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Squirrel Dragging Its Back Legs (Paralysis Symptoms, Causes & Treatment)

As an experienced and passionate nature lover, I have had the privilege of observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world. Recently, I have noticed that some of these squirrels are dragging their back legs; a phenomenon I have come to find out is usually caused by paralysis from the waist down. In this blog post, I will discuss more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for when a squirrel is dragging its back legs.

Squirrels are a species of rodent who jump and climb with incredible agility. When a squirrel is dragging its back legs, it suggests that the animal cannot use them for mobility. This is usually the result of paralysis from the waist down, which can be either caused by traumatic injury or illness. Treatment, if any is possible, will depend on the underlying cause.

Squirrel Dragging Their Back Legs: Causes & Treatments

Squirrels dragging their back legs can be a sign of hindlimb paralysis, which is a neurological condition caused by injury or illness. The squirrels-make-the-best-pets/”>best course of action if you spot a squirrel with this symptom is to seek professional help from a wildlife rehabilitation center. Treatment options may include physical therapy, hydrotherapy, electrical stimulation, and providing an enriched environment for the squirrel.

Understanding the Causes

Injury or Disease

Injuries can arise from direct trauma caused by falling from high trees, misjudged jumps onto fences, or collisions with cars. Additionally, neurological disorders like inflammation or lesions of the spinal cord can also lead to hind limb paralysis in squirrels.

Old Age

Other than injury or disease, old age can also contribute to these symptoms in squirrels. As the animal ages and its joints become more susceptible to wear and tear, these physical issues may begin to manifest in their mobility. In some cases, diminished mobility due to age-related conditions may cause a squirrel’s hind limbs to drag or lag behind while they scurry.

Treating a Squirrel with this Condition

Veterinary Care

The first step in treating a paralyzed squirrel is taking it to a specialized veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will assess the overall health condition of the animal and determine what type of therapy will work best. Depending on the severity of their condition, vet-recommended treatments could include physical therapy, hydrotherapy, electrical stimulation therapies, or even surgery.

It’s important to note that while some neurological conditions have a greater potential for recovery than others, any medical intervention should be taken seriously. Always seek out proper veterinary advice before attempting any DIY approaches.

At-Home Care & Safety Precautions

When you come across an injured squirrel dragging its back legs, handle it carefully and use clothing or towels as gloves to avoid your scent. To aid in recovery, wrap hot water bottles in towels to keep the creature warm. This has proven to be beneficial for those suffering from paralysis.

Apart from keeping them warm make sure you take all necessary precautions both for yourself as well as other animals around you. You must remember never to release any wild animals into non-native areas where they could face danger or disrupt ecosystems. Furthermore make sure your pets do not get too close either so as not to scare off our furry friend who needs help.

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Should you aid a hurt squirrel?

Helping an injured squirrel can be a rewarding experience. It is important to understand, however, that rescuing a wild animal should never be taken lightly. Before attempting to assist the creature, ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and resources required to properly care for it. If you are prepared, then by all means, help the squirrel.

What steps should be taken to care for a injured squirrel?

When caring for a wounded squirrel, it is important to provide a comfortable, quiet environment. Keep the squirrel warm with an appropriate layer of bedding and feed small amounts of food every few hours. Additionally, monitor the wound closely for signs of infection and contact a vet if necessary.

How can you help an injured squirrel?

Saving a wounded squirrel is no easy task, but with the right steps it can be done! Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Keep the squirrel warm by placing it in a container with blankets or towels.
  • Reduce noise levels in the area to keep the squirrel calm.
  • Feed the squirrel small amounts of food and water at regular intervals.
  • Contact an animal rescue organization for help if needed.


When a squirrel is dragging its back legs, it is an indication that the creature cannot use them for mobility – usually due to some underlying issue. In these cases, it is important to contact a wildlife professional or veterinarian for assistance, as there may be treatments available depending on the type of paralysis and what caused it. With proper care, many squirrels can make a full recovery from paralysis and return to their natural environment.

Squirrels dragging their back legs is not a condition to take lightly. If you spot a squirrel exhibiting this behavior, it could be a sign of paralysis and require prompt medical attention for better outcomes. By understanding the causes, symptoms and treatments available for squirrels in such situations, you can help provide the best possible care.

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