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Thread: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

  1. #1
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    Question Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Hi from eastern Ontario Canada.
    I just wrote a long post and lost it before it was saved, so this 2nd try is very short...

    We are looking after Chippy a 7 month old American Red, since she was a 6-7 week orphan (eyes were not yet open). This is our first time raising a squirrel, we are learning mostly from the squirrel forums. Chippy became very attached to my wife who has been her mother feeder since the beginning, and me in second place.

    She went through a very agressive period the last 2 months, mostly to me, but also to my wife, a lot of chattering, squawking and some biting.

    2 weeks ago, we wanted to give her some freedom to run in the backyard for an hour or so, hoping it would relieve her frustration of being in a large pen and only running in our house 1-2 hours a day. Well instead of an hour outside, she took off the whole day and came back after sundown, scared, exhausted and very thirsty. That night she clung to my wife, fell asleep in her arms the house-robe and wanted to sleep in the blanket beside our bed, instead of in her nest box in her large pen in the living room.
    She has calmed down a lot since then, mostly back to quite friendly with us and no more biting.

    In the attached photo you can see she has lost fur on the back of her neck, it began doing this 2 months ago, nothing to do with her trip outside . We changed her diet a month ago, to Henrys healthy or picky blocks, 2 a day, and lettuce, apple slices, orange slices, blueberries and 2 small nuts a day. The water bottle on side of her pen is diluted mixture of water and apple juice. Has anyone seen this fur loss before, what could it be from ?

    Name:  Chippy.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    In squirrels that are exposed to the outdoors, hair loss in this area is most likely from mange.

    Another possible cause of the hair loss might be due to a fungal infection.

    For both mange and fungal issues a rehabber her can advise treatment and dosage.

    A third possible cause of the hair loss might be due to zinc deficiency in the diet.

    Sometimes hair loss on the head is caused by the squirrel rubbing an area on their head off on the cage.
    For that I would observe her to see if she is doing that.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Diggie's Friend from:

    Stevelisa (10-03-2022)

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Thank you Diggy, from your options its not mange as she hasn't been outside except once a week ago, and this hair loss started about age 5 mos and she's 7 mos now.

    She sometimes stores a cherry, appleslice or blueberry up in her bedroom, maybe that grows fungi ?
    she has short little gray furs in that spot, which other fungal posts mention as common to this.

    she's not rubbing her neck on the cage. she does her self washing routine often enough though, where she licks her palms then rubs her face, back of head, legs then tail, in a quick little sequence. ill have to watch this closer.

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Please don't be concerned about this. I can't tell you exactly what this is but I do have some hypothesis. BOTH of the gray squirrels I have lived with developed this - it is almost triangle shaped, and it doesn't get totally bare, but only has the soft, fine "underfur" on it. If you part the hair the skin is flawless. Also, it is normally symmetrical. Mites don't do symmetrical!

    My gray squirrel has *almost* lost his - his winter coat has nearly covered it all, though he has kept it through the winter before.

    I believe that these are molting anomalies and I suspect they occur because they live indoors. All of the things that determine season and things like when to molt their coats are particularly skewed for those of us that live in northern climates. Instead of living in often well below zero nights, they are cuddled up with their microfleece in warm, comfy rooms. And they are also exposed to actual unfiltered sunlight, something that UV lights can't perfectly reproduce and sunny windows are still filtered. I think that things like "it's time to molt out that ratty summer/winter coat" can become a bit confused. I have seen some pretty interesting molts on here. I will warn you, little reds tend to develop the silliest looking little toupees...

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    Stevelisa (10-03-2022)

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    I think that makes sense because her fur there is very soft and uniform and skin looks perfect. It is sort of symmetrical. A few months ago she had sort of a horizontal line across her back that i thought was molting and then the fur grew back in there.

    We are really relieved that she is getting past her aggressive period. Maybe because we are managing her nut stash better and giving her more free-run time in the house without anyone but my wife and I here. She has her own little personality and loves climbing and playing on us again. We were worried as a Red she would get worse in that way with age.

    We think she's a girl, because the distance between her two parts is close, but not absolutely sure.

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    LOL. Tip her over and take a pic - we'll tell you!

    Squirrels are ruled by their hormones, and there will be times during the year when you see different behaviors. My boy is an absolute love sponge but for about two months mid-to late summer, he becomes rather aloof - not mean, just not cuddly like normal. He just ended that in fact and my snuggler is back. I would track stuff like this - after year 1 is more reliable because they are getting a real hormone rush as little ones like this. It is nice to be able to look back and see - "Oh yeah, this happened last year at this time."

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    This is the best pic i could get yesterday. She won't let us hold her to get that view LOL.
    Can you tell from this ?

    Name:  Chippy girl.jpg
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Hi Crittermom, if the pic above does not show enough to tell, we'll try to get a better one today.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Oops - sorry. I didn't see HER pic!

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    thank you Crittermom, nice to know she is a HER

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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Hello Crittermom,

    you were right on ... chippys back now has a very symmetrical fur line separating the lower thicker coat from the shorter length on her upper back. And getting a bit of a toupee with a very fine short fur.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Reds develop wondrous toupees!

  15. #13
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    Default Re: Chippy the Red missing some fur on back of her neck

    Her amazing reddish brown fur beginning to grow back…but yes the toupee spread the top of her head
    Name:  4095E87B-A229-415C-A2E8-2B777FD24383.jpg
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