Squirrels have different colored fur and hair on their body, which distinguish them from one another, such as Gray squirrels have gray fur, red rodents have red hair, and some have a combination of more than one color.
Why Do Squirrels Have Missing Fur? Squirrels can have missing fur due to fungal infections or dermatophytoses, mange, weak immune system, poor diet, traumatic events, and absence of hair follicles. Female squirrels can pull their fur to build nests for their babies.
They can survive fungal and parasitic diseases under normal weather conditions but face problems in harsh winter weather.
The fur on their bodies helps them in many things, such as maintaining the body temperature, giving them a fluffy look, and protecting the sensitive body organs.
Why do squirrels lose fur from their body and tail?
Rodents lose fur from their body for various reasons, and professionals recommend different treatment methods.
Fungal infection or dermatophytoses
Many fungal infections can cause the squirrels to lose fur from the tail and other body parts, such as dermatophytoses is a fungal infection that causes hair loss in rodents.
They can get fungal infections from the infected human or animal. The fur becomes brittle and starts breaking off the skin, leaving small or large patches on the skin.
These rodents can regrow their fur after recovering from the disease because they have strong immune systems, which can help them recover without medicine.
These fungal infections are not contagious and do not transmit to humans and other animals.
However, the remaining fur on the body is weak and shorter than a healthy squirrel when the rodent has dermatophytoses or other fungal infections.
Disease due to mites or mange
Squirrels carry fleas, ticks, and mites, which can cause different health problems for humans and other animals.
The pests are also not safe for these rodents, as they can cause hair loss problems due to a disease caused by mites in their fur.
Notoedric mange is a disease in rodents due to the mites or parasites, which cause the fur to lose from their bodies and the skin gets darker.
They feel itching all over the skin and scab different body parts, which causes the hair to break off and patches on different body portions.
The mites suck blood from animal bodies and cause itching and many other problems in changing weather.
Weak immune system
Rodents with weak immune systems can get different diseases and start losing hair from their bodies and tails. They cannot recover soon from the infection and are more prone to infections.
A healthy immune system is necessary for fighting the changing environment and health conditions. The germs attack weak rodents, and their immune system cannot resist the disease-causing germs and loose fur or other health problems according to the disease they get.
Skin infections also cause them to lose their hair if you do not treat them immediately, and plan patches appear on their bodies.
Baby squirrels have sensitive immune systems and can lose hair from the tail or belly if they get a disease.
A healthy diet is one of the most essential factors contributing to the overall appearance and rodent health. Hair or fur growth needs protein and a nutrient-rich diet, such as meat, eggs, nuts, and vegetable seeds.
An improper and inadequate diet can cause many problems, including hair loss from their bodies, which leads to other issues.
Baby squirrels need a high-nutrient diet to grow hair on the body and tail, and they can have less bushy tail and fluffy body hair if they do not get a good diet.
My friend has a pet squirrel, and it started losing fur from the under-belly side. He consulted a Vet, and the reason he discovered examining the rodent, was a poor protein diet.
It is better to feed them in the house or yard with healthy to keep their immune system healthy and fur on their bodies.
A healthy diet can help them to regrow the hair on their bodies if they do not have other diseases related to skin and hair.
Female squirrels pull hair to build a nest
Female squirrels build nests for their babies when they are about to give birth because they want to protect their young ones from predators and harsh environments.
They pull out the fur from their shoulders to add insulation and structure to their nest when the spring season arrives.
You can observe these rodents with patches around their shoulders to line up the living area if no warm material is nearby.
The predators like owls, hawks, dogs, snakes, foxes, and eagles can attack squirrels to prey on them or snatch their food.
These rodents roam in the wild, searching for food and crossing paths. The predators can attack them, and these rodents can get injuries.
These traumatic events also cause these rodents to lose hair from the injured body parts, such as the bruises, marks, and scraps that get infected.
The hair does not grow on the infected and injured body parts and causes small patches with exposed skin.
The predators can again attack the rodent on exposed skin areas, which causes it difficult for these rodents to regrow hair on the injured body parts.
Hair and fur loss in these rodents can be due to inherited conditions, such as some rodents having fewer follicles; therefore, the bodies do not have thick fur.
Hair follicles are absent, which causes more exposed skin and less hair. The hair follicles help hair growth, and these follicles are present all over the rodent body.
These inherited conditions are not dangerous for these rodents, but they can face problems due to less hair growth, such as difficulty maintaining body temperature.
Can squirrels survive without fur or hair on their bodies?
They can survive with less hair in suitable weather conditions but die or encounter exhausting situations in harsh weather, such as snowfall and winter.
Squirrels with fungal or parasite disease can survive without much hair, but it is fatal if the weather is too cold. They cannot maintain their body temperature because the skin is more exposed to cold winds.
The rodents with severe pest infestation and fungal infections cannot survive and die if they build nests in cold areas without a suitable warm place.
They can lose their appetite and energy level, which causes them to become lazy and uncomfortable and affecting their daily activities.
Moreover, there are more chances of severe injuries from predators because fur can protect sensitive body organs and helps them to camouflage in a different environment.
Is squirrel mange contagious to humans and other squirrels?
Mange is a parasitic disease specific to the host and does not spread to non-specific hosts, such as humans, dogs, cats, and other animals.
The mites can bite on human and animal skin, but cases of mange transmission in humans and animals are not yet reported.
However, it can be contagious for other squirrels, as they can get the disease from siblings and other species if they come in contact with them.
The squirrels getting the disease from others can recover soon if it has a strong immune system and a suitable environment. It can get severe if the disease attacks the baby rodent.
How do you get rid of mange in squirrels?
They can overcome the disease without medication because their immune system is designed to deal with fungal and parasitic infections.
However, you can feed them raw coconut chunks and other high-nutrient food sources. You can get an insecticide after consulting the Vet to remove the mites.
You can also use coconut oil to control the fungal infection and provide a soothing effect on the rodent’s skin. People also home treat the pet squirrel using the medicine ivermectin, which removes the mites from its skin and treats the disease.
It is better to take the pet rodent to a veterinarian before feeding or applying medicine because they can examine the pet more precisely and recommend the treatment according to its condition.