Squirrels Acting Squirrel-y?

Looks as though the photographer had a couple, himself.

What you describe reminds me of what I saw when the West Nile Virus first hit.
Symptoms in squirrels include “head tilt, uncoordinated movement, paralysis, and tremors.” I saw a lot of squirrels acting that way back then. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot recently. Any outbreaks of West Nile in your area?

That’s interesting,** Alley Dweller**. Thanks. No outbreaks of West Nile around here, that I know of.

It’s been nearly five hours since I made the calls. No one has responded. I guess if the ‘authorities’ don’t care, I suppose I shouldn’t, either. What the hell do these people get paid to do?

If you were in the process of being BB gunned to death, you couldn’t walk straight either.

Yup, my guess is either intoxication from fermented food they are getting somewhere or poisoning, but those really could be symptoms of a squirrel who just had a BB bounced off his skull.

Yeah, but I could hobble over and bite the gunner on the balls. Let’s hope the rodent in question is that intelligent. :slight_smile:

The neighbor that is trying to BB gun it to death, is afraid that the dead one, and the squirrel-y one, are rabid. The squirrel in question was already acting like this before he started shooting BBs at it.
He’s trying to kill it, because he hasn’t kept his little dogs (which aren’t all that much larger than the squirrels) current on their shots, and he and his girlfriend are afraid the dogs will catch rabies from the squirrel, if the squirrel tries to attack them, and bite them. They’re not letting the dogs outside until he’s sure the squirrel is dead.

I have dandy neighbors. Dear Og.

Oh dear Og, that would be wonderfully hilarious! I can only dream that I’d be lucky enough to witness it. :smiley:

Sounds like he has an itchy trigger finger. If he’s torturing it for hours with a BB gun instead of just hitting it with a brick or putting on a glove and throwing it over the fence he isn’t trying to protect his dogs or to take the squirrel out of its misery, he is trying to cause it misery. Maybe he just enjoys shooting them and occasionally you find one that he’s bounced a few BB’s off of but hasn’t quite killed yet.

Drunkenness is possible too, though if that were the case it isn’t dangerous (apart from the BBs) and they would go away as soon as they sobered up (the squirrels that is, not necessarily the neighbors).

Rabies isn’t very likely at all and the squirrel would die by itself pretty quickly if it were actually sick with rabies to the point it displayed that kind of disorientation. If there were a big rabies problem going on in the area and bats or other more common carriers nearby in great enough numbers that multiple squirrels had become infected, then the unvaccinated dogs would be in great danger anyway.

If the other, dead squirrel is still around, you can get it checked for rabies. May not be what it is, but since the animal would need to be dead anyway, it’s useful.
Also, quite a while ago we found a kitten in our old dog house. It was in dire straights - oblivious to the world around it, and whenever you would touch it, it would writhe randomly. It wouldn’t try to get away or anything coordinated, it would just… writhe. We figured it was starving. We gave it some canned cat food and a bowl of water, but it didn’t matter, it was dead by the next morning. Probably far earlier, as it was stricken with rigor mortis when we buried it. It probably wasn’t rabies, as it was just a kitten and was unwounded, so unless it ate something else rabid… But it was way too skinny. Point is, starvation can make you do some pretty crazy things, if the squirrels don’t have access to regular food.