VCA Lakeside Animal Hospital

Western Grey Squirrel

By VCA LAkeside
Published: June 20, 2012

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Approximately four years ago Big Bear Valley and neighboring areas experienced a devastating loss of the Western Grey Squirrel. The epidemic apparently started in the Crestline area and moved up into Fawnskin, spreading East though the remainder of the valley.

The infectious agent was determined to be a skin mite causing a mange outbreak in the squirrels. Initially our squirrels were observed to be lethargic, progressing into neurologic signs and skin lesions. Ultimately they became emaciated, and starved to death 3-4 weeks after showing symptoms, no longer having the strength to forage.

Our hospital submitted the first sample of an infected squirrel in April 2011 to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS) due to overwhelming public concern. Since CAHFS involvement, multiple samples have been submitted and a cooperative effort was initiated between VCA Lakeside, the Moonridge Zoo, California Fish and Game, CAHFS, and UC Davis.

A similar outbreak occurred in Washington in 1989 by the same species of mange mite, they have since that time, fully recovered and repopulated.

Our combined intention is to find a cure for this outbreak and by filling in the survey below, we can determine what can be done to help our local Grey Squirrel!

Your help is greatly appreciated.

VCA Lakeside

Survey website: https://sites.google.com/a/ucdavis.edu/san-bernardino-squirrels/

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.

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