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better place one squirrel at a time

Squirrel Diseases & Illness

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).  


Veterinary advice is not always available when you need it. Consider consulting with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or posting on the emergency help forum like The Squirrel Board (see sidebar).

Recommended Reading

Links and other helpful resources to assist you in finding qualified help for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Locate a Wildlife Rehabilitator
Find a Rehabilitator
Supportive Care
Supportive Care

No matter the nature of the illness or injury,  providing the squirrel with good supportive care will enhance the rehabilitation  process and make recovery less stressful.

Teeth Issues
Teeth Issues

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

Viral Infections Viral

Topics include squirrel pox, west Nile virus, Encephalomyocarditis, rabies and more.


Additional discussion on signs of illness, treatment agents, and cross-contamination avoidance.

Bacterial Infections Viral

Topics include Absess, Bacteria common in animal bites, Leptospirosis and Plague.


Additional discussion on signs of illness, treatment agents, and cross-contamination avoidance.

The Squirrel board is a free website where squirrel owners, rehabilitators, veterinarians, experts and novices alike post information on topics related to everything squirrel. It is an active community and a single source of vast amounts of information.  If you have a problem or question, consider posting on one of their forums.


Join The Squirrel Board


Feeding-Related 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..

Metabolic Bone Disease

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

Metabolic Bone Disease

Zoonotic diseases are illnesses that can be passed from animals to humans.  A few apply to squirrels!

Zoonotic Diseases