Got a Squirrel!!!
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  • Ok, so Tucker and Becca got their first squirrel today…....well with a little help from me and a pellet gun. I start yelling squirrel to them and they blast out the door and onto the ground to find it. Tucker found it first and picked it up and started shaking it, Becca just kind of looked at it and tried to paw it a couple of times. They were both super exicted though.

    Now my question is, it looks like squirrels carry some sort of lice or flea or something and now they have transfered to my dogs. I am going to go and give them a quick bath here pretty quick, but does anyone know if these things will live on my dogs or will they die? or do I need to go buy a flea shampoo? Any info would help immensly. I have already called my vet's office, but it sounded like they didn't get that question every day. She told me to get something called Revolution, which is a topical treatment.

    Any info would be awesome! Thank you.

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    I googled squirrels and fleas and there is something called a rock squirrel flea and it can carry the bacteria that causes the plague. I would do some research and I am sure you will find a picture of this flea to verify if this is the same flea.

    Jennifer

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    I would contact someone in the Alberta Canada wildlife department that could help you. There are many different species of squirrels and they could direct you to a website or give you information about squirrels, fleas and diseases. You might want to take a picture of the squirrel. Did they eat any of it?

    Jennifer

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  • I just gave both of them a good bath in some warm water and scrubbed them down good with doggy shampoo. Looks like whatever the buggies were they didn't handle the warm water at all and when I found them they were dead. There weren't that many on them and I will continue to check them over. I put the blankets they were sleeping on in the washer with hot water. I have googled squirrel parasites and it looks like they might be some sort of flea. They are super tiny, a golish/orangey color and they did have some blood in the ones that I squished. I am going to google some more and see if anything pops up.

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    @krunzer:

    Now my question is, it looks like squirrels carry some sort of lice or flea or something and now they have transfered to my dogs. I am going to go and give them a quick bath here pretty quick, but does anyone know if these things will live on my dogs or will they die? or do I need to go buy a flea shampoo? Any info would help immensly. I have already called my vet's office, but it sounded like they didn't get that question every day. She told me to get something called Revolution, which is a topical treatment.
    Any info would be awesome! Thank you.

    Hmm… one thing about living in cold climates is that there aren't too many parasites, I had to use Revolution on all my dogs last summer as one of them picked up sucking lice, but one thing good about lice is that they're species specific so I don't think squirrel lice will live on a dog. Revolution will kill any lice tough.

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  • Looks like they are both doing well now. I have found nothing else on them since their baths. It is weird though because my parents live an hour north of where I do and one of the dogs on the farm there goes squirrel hunting with my Grandpa. The dog gets the squirrels once on the ground and he has apparently never had problems with fleas or lice. I wonder if it is just where we are that they have these fleas or whatever. I am definately checking them over very well again before we go to bed. But right now no one is itching or pawing at any part of themselves, so I think we are in the clear. So apparently the next time I get a squirrel I will go pick it up and dispose of it before the dogs can get it. I was excited for the dogs to have their first squirrel and going on squirrel hunts with them. Well not if I have to go through this every time!

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  • First Basenji's

    A good solution would be to not allow and encourage the prey, chase, kill. Why did you allow that? Now they really have a taste for it, and it will be hard to discourage. Are the squirrels bothering your feed? chewing your house? etc…. Was this necessary? Look up Bordatella, Leptospirosis, whipworms, hookworms, etc, and Histoplasmosis....Just because you live in a cold climate does not exclude the animals from parasites. They only hibernate.... I certainly would not encourage this....

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  • @Buddys:

    A good solution would be to not allow and encourage the prey, chase, kill. Why did you allow that? Now they really have a taste for it, and it will be hard to discourage. Are the squirrels bothering your feed? chewing your house? etc…. Was this necessary? Look up Bordatella, Leptospirosis, whipworms, hookworms, etc, and Histoplasmosis....Just because you live in a cold climate does not exclude the animals from parasites. They only hibernate.... I certainly would not encourage this....

    ?? Huh? Basenjis are hunters by nature… don't need much, if any encouragement to chase, catch, kill. At least mine don't and we have a ton of squirrels ..... (and would wish for a lot less)

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  • First Basenji's

    You know, I am just not going to get into nature vs nurture. You will do what you want. Good Luck…....

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  • Umm, yeah. I thought this post might offend some people. Sorry if it did! They sit on my bird feeder and eat all of the bird seed. Tucker watches them through the picture window and goes ape-s*** once he seems them and starts pawing at the window and screens. Until I can get him out the doggy door to go chase the squirrel. Squirrels up here are like snakes to where you live. You see a snake, drive faster to hit it and then back over it again to make sure you got it. Or there must be some sort of pest down in FL that you could do without. There are probably more squirrels here than the population of people and they get into everything, especially my holiday trailer. I don't hunt normally but I do hate squirrels.

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  • @krunzer:

    Squirrels up here are like snakes to where you live. You see a snake, drive faster to hit it and then back over it again to make sure you got it.

    Snakes are a bad comparison, IMHO. They are very useful to humans and help keep rodent populations in check. Squirrels, OTOH, are less apparently useful, although a lot cuter. I am very much "live & let live" unless something is causing me grief. Squirrels deplete my bird feeders as well, but also offer some entertainment value, especially when it is windy and they are hanging upside down on the feeder. I allow Perry a chase, but make sure he is unlikely to actually catch the squirrel (typically I alert it so it gets a head start before I open the door). I don't need fleas or anything else, and squirrels are also capable of inflicting a nasty bite, especially when one is fighting for its life. I keep Perry away from stray cats for the same reasons.

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  • I mean more of the snake thing as being poisonous snakes. It is true that snakes do keep the rodent population down, but they are also a hazard as they can be very deadly. So maybe I should more liken squirrels to…...racoons! They are a big pest. Enough of that though.

    Hubby is going to stop by the vets office and pick up some Revolution for the doggies. I found one flea buggie on Becca this morning so we will treat them with that just for safe measures. I called up two vets offices now and they have never encountered this type of problem before. So, as always, yay! I am the lucky one.

    So again, I did not mean to offend anyone. But B's are hunters, it's what they do. I thought it would be fun for them?

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  • Keep an eye on them for tape worms. Vickie Perrine used to have that problem when her crew would catch and eat rabbits on their property. Tape is usually caused by ingesting fleas.

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    I think they would've had more fun if they had caught it themselves!!!!

    My bs have caught their share of little sparrows & squirrels. They caught a little sparrow last Thanksgiving. I guess they wanted bird for supper too!!!

    I, too, had a problem with the squirrels getting into my birdfeeder. I just had to switch which kind of birdfeeder I use and the squirrels can't get onto or in it now. They sit on the fence and chatter at the bs instead!!!!

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  • I already have another squirrel in my yard that the B's have been after all morning. I think i'll wait until the hubby comes home with the Revolution though and next time I won't post that they got a squirrel. Thank you Tanza, I will watch for worms and Becca just got her shots not too long ago and I have her de-worming pills here and she was the one trying to snack on the squirrel before I took it away from her. So I wil give her those in a couple of days. Vickilb….they would have loved to have caught it themselves. I was thinking this may be a safter option so that they don't get bit. That and Tucker has been after this thing for over a year! Thought if he 'caught' it, maybe he wouldn't go so 'squirrely' when he saw the next time. No difference in his behaviour though, he just wants to get that darn squirrel.

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    My Bs scratch at the sliding glass door and whine/cry to get out to chase the animals-normally squirrels and birds. It is instinctive even for the older auction rescues I have had who lived in crates and a building all their lives.

    Jennifer

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  • @krunzer:

    I already have another squirrel in my yard that the B's have been after all morning. I think i'll wait until the hubby comes home with the Revolution though and next time I won't post that they got a squirrel. Thank you Tanza, I will watch for worms and Becca just got her shots not too long ago and I have her de-worming pills here and she was the one trying to snack on the squirrel before I took it away from her. So I wil give her those in a couple of days. Vickilb….they would have loved to have caught it themselves. I was thinking this may be a safter option so that they don't get bit. That and Tucker has been after this thing for over a year! Thought if he 'caught' it, maybe he wouldn't go so 'squirrely' when he saw the next time. No difference in his behaviour though, he just wants to get that darn squirrel.

    Make sure that the pills are for tape worms, that is not what you find in regular worm medicine. It is typically a separate pill that is only for tape worms.

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  • @tanza:

    Make sure that the pills are for tape worms, that is not what you find in regular worm medicine. It is typically a separate pill that is only for tape worms.

    I was not aware of that. Thank you for the info. I finally get my leg cast/brace off and have a Physio appointment in town on Monday so I will also go to the vet's office and get some!

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  • First Basenji's

    Tucker watches them through the picture window and goes ape-s***
    Well, is it fair to him? I meant in the last post that behaviorily- maybe you can direct this 'instinct' to chase just before the kill part of prey drive and give him a GREAT toy to get involved with when that pesky squirrel is in the window. Otherwise, pent up energy and fustration will lead down the path of 'bad behavior' in the household, and then you'll be wondering "why is he doing this???????????????????"
    Or there must be some sort of pest down in FL that you could do without.
    Wow-we can't do without any of them. Not much into nature are you? I wouldn't want to disrupt the ecosystem just because I don't like something…....

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  • I don't know many (any?) dogs that won't chase squirrels, so it isn't because Basenjis are such great hunters or have high prey drive (overused term, in all breeds, these days IMHO) that they want to chase them. Whether or not it is wise to encourage the behaviour is another question. I have no objection to hunting, although I do believe you should use what you kill. (there are lots of good squirrel recipes on line). However, if you want to hunt with your dog you have to accept that there are hazards, some of which are more serious than picking up a few fleas. Even the products you may decide to use to remove the fleas can be hazardous. e.g. there are rare but documented reactions to Revolution. I would be especially careful with a Basenji because of the thorough way they clean themselves….....using their paws as washclothes.

    http://www.vetinfo.com/5-side-effects-of-revolution-for-dogs.html

    Beyond the flea and parasite factor, squirrels can give a nasty bite which might result in a trip to the vet, a disfiguring scar, or worse. All factors to be weighed against allowing your dog some "fun".

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  • @Buddys:

    Tucker watches them through the picture window and goes ape-s***
    Well, is it fair to him? I meant in the last post that behaviorily- maybe you can direct this 'instinct' to chase just before the kill part of prey drive and give him a GREAT toy to get involved with when that pesky squirrel is in the window. Otherwise, pent up energy and fustration will lead down the path of 'bad behavior' in the household, and then you'll be wondering "why is he doing this???????????????????"

    Meaning? Because they are doing what comes natural? Wanting to hunt? And given the choice between living and stuffed, I doubt that any self-respecting Basenji would fall for that choice, even with a window/door inbetween.

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