Neurological disease (?) in gray squirrels

ctfaulkn at ctfaulkn at
Thu Apr 28 22:27:32 EST 1994

In Article <Cow066.6qC at>
bugman at (Steve Smith) writes:
> gray squirrels that come to my bird [ stuff deleted ] have
>been exhibiting symptoms of possibly some neurological disorder,
>marked by ataxia, particularly of the hind limbs, odd postures of the
>head (crinked neck muscles) and general lack of coordination.
>Does anyone know if a disease with these features has been reported in
>squirrels and, if "yes", what it might be and is it transmissable to
>other wildlife or domestic animals?

Toxoplasma gondii is one protozoan that comes immediately to mind. You
might also consider Neospora caninum a closely related coccidian whose
lifecycle is unknown. Rebecca Cole at the Wildlife Disease Lab in Madison,Wisc
has done work with N. caninum for her dissertation work. As I understand it she
developed a Mab for diagnostic serology. Don't know her e mail address but 
you might contact her by voice. Good luck, keep us informed.

CT Faulkner, Univ of TN, Knoxville

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