When to Seek Medical Attention For Squirrel Bites on Dogs
If you think your dog has been bitten by a squirrel, you should get it checked out at the vet. If the bite was deep enough, the dog could have contracted rabies or Leptospira bacteria, which is a common cause of animal bites and a serious condition. If your dog seems lethargic or sluggish after the bite, he or she should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
In addition to looking for signs of leptospirosis, veterinarians can perform a DNA PCR test to confirm or rule out the presence of the bacteria. This test detects Leptospira DNA in both the dog’s urine and blood. Urine is often preferred over blood because of its greater concentration of bacteria. DNA-PCR tests can take as long as a week to perform, but are less expensive and faster than MAT.
Symptoms of rabies after squirrel bites on dogs vary, but can be similar to those of other diseases. These signs include fever, changes in appetite and urination, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur several days or weeks after the animal has bitten your dog. If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a squirrel, call your veterinarian for testing. A veterinarian will be able to give you the proper treatment.
Leptospira infects rodents
Although it is not possible to infect humans directly with leptospira, the disease can be transmitted between rodents and people through the urine of infected animals. Leptospira bacteria are carried by rodents’ urine, which enters the bloodstream through open wounds and mucous membranes. Inhalation of contaminated air particles can also transmit the disease.
Leptospira infects humans
If your dog has been bitten by a squirrel, it is possible that you are also infected. Infected animals can transmit leptospirosis to humans through their urine. The bacteria can remain active in the environment for weeks, and can eventually lead to serious infections, such as meningitis or Weil’s disease. Leptospirosis is not usually transmitted from person to person, but it can infect humans when they are in direct contact with contaminated water or urine. Animals such as rats, skunks, and opossums are known to carry the bacteria and can cause an outbreak of leptospirosis.
Leptospira infects dogs
The infection is transmitted from one animal to another and most dogs respond well to antibiotic treatment. Treatment involves two phases, the first phase is for the most severe infection and the second phase is for the low-grade lingering infection in carriers. Your veterinarian can explain the treatment options for your dog. If you suspect your dog has contracted the disease, consult your veterinarian right away. Infections are sometimes fatal, but if you notice any symptoms of your dog being ill, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Leptospira infects raccoons
Getting leptospirosis from a raccoon or squirrel bite on a dog is no laughing matter. This bacterial infection is deadly and can result in high fever, diarrhea, vomiting and headaches. In more serious cases, it can cause kidney failure, meningitis, and death. The bacteria is found in the urine of infected animals, including dogs.
Rabies is preventable by prompt and appropriate medical care
Early signs of rabies are similar to many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness. It can take weeks to show symptoms, but can be fatal if untreated. If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by a squirrel, seek immediate medical attention. Early symptoms include pain in the area of the bite. After two to eight weeks, the disease progresses rapidly to a severe form of neurological illness. In most cases, death follows a few days.
Is it ever okay for a dog to play roughly with a squirrel?
No dogs should never play roughly with squirrels.
Why is it important to seek medical attention for a squirrel bite on a dog?
Squirrel bites can transmit rabies and other diseases so it’s important to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.
How can you tell if a squirrel bite is serious?
If the dog is bleeding heavily or if the wound is large and deep the bite is serious and professional medical attention should be sought immediately.
What are some of the symptoms of rabies?
Some symptoms of rabies include fever weakness paralysis seizures and death.
How long does it take for rabies to develop?
It can take anywhere from 10 days to 6 months for rabies to develop.
What should you do if you think your dog has been exposed to rabies?
You should contact your veterinarian immediately and quarantine your dog if possible.
How can you prevent your dog from being exposed to rabies?
You can vaccinate your dog against rabies and avoid letting them come into contact with wild animals.
What are some other diseases that can be transmitted by squirrel bites?
Other diseases that can be transmitted by squirrel bites include tularemia typhus and plague.
How can you tell if a dog has tularemia?
Symptoms of tularemia include fever lethargy loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes.
How can you tell if a dog has typhus?
Symptoms of typhus include fever headache muscle pain and vomiting.
How can you tell if a dog has the plague?
Symptoms of the plague include fever lethargy loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes.
Is there a cure for rabies?
There is no cure for rabies once symptoms have developed.
Is there a cure for tularemia?
There is a cure for tularemia with early diagnosis and treatment.
Is there a cure for typhus?
There is a cure for typhus with early diagnosis and treatment.
Is there a cure for the plague?
There is a cure for the plague with early diagnosis and treatment.
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.