How To Help A Squirrel In Shock
Before deciding to release an injured squirrel, make sure it’s in a safe place. Research local wildlife to ensure the area is not overrun by predators. The injured squirrel might take several days to acclimate to its new home, and it may need a few days to re-establish itself. Because of this, you should avoid releasing it near busy roads, intersections, or highways.
CPR for a sick or injured squirrel
There are several steps to take when administering CPR to a sick or injured squirrel. The main goal is to squeeze the heart long enough to get the blood flowing and to keep oxygen flowing to the lungs. While this process is easy for a cat or dog, the chest of a squirrel is not as easily shaped. A baby squirrel is especially susceptible to overheating, so make sure to use caution.
In the first instance, the animal may be in shock, or it may be chilled due to exposure. A hot water bottle can be placed next to the injured animal, a heating pad under the lower half of the cage, or a volunteer small mammal. Once the animal is stabilized, leave the area dark and quiet. The animal will most likely find a way out, and you should not attempt to feed it until it is fully awake. Feeding it at this stage will compromise its health and could cause it to die.
Common diseases that affect squirrels
Squirrels are known to carry a number of diseases. Although few are potentially harmful to humans, some can affect people. Squirrel diseases include tularemia, plague, and ringworm. These are usually transmitted through bites or direct contact with infected squirrels. Some of these diseases mimic symptoms of flu. When untreated, they can be fatal. Some are also infectious, such as rabies.
Acute illness affecting the heart or nervous system can cause elevated heart rate, blisters, respiratory failure, and lack of motor function. If a squirrel becomes sick from a secondary bacterial infection, treatment should be aimed at treating the underlying cause. Treatment of minor injuries can be done with patience, table salt, and antiseptics. In more serious cases, the animal should be transferred to a veterinarian.
Symptoms of a sick or injured squirrel
If you’ve ever come across a squirrel that seems unwell, you’ve probably wondered how to recognize the signs of a sick or injured squirrel. There are several signs to look out for, including broken bones, skin discoloration, and damaged fur. If you notice any of these, take your squirrel to a veterinarian immediately. Some minor injuries can be treated at home, but other serious cases may require immediate veterinary care.
A healthy squirrel is known for its high energy, high precision, and perky behavior. It’s also prone to several illnesses and diseases that aren’t immediately apparent. Look for any changes in the behavior of the squirrel to determine if it’s sick or injured. Be sure to contact the appropriate authorities if you notice any of these symptoms. Remember, a sick or injured squirrel can have rabies, so be sure to seek medical attention for it.
Treatment for a sick or injured squirrel
First, you should isolate the squirrel from other squirrels. If the squirrel has been in contact with other animals, it could be infected by a disease like rabies. You can detect rabies through a stethoscope or by holding its chest to your ear. If the disease is more serious, antibiotics may be prescribed. If the squirrel is contagious, it should be isolated from other squirrels and taken to a veterinarian.
Medications used for livestock do not work on squirrels. If the squirrel has the disease toxoplasmosis, keep the head and upper body out of bedding and hammocks. A cat’s feces can carry toxoplasmosis parasite eggs, which can cause death in a squirrel. Toxoplasmosis is not curable. Treatment for a sick or injured squirrel varies by state, but the basic care page provides information and formula guides.
Transporting a sick or injured squirrel
Luckily, there are some things you can do to make the situation go as smoothly as possible. You may think that the animals you care for are not dangerous, but they do have sharp claws and teeth that can hurt you if you aren’t careful. Therefore, you should use the thickest gloves you can find. Lisette used heavy oven mitts to protect her hands. First, she placed Petrie into a cardboard box and covered it with warm items. The box should be secured with a lid and have air holes in the bottom to keep the squirrel warm.
If you find an injured or sick squirrel, you should not try to catch it and transport it on your own. Squirrels can bite humans, so it’s a good idea to wear a pair of gloves. However, if you can’t find any gloves, you can always wrap a heavy towel or blanket around it. Remember, squirrels are sharp and have powerful jaw muscles that can easily tear through even the thickest leather gloves.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.