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Thread: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

  1. #1
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    Default Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Hi all!

    I had originally posted about mucus in the poop, but it seems that it has only happened about twice and stopped. Took Peanut to the vet and he said his stool and urine were fine.

    The major concern is the scratching, chewing, hair loss, scabs he's got now. We started noticing this behavior the middle-end of July-ish. At first we could not see any wounds, just his excessive grooming. And excessive grooming of US as well. I posted on July 29th about that, but there wasn't much to show. Below I am going to include pics of the progression since then, and hope y'all will have some extra insights for us.

    Peanut (almost 3 yr old, Fox, 2 lbs/900 grams)
    Diet - 2 Henry's blocks a day, Pureem primate blocks freely, fresh veggies and a blueberry daily. A small piece of nut daily, Whole nuts semi-regulary (2-3x a week maybe). He has apple sticks, bamboo sticks, antlers, cuttle bones, branches, rocks and whatnot to chew on and sharpen his teeth.
    Habitat - Indoor/Outdoor. Lots of sun outside and comes inside at night to sleep.

    July 29th - noticed some small scabs, but had to really search for them. Mainly on his thighs.
    July 30th - Went to vet who agreed to start with Revolution for mites.
    July 30th - applied 2 drops of <5 lb Revolution (NOT Revolution Plus, for the record)
    Then things got worse.
    Did some research on the Squirrel Board (thank you previous posters with similar issues) and started the following daily treatments as well.

    August 5th - started Septra 2x/day, infant Ibprophen 1-2x/day as needed, wash wounds with Betadine solution 2x/day

    He is still playful and has energy. But goes after himself so intently sometimes and cries in pain as he chews on himself.
    On August 9th, it will have been 10 days since Revolution and we understand we can then treat again. This is the plan so far…please let us know if you have any insights, suspicions or other info you could lend. He is very special and we hate to see him in pain.Name:  F7BA18FE-063C-43C2-AC4F-998677B52A3C_1_201_a.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel_peanut View Post
    Did some research on the Squirrel Board (thank you previous posters with similar issues) and started the following daily treatments as well.
    Could you clarify what the daily treatments are?

    I did not read the other thread, but has there been a change in laundry detergents or anything like that that maybe his indoor bedding is washed?

    How long has he been spending his days outside (in a cage or no)?

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Spanky from:

    squirrel_peanut (08-08-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Yes, thank you.

    Forgot to mention when this first started (before the trip to the vet) we gave him a dawn bath. Cleaned and replaced all bedding. He had had a coconut liner basket outside he was sleeping in with blankets. But we got nervous about it (since that was the only new thing) and threw it out. Cleaned and treated all the areas (indoor cage and outdoor full balcony) and replaced with clean blankets.

    Been using the same detergent Free & Clear (Arm & Hammer) since ever and never had an issue. My first thought was maybe they changed their detergent formula. But we have another squiq (long-term rehab) who has not shown any signs or symptoms.

    Also, forgot to mention added coconut oil topically and dipped his blocks in them for (hopefully extra) skin soothing. Started that before the vet visit as well.

    The daily treatments are Septra 2x/day, infant Ibprophen 1-2x/day as needed, wash wounds with Betadine solution 2x/day. These all began on August 5th.

    Outside he is on a large enclosed balcony.

    We had read that sometimes Revolution makes it worse before making it better, but we are still very concerned as this went from a little problem to a much larger (at least in terms of the way it looks) problem. He has improved in mood and excessive grooming of us however, since the Revolution. It just looks SO MUCH worse now. And we hate to see him in pain.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Revolution is given every 30 days, NOT every 10. You are confusing it with ivermectin.

    Since you have a vet, can you get a skin scraping looked at?

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    squirrel_peanut (08-08-2020)

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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Thank you! I thought I had read on here that you should do 2nd dose at 10 days. Glad we didn't now, thank you for clarifying!

    We will call the vet again on Monday and see if they can take a skin scraping. Can you let me know if this is normal? If it is mites, would it get worse (at least visually) after giving the Revolution. Are there other things that you would suspect it could be? Since he is outside on the balcony, he has outside squirrels visit him and a couple years ago he got an illness from them. We thankfully were able to get medicine and vet attention for that, but it wound up killing off our squirrel population here. Now there's a whole new pack of outsiders, but we worry sometimes of what he might catch from them. We've seen a guy with a really skinny tail, but have not seen any squirrels who look like they have mange or skin conditions.

    Thanks for any other insights you might be able to give us.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    This really doesn't LOOK like mange mites. Normally the first place you really see issues is on the ears, probably because they are relatively hairless. I have seen it on the rear end but only on squirrels that were covered with it everywhere else. The skin is ALL rough and red, not little individual sores on relatively healthy pink skin.

    It is possible that this started out as a minor irritation such as ant or mosquito bites that he fussed with because they itched. The fussing irritates the skin as he bites at it, causing more sores, which begin to itch like crazy as they heal, which makes him fuss MORE at the area. You can get into a real spiral with stuff like this, and you really can't just slap an e-collar on a squirrel - not only would a flip out result, you can't keep them on their little bullet heads.

    Things that itch - insect bites, that healing itch, allergies - do so because they prompt a histamine release in the body. Why don't you try the following:

    Continue the diluted Betadyne wipedown of the area. Don't apply anything else to him - no salves, no creams, no neosporin, etc. Squirrels HATE stuff in their fur and will obsessively clean the area, which in this case will also involve inflaming it further. But I would also try putting him on Benadryl for a bit. It is an antihistamine, so it should block at least part of the itching. You want CHILDREN'S benadryl and if you can give us a weight we can dose it properly for him. I would discontinue the ibuprophen - you can always add it back but it would be good to see what happens with just the benadryl.

    He needs to be an indoor squirrel while this is happening. If you have ever taken it you know that antihistamines tend to make you drowsy and you do NOT want a drowsy squirrel out trying to evade predators. It will also give you the opportunity to watch and see if the itching and attention to the sore area decreases.

  9. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to CritterMom:

    Mel1959 (08-09-2020), squirrel_peanut (08-09-2020)

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Thank you! This sounds right. I was trying figure out what he was experiencing, that the other squiq wasn't. (Other squiq does not spend time outside). We did have some mosquitoes and the ants have been annoyingly determined this year.

    He is 2 lbs/900 grams. I really appreciate it! I will go get the children's Benadryl today.

    Thank you again! I will await the dosing info for his weight.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    We finished the 7 days of Septra.

    Been doing the bedadine wash daily.

    Stopped the infant ibuprofen.

    Been doing Benadryl every 4-6 hours as needed. It does make him sleep, but then he wakes up and chews at himself again. He will groom us insistently if we get our hands in the way of him chewing himself. He will also groom a toy or an empty paper towel cardboard roll like a squirrel on a mission.

    He is not as playful. He’s getting really annoyed and over us grabbing him to do meds or wash the wounds. He now has little bald spots under his ears. A little wound starting under one of his armpits from scratching and a couple more small ouchies we can see coming in. It doesn’t look a TON worse, but it doesn’t look better either. We haven’t taken him back to the vet yet as we wanted to try the Benadryl therapy first and see if we could get him to sleep and let everything heal.

    We are going to reach out to the vet, but wanted to update y’all here and see if anyone thought that we should try anything else? Another antibiotic, ivermectin, etc.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    Gabapentin may help. Speak to your vet about it. It is used for nerve pain and may help this. I so hoped the benadryl would help him...

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Hair loss, skin irritations, scratching and chewing

    What about a low dosage of prednisone? I know my husband has been given that when he had a reaction to the sap from a poisonous plant and his skin erupted.

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