Social Question

Mariah's avatar

What's up with this squirrel (video)?

Asked by Mariah (19073 points ) January 7th, 2012

Video.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to tape the most extreme examples of the behavior, but it’s happening about 3 seconds in. He stops what he’s doing and starts tipping over.

I taped it because this is the second time that I noticed a squirrel doing this in my yard. Is this just something squirrels do, or do you think this is the same one as before?

Is he sick? Just a quirk? Drunk? xD It just struck me as funny.

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26 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I finally saw it…he’s sick. Could it be rabies?

marinelife's avatar

I was thinking possible rabies too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah…it’s always, always a warning sign when a wild animal approaches humans without any caution. I mean, you’re standing right there….he should be running away. I’d call someone, honestly.

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t know about that. I’m always being approached by hungry pigeons and squirrels walking down a crowded sidewalk. I’ve almost stepped on one or two a couple of times, Jeez…

Mariah's avatar

I’m inside, taping through the window. Squirrels come up onto our deck all the time.

marinelife's avatar

@HungryGuy The squirrel keeps tipping to the side.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. OK. (I wish we didn’t have dogs, damn it!) I still think he’s sick.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I would guess sickness, as well. I seem to recall hearing that parasitic infections can cause balance problems in squirrels.

Mariah's avatar

Aw, poor little guy. :( I don’t know how anyone we could call could take care of it, though. There are squirrels everywhere, I think it’d be halfway impossible to find a specific one.

Dutchess_III's avatar

:( Well, squirrels can GET rabies, but it’s rare. I’d stay away from him just in case. So sad, though.

Mariah's avatar

It is true that he seemed a little extra brave, though. My cat walked right up to the window and he didn’t seem to care. Huh.

HungryGuy's avatar

Even if the lopsided squirrel on your deck wasn’t an issue, I hope you have all your animals’ rabies shots up to date.

Mariah's avatar

Oh yeah. Our cats stay inside anyhow, but yeah, the shots are up to date.

HungryGuy's avatar

Then you’re safe from rabies. Don’t worry about the squirrel.

Or put the cats out to chase the wildlife away…

Mariah's avatar

They’re terrified of the outdoors. xD

Coloma's avatar

He has what is called ” wry neck” an inner ear infection that causes loss of balance.
Squirrels do not contract rabies, they can, they are mammals, but smaller mammals that are bitten by a larger rabid predator do not survive to incubate the disease.

Most likely he has wry neck, forget the medical term.

Mariah's avatar

@Coloma Wow! Thanks.

Coloma's avatar

@Mariah

It’s a common illness in rodents and rabbits. :-)

Mariah's avatar

So probably this wasn’t the same squirrel that I saw doing this a few weeks ago. Interesting. I love watching wildlife out my window!

Dutchess_III's avatar

So..do they recover @Coloma?

Coloma's avatar

Not usually without an antibiotic. It is a bacterial type infection and sometimes it remains mild enough to only cause balance issues, but often it is fatal. It is also possible he has some sort of neurological issue, a fall, being dropped by a hawk from up high.

Impossible to say but the symptoms and commonality of the disease in rodents adds up, but no way to be certain of course. :-)

Coloma's avatar

It is also not transmittable to other pets or humans. :-)

Coloma's avatar

As long as I am on an animal trivia roll…possums are the only mammal that does not contract the rabies virus as their body temp. is too low to incubate the disease. Sooo, no worries about possum rabies. However they do have the most teeth ( 52) of any mammal, so don;t get bitten. LOL :-)

syz's avatar

He seems to have some sort of numerologic issue. He may have fallen from a tree and sustained a head injury, he may have an inner ear issue, or a middle ear issue from parasites, but squirrels are not common carriers of rabies.

6rant6's avatar

We have a cat with a temporary (we hope) balance problem after getting his ears cleaned. He does that.

Also, I suppose that squirrels dying of noncontagious things get out there and hunt for food until they can’t.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma Well, did you know that ‘possums are actually extremely passive? They are. I almost sat on one when I was peeing in the woods!

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