Many people are noticing foxes in and around their gardens, and we often receive calls from members of the public regarding the foxes seeming ill-health. Hopefully we can answer some of the most frequently asked questions here, and can provide a solution to the most common ailment in foxes – sarcoptic mange.
Mange (explained simply) is a skin mite which causes the fox to scratch, and this leads to fur loss and crusty or flaky skin. Often the first place to lose hair is on the haunches – the hip joints – and then along the back and tail.
Another typical sign of the onset of mange is a limp. Mange can cause the joints in the feet to swell; making it very painful for the fox to put weight on the affected foot and it will therefore either limp or stop using the foot entirely.
We see many cases of mange at Wildlife Aid, and the good news is that we treat the majority of them successfully, with the foxes recovering and returning to the wild in a much healthier state.
Mange is especially prevelent over the winter and during the spring as foxes may be somewhat run down; they have had a few months, probably with a shortage of food, and many may be under- nourished. Their immune system is not as strong as it should be, and it will therefore be compromised more easily. Mange is very infectious, and of course foxes are coming together at this time of year to mate, so the chances of the infection being passed between foxes is much increased.
Wildlife Aid sell a homeopathic mange treatment, which is delivered in liquid form into the fox’s food. It takes a couple of weeks to kick in, but in many cases a marked improvement will be seen after 4 or 5 weeks. Click here to order mange treatment.
Click here to read a more detailed account of Sarcoptic mange in foxes (external content: Wildlife Online)