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Rebecca
Rebecca, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14883
Experience:  I have more than 30 years of veterinary practice experience.
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My dog brought in 2 dead squirrels into the house, I found

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My dog brought in 2 dead squirrels into the house, I found a third out on the driveway. We are in close contact with our dogs, what the possible things we need to worry about disease and sickness
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 7 years ago.
Hi JACustomer,
I guess your dog has been busy!

The first thing is to know that your dogs are vaccinated for rabies. Rodents, including squirrels, are not the usual carrier of rabies, but still you should have your dogs current on vaccinations.

Squirrels can carry fleas and ticks, which in turn can carry diseases like Lyme disease (again squirrels are not the main host for the Lyme tick, but still possible), Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, and others. If your dogs wear flea and tick prevention, this should also not be a problem. If they do not, check them closely for these parasites, or give them a flea bath. The signs of most of the tick and flea borne diseases are usually a fever, so if your dog starts acting lethargic or feels warm, have him checked by your veterinarian promptly. These diseases usually respond quickly to antibiotics, but they can be spread to people, so you want to be careful.

In my area (Southwestern US), squirrels can carry plague (yes, plague, the Black Death), but if you are not in the Southwest, this will not be a problem.

Squirrel bites leave a small hole on the skin, but can be very deep and can get infected.

Probably being bitten by one of the squirrels, and getting an infection is the most likely problem with most dog - squirrel encounters. Poor squirrels; I hope they move away or get smarter.

Hope this helps, Rebecca

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I live in south texas, my main concern with the dead squirrels is anything that the dog could carry in that would be dangerous to an immune compromised individual or small children. Yes he is and they are current on all shots and use hartgard and frontline for heartworms and fleas. We have three boston terriers.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 7 years ago.
That would be a question for a physician, not a veterinarian. I can only answer questions about pets.

If the dog is vaccinated, and has been routinely treated for fleas and ticks, he should be safe.

Rebecca
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