What to Do If a Baby Squirrel Bites You
If you are bitten by a baby squirrel, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are some tips:
Symptoms of a bacterial infection
The first thing to do if your child has been bitten by a baby squirrel is to seek medical attention. While there’s a possibility that you’ll contract a bacterial infection, the good news is that treatment is not difficult. You should keep these signs in mind: the signs of a bacterial infection include localized pain and licking or chewing the area. If the bite is on a particular limb, you may notice the child favoring that limb. Another symptom to watch for is rubbing or shaking an ear. These signs are also indicative of parasites or viruses.
Tularemia is an inflammatory bacterium that affects the skin and lymph nodes. It may cause skin ulceration and fever, and may also lead to swollen lymph nodes. It can also cause diarrhea, muscle pain, and lethargy. However, fortunately, these symptoms are not severe and can disappear on their own within a few days.
If your child becomes ill due to the bite, it is important to visit the hospital immediately. If the wound is large and bleeding profusely, it could become infected. In this case, it would be better to contact your local public health agency and seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may need to have the wound opened and the pus removed, as well as antibiotics.
Treatment of a bacterial infection
A bacterial infection can occur after a baby squirrel bites you, but treatment will depend on the exact cause. Bacterial infections are typically treated with antibiotics. An infection may also be caused by trauma to the skin. This may be a splinter, an abrasion, a puncture, or a bite wound. The wounds can be anywhere on the squirrel’s body. If you suspect a squirrel bite, seek immediate veterinary care.
The bite wounds of squirrels are often hard to detect, as tissue quickly closes over the bite site. However, an abscess will eventually form, looking like a soft lump. Other early symptoms include a lack of appetite, pain with movement, and tiny red patches on the skin. If left untreated, the infection could lead to blood poisoning and even septicemia.
To prevent the spread of the disease, you should try to avoid contact with the animal’s waste. While brushing your teeth, always avoid touching the squirrel’s skin and droppings. Wear gloves or face masks to reduce the risk of contracting diseases. Besides, do not forget to let the baby squirrel out of the cage if it closes its eyes. While you wait for the mother squirrel to come back, you should also make sure that she does not abandon her babies.
Keeping a baby squirrel warm
If you find a baby squirrel, you can put it in a saucer-like nest or place a hot water bottle inside it to keep it warm. You can also place a soft cloth over the squirrel and wrap it in a thick, warm sweater. However, you must take care to avoid scratching the squirrel’s nail. This way, the mother will not realize that you are the caregiver of a baby squirrel. If you want to keep your baby squirrel safe, keep in mind that she may not recognize you as the caregiver, and she may be preparing a new nest for her new baby.
After the bite, try to keep the baby squirrel warm by gently stroking it with a wet cloth. Try to imitate how the mother would lick her baby to keep it warm. During the first few days, the baby squirrel will be unable to recognize the temperature of her body. Keeping a baby squirrel warm is essential for its health and survival. If the squirrel bites you, try to make it as comfortable as possible by keeping it in a warm room.
You can also try placing a heating pad under the squirrel’s cage. A heating pad with low heat works well. An old shirt also works well. If you cannot find a heated source, keep it under an old shirt or smooth cloth. A squirrel’s body temperature is normally around 96-101 degrees F. Keeping a baby squirrel warm should be done by a licensed rehabilitator.
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.