3rd Apr 2020, by Keilidh Ewan
Two suspected cases of squirrelpox are being investigated in the Auchencairn and Sandyhills regions of the Solway Coast in Dumfries and Galloway.
Following the retrieval of a sick red squirrel believed to be suffering from squirrelpox by the SSPCA from Auchencairn last week and the sighting of another red squirrel showing squirrelpox symptoms at Sandyhills this week, we are asking people living within these areas to be extra vigilant.
Squirrelpox is a virus carried by grey squirrels without causing them any harm. However, if spread to red squirrels the disease is deadly. Red squirrels develop wet pus-filled lesions on their faces, particularly around the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as on their paws and genitalia. They become unwell and the lesions make it difficult to eat or drink, climb or walk, in almost all cases leading to death within two weeks.
A sick red squirrel was retrieved by the SSPCA from Auchencairn © L. Read
If you live within the area and witness any sick red squirrels or grey squirrels in your garden, please immediately remove any wildlife feeding stations. We also ask that people across the Solway Coast please ensure that all garden feeding stations are regularly cleaned with an anti-viral solution such as Virkon S, which is available to purchase online in tablet and powder form.
If you see a sick red squirrel, either in your garden, or while outdoors exercising, please contact email@example.com ...