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Cher, Pet Caregiver 40+yrs
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 20849
Experience:  Specialist in Pet Healthcare and Behavior
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I was in the park feeding birds and Squirrels. One squirrel

Customer Question

I was in the park feeding birds and Squirrels. One squirrel which was running round without any problem rolled over, had a fit and died with in minutes. Later I had a look at him, he was bleeding from his ear. What would be the possible cause of death? please let me know
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hi, and thanks for your question and your patience; I see that you posted a while ago, and apologize for the delay.

From your description, it's possible that the squirrel had a stroke and this caused the symptoms you observed. It's also possible that he had ingested a toxin, which caused the seizure and then, ultimately, his demise.

It's very kind of you to feed the birds and squirrels in the park, and this is indeed, as sad occurrence. My sympathies.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi TYhanks for the reply,


If he accidently ate tonin, would he bleed for just one ear? My cousin is an Medial Doctor who don't think he had toxin.


I was alos advised that stroke is normally caused by a blood clot. He was bleeding, so am not sure.

Expert:  Cher replied 7 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome. Thanks for your patience, as I was not online when you responded.

If he had a blood clot that ruptured in his brain, he would bleed from the ear. He also could have been injured earlier, and this is what caused his seizure and bleeding from the ear.

If he had eaten from the ground that was recently fertilized and/or if he had ingested poison like Strychnine, this causes severe convulsions.

"Strychnine (gopher/squirrel) poisons: This is the most potent and fast acting poison that causes severe convulsions. The seizures from strychnine poison can be so severe that the animal stops breathing."

Other poisons, including rodent poison, will cause an animal to bleed out, internally, and that could have caused the blood from the ear, too. There are just so many possibilities, it would be difficult to say for sure what happened, but all the possibilities I mentioned, are to be considered.

Also, West Nile Virus has been killing squirrels in various areas, and this causes neurological symptoms, like seizures.

If it were possible to bring this squirrel to a vet for a post mortem (necropsy), you'd be able to find out the cause of death, but since it wasn't your pet, I assume you can't do that. With an animal in the wild (not a pet), all you can do is take an educated guess, as to to what happened, and everything I mentioned are possible causes of death for this poor, furry fellow.


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