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Eastern Gray Squirrel, Molting or with Mange (#2571)

Eastern Gray Squirrel, Molting or with Mange
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copyright © 2002 Chris Gregerson. Available format: 4 megapixel (2272 x 1704 total resolution)
picture date: 2002-11-17


This is a squirrel I decided to call "Patches", due to the fur missing from his back. I think it's due to Fall molting, but it might be mange (the loss of fur due to a parasite).

He is outside mt patio door, looking at me and my camera.



  • Lisa   Portland, OR -- 2004-02-08

    I found this photo while searching for skin diseases on squirrels. It is February here now, and one of our regular backyard squirrels looks like this picture! It isn't fall molting; it has to be mange. I am wondering if he is doomed...

  • Stella   Illinois -- 2004-02-16

    I also found this site while looking for squirrel diseases. We have a brown squirrel that comes on our balcony and he/she has some bald spots on its upper legs, belly and part of its back. It's still cold here and I'm kinda worried this little guy may get hypothermia. I would knit him a little coat if he would wear it!!

  • Chris Gregerson   Minneapolis, MN -- 2004-02-16

    I see squirrels with missing fur so often now, I've given up trying to figure out the various causes.
    I have been convinced a squirrel has mange, but then see there are bite marks at the center and it appears to be from an attack. Most have recovered their fur and I never know the cause.

  • Larry Gaylor   Lyndhurst, OH -- 2004-02-18

    Have observed at least three squirrels in the yard since January 1 with missing fur. They all were getting bald around the head and shoulders. This morning when I went out for the paper, I saw tufts of squirrel fur all over the snow. Haven't seen two of the squirrels in about two weeks. Are they gone to squirrel heaven? The third one is still very active and eating tons of sun flower seeds, but it is also very restless. Is it doomed?

  • Ashley   University of Wisconsin-Stout -- 2004-03-25

    I have found this wedsite also by looking at squirrel diseases. I am worried and curious about the nakes squirrels that me and a friend see on the way to and from classes. We thought it would be interesting to find out why these little guys and girls are balding in some spots. We thought it might be due to the nasty waters that we have around here, but now I understand that it may be from mange or attacks. Thanks, and lets hope they get their furs back!

  • Squirrel lover   Madison -- 2004-03-30

    There's a site that says that the hair loss is because of a mange that is caused by mites.

  • Margaret L.   SanAntonio, Tx -- 2004-04-11

    I have been hand feeding "Mama" squirrel for about 3 years. The past few weeks her hair has thinned, and she has scratched herself raw in places. She has also become very thin, and visits via the ground more than by tree. I think her days are numbered and I am going to miss her visits.Letting nature run its course is very hard sometimes.

  • Karen   Illinois -- 2004-05-05

    If there is a website about squirrel parasites and how to treat them, please let me know. I have a mother squirrel who is almost bare.....she keeps scratching herself and just about all of her fur is missing. She has a couple of bloody open wounds where she has scratched so much. She is extremely friendly and I can go right up to her and feed her. I notice there are elongated parasites crawling on her skin. They're medium brown in color and long shaped (larger than a flea)

  • Acorn   cleveland, OH -- 2004-05-19

    Hi, I'm a squirrel who contracted mange when my foster mother released me into her backyard and I mingled with other infested squirrels. Under the guidance of the veterinarian she works with, my mom is treating me every 10 days with Ivermectin. It has been about four months and I look nearly gorgeous again. My mom and I are still good buds so she can easily inject me or just drop the medicine on my back. It works well for us. I just prefer to live outdoors while she stays inside. I know she'll always be there when I knock on the door for peanuts.

  • Dixieangel542   Old Town, Florida -- 2004-05-28

    I am trying to find out what would cause a young squirrel to become parilized. She has been in a cage and really hasn't been in any contact with any other animals. Her cage is outside, but has rat wire around it. My friend recently started feeding her peanuts. Until then it has been sunflower seeds and crackers. It is only her hind legs. She still eats, but not like before. Does anyone have any ideas? Please email me with anything that might help.Thanks she is a little darling.

  • Magie   -- 2004-05-29

    my 6 month old squirrel awoke with his hind legs paralized this morning. any ideas

  • Acorn   Cleveland -- 2004-06-07

    Try searching Chastek's paralysis. Most info is about ferrets but I have come across some sites that believe squirrels can be affected.

  • bnetto   southcarolina -- 2004-09-21

    I've been hand feeding squirrels in my yard for about a year now. Recently I've been seeing these " grape sized " tumor or abcess looking growths. Some individuals have as many as 5 of these. Could these be insect or spider bites? or worse? Any input would be welcome.

  • Ed   Seven Valleys, Pa -- 2004-11-25

    Each winter I feed approximately a dozen grey squirrels around my property. This year, I've noticed one squirrel who is having a tough time keeping his equilibrium. The "tipsy" squirrel otherwise seems to be in good shape with healthy bushy fur and proper weight. Sometimes he has to lay on his belly to eat a peanut because he can't stand erect for any reasonable period. Any one know what the problem could be? He's been that way for a couple of months. I can't imagine how he climb a tree without falling off.

  • Yana   Illinois -- 2005-03-03

    about the 'tumors': from looking at other websites about squirrels, I think it could be sqirrel pox, or fibroma. look, for examlple, on this site:

  • George Wanish   Manitowoc, Wisconsin -- 2005-03-17

    In answer to "Ed" from Seven Valleys, Penna --- I too have at least 12 grey and black squirrels that I feed in my back yard and harbor in my big oak tree...One little guy also loses his equalibrium and simply falls over while eating and just lies there on his side --- he also runs in the snow for about 10 feet and then falls down again ---- the other squirrels pick on the little guy and try to chase him away from the feeder.. I called our Game Warden and he told me it is an incurable neurological disease and that it is a rather rare condition.
    We try to keep it happy by supplying lots of food -- and a heated water dish so he can drink.
    It is very saddening to watch the little guy struggle and be picked on --- but he seems relatively fine and can climb to his nest at the very top of our big oak.....If anyone is interested I can take some digital pictures --- I have many taken with my camcorder..



  • marianne   chicago, illinois -- 2005-08-02

    Very cute squirrel.
    Regarding the missing hair/mange. This past year we moved here to Chicago from the West where we did not have squirrels. This past Winter when the weather turned very cold we started feeding the squirrels. After several weeks we were alarmed when we noticed that all the squirrels started losing their hair in clumps. We had assumed we should feed them peanuts. Concerned about what to do for our cute squirrels we started reseaching help for our little ones. We learned that giving squirrels only peanuts will lead to their hair falling out aka mange. We had forgotten that peanuts are legumes and not a nut. So we immedately stopped giving them peanuts and started giving them a variety of nuts including: walnuts, hazel nuts/fiberts, pecans, and almonds; along with apple pieces and grapes. Over the subsequent weeks we watched as the hair grew back on each and every one...even their skinny tails were once again fluffy. So the key is variety in their diets. Now we have very spoiled, healthy, and happy squirrels. Hope this helps.

  • Squirrel Charmer   UK -- 2005-12-07

    Squirrel food: Paralysis
    I recently hand reared a baby squirrel and after extensive research found that you shouldn't give them too many peanuts or sunflower seed, especially while still growing, as there's not enough calcium for their bones and they get ill.
    Stick to 'proper' (unsalted)nuts like walnuts, brazil etc. Almonds are highest in calcium.

  • Cheryl   -- 2006-03-18

    I raised an orphan squirrel for several months before releasing him in the wild. One day while he was still rather young, he appeared to be taking a seisure. He began clamping down on his tongue and jaw. I put a golfing tee across his teeth to prevent injurying his tongue. After his convulsions slowed down, I gave him several eydroppers of water. I believe he may have been poisoned as he was around a driveway with oil. However that is guessing. He was okay the next day. I got into contact with a lady who specializes in squirrels in the United States. She told me it may have been caused from a nutrient deficiency. Too many black oil sunflower seeds and/or peanuts and not enough variety in the diet. She said it may also be caused from not enough exposure to the sun. I went to the pet store and bought hampster liquid vitamin (a few drops in his fresh water) I also bought guinea pig calcium ice cream cones (came in strawberrry, vanilla and banana, and loaded up his diet with a nice variety of foods such as apple, banana chips, walnuts, almonds, filberts, grapes, broccoli, etc, etc...he was pretty spoiled. The pet store also had cones with different seeds and nuts which had a honey coating and he loved it. As he became older I started buying shelled nuts so he would get use to the nuts he would find when he was released. I never had another problem that way. Although after his release he contacted mange. This parasite burrowed under his skin causing him to itch so bad he lost a lot of fur on his back, and around his eyes. He developed scabbing from itching. I purchased Ivermectin (very potent) from a farm supply store (they carry it for cattle) and (as he was tame) I managed to put 2 tiny droplets on his back where it was bare. After 14 days I reapplied. The mange was gone within a month and his hair grew back completely. I have been told that Ivermectin can be given orally in peanut butter (apparantly tastes really bad) but remember it is potent so it was suggested only a very small couple of drops once every two weeks. I would suggest to everyone with any concerns to contact a wildlife center. Where I live Veterinarians are not legally allowed to treat wildlife. The humane society will contact the ministry of natural resources, who told me if I harbour a squirrel I can be charged and they will come out to uthanize the animal. A wildlife center is the best way to get any decent information in the best interest of the animal. And by the way it is legal to raise squirrels or other animals for a wildlife center. It is unfortunate that we still have poor representation from the ministry.

  • Jamie Welch   Salem, AL -- 2006-10-03

    I recently raised three baby gray squirrels. One day I think a couple of them got into a scuffle because I heard one squeeking and I ran into the room. They all seemed stirred up and one of the girls' back legs were paralyzed. She was shaking bad, and I did the best I could to comfort her. I put her in a little pin on a soft towel with some food and water, but when I came back later she was gone.
    About four days ago I let the other two go outside in a squirrel house they had been using.
    Now yesterday I got the boy away from a small dog that was "playing" with him under the tree. He is alive and doesn't seem to have any puncture wounds, but his back legs are paralyzed.
    I read some of the comments about feeding squirrels a variety of food and not much peanuts, but that's the majority of what my squirrels eat. I am going to change his diet, but I really want to know is this:
    Does this paralysis seem to be caused from shock or calcium defficiency? And most important IS IT TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT?
    I would appreciate any suggestions. If you can tell me anything about this, please email me at Thank you very much.

  • Joey   Iron Mountain, Michigan -- 2006-12-26

    I found a little grey squirrel in the road today and couldn't leave it there. I don't know anything about squirrels and could use all the advise I can get at this point in time. He has some head trama, I am thinking he is, or will be blind. He shakes. He seems to be walking fine. I called the veterinarians in my area and they won't help him because he is from the wild. They wanted to put him down and I just couldn't see that happen. Should I put neosporin on his wounds? Once again any advise will be appreciated. Thank you
    Amanda Marie

  • Shelby   -- 2008-02-28

    I have found a baby sqirrel that my dog has brought up and luckily i told her to spit it has mud stains in its fur,its ear was tore,and he can't move his back legs.He will walk with his front legs and drag his back legs.I hope he will be OK.

  • Jessica Blanchard   Massachusetts -- 2008-05-10

    Help! I've found two baby squirrels, I don't know how old they are, or what to feed them. They came into my posession when their nest was destroyed due to tree killers. So far they have eaten grapes, bananas, and grain products. They have been drinking water out of my daughters play dishes. What should I do with them, and could they make my daughter sick if she handles them?

  • Giorgia   DC -- 2008-07-13

    When it comes to squirrels Clarissa Summers knows everything!
    Check out her website!

  • Linda   North Carolina -- 2008-07-20

    Whenever you find an orphaned or injured baby squirrel, please contact your vet or a licensed rehabilitator in your area.
    Without proper care and the correct diet they can develop metabolic bone disease. Also avoid the temptation of feeding or giving them water. If in shock, chilled, or dehydrated you can make it worse.
    Baby squirrels are also subject to bloating if overfed. Proper portions are calculated according to their weight and age.
    If your vet cannot get you in touch with a licensed rehabilitator in your area, you can find one by searching on the internet.

  • Elmo   Oregon -- 2009-02-26

    I have been feeding a squirrel that showed up a few months ago. It was obese and quite healthy looking. However, it would hop instead of run and kept falling over. During the winter, I noticed that the squirrel was climbing up my neighbor's roof and into their attic vent and spending the night there. The squirrel, which I named Fatty, began losing its fur at an amazing rate. It was having more difficulity getting around and had lost so much weight. I came home today to find Fatty curled up on my porch next to the squirrel feeder. I must say I was quite surprised to see him there so late in the day. Then I noticed he wasn't startled that I had my dog with me. He wouldn't move. Fatty went to heaven, I thought. I had to get my dog in the house and had to get by Fatty in the process. My dog sniffed him out immediately and pushed her nose all over Fatty and tried to drag him in the house by his tail. I was ready to bury Fatty. Had gloves on. Petted him. He was cold, 85% bald and had rigor setting in. I said goodbye. Then he took a breath. Oh my gosh, scared the daylights out of me! He would take a breath about every 2 minutes. I didn't know what to do. I sat with him and petted his tail and told him to let's okay to let go. After about 10-15 terrifying minutes, he took a few closely paced breaths and then his arm dropped from his side and his tail drifted a bit. I think he is gone now. I will buy him after I post this. I'll miss seeing him everyday. Poor Mr. Fatty.
    Does anyone think my dog might have exposed herself to anything that Fatty might have had? I don't know if Fatty's hair loss was due to insulation from the neighbor's attic vent or if it had mange.

  • Linda   Stamford, CT -- 2009-03-07

    I have been feeding a fox squirrel from summertime, 2008 to about two weeks ago (February, 2009). I have been giving her nuts on a daily basis and now she left and I haven't seen her for the two weeks. She wasn't having babies. I was wondering if she left to go someplace else. I am worried. She was really sweet.

  • Tabbycat4us   Ada,Michigan -- 2009-04-30

    I just spotted a squirrel in my yard that has only a few tufts of hair left. Even her tail is almost completely bald.It's wild and i'm pretty sure it's mange I was just wondering if mange is contagious? Should I worry about the other squirrels contracting this?

  • Shari   Ca -- 2009-05-30

    ELMO of Oregon: I was wondering if you found out anything about the squirre? Did your Dog have any kind of reaction from being in contact with the squirrel? I had the same experience today with my White Shepherd only she had killed the poor little thing. I had seen the squirrel for a couple of day's in the back yard. She was so thin and had no fur on her little body and she just would sit there and let you walk up to her. My Yorky bark at her from the patio door and she didn't move. When we heard the poor little thing scream I ran outside and made Spirit drop the squirrel, we buried her in the back yard. Now we are worried about our dog. We just hate this and we love to watch the squirrel playing in the tree and normally the squirrel would have ran.

  • Sandra   Chardon -- 2009-06-05

    I work in Willoughby, Ohio and have noticed a squirrel next to my window that has much fur missing and many, many bumps all over his body including his little face. It breaks my heart to see him like this. Could a change of diet help? I am close to a flat roof where I could place fruit or other foods that could possibly help this squirrel. I have left a message with a local wildlife center. Looking forward to see if they have any answers. Wildlife center just returned my call. Doesn't look good - especially with the bumps. Mange is treatable, but they said it sounds like a pox disease. Hopefully we find him when he passes away. We could give him a proper burial. I work at a funeral home. We already have "Gussy" (a hampster) buried in the rose garden.

  • JP   -- 2010-01-24

    i believe squirrels are plague and they should be eliminated.

  • JA   -- 2010-03-13

    Humans are the biggest plague...

  • ISABEL   NJ -- 2011-02-26

    I recently saw what I think is a squirrel outside my house. It's face and body look like a squirrel but the tail has NO FUR! YUCK! I thought it might be some type of country rat. So I decided to research it. I hope it doesn;t have some type of sickness. Spring is just around the corner and I would like to enjoy the outside with my 2year old without worring about bumping into this freak of nature!

  • Mary   Arco Minnesota -- 2012-03-11

    I live in Arco MN. and have noticed a red squirrel at my sunflower feeder all winter with no hair on its tail, top of its head and back. It seems healthy otherwise. Now I'm seeing other squirrels beginning to develope hairless areas with some red sores. I'm afraid its spreading from the one to the many. I'm looking for a way to treat this problem. Any ideas? These are wild squirrels so if they are to be treated they must be captured in a live cage. Can't do every 10 day treatments.

  • sherrie deal   culpeper, virginia 22701 -- 2012-07-28

    Please tell everyone everywhere about how to cure mange on eastern gray squirrels that appear to be bald or hairless even to the point of being sick. We have a wild one that was so sick he was dying and I found out about ivermectin paste wormer easily obtained cheaply at a animal store. We put a few dabs like a rice pellet in his food he comes to depend on. He eats whole grain bread rolled up into ball with peanut butter inside. After a few treatments for several weeks he grew every bit of his hair back. This is all he can eat because he fell as a baby and cannot chew nuts. We have had him as a wild pet for a year now. Tell Everyone Please. So easy to help them.
    By the way, has anyone ever seen a squirrel with mucus around its nose and mouth that comes and goes. Some days none, some days a lot for months. Squirrel eats but something is causing a reaction for him? Any ideas???? Know its not rabies cause some days he is fine and it has gone on way too long. Thanks

  • Reema   Watford -- 2013-06-14

    I have been feeding my mama squirrel for the past four year named her Frankie. she is very cute and friendly. I have been worried about Frankie because she too has been lossing her fur. Reading everyone comments help me. I love this little creatures and continue feeding them.

  •   -- 2013-08-28

    Paralasis in squirrels can be caused by a condition called MBD. Nuts are the worst thing to feed them. An occasional nut as a treat is fine, but not a diet of them. Please look up this condition and take the steps to help your squirrels. Sweet Potatoes, broccolli, and othe fruits and veggies are very good. I also order Henry's Healthy Squirrel Blocks for her. They have all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Try to give your squirrels calcium ASAP, as that it what they are lacking with the MBD.

  • SquirrlyGirl   PA - USA -- 2014-10-31

    We saw many squirrels with the strange hir loss last year. This year the population is drastically down and instead of 20 - 30 squirrels at the feeders we have 1, maybe 2 or 3 on occasion. It turns out to be mange.

  • ps5456   oakland ne -- 2014-11-02

    We have a squirrel with something wrong. First her tail was just dragging on the ground. Then some hair on the end was gone. But
    Today we saw her and it down to the skin on
    The top of the tail. We need help we dont know what to do?

  • SDB   Canada -- 2015-07-08

    Squirrels also missing fur can be attributed to pregnancy. Mama squirrels often strip fur off of their necks or backs and line their nest for newborns. If you see one with missing fur, see if you can see nipples and its a possible answer, especially in early spring when baby squirrels are first born....i believe, but am not positive, in late fall as well

  • Leslie Stachowski   New Jersey -- 2015-10-20

    I have been feeding a female squirrel since last October. I feed her sunflower seeds. she usually comes 2 times each day and when she sees me she runs to the porch and waits for me to put out seeds. I realized a few months ago that she was a nursing mother but never saw the babies until a few weeks ago. Last week she had a big red blister on her front left paw. She used it to hold the seeds but didn't put any weight on it. I got a trap to get her and take her to our local wildlife center, but she wouldn't get in the trap. The next day the blister was gone and she only had some red areas on her paw and she was hopping around the yard after she ate. I haven't seen her now in 2 days. I saw the babies back in the tree yesterday and she is nowhere to be found. did she leave the area because the babies came back? I don't want her to go. I named her Mommy and she comes when I call for her.

  • Raymond   London, Canada -- 2016-02-20

    It is mid February (I notice that several of the comments have mentioned February) and I have a wild black squirrel (one of many black and grey squirrels I feed in my back yard) who is going bald from his hips to his front shoulders. He is also blind in one eye. In spite of these deficits and the cold weather, he is still very active and eating well. Since the black squirrels are in fact grey squirrels and breed freely with grey squirrels) many black squirrels have grey (or more often) red fur on parts of their bodies. (This is most noticeable in their first year.) The baldness of this squirrel seems to follow what would be the typical reddish patch on some mixed breed black squirrels. This leads me to believe that is moulting rather than mange, unless mange parasites have a preference for red hair. The blindness may be unrelated. Blind or partially blind mammals are not uncommon in my black yard, where they can find food easily and survive. I add this comment only as an observation, not as a solution.

  • Lew   University Toronto -- 2016-04-14

    Just a little clarity on squirrels missing fur !! If you see a squirrel missing fur on it sides and upper back during (almost bald) in Jan-Feb months of Winter, it is a Mother Squirrel using it's fur nesting !!! You can tell the anatomy of a squirrel by darker spots along the length of her white belly (nipples)! Hope this helps !!

  • Lew   -- 2016-04-14

    I feed Acorns, Walnuts, Pecan and Hazelnuts to my wild squirrels !! I also occasionally take calcium carbonate and dust the nuts (shake the nuts in a bag with fine powdered calcium carbonate) Squirrels in the wild feed exclusively on Acorns / Nuts in the Winter and need all the calcium they can get !! In the Spring I concentrate on giving more coconut, apple, pear and various berries other then nuts !! I have been feeding wild squirrels for 3 years now with the same ones coming back !! I have noticed if something is not agreeing with a wild squirrel's diet (hurting them), they will not eat it !! Captive (indoor) squirrels lack a lot of essentials like exercise & sunshine (Vit D) and have completely different diets and nutritional needs!! MBD can effect young indoor squirrels quit easily !! I have not seen any signs, in my short time feeding wild squirrels (3-years now), that exclusively feeding them a nut diet will bring on MBD !! Not in wild squirrels anyway !!

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