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Reasons for squirrels to drop dead?

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 03:19 PM
SORRY GUYS, I'm the queen of making new threads the last few days! BUT, you guys know everything :lovestruck:

We found 1 Friday night in the driveway outfront (on the concrete) and then my grandmom found the other one today when she was raking leaves in the back yard.

Does anyone have any explanation for them literally just dropping dead? They had no obvious trauma or injuries. It was as if they were just walking around like LALALA where's mah nuts im a squirreellyy and then were like AHH gaggGGg *dead*. The second one was in the dirt though so it did have maggots on it sorry to say. But same thing.. no wounds or trauma. But it did have some dried stuff around it's mouth.

You know where I'm going with this. Is this rabies? This was at my grandmoms house. But that's only you know, a block away from here and so if it is rabies that's bad. It's SOMETHING weird. She always said she has noticed a decline in squirrels lately. She feeds the birds and the stray cats (I fix them for her now:thumbs up) and usually there's squirrels stealing the food... not lately.


So we think someone or something is killing the squirrels. I called the shelter and asked what they think I should do, and they gave me animal controls number and said just ask him what to do. So I left him a message.

I've got them bagged and they are in an empty trashcan and I want them sent out for testing....

But seriously :confused: It's raining dead squirrels ???

hazelrunpack
October 19th, 2008, 03:39 PM
I suppose it's possible for some virus to be making the rounds, but the only time I've seen a massive die-off of squirrels was when some guy, ticked off at the damage they were doing to his feeders, poisoned some peanuts in the shell and scattered them around for the squirrels to find. :frustrated: Unfortunately, dogs were finding them, too! :sad:

You might want to contact the health department and mention the possibility of testing the squirrels for a poison. Tell them that you're worried that if someone is poisoning them, it's a danger to children! The guy with the peanuts was finally tracked down and stopped when parents became concerned that one of their toddlers might find and eat one of the peanuts...

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 03:45 PM
I am going to make sure they are tested for everything. I'm most concerned it could be rabies. The only other thing I was thinking would be you know, something mosquito or tick borne like west nile or lymes or something. I wouldn't know if those affect squirrels or how.

My ferals are all vaccinated but I currently am in the process of trapping at my grandmoms and have 2 unvaccinated regulars. 1 is neutered, but was too small to have his vaccine and the other one is a female who is a breeder and we've got to get her for the clinic coming up.

hazelrunpack
October 19th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Likely, it's not rabies. Although it's possible for them to get it, I think they're small enough to usually not survive an attack by a rabid animal. :shrug:

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 04:03 PM
My dad touched one of the dead squirrels. Should we be doing anything about that?

Yes, he is an idiot :rolleyes: And I told him not too and told him to go wash his hands afterwards, but who knows with him.

hazelrunpack
October 19th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Just washing his hands is probably good enough. :D Not a good habit to get into, though. I'm guilty, too, though...I've picked up dead animals bare-handed to try to figure out how they've died. :o

rainbow
October 19th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Is it possible they got electrocuted from running across the power lines? We don't have many squirrels around us but it happens to quite a few birds here.

hazelrunpack
October 19th, 2008, 04:14 PM
There's a thought! We've had a few hit bare spots on wires and fry themselves... Any power lines around, kathryn?

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 04:18 PM
There's a thought! We've had a few hit bare spots on wires and fry themselves... Any power lines around, kathryn?

Not close enough to the area where we've found them dead. The one in the driveway... *maybe*, but the one in the backyard no. There's no wires anywhere outback.

That is a good point though. But don't think that's it.

hazelrunpack
October 19th, 2008, 04:30 PM
So we're back to poisoning or disease. :shrug:

:fingerscr that the Health Dept finds something definitive!

badger
October 19th, 2008, 05:06 PM
I think it's probably rat poison.
If it were rabies, wouldn't you see squirrels in various stages of the disease (maybe increased aggression)? Just keeling over and foaming at the mouth is also consistent with poisoning.
Sucks.

Melinda
October 19th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I would vote for 99.9% on the poisoning, this time of year people are putting out poison for mice, we see that so often at the wild life rescue, poisoned squirrels and chipmunks......the only way to tell is by testing the blood, usually though if you see them die (horrible by the way) you will see some spit/drool, by the mouth.....

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 06:18 PM
For the record, it's not my grandmom putting anything poisonous out. The only thing she said was she was having a problem with big black aunts building a hill in the yard, and she sprayed them, but it was the regular aunt spray you always use. And there would be no reason for a squirrel to eat dirt right to end up ingesting the poison ......? It was not sprayed in the area where either squirrel was found.

Chris21711
October 19th, 2008, 06:25 PM
The odd time I have found a dead squirrel in the yard, probably 3 in the 24 years we have been here. No explanation from what I could see, I am 99% sure that it was not poison as we have nothing that even resembles poison around and no neighbours :shrug:

dogcatharmony
October 19th, 2008, 06:42 PM
There was a case in my city just awhile back, people were finding dead squirrels.....it was found out that some moron was putting out antifreeze in small cups to kill them with.

So sad what some people will do.

kathryn
October 19th, 2008, 07:09 PM
There was a case in my city just awhile back, people were finding dead squirrels.....it was found out that some moron was putting out antifreeze in small cups to kill them with.

So sad what some people will do.

Okay. Yeah I was curious if they would drink that.

But UHHH there's stray cats around my grandmoms house as well! I would seriously :censored: erW$^#$^#$%@5 whoever did it if they hurt one of the kitties! My grandmom loves the one cat and calls her Misty and I swear.... anyone hurts Misty they are goin' down!


......
Wait, why would you want to kill squirrels? They are stupid yes.. but in a cute and fuzzy way!

Gail P
October 19th, 2008, 11:40 PM
I was thinking poisoning, or another thought might be someone using them for slingshot practice. Years ago I knew someone who used to buy steel shot to use in a slingshot and he'd go after squirrels. Yes, he was an idiot :loser: A slingshot doesn't have the same power as a gun and I don't think the shot would penetrate, but it could kill them.

ownedbycats
October 20th, 2008, 10:54 AM
Kathryn, you have obviously never dealt with a squirrel invasion if you think they are cute and fuzzy. they like to live in holes. If they can't find natural ones in trees, they will look for ones in your house. If you don't have holes big enough for them to fit through they will make holes. Squirrels are rodents, which means their teeth are constantly growing, and they are constantly chewing. Once in your attic they will chew everything in sight. The things you store up their until its the season to pull them out again, the beams holding your roof up, the electrical wires and possibly causing a short....need i go on?(Not that i think you should kill them, just day dream about them all disappearing far far away.) Sorry i went a little :offtopic:
back to what could be killing the squirrels. It does sound liek poison, but if they have been in someone's attic they may have been chewing on spun fibre glass insulation (also very bad for an animal's chance of living to see another year).

Longblades
October 20th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Were they young squirrels? This spring's babies? By now they would look like adults. Squirrels aren't always successful when they cross the street on telephone lines or jumping from tree to tree. They can miss and drop. They might have internal injuries that allow them time to drag themselves off somewhere before they die.

BenMax
October 20th, 2008, 11:04 AM
Bet you anything they were poisoned. It happened here - ridiculous woman was spraying her garbage with WD-40...

kathryn
October 20th, 2008, 01:18 PM
Were they young squirrels? This spring's babies? By now they would look like adults. Squirrels aren't always successful when they cross the street on telephone lines or jumping from tree to tree. They can miss and drop. They might have internal injuries that allow them time to drag themselves off somewhere before they die.

They were adults, but not old enough to die of natural causes.

I could kill spiders yes... squirrels no. I feel bad just seeing them as road kill :yuck:

dogcatharmony
October 20th, 2008, 01:36 PM
I know how you feel Kathryn......I get so sad when I see the poor fellows that died by getting hit. I always wonder, wow that poor squirrel was crossing a deserted street, that has a speed limit of 10 because of a school zone (but even after hours why would you need to speed in a residential area anyway??) but someone still managed to run over a squirrel.

As for squirrel infestation, well my neighbourhood is hopping with them, guess I just have a different attitude....the stuff I need to replace is just stuff....I don't have a basement and have had to rescue many a critter from under the house. I just can't make any sense of getting angry because a critter is looking for somewhere warm.

Tundra_Queen
October 21st, 2008, 10:40 PM
I was also thinking antifreeze or mice poison.
Cats, dogs, kids love the taste of antifreeze and it only takes like a tiny amount to kill a dog.

I sure hope no one is doing that though, it is so cruel.

It could also be the ant stuff, especially if it has borax in it and is not in a closed up container so only the ants can get at it. I use it to kill ants and I always have a lid taped closed with just a hole big enough for the ants to get in, as it will kill other animals.

If your grandmother sprinkle that stuff around and then the squirrels were burying something in the dirt it was on, then that might be it.

Debbie

kathryn
October 22nd, 2008, 06:41 AM
It was just an ant spray, and she didn't use much.

The dead squirrels are hanging out in an empty trashcan.... animal control hasn't called me back. I needed to get some help for a stray cat as well that I trapped that's injured. Ack, guess he's busy or on vacation.

BabyGirlforever
October 22nd, 2008, 05:40 PM
I see that you are talking about squirrels dropping dead and was wondering if anyone has ever heard of a cat approx 8 years old, perfectly healthy, acting normal - playing, relaxing, eating, etc - just dropping dead???? That is what happened to our beloved BabyGirl last night. Yesterday morning she was playing with us and one of her brothers without any problems. The day went on as the typical day does. She ate dinner, same food as always, same time as always. Just before bed all was well, typical routine, then boom - she fell over dead. No warning signs, nothing. Ever heard of this before??? We are very distraught. Atop loosing our best girl, we just got word of another cat not too far from here same thing happened two weeks ago

ackannard07
October 22nd, 2008, 06:13 PM
Umm, not that your grandmother would put out anything harmful to animals, someone else could have. But I seen this alot in the state of Arkansas, ppl will put out cyanide to kill and keep squarals out of their yards. I know it sounds really bad and I hate that ppl do that, I even lost a kitten when I lived there to the poison and I reported the nieghbors for putting out that horrible poison. The cyanide will make a animal foam at the mouth before death, and it does not take long for the small animal to die, it is a very strong poison for such a small animal. My vet at the time did an obtopsy on my kitty Bootsy, and that is what he found and asked us to bring in one of the dead squarals and found the same answer.

kathryn
October 22nd, 2008, 09:18 PM
Aww that's awful. I hope no one is poisoning critters around here.

I was wondering around the county shelter today helping out and found AN animal control guy, but not the one I was looking for. He asked about powerlines, then was like.. I really have no idea, but dead squirrels aren't going to be top priority for the ACO. Eh, I'll bug him later. I think I'm going to ask my vet tech friend Tara for help at this point.


BabyGirlforever, could it be like what we are trying to figure out now... a poison or a virus or something? Did your kitty go outside?

kandy
October 23rd, 2008, 03:23 PM
We have alot of squirrels in our neighborhood - and I've found dead ones in our yard. I believe that they miss their jump and fall. We do have a fellow down the block that I could easily see putting out poison for them though. Some people get really freaky when 'wildlife' eats their plants or digs in their garden (which squirrels will do). We have a dead tree in our front yard that has been a home for squirrels for many years now - and when my dh had to call a tree service to trim some dead branches off other trees, the guy asked if he'd like the dead one removed. My husband said no, it's home for a group of squirrels and my wife would not appreciate you destroying their home. :thumbs up I was so proud! LOL

In your case, I would suspect poisoning - although a fall is probably not out of the question. I don't blame you for wanting to find out though, if someone is putting poison out, that could be dangerous for any animals or even kids in the neighborhood. :frustrated:

Longblades
October 23rd, 2008, 03:46 PM
dead one removed. My husband said no, it's home for a group of squirrels and my wife would not appreciate you destroying their home. Yay for both of you. That's a peeve for us as well. Dead trees can be home for many species.

lolajack01
June 30th, 2010, 01:09 AM
Its the boubonic plague. Rodents have been dropping dead in Denver and they tested a squirrel and he came back positive for boubonic. so be sure to handle it safely by calling someone to pick it up or use gloves! Dont let your pets around it either!

Tundra_Queen
June 30th, 2010, 03:51 AM
Hi

I would guess poisoning,,poor things. :(

cpietra16
June 30th, 2010, 06:57 AM
this tread is two years old...:shrug: just thought I would point it out.

Tundra_Queen
July 2nd, 2010, 12:17 AM
Oh Crap! Thanks cpietra16 I didn't even look at the date! :laughing::laughing: