Hair loss/Baldness

Tips, experience & advice related to the healthy and not-so-healthy flying squirrel
Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:34 pm

If there is no irritated, bare skin, it is probably a molt gone wild. During a molt, there are usually fine, thin, hairs still visible. Some flyers will rub bald spots by repetitive running, flipping habits, etc.. Some flyers will overgroom (power grooming) areas and remove the hair by "barbering". The new (short) hairs often look lighter when compared to older fur.

According to Dennis Quinter, "If the skin doesn't look red or pink (like an infection) or wet (like a fungus) it is likely fur worn off somehow or just molting that they do twice per year. Molts are more visible sometimes than at other times."

If it's not a molt, is it over-grooming? Is the skin healthy and normal or flaky or red? It could be barbering from cagemates, self or a parsite. Mites can cause loss of hair and ringworm (fungal infection) causes a circular pattern of hair loss. Could also be a problem with their diet. Post pictures if you can. If mites are suspected, best bet it to take him into a vet to have a skin scraping done (a small sample of skin cells scraped from the effectied area is examed under a microscope).
Try to watch for over-grooming of the area and if his protein foods are high, lower them and see if that makes a difference. In rats, it's been noted that they develope a skin condition with elevated levels of protein. Obviously flyers are a different species, so its just a theory.



Frosty and his barbering fashion statement.

Image

Tarjar's molt:
Image


Chuck's molt:
Image

One of Charlie's
Image
Last edited by Joan on Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

squirrely squirrel
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:50 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Arkansas
Contact:

Postby squirrely squirrel » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:49 pm

I didn't know that FS's molted till I just got my youngest, Lilo. My oldest , Stitch,has never molted and she is 2ys old. I thought something was dreadfully wrong with my new baby when I got him. Had to come to the board to find out what was happening. He seems to be doing ok though.

User avatar
Moonsong
Flying Furball
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 8:04 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Wichita, KS
Contact:

Postby Moonsong » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:35 am

Hehe I think the point is that the problem would go away no matter what you put on it or even if you didn't put anything on it. :twisted:
~*~Reesa~*~
Happy Squammy to Tajar and Baxter

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Postby Joan » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:29 pm

Moonsong wrote:Hehe I think the point is that the problem would go away no matter what you put on it or even if you didn't put anything on it. :twisted:


Absolutely, a molt is natural and needs NO treatment.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Mary
NFSA Member
Posts: 874
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:44 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Ohio

Postby Mary » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:08 am

I am glad to find this information. My little 1 yr old Peanut is molting and I was getting concerned. It started at the base of his tail and has a big streak of short black fur going to his neck. His brown top layer of fur is gone. I thought it might be the hole entrance to his nest box rubbing his hair away. It is a 2 inch hole. I know he is getting bigger but not that fat.
It is really strange looking.

Will he lose All his top layer of hair all over? The short hair is black. Will he end up with his beautiful color that he had?

Thanks for any input on this.
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Postby Joan » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:13 am

[quote="Mary"]...Will he lose All his top layer of hair all over?

Usually not

The short hair is black. Will he end up with his beautiful color that he had?

Yes, he will. If you brush his hair backwards, you'll see that the all the hair except the tips are dark.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Deb
NFSA Member
Posts: 2234
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:14 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: east central mississippi

Postby Deb » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:10 am

I'm curious about our furball's molts 'cause they seem to happen at such random times. I mean we do all live in different parts of the country and we prolly all have different temp and humidity factors inside our homes, but geeez, isn't there some coomon conditions that bring on a molt?
And what about the wild flyers? Anyone ever seen a molty one? When? Were the others also molty at the same time?
Just wondering if we should be making an effort to track these patterns and see if there is any difference in flyers that molt and those who don't. The only notable hair loss on any of my 3 so far was a small circle on Molly's left side near her shoulder blade. That was last year in the spring and it didn't happen again this year :scratch:
Maybe we could keep track here on the boards and see what we can discover after a few years. wouldn't it be funny if we found out flyers are healther when they molt regularly? What would we do, put them in the fridge when they are asleep for a few weeks every year!? :rotflol:

Mary
NFSA Member
Posts: 874
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:44 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Ohio

Postby Mary » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:29 am

Deb wrote:I'm curious about our furball's molts 'cause they seem to happen at such random times. I mean we do all live in different parts of the country and we prolly all have different temp and humidity factors inside our homes, but geeez, isn't there some coomon conditions that bring on a molt?
And what about the wild flyers? Anyone ever seen a molty one? When? Were the others also molty at the same time?

How can you see, they are so fast.. :D

Maybe we could keep track here on the boards and see what we can discover after a few years. wouldn't it be funny if we found out flyers are healther when they molt regularly? What would we do, put them in the fridge when they are asleep for a few weeks every year!? :rotflol:


We have a cold Fall going on here.
Peanut started about one week ago and was just losing his hair around the top of his tail. Then a fine line that looked like a part in his hair all the way to the back neck. Now the "part" has widen alot and even more toward the bottom near his tail. All short blank fur. Soft too.

I tried to get pictures but the camera operator did not know what she was doing and they did not take.
I have noticed a difference in his behavior. He wants to be with me alot more. Or could that be because he is spoiled rotten?... Morning, afternoon, or at night..
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Postby Joan » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:42 pm

[quote="Deb"]... And what about the wild flyers? Anyone ever seen a molty one? When? Were the others also molty at the same time?
Just wondering if we should be making an effort to track these patterns and see if there is any difference in flyers that molt and those who don't.

According to Nancy Wells-Gosling, the wild, SFS usually have their first molt by 12 weeks and the juvenile pelt is completely replaced with the tail being last. A partial molt of the head and neck occurs in April/May. Lactating females begin their molt after their spring litter is 3-6 weeks old. Molting begins at the nose and proceeds up the face and along the cheeks. This molt takes 4-6 weeks and is complete when it reaches the base of the neck.
Adult SFS full molts begin in midsummer... July/August. This molt starts at the nose and procedes up and over the head, but does not stop at the neck. It continues down the back in irregular patterns. Lactating females experience this molt later, when the summer litter is close to weaning.


Maybe we could keep track here on the boards and see what we can discover after a few years. wouldn't it be funny if we found out flyers are healther when they molt regularly? What would we do, put them in the fridge when they are asleep for a few weeks every year!? :rotflol:

Might be very interesting to track in our pets and post pictures of the various patterns. Since the molt in spring and summer, we may not have to refrigerate them. :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Deb
NFSA Member
Posts: 2234
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 1:14 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: east central mississippi

Postby Deb » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:42 pm

:oops: oh yeah, thats flower bulbs :silly: Well maybe if we had a flyer that was super-slow to grow hair back after a molt...can we put him in the fridge? :twisted: I mean I just want a reason to make one sleep in the fridge! :twisted:

shadowduet0
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:24 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Alabama

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby shadowduet0 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:00 pm

my both of my flyers have a bald line down the center of their back about a centimeter wide, my female has had it for a couple weeks and my male just got it (his isnt as bald yet)...if this was molting or overgrooming wouldnt it be furry again by now?

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:48 pm

It may be from friction rub ... nest box hole too small or some other way they are scrapping the back repeatedly.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:23 pm

I'm just wondering if this looks like a molt. Penny is about 4 months old and I have her on Judy C's diet (I got her from Judy).

Image

Thanks

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:32 pm

Looks like a first molt. SFS usually have their first molt around 12 weeks.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:44 pm

Thanks, Joan. I was concerned because she's older than 12 weeks, but it does look a lot like some of those other pics.

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:20 pm

Ok, here are pics of Luna's fur loss on her tail. I don't think this is a normal 'molt'. It happened over the summer, grew back in and then it happened again in November and still has not grown back in at all. (I don't know how to put in pics, but here is my dropshots page with pics of her and her tail as well as her cage set up. The pics of her tail were taken tonight.) Let me know if I should be concerned about this. Thank you!

http://www.dropshots.com/pappy1264#
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:00 pm

Mishi gets loss like that every now and then. I think it may be from a friction rub against the nest box opening or something else in the cage or overgrooming. it always grows back. Your flyer's timing is right for a molt ... I never paid attention to time with Mishi. I'll have to start doing that.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:18 am

I only worry because of her picky eating nature. I always worry she is not eating enough good foods. This isn't a sign of MBD, is it? I don't see her having issues with her limbs at all, but want to make sure. I may just have my vet check her over just to be safe (I have to see if she sees them. She sees suggies, so I am hoping she has experience with flyers.) Thanks.
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:17 pm

pappy1264 wrote:...This isn't a sign of MBD, is it?


No.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:47 pm

Didn't think so, but always safer to check! Thanks! I am looking into getting her a friend, as I wonder if this could a form a stress overgrooming? I don't have any breeders near me, but have contacted Helen's Little Critters (anyone deal with them before or have a better suggestion????) I am in MA, in case the helps. Thanks!
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:25 pm

[quote="pappy1264"]... I am looking into getting her a friend, as I wonder if this could a form a stress overgrooming?/quote]

HA! Chuck is likely the reason for Mishi's stress. :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:10 pm

lol.......I was just sitting with her feeding her some treats. She is so gentle, taking food from me, but she won't come out of her cage.
Mary

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:34 am

Coming back with more pics of Penny.

I noticed yesterday that the fur on Penny's back was thinning out. When I spread out her back fur it looked really thin over her shoulder blades. She was too hyper to get pics, though. This morning I took pics, and the area of thinning fur is larger than it looked last night.

This looks like a molt to me. I was spreading her skin out a bit to make it more visible, and you can see a tiny patch that's still nice and full up by her right shoulder blade.

What's the timeline for a molt?

Image

Image

Image
Image Image Image

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:52 am

That doesn't look like a normal molt to me and it looks like her skin is a bit irritated. Luna's tail still has the bald 'stripe' but she seems fine otherwise, so I have no clue what is going on there. Since she has no nest box, I can't imagine it is from going in and out of fleece pouches. I am sure others will chime in, but if she were mine, I would have her seen. I imagine it is possible for a mite infection to take hold under the skin. I know it happened with two of my hamsters (they are normally there, but stress or illness causes an overgrowth of them and hair loss and itchyness can result. Do you see her scratching at all?
Mary

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:58 am

I've seen her scratch her cheeks a couple times. Maybe twice in the past week.
Image Image Image

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:14 am

Keep an eye on her for excessive scratching. I am no expert, and as posted, having my own 'fur loss' issues, but to me her back looks irritated. The earlier pics looked like a normal molt to me. Maybe it is just a really bad one.....
Mary

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:20 am

There's an exotic vet about an hour away that will see flyers, but they close at noon, and I'm stuck with the car with a bum tire till 11. I may have to wait till Monday to take her somewhere.

Now I'm all worried about my Penny-pen. :(
Image Image Image

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:34 am

I don't think it is an emergency, Monday should be fine. But I would have her seen, but to make sure it is not mites. Keep us posted.
Mary

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:19 pm

I looked at her again, being careful not to pull the skin the way I did when I took those pics, and it's not really that red. I think it looked red because I was tugging on it. Actually, most of her skin has a very slight pink look to it--her belly, the bottoms of her feet, everywhere.

I'm keeping an eye on it, though.
Image Image Image

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:31 pm

Keep us posted.
Mary

User avatar
DinNorman
NFSA Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:38 am
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Norman, Oklahoma

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby DinNorman » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:53 pm

My first guess would be an atypical moult or a protein deficiency, from the looks of the hair loss. The parasites that cause hair loss would typically cause some scaliness, and none is obvious. These guys have a higher protein requirement than I anticipated. You might try supplementing the protein; just dont over do it as it will upset the Calcium/Phosphorus balance. Also some fish oil or other oil supplement for small animals, might help (very small amounts).
David

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:11 pm

Did you see my pics of Luna's tail? Do you think that could be from not enough protein?
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:14 pm

The one that looks like Mishi's?
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:42 pm

The bald stripe down the tail.....could that be a protein issue?
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:47 pm

No, that's either a friction rub or overgrooming ... my bet's on a rub.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:55 pm

I don't think it's a protein deficiency. She gets mealworms, bits of cooked chicken, and chicken chips on a regular basis. She also gets a varied assortment of leafy greens and veggies along with small bits of mushroom and a small bit of fruit, plus "wild" plants like pomegranate and hibiscus from my yard. I like to keep her diet varied.

I talked to Judy C. (I got her from Judy), and she thinks it's a molt. At this point that's what I think it is. It's what I initially thought. I was really just wondering about the timeline--when it would start filling back in.


ETA:

Here's how it looks without me pulling her skin taut.

Image

Image

Image

Image
Image Image Image

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:34 pm

That definitely looks like a molt. Sometimes Mishi gets it just on the top of the tail, but that one is up the back too.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

User avatar
Ardilla
NFSA Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:59 am

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Ardilla » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:52 pm

Thanks, Joan!
Image Image Image

pappy1264
Flying Furball
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:02 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: MA

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby pappy1264 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:28 am

Oh, in the other pics, I didn't see her tail, but I see she is missing the fur on the tail, too. So maybe Luna's is just a molt. I have to try some of the foods you mention. I worry, as Luna is so seed crazy, and seems to not touch much of anything else. So I guess I need to take away her nuts for a bit, except her Kaytee mix, and see if I can sort of 'force the issue', right??? Is that safe to do? She won't starve? (I KNOW she will be upset because she comes to the front of the cage if she sees anyone and we always give her some type of nut, most of which she hoards!) Should I remove her 'stashes' before starting this????
Mary

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9123
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Hair loss/Baldness

Postby Joan » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:56 pm

pappy1264 wrote:... I worry, as Luna is so seed crazy, and seems to not touch much of anything else. So I guess I need to take away her nuts for a bit, except her Kaytee mix, and see if I can sort of 'force the issue', right???
...
She can only eat what you give her.

Is that safe to do?
As long as she has a good varied diet.

She won't starve?
Never!

Should I remove her 'stashes' before starting this????

I'd remove her seed mix and let her have some in the shell nuts. She needs these to trim her teeth. Give her a varied diet of dark green veggies and other recommended adult foods: http://www.nfsa.us/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=208
If she doesn't eat what you give her, remove it in the morning and try again that night. She'll eat when she gets hungry enough.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


Return to “FS Health”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest