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Thread: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

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  1. #1
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    Question Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    Hi first time posting. Little bit my pet grey squirrel is starting to get a bald spot on his head. Not red or crusty just loss of hair. He is on Henry's blocks and nuts. He is 21 weeks old. He got a little spoiled and refused to eat the blocks and would only eat nuts. He refuses to eat vegetables. I offer them everyday. I had to clean out is hoard of nuts and he has for the last 2-3 weeks been eating his blocks again. I only give him 2-3 shelled nuts a day now and only after her has eaten his 3 Henry blocks. He gets 1 block in the morning with spring mix salad (refuses to eat any of the salad mix) 1 block at lunch time and 1 block before bed. 2-3 shelled nuts in the evening. Is he molting for winter or it it a nutrition issue. I do not have a light for him as I was under the impression that the Henry's Blocks offered him all the Vit. D needed.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    His diet is a definite problem. You must try other veggies besides Spring mix. Try kale, watercress, escarole, endive, radicchio, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potato, red cabbage, sugar snap peas, avocado (no skin or pit they’re toxic), coconut chunks, papaya, apple, pear. Here’s the link to the healthy foods he should be eating. https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    Don’t give any nuts till he begins to eat veggies with his blocks. Henrys blocks are loaded with vitamins but they are meant to be eaten as a supplemental block in combination with healthy veggies and fruits…not in combination with nuts. Giving nuts to a squirrel when he doesn’t eat his veggies is like letting a toddler have ice cream instead of veggies.

    The hair loss could be from him pushing his nose through the bars of his cage and rubbing it off. It could also be from his diet.

    I fear with his diet he is a prime candidate for metabolic bone disease. MBD is the result of not enough calcium in the diet and too many high phosphorus foods, like nuts. The squirrels body tries to maintain the proper calcium to phosphorous ratio, but if he’s not getting enough calcium from foods then his body will pull the calcium from his bones to maintain the proper ratio. MBD is painful, causes hind end paralysis and eventually death if left untreated.

  3. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    cassgrimm (09-09-2021), sundoesshine (09-20-2021)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    His diet is a definite problem. You must try other veggies besides Spring mix. Try kale, watercress, escarole, endive, radicchio, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potato, red cabbage, sugar snap peas, avocado (no skin or pit they’re toxic), coconut chunks, papaya, apple, pear. Here’s the link to the healthy foods he should be eating. https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-Pet-Squirrels

    Don’t give any nuts till he begins to eat veggies with his blocks. Henrys blocks are loaded with vitamins but they are meant to be eaten as a supplemental block in combination with healthy veggies and fruits…not in combination with nuts. Giving nuts to a squirrel when he doesn’t eat his veggies is like letting a toddler have ice cream instead of veggies.

    The hair loss could be from him pushing his nose through the bars of his cage and rubbing it off. It could also be from his diet.

    I fear with his diet he is a prime candidate for metabolic bone disease. MBD is the result of not enough calcium in the diet and too many high phosphorus foods, like nuts. The squirrels body tries to maintain the proper calcium to phosphorous ratio, but if he’s not getting enough calcium from foods then his body will pull the calcium from his bones to maintain the proper ratio. MBD is painful, causes hind end paralysis and eventually death if left untreated.

    Thank you so much. He is my baby and am so worried about him. Do I still need a light for his cage?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    Lights can be helpful but they must be placed on top of the cage. The 10.0 UVA/UVB bulbs reach the furthest distance. You definitely don’t want the light shining into his eyes. It should be placed on a timer and operate about 4 hrs a day. The bulbs are only good for 6-9 months and then must be replaced as they lose their effectiveness.

    You can also create an outside cage which provides an opportunity for natural light, but it must also provide shade for him to escape from the sun. You also want to be sure there’s air flow around him so he doesn’t overheat and water for him to drink.

    Is there a medical reason he can’t be released? I ask because squirrels are a long term commitment. It’s very hard to acclimate a 3-4 year old squirrel to the wild once they’ve been captive for that long, so there’s no real good way to “change your mind” once you’ve had him that long. It’s been my, and many others, experience that squirrels make lousy pets. They typically will only allow one caretaker and may attack others. Also when he reaches sexual maturity at 1+ years old his personality could change….especially during summer months when biologically he knows it’s time to mate.

    I just want you to be prepared for what may lay ahead.

    Please work on getting him to eat some type of greens, other veggies and limited amounts of fruits. I forgot to list dandelion greens. You can purchase them in many grocery stores and are usually well liked.

  6. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    cassgrimm (09-10-2021), sundoesshine (09-20-2021)

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Lights can be helpful but they must be placed on top of the cage. The 10.0 UVA/UVB bulbs reach the furthest distance. You definitely don’t want the light shining into his eyes. It should be placed on a timer and operate about 4 hrs a day. The bulbs are only good for 6-9 months and then must be replaced as they lose their effectiveness.

    You can also create an outside cage which provides an opportunity for natural light, but it must also provide shade for him to escape from the sun. You also want to be sure there’s air flow around him so he doesn’t overheat and water for him to drink.

    Is there a medical reason he can’t be released? I ask because squirrels are a long term commitment. It’s very hard to acclimate a 3-4 year old squirrel to the wild once they’ve been captive for that long, so there’s no real good way to “change your mind” once you’ve had him that long. It’s been my, and many others, experience that squirrels make lousy pets. They typically will only allow one caretaker and may attack others. Also when he reaches sexual maturity at 1+ years old his personality could change….especially during summer months when biologically he knows it’s time to mate.

    I just want you to be prepared for what may lay ahead.

    Please work on getting him to eat some type of greens, other veggies and limited amounts of fruits. I forgot to list dandelion greens. You can purchase them in many grocery stores and are usually well liked.
    I was given him when he was about a week old. He fell from a tree and we tried to get the mother to take him back but she wouldn't. I don't see anything that would prevent him from returning to the wild other than myself and my husband have fell in love with him. My father had 2 pet squirrels while growing up. I know and realize they are a lot of work and responsibility. We are up for the challenge though as I can't see a day without him snuggling with me. He is so loving and so much fun to play with. He has free reign of the house as long as we are home with him. He has a mansion of a house lol when we leave that he goes in. He also sleeps and naps it it as well. Just want to make sure he is healthy and has a good life.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Bald Spot/Hair Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by dfinley2229 View Post
    I was given him when he was about a week old. He fell from a tree and we tried to get the mother to take him back but she wouldn't. I don't see anything that would prevent him from returning to the wild other than myself and my husband have fell in love with him. My father had 2 pet squirrels while growing up. I know and realize they are a lot of work and responsibility. We are up for the challenge though as I can't see a day without him snuggling with me. He is so loving and so much fun to play with. He has free reign of the house as long as we are home with him. He has a mansion of a house lol when we leave that he goes in. He also sleeps and naps it it as well. Just want to make sure he is healthy and has a good life.
    By no means am I attempting to tell you what to do or what not to do here, but I think you may have missed a part of Mel's point.

    The point is this: There are very few squirrels content to be kept in captivity. Most people who have a 'pet' squirrel - especially one that was found in the wild - only keep the squirrel due to medical reasons that would prove a death sentence if released in the wild. This is because the overwhelming majority of mature squirrels do poorly with confinement. They often become malcontent and lash out.

    It is more likely than not that your snuggly baby will turn into a very wild adult - one that frequently draws blood from you via scratching and biting. This is referred to as 'turning wild' and happens around the time of sexual maturity. The common occurrence is that people want to hold onto that loving and affectionate baby, but the baby grows up and becomes, well, a wild animal. At this point they realize they have made a mistake, and by this point they have done a disservice to the squirrel because he has had human contact for so long that it makes release much more complicated and lengthy and, sometimes, impossible.

    Just my two cents. I do wish you and your little one the very best.

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

    Mel1959 (09-20-2021), sundoesshine (09-20-2021)

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