Sunday, September 2, 2018

Following Up with the Fox

It's been suggested that the fox observed in the cemetery was rabid, but I have since learned that rabies in foxes is rare. I believe "unheimlich" provided, in a comment, the correct diagnosis: the fox in the cemetery is suffering from sarcoptic mange, caused the Sarcoptes scabei mite.

The National Fox Welfare Society in the UK provides a description of a fox with mange that a pretty accurately matches the behavior of the fox seen in the cemetery: "A fox suffering from mange will often act abnormally. Its fear of humans often appears lost. It will walk around almost aimlessly during daylight hours constantly biting and scratching at the irritation." According to Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue, a fox with mange poses no threat to humans or dogs, but if the condition is left untreated, it will ultimately result in death for the fox, from malnutrition, dehydration, or hypothermia. 

The screen capture above is from a video that documents how someone on Long Island saved a red fox with mange living on his property: "Suburban Wildlife: Red Fox Rescued (Sarcoptic Mange)." Apparently, this can be accomplished with a medication meant for cattle and swine sold at Tractor Supply. Are there any wildlife rehabilitators out there willing and able to help rescue the fox in the cemetery?


  1. Sounds horrible for the fox.

    Hope someone or agency can come to its rescue !

  2. We had a red fox living off of Rossman Ave. last year---it, too, seemed to have mange.