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Neurological disease (?) in gray squirrels

Sharon Patton patton.sharon at HOSPITAL.VET.UTK.EDU
Mon May 2 11:42:12 EST 1994

In article <1994Apr29.112737.19366 at martha.utcc.utk.edu> ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu writes:

>In Article <Cow066.6qC at watserv2.uwaterloo.ca>
>bugman at sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (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

Although I love Toxoplasma, my first guess on the neurological problem
in a squirrel would be Baylisascaris.  We had such a case last year!
Sharon Patton Univ of TN, Knoxville

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