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Thread: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

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    Default LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Hi, I'm hoping I can find help for Simone, a 9 week old squirrel that lost the fur in her neck when we cleaned a milk crust that had formed, amd since then the loss of furr started extending all the way to the chest in the last 3 weeks. She is a Variegated Squirrel from Central America that I rescued when she and her sister fell from their nest at 2 weeks of age. (Iīm attaching photos for your observation)Thank you.

    Kindest Regards,

    Squirrel Nut
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrel nut View Post
    Hi, I'm hoping I can find help for Simone, a 9 week old squirrel that lost the fur in her neck when we cleaned a milk crust that had formed, amd since then the loss of furr started extending all the way to the chest in the last 3 weeks. She is a Variegated Squirrel from Central America that I rescued when she and her sister fell from their nest at 2 weeks of age. (Iīm attaching photos for your observation)Thank you.

    Kindest Regards,

    Squirrel Nut
    Hi Squirrel Nut:
    Thanks for visiting TSB! Sorry to hear about Simone's hair loss! When you say a "milk crust," are you referring to milk that dribbled from Simone's mouth while being fed and collected in the fur on the underside of her neck? If so, what formula are you using or if you mix up formula yourself, what are the ingredients? This fur loss seems more than coincidental and I suspect some sort of skin sensitivity to what ever was used to remove the "milk crust" or even a skin sensitivity to the formula itself. Did you use any type of detergent or skin cleaner to remove the milk crust? What did you use to wipe Simone's fur such as a sponge or cloth. Sometimes the detergent used to launder a towel or what ever you used to wipe the fur may in itself cause the Squirrel's skin to become sensitized to it. Are you currently applying anything to Simone's neck? Another thought; is Simone kept with her sister? If so, it may be a form of what is called "barbering." That is behavior in which a Squirrel may chew on her own fur or the fur of a littermate (it doesn't appear that Simone could reach this area herself so I'm wondering about her sister). If the sister is barbering Simone this may have started with you wiping the milk crust and Simone's sister focused on that region of Simone's skin because of the smell and/or taste of what ever it was that you used to clean the "milk crust."
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Thank you so much for your quick response Sam the Squirrel,
    Ďmilk crustí I was referring to exactly what you describe. The formula I was using was Esbilac puppy (powdered version) but for the last two weeks I did a switch to Fox Valley 20/50.
    I used a kitchen towel and water to clean her chin but after the fur fell, I thought the towel could have been too rough so I decided to change to cotton and water. I machine wash the towels with regular clothing detergent.
    When the fur fell I applied Desitin for a week until the skin looked without Ďrashí. I thought that the fur would start growing back slowly but the opposite is happening. Yesterday I was able to get Neosporin just in case it is a bacterial issue but havenít used any.

    Simone has been sharing cage with her sister Theodora all the time (I thought they were male, like ĎAlvin and The Shipmunksí sorry!).

    Barbering is in fact true because Iíve seen her scratch her chin with her hind legs, and I read the Desitin would cause them to lick the area. One important detail is that she has also lost the fur in the upper/inner side of her upper legs (hands and wrists).

    Another important detail is that I introduced solid food on week 8 (Henryís healthy blocks) instead of week 6 as recommended. for lack of availability. I fed them for a week and just now introduced vegetables. I want to introduce the remaining solid food (nuts, fruit, etc.) ASAP, but Iím not sure how much time I should wait after the vegetables. Could you please recommend when it would be appropriate?

    Lastly, I took them to the vet twice already, first just after rescuing them because they had diarrhea, and last 2 weeks ago for follow up and testing their feces for parasites (the results came back negative). The vet saw her chin then and said that if it didnít get better she would have to scrape a skin sample for testing, but havenít done that yet.

    Thank you so much again for your fast and valuable feedback.

    Warmest Regards,

    Squirrel Nut

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hi Squirrel Nut:
    Thanks for visiting TSB! Sorry to hear about Simone's hair loss! When you say a "milk crust," are you referring to milk that dribbled from Simone's mouth while being fed and collected in the fur on the underside of her neck? If so, what formula are you using or if you mix up formula yourself, what are the ingredients? This fur loss seems more than coincidental and I suspect some sort of skin sensitivity to what ever was used to remove the "milk crust" or even a skin sensitivity to the formula itself. Did you use any type of detergent or skin cleaner to remove the milk crust? What did you use to wipe Simone's fur such as a sponge or cloth. Sometimes the detergent used to launder a towel or what ever you used to wipe the fur may in itself cause the Squirrel's skin to become sensitized to it. Are you currently applying anything to Simone's neck? Another thought; is Simone kept with her sister? If so, it may be a form of what is called "barbering." That is behavior in which a Squirrel may chew on her own fur or the fur of a littermate (it doesn't appear that Simone could reach this area herself so I'm wondering about her sister). If the sister is barbering Simone this may have started with you wiping the milk crust and Simone's sister focused on that region of Simone's skin because of the smell and/or taste of what ever it was that you used to clean the "milk crust."
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Here is a video of them today eating a tomato and a Henry Healthy block:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wtd17iyxlo...odora.MP4?dl=0

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Hi Squirrel Nut.
    I only have a moment as I am workinv but I noticed where you have obtained Neosporin but had not yet used it. I would like to recommend against using the Neosporin as it contains the antibiotic neomycin. Of all of the topical antibiotics, neomycin is one most likely to cause a skin reaction. These can be so severe it can be impossible to differentiate it from an infection just by looking at it! Also, it doesn't appear that Simone's hair loss is secondary to a bacterial infection. Your Vet's plan for obtaining a skin scraping is good because it can evaluate for yeast. I still believe the hair loss is from some hypersensitivity reaction but that is simply my impression.

    Others on TSB may also give their valuable commentary. I'll check back when I return home.
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Charley Chuckles (03-31-2023), Mel1959 (03-31-2023), Squirrel nut (03-31-2023)

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Donít be in a hurry to wean your babies off formula. Let them do it when theyíre ready. Weaning will happen when they begin to consume more solid foods. The formula is your guarantee that they are getting good nutrition. Also, itís best to avoid nuts until they are in a release cage. Nuts are counterproductive to good nutrition. Many squirrels will also stash nuts and become aggressive over their stashes.

    As for the fur loss. Have you given the squirrel a bath to be sure all the dried formula is off her? You can use a mild baby soap on her just be sure you dry her well and keep her warm. After every milk feeding itís imperative that you wash any milk off their fur immediately. If youíre not getting all the milk off after every feeding it could explain why the fur loss seems to be spreading.

    Try rubbing some coconut oil into the skin and surrounding fur. Coconut oil will help protect the skin and has anti-fungal properties. It wonít harm them if they ingest it. I also think it encourages hair growth, but thatís my opinion.

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Hello Sam the Squirrel!!
    Thank you so much for your feedback, very precious to me. I just got back from taking Simone and Theodora to the vet (Theodora also had some loss of fur in the chin but in a lesser degree). The vet scraped them both, but Simone couldn't get it right because she wouldn't let it, however, she took a better sample from Theodora where she found mite eggs. She told us that the treatment is ivermectin (place a small drop in the neck and repeat every 15 days and see how they evolve, she does this at the clinic). That she she concludes that they share the same condition, and that most likely Simone will be showing improvement as evidence soon.

    Thank God I didn't use the Neosporin. After each feeding, their front paws are washed and a damp cotton is wiped over their face and neck, and then the wet areas are dried. I bought very soft fleece microfiber cloth for that and to put inside of their nesting box. We have never tried bathing so I don't know what that procedure would be like, because they are exploring and are super restless; but if that is the best alternative, Iím willing to give it a try! Thanks also for the coconut oil tip. Considering the vetís result would that be still recommended?

    Good to know about not rushing through weaning! They are drinking the fox valley 20/50 well, so I already ordered more to never run out of because shipping takes at least a week for stuff to get here. I have also seen them with the blocks and some vegetables, so that sense, I think we're doing well.

    Squirrel Nut

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Donít be in a hurry to wean your babies off formula. Let them do it when theyíre ready. Weaning will happen when they begin to consume more solid foods. The formula is your guarantee that they are getting good nutrition. Also, itís best to avoid nuts until they are in a release cage. Nuts are counterproductive to good nutrition. Many squirrels will also stash nuts and become aggressive over their stashes.

    As for the fur loss. Have you given the squirrel a bath to be sure all the dried formula is off her? You can use a mild baby soap on her just be sure you dry her well and keep her warm. After every milk feeding itís imperative that you wash any milk off their fur immediately. If youíre not getting all the milk off after every feeding it could explain why the fur loss seems to be spreading.

    Try rubbing some coconut oil into the skin and surrounding fur. Coconut oil will help protect the skin and has anti-fungal properties. It wonít harm them if they ingest it. I also think it encourages hair growth, but thatís my opinion.

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Hi Squirrel Nut:
    I have been very busy with work this past few days and have had minimal time to stay in touch on TSB. Mel has provided some very good advice! In regard to diet and weaning; weaning is a process, not a moment's decision! Weaning itself is where use of formula is discontinued and the baby is is given other food instead this should never be abrupt and should be controlled by the Squirrel and only facilitated by you! Before weaning can be successful, the baby must be eating blocks! You are giving Henry Healthy Blocks (HHB) and that is a fine choice. Other quality blocks such as Envigo 2018 or Mazuri Rat and Mouse Diet are excellent choices as well. The baby should be eating the blocks and should NOT be getting any other solid food beside the blocks until you can be certain that they have accepted the blocks into there dietary intake along with the formula. In my opinion, the babies should be observed to be eating Blocks regularly for at least a week before any of the Healthy Vegetables are offered. It also needs to be pointed out that HHB are never to be free-fed. Free feeding is where the blocks are placed in the cage and the Squirrel is free to eat as much as desired. Envigo and Mazuri blocks can be free-fed. Henry's must be limited to usually 2 block and never more than 3. Two HHB which Henry's cuts to ensure that two will weigh approximately 10 grams will actually provide ALL of the necessary nutrional requirements including vitamins and enough Calcium to prevent development of Metabolic Bone Disease! The only thing that HHB does not provide is enough actual "bulk" to satisfy hunger! Remember that two HHB weighs only 10 grams! That is primarily where the addition of the Healthy Vegetables is really a necessity. For Squirrels destined for soft-release, my suggestion would be never give any of the fruits and especially no nuts until as Mel has stated, possibly occasionally and only when they are in the release cage. If you "break down" and give fruits or worse yet nuts before the baby has convincingly accepted the blocks and is readily eating them, you will most likely need to resort to "tough love" to get them back to eating the Blocks. Regardless, the fruits and nuts should be offered rarely and in the form of a treat and NEVER free-fed!.

    During this time, usually around 6 weeks, a source clean pure (nothing added to the water) needs to be made available. Usually this is a high quality water bottle that must be maintained and determined to be operational on a daily basis! I use 2 water bottles in each cage to minimize the likelihood of a malfunction resulting in deprivation of water. During weaning (which is again a protracted process facilitated by you but controlled by the Squirrel) the baby is still getting fluid with the formula. The Squirrel will eventually stop taking formula but it often takes 4 months or more for this to occur. Even after the Squirrel has apparently abandoned the formula, it should still be offered for another week or so as some little ones change the minds or decide to opt for some additional formula here and there and the added fluids and nutrition are still valuable.

    Another thing to begin once the Squirrel reaches 6 weeks is transition to a larger cage. Well, there is the "stuff" in a "nutshell!"

    I'm, glad that Simone and Theodora got in to be seen by the Vet and also that a skin scraping was done. Although the absence of findings on a skin scraping does not rule out yeast or parasites such as mites, it can commonly make for a diagnosis if evidence of these conditions are seen. Apparently your Vet found eggs which must be considered diagnostic! The hair loss to me does not really appear typical for mange which is classically associated with a somewhat thickened skin with evidence of local inflammation along with scratching from itching but I would certainly follow the recommendations of the Vet! Hopefully the fur will begin to regrow soon but this will take weeks to several months to fully resolve!

    I too am glad you did not use the Neosporin!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Hello again Squirrel Nut:
    I will make this post much more concise than my my last. I noticed your question about bathing, etc and just wanted to post my suggestions about this. Since both Simone and Theodora are now under the care of a Vet and this Vet has prescribed some definitive treatment for a diagnosis that he has rendered based upon the eggs seen in the skin scrapings; my recommendation in light of this is to discuss any further treatment or interventions with the Vet and getting his opinion and approval. The Vet will expect this (or at least hope for this) as there should not be any variables that are introduced without the treating Veterinarian being made aware of them beforehand and preferably approving of them. I would recommend against applying anything to the skin of either Squirrel unless the Vet knows and agrees. That being said, I would always gently remove any formula that has leaked on to the skin or fur with gentle warm water and then gently pat it dry with a clean washcloth. Do not rub it dry.
    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL



    I agree. Follow the vets recommendations and donít bathe or put coconut oil on them unless the vet recommends it.

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Dear Sam the Squirrel and Mel 1959,

    Please excuse my late response, I also have been super busy dedicating a lot of time to take care of Simone and Theodora, getting them out of the cage to exercise twice daily, etc., going to work but thank God I have my wife and help at home.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions despite being busy. I’m amazed with your feedback, for you have hit the mark in everything. The ivermectin is only a droplet every 15 days on the back of the neck and it will protect their whole body from mites, since that was what appeared in the scraping. There was no evidence of fungal infection, scabies or any bacteria so it seems that your observation about a possible reaction is what happened to them. My wife also remembered that she used baby wipes to clean their chin after feeding, and I read the label and discovered they had alcohol among other ingredients, so that could have been what caused a hypersensitive skin reaction, besides not cleaning the milk well enough.
    Also we started the warm baths to clean them and they are doing great. I dry and cuddle them with a soft microfiber towel and they get relaxed and sleepy. Both already have healthy looking fur growing back where it had fallen! Click to see video:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/sq6zx8xd45..._4413.mov?dl=0

    With regard to food by (WEEK 8) I found out that I was late in the introduction of solid foods according to the feeding chart schedule that was suggested to me because the Henry’s Healthy Blocks were going to arrive here 10 days later (see attached feeding chart). AT that time I asked for help (click to see forum:
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...ferrerid=39347

    It was suggested to me that it was better to give them vegetables from ‘Group 1’ of the ‘Squirrel Healthy Feeding Chart’ so that they could ‘shred’ in the meantime until the HHB arrived and then swap the vegetables for exclusively HHB for like a week until they acquired a taste for them. So I did that but Simone and Theodora showed very little interest for them. (see attached feeding chart)
    After that (early week 10) my wife was mistakingly feeding them HHB 1 hour before anything else in the morning, vegetables 2nd, and Fox V. 20/50 formula 3rd, and the squirrels waited for the vegetables and totally ignoring the HHB. When I noticed that we corrected that and started leaving the vegetables for after the formula. But in all this time we have noticed that they don't like the HHB, they hardly eat any, sometimes they don't even try them. By (late week 10) we introduced the ‘Group 2’ & ‘Group 3’ food of the ‘Squirrel Healthy Feeding Chart’, which included fruit 2 times a day (1 green seedless grape fo each, 1 small mango slice or a slice of banana for each; (never nuts or anything else). Now we are already on day 4 of implementing the “tough love" protocol to "force" them to eat the HHB, but I fear that they are going on ‘hunger strike’ and only feeding on formula. I ordered the other 2 nutritional blocks that you suggested to see if maybe they like any of them. Today we will get a 2nd bottle of water because we only have 1 and friday night Theodora went pee with a pinkish trace. I took a sample of it put it in the fridge and took it to the vet yesterday. She analized it and said that it didn’t show anything unusual besides some cristals wich she associates to her diet and lack of hydration, and a lot of bacteria which she predicts that it is because I took the sample from the floor. Could this be consequential to the “tough love” diet? I estimated by week the daily average weight gain of Simone and Theodora and they have slowed down a lot and I feel worried. Here are the results:

    WEEK SIMONE/ weight gain THEODORA/ weight gain
    8 183-208 gr (3.57gr/day) 211-232 gr (3.0gr/day)
    9 211-232 gr (3gr/day) 234-248 gr (2.0gr/day)
    10 236-263 gr (3.86gr/day) 251-272 gr (3.0gr/day)
    11 263-267 gr (.57gr/day) 272-280 gr (1.14gr/day)

    SHARING CAGE
    On another note, I’m reminded of a question you asked when Simone an Theodora were 9 weeks old, about whether they shared a cage, because there is something happening with their social behaviour. When the squirrels turned 6 weeks old, I placed the pet kennel were they lived in since 2 weeks old when we rescued them inside of a larger rabbit cage because they started to crawl: and they continued to sleep and nap in the kennel. Then I started to see that they horseplayed inside the kennel and as they got bigger I caught it on video and it concerned me. Click to see video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2lovkkclqc...Week6.mov?dl=0

    Now I'm concerned that Theodora sometimes bullies Simone too rough sometimes. We have seen them fighting over grapes and cherry tomatoes and they chase to bite and scratch and shrill. Last weekend (11th week) we reconditioned a bigger cage we had built for Alvin (our last squirrel we released), because Simone & Theodora had outgrown the rabbit cage. I again put the kennel they were using to sleep and nap inside the new cage and I also put Alvin's old nesting box so that they could choose to sleep separate if they wanted. Nonetheless they both took possesion of the nesting box and abandoned the kennel! After a couple days I thought that the pet kennel was going to be useless and took it out of the cage. Now they are starting their 12th week and for the last 4 days hey are not fighting over solid food because we removed everything except HHB, but they don’t seem comfortable being inside the nesting box at the same time. During the day when one is napping inside the other is napping in the roof and vice versa. When it's time to sleep at night they both go inside , but I have seen Simone at 4am sleeping with half her body hanging out one entrance and Theodora rolled up in a sheet with her rear sticking out the other entrance (see attached photo). I have been looking for another nesting box but haven’t found a wooden one, so on friday I built one out of a transparent plastic container but Simone didnt like it, I think it was because it was see through and she felt exposed & vulnerable. Now I’m building another with a cardboard box, I pray she likes it. Do you have any suggestions on this matter?

    I think that Simone is growing to be extremely anxious because yesterday a caotic event took place and she reacted totally opposite to Theodora. A stray handyman with a drill opened a hole on a masonry wall next to their cage (terrible I know, I was in another room), I heard shrills like their life was on the line, so I sprinted to the rescue of them. When I got to the cage I saw Simone inside the cage shocked, perplexed (like she had lost her motor skills and balance) so I opened the cage to let her out of there but she bounced inside like crazy and went in the nesting box with such arrhithmia that the cage rocked. The curious thing was that meanwhile this happened Theodora stood frozen alert quietly on top of the nesting box. I had to take the nesting box with Simone inside to a quiet peacefull room where they exercie daily and stay with lights dimmed until she decided to come out a few hours later. Meanwhile my wife took Theodora to the vet.

    I know this is a 3 different topic and it can be a lot to comment on, but please at your earliest convenience, give us your feedback. Thanks once again and have a great Sunday!

    Squirrel Nut

    As a bonus here is a video of Simone and Theodora's exercise session:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nsyv21bhuu...ssion.MOV?dl=0
    Last edited by Squirrel nut; 04-16-2023 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Pictures didnt attach

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    Default Re: LOSS OF FUR IN NECK EXTENDING TO CHEST 9 WEEK OLD SQUIRREL

    Here are the attachments, that were'nt uploaded in my last thread.

    SN
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