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Top 5 Squirrel Illnesses

& Their Treatments


Much of what we do as wildlife rehabilitators when faced with sick or injured wildlife is to closely follow our veterinarian’s instructions and provide good supportive care in an environment conducive to healing.


Few rehabilitators are veterinarians and we rely heavily on their expertise when it comes to offering the best chance at recovery.  

Your first course of action when you think your squirrel is sick is to take it to a veterinarian, preferably one experienced with wildlife or exotic pets.   Once the animal has been seen and/or treated by a veterinarian, the best thing you can do is provide good supportive care (Reference link below for more information).

“Your first course of action when you think your squirrel is sick is to take it to a veterinarian - preferably one experienced with wildlife or exotic pets.”

If you need information now though and have the ability to treat your squirrel yourself, here are the top 5 most common reasons for illness. Click the links for more detailed descriptions and treatment information.


#1 Teeth Issues

The length and quality of life a squirrel will enjoy is dependant on the health of its teeth.  This article discusses the most serious teeth ailments found in squirrels and what to watch for.

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#2 Infections

Topics include viral infections like Squirrel Pox, West Nile Virus, and, Rabies as well as bacterial Infections like abscesses, Leptospirosis and Plague. Additional discussion on signs of illness, treatment agents, and cross-contamination avoidance.


#3 Open Wounds

Topics include impact injuries, animal bites, and parasites. Additional discussion on treatment, cleaning, and antibiotics.


#4 Metabolic Bone Disease

Learn more about this avoidable nutritional disorder that plagues captive wildlife fed an improper diet.


#5 Feeding Complications

Most digestion and intestinal problems can be traced to improper feeding methods. This section cover diagnosing and correcting feeding problems and provides guidance when veterinary care may be warranted.

Unfortunately, our list may not include your squirrel's specific problem, and veterinary advice is not always available when you need it. If this is the case, consider consulting with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator like us or posting on an emergency help forum like The Squirrel Board.

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