe.

    Take care of yourself and good luck.
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Well, squirrels are NOTHING like ferrets - which are carnivores. That said, if I had tested positive I would isolate him in his cage in a room that can be closed off, preferably, and shower, cover, mask and glove before feeding. If he is small enough that he requires formula, don't glove but scrub your hands like crazy just prior and rinse like crazy to get the smell off. He won't like it but he WILL survive. Nobody really knows WHAT creatures besides cats can get this.

    For you, make sure you get up and move. Even when you feel like crap and HAVE to stay in bed, lying on your back for long periods is NOT a good idea. Lie on your stomach. Get up and stand and take breaths as deep as possible and hold for several seconds before exhaling. Many years ago I got peritonitis from a perforated ulcer and after surgery spent a week in the ICU from pneumonia that developed because the peritonitis was so agonizing that anything more than the shallowest of breaths was unbearable. They hauled my butt up and down the halls and kept me on my stomach while they pounded on my back for what seemed like hours. It was the most exquisitely painful thing I have ever experienced. I learned a whole lot about the importance of deep breathing during that delightful experience.

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Sorry for late reply. I had read but didn't have The energy to respond. Thank you both for the input. It makes me feel better to know that I'm doing the correct thing.

    For critter mom, no need to worry about bottle feedings here, my boy is a seven month old NR and only takes (demands) A bottle every once in a while, I'm not really sure why. I've been feeding him using a pair of long salad tongs to grab his food from the containers and place in the various spots in his cage. I have sanitized his cage and removed everything from it, replaced old sticks and antlers with new ones and I put in clean fabric pieces (hammocks, pouches, tunnels, etc.) and washed all of his stuffed animals.

    It hasn't even been 24 hours yet but he is miserable and I feel terrible. His best toys are not cage toys, and generally he's not really a cage squirrel. He usually sleeps in bed with me and the dogs and is only really confined to the cage when I have to go out without him. Truth be told his favorite toys are me and the dogs.

    Since putting him in there I've noticed that he is laying flat on his belly fully outstretched with his arms out of the cage swatting at and trying to grab who or whatever passes by. I know laying flat on the belly can be a way to cool down or something done when they think a predator is nearby. Mine splays out like a pancake on my lap or over my shoulder or on one of the dogs. But I've never seen him do it in his cage before this. I don't know if it's from discomfort or to get better grab reach.

    And he's upset. He's making semi-grown sounding mommy cries until I make eye contact and then rattling the door staring right at me. He has always done this but the expression on his face is different. He's also throwing things at the dogs from inside the cage. I can't tell if he's pissed off or just trying to get attention. I'm still talking to him from the other room and he's still responding to my voice and his name.

    I'm just worried that this is gonna throw a wrench in our bond or his out of cage acclimated behavior.

    Anyway thank you both.

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Iím sure the changed situation has him confused and upset. He will get over it with time.

    YOU, on the other hand, please be careful. I have seen the many reports of those that say this is quite a bit worse than the flu so please take care of yourself and those are the manageable at home cases. Do you have someone that can check in on you?

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Cats and ferrets can get COVID-19. Not dogs, pigs, chickens or ducks.

    https://www.inverse.com/science/pets-covid-19
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

    Loving dad to Sir Max, 2017-2018. There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

    "Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at it right."
    -Grateful Dead

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Iím sure the changed situation has him confused and upset. He will get over it with time.

    YOU, on the other hand, please be careful. I have seen the many reports of those that say this is quite a bit worse than the flu so please take care of yourself and those are the manageable at home cases. Do you have someone that can check in on you?
    Yes. Every year (except this one, unfortunately) I travel out west to visit my mother for about 10 days. I have a friend who used to live up here and has relocated to NJ come up and house and critter sit while I am gone. He is fairly terrified by squirrels, so they have both experienced suddenly going from tons and tons of attention and out time to none for 10 day periods. In every case, when I return, they try to be all aloof and snooty to me which lasts about 10 minutes and then everything is back to normal like nothing ever happened.

    And they are terribly manipulative little cruds so you can bet he will be throwing guilt balls the size of Buicks at you the whole time. Just remember you are doing it for his own good, and that he will have as much sympathy for that stupid reason as any small child would.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    Yep tube, that's similar to what I read hence the ask.

    Hrt: your first sentence probably captures the essence completely and perfectly. The second is a hope lol. And yes it's bad. I have a hospital bag packed and ready to go (I'm one of those snobs who wears their own clothes at the hospital, I'm sorry). I am lucky enough that my best friend lives right next door and already has spare keys to my place and knows my animals routines. She will take care of Sterling and the dogs if I end up calling an ambulance. Sterling wont be taken out of the cage but she always tries to get a little closer to touching him through the cage. Shell pet his back when he's out if i hold his face and feet away from her. He does like different food types in different locations but she's been instructed to just drop everything into the nuts hammock at the top so she doesn't have to open the cage. Water is mounted outside with the straw/ball angled in. And I have three doctors, two relatives and my bestie and one more friend nagging me for updates and sorta berating me with varying intensity to go to the hospital.

    Critter mom: that last bit made me laugh on the inside (physically can't actually laugh rn). People are always telling me I worry too much about "the titmouse" and my answer is usually "shut up, he's smarter than you."

    But yes very bratty. Kinda reminds me of the autistic little boy who was angry when the missile strike didn't happen in Hawaii.

    And thank you for the reassurance that he's gonna forgive me.

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  16. #9
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    Default Re: Squirrel susceptibility to COVID-19?

    So hard, I feel so bad for you both reading this, but it's all been said. Take care of yourself. Glad you have a plan and good dependable help. Praying that the worst Sterling has to deal with is some confusion and boredom.

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