Treating Sarcoptic Mange in Red Foxes – Short Version

What you will need:
Ivermectin Injection for Cattle and Swine 1% Sterile Solution

WARNING:  Use ONLY the INJECTABLE Ivermectin NOT the “POUR ON” , as the agents for carrying the pour-on through the skin are highly  toxic if ingested! If anyone tells you different, they do not know what they are doing!
14 or 16 Gauge needle and 3 ml syringe
1 package frozen all beef meatballs
Dry Cat food

Directions:
Step 1: Put Dry cat food on the ground in the same place every day for the fox.
Step 2: Heat up around 6 frozen meatballs, and inject each meatball with 0.2 ml Ivermectin
Step 3: Place 1 treated meatball on top of the cat food, place the other meatballs in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Every 5 days, place another treated meatball on the cat food. Do this for 3 weeks.
Step 5: Every 10 days place another treated meatball on the cat food. Do this for three more weeks.
Consideration: If you are not sure the fox is getting the meatball with the medication in it, or there are more than one ill fox, put one meatball on the cat food pile, and toss two other treated meatballs in different directions, about 50 feet from each other.

Evicting a Family of Foxes from Your Yard

Foxes will often come in close to humans to raise their young , choosing the lesser of two perceived evils- human danger or coyote danger.  Because they compete for the same food source, a coyote may kill young foxes to make sure there is plenty of food for her own pups.  Foxes  will often choose to have their pups close to humans, where the coyotes are less likely to find them when they are very  young.  As the pups get older, usually around June or July, they are more able escape a coyote on their own, and the coyotes are too busy raising their own families to bother much with foxes anymore. At this time, the young foxes will leave the safety of the yard for more wild places.  soon after that, usually starting in September, the foxes will disperse, often travelling more than 100 miles to find a new territory.

Watching a fox family grow up is a very safe, entertaining and educational way to enjoy Spring and part of Summer.  Before you decide to evict the family, consider allowing them to rent your space, and in turn, you and possibly your neighbors will have a rodent free yard and what will most likely be your best gardens ever.  In addition, you may also be able to take some very beautiful photos and cute videos!

A healthy fox family won’t hurt children or pets.  The most a protective action a parent fox might take is chase a domestic cat that gets too close to her babies back to your back deck or up a tree.  Foxes don’t want to kill or eat your dogs, cats or kids. The average fox rarely tops 11 pounds. It is very important to know that a mother fox will hunt all times of the day and night.  Often the male will leave early on, leaving the female to work very hard, hunting 24/7  to bring back food for her growing pups.Unfortunately, humans who don’t know this will be alarmed to see a fox running through their yard during the day and sometimes extreme action such as shooting the mother fox will be taken, creating orphans.  Because momma foxes are often crossing roads more often, sometimes she will be hit by a car.  If this happens, a trail cam to make sure that the pups are indeed orphaned will help to determine what action to take if any.  Often orphaned pups are old enough to survive and leave on their own.  Contacting a knowledgeable Wildlife Rehabilitator at this time can help determine the best course of action.

If you choose to convince the foxes to move, the earlier you do it, the better.  The older the family gets, the less the female is sensitive to interference.   Because a mother fox is concerned about coyotes, using coyote urine in the area will make her think a coyote is around.  It is very likely she will move her pups within days to a new secret location far from the “marked” area.  Sprinkle the coyote urine around the den area. Again, the younger the pups are, the more effective this is.

Putting a foreign object such as a chair  near the den may also help convince mom that her den has been discovered.  However, keep in mind we don’t want to frighten her too much so that she isn’t comfortable retrieving her pups and we want to make sure she has a clear and safe entrance and exit to get them out one by one.  Often simply increasing your activity in the area works.  Don’t be afraid to use your deck, mow your lawn, do your gardening.  Mother foxes aren’t aggressive protectors like grizzly bears. The most they will do is stand at a distance, watching you and bark a warning for her pups to take cover  because danger is near. This is not a warning to you, it is a warning to her pups- YOU are the danger.

Balloons are very scary to foxes, especially  when they move in the breeze.  Punch balloons, sold as children’s toys are inexpensive and  hardy and when a small handful of beads or pebbles are placed inside them before inflated,  they make scary noises too! When placed appropriately about 2 feet off the ground, they will discourage a fox from coming into or traveling through your yard.

Hiring a Nuisance Control company to trap and remove the foxes rarely works out well for the foxes or your pocketbook.  Only the very young will be captured, and usually only a few.  The parents will not be easy to catch, and relocation is not going to work. Most likely all that will happen is the fox family will be fragmented or destroyed and you will spend a lot of money. “Relocation” of a fox family by a trapper is not realistic, so please don’t fall for that.  You will be wasting your money.   As suggested earlier in this piece, to convince the female to relocate her own family using one or all of these methods mentioned  is the most effective and humane way.

Most likely, the family will be gone by late June or July. Foxes only use a den to raise their families, and the rest of the year, they are nomads, napping  under trees and wherever they find a quiet place.   If you don’t want them back again next year, mid-July is the time to do repairs and permanent exclusion from the area with strong fencing, concrete block, or rocks.  This will prevent not only  foxes, but skunks, raccoons and woodchucks from using the space to raise their young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snared Red fox

We don’t need to tell anyone how deadly and dangerous snares are for all animals , both wild and domestic.. This beautiful male red fox got caught in an improperly and illegally set snare trap. The wire cut deep into his neck as he ran with the device until the stake got snagged on a fence.  He was discovered by a homeowner who called for help.  the wire was cut off of his neck, but not before significant damage was done.  Though the fox was free of the wire, it had dug so deeply into his neck that nerve damage affected not only his eye, but his trachea. Because of the nature of this damage, he had to be humanely euthanized.  Did you know that there is a bill currently being sponsored  by the trapping associations to legalize these horrific snares in New York?  What a step back this would be.  

Treating Sarcoptic Mange in Red foxes

Fox with mangePlease watch the YouTube video at the end of this article to see the treatment outlined on this page being used on a Red fox on Long Island- watch his transformation from sick back to healthy again!

I often get calls and e-mails from people who have a Red fox around that is acting lethargic or unfearful of humans.  They will stay close to houses and will eat under the bird feeders, seek refuge under decks and often lay in the hay in barns.  A scruffy, thin appearance usually indicates that the fox has Sarcoptic mange.

Sarcoptic mange is the name for the skin disease caused by infection with the Sarcoptes scabei mite.  The mites are microscopic and can’t be seen by the naked eye.  Female Sarcoptes mites burrow under the skin and leave a trail of eggs behind. This burrowing creates an inflammatory response in the skin similar to an allergic reaction.  The motion of the mite in and on the skin is extremely itchy, as is the hatching of the eggs. This creates further allergic reaction and more itching, loss of sleep and reduced immune response.  Loss of fur, scaly skin  and a general unthrifty appearance is characteristic of a Sarcoptic mange infestation.  The condition worsens as a skin infection sets in.  The foxes immune system is even more compromised and internal parasites (tape, hook and round worms) begin to take over and absorb any nutrients that fox may find.  Mangy foxes are usually starving in the late stages.

These foxes are not a threat to people, dogs, cats, etc.  They are close to people and buildings because there may be easy food such as cat or dog food left out in dishes, bird seed, garbage, insects, worms, roadkill and a mouse or two.  They are also losing their ability to thermoregulate  and need protection from wind, shade, sun, whatever the present need of the body is.  Mangy foxes (and coyotes) often seek out a pile of hay to lay in. Hay seems to relieve the itchiness and provide a source of comfort.

Sarcoptic mange is treatable if the animal is treated in time before the process of organ failure begins. The drug of choice is inexpensive and easy to obtain. Although it is an “off-label use” according to the FDA, Ivermectin injection for cattle and pigs is a very effective cure for Sarcoptic mange in foxes.  This injectable solution works orally and can easily be slipped into food. The ivermectin also treats a lot of the intestinal worms and any ear mites. The catch is this: it kills the mites living on the skin but doesn’t kill the eggs .  These eggs will hatch and reinfect the fox, so it has to be administered  many times to kill the mange mites that hatch after treatment.  A  less expensive  injectable version of Ivermectin such as Ivermax 1% or Noromectin 1% are readily available online and in some farm stores.  I strongly recommend treating Red foxes very aggressively, giving them the Ivermectin every five days for the first three weeks. After the first three weeks, you can dose them every ten days.  Be sure to treat them for at least 4-5 weeks.  A daily feeding station using dry cat or dog food can be set up  to facilitate the administration of tasty treats laced with ivermectin.  Frozen all beef meatballs with no spices work great and when they are warmed up, are easy to inject the medication into. A spoonful of canned cat food, a hard boiled egg, a chunk of cooked chicken or a section of hot dog can also easily be injected with the ivermectin.

Frequently more than one fox or wild animal is coming to your yard.  I recommend injecting several different pieces of food with 0.2 ml and tossing them in different directions, at least 100 feet or so apart, in the hope that one animal might find one piece, but not the other.  Ivermectin is fairly safe, and if a fox happens to get more than one dose in a day, it will be fine.  Meatballs work great for this!

Figure your fox weighs 10 lbs, so give him 0.2 mL for each dose. Many people think they are much larger, but they aren’t. For young foxes in April or May  you can cut the dose in half.  You will need a large needle to draw the solution out of the bottle because the solution is rather thick.  Ivermectin is a non-prescription product and available online through many livestock suppliers, such as Jeffers.com or Amazon.com   Here is a link and a picture of the product I  recommend:

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/ivomec-1-50ml

Ivomec

WARNING:  Use ONLY the INJECTABLE Ivermectin NOT the “POUR ON” , as the agents for carrying the pour-on through the skin are highly  toxic if ingested! If anyone tells you different, they do not know what they are doing!

Tractor Supply Co stores (www.tractorsupply.com)  carry Ivermectin. and it is readily available online.  I recommend the 50 ml size 1% sterile solution Ivomec Brand Ivermectin for cattle and swine as pictured above.  It averages $40 to $50 for 50 ml.  You will need to get a fat needle and syringe to draw it out of the bottle. Tractor supply Co sells vaccines that include a needle and syringe for administration, so you could spend a little extra on a vaccine and use that needle.  Some people have used the Ivermectin wormer paste for horses and say it works, though it isn’t palatable  for the foxes and I personally have never used it. Use it as a last resort.  Don’t use the  pour-on for livestock, as it would be toxic given orally!

NoromectinUse 0.2 mL (or 0.2 cc)   Giving the solution orally (By mouth) in their food is safe and has a larger margin for error than injecting subcutaneously.

Of course other wildlife might get to the food before the fox does, so try to use your judgment and administer it the best way that will target only the fox.  Placing a leaf or a little grass over the baited food will lower the risk of it being seen and eaten  by crows.  Using hard boiled eggs will decrease the chances of the food being eaten by cats. Ivermectin is a pretty safe drug and won’t harm most wildlife.  Some breeds of dogs can be very sensitive to it, particularly the collie family and Australian shepherds . Don’t use ivermectin if there is a chance a collie breed might eat the bait.   Use extra caution around domestic animals.  They use Ivermectin in third world countries to treat different things, such as scabies in humans.  Ivermectin is also used to treat dogs for mange, and it is also a good wormer for many animals.

Select topical products Advantage Multi and Revolution can be obtained through your veterinarian and used to help prevent your domestic dogs from picking up mange in the grass surrounding your property.  I have found Advantage Multi and Revolution to be  very effective preventatives for mange in dogs, but very ineffective cures for mange, unless applied every two weeks during the month for at least 6 weeks.  I apply Advantage Multi or Revolution to all my foxes just before they are released back to the wild as a preventative measure for them.

Fox with mangeCan people get mange? You bet, but it won’t live and reproduce on your skin.  It will give you one heck of an itchy red allergic reaction if you are sensitive to mange mites though.

Please watch the beautiful short video on Youtube made by a gentleman on Long Island who was able to videotape his treatment of a Red fox with mange in his back yard. He used the treatment outlined above.

Free Program on Foxes Feb. 21, 2017 in Amherst, NY

Nursing fox

Foxes are making their homes and raising their families among suburban neighborhoods more than ever.  In an effort to help home owners determine when and how to manage this new issue,   Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment, Animal Advocates of WNY in cooperation with the  Town of Amherst Youth and Recreation Department , are presenting a free program for the community titled: The Facts on Foxes in Your Neighborhood.
Learn all about New York foxes, learn suburban fox ecology, why they are in your neighborhood, and what you need to know if a fox family takes residence in your back yard.  Learn the facts, hear interesting stories and take part in a valuable Q & A discussion afterward. Bring your questions and concerns!

The speaker, Elise Able,  is known as The Fox Lady. She is a long time New York State Wildlife rehabilitator and NY State licensed Nuisance Control Operator. Elise promises a entertaining and interesting evening. This program will be held from Tues. Feb 21, 2017 from 7 – 9 PM at the Harlem Road Community Center at 4255 Harlem Road in Amherst, NY. Seating is limited, so RSVP/ Reservations  are recommended. For questions or to reserve your seat, Private Message Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue, Inc on Facebook or e-mail foxladye@yahoo.com.

Young Fox Hit By Car

In August the young of the year are getting ready to leave the area where they were born  and find a new territory.  Unfortunately, not many of them survive.  This little guy was hit by a car.  A gentleman stopped when he saw the pup laying in the road, and intended to move him off of the road, thinking he was deceased.  Imagine his surprise when he grabbed the foxes rear legs and lifted him up to set him in the grass on the side of the road- and the fox moved its front legs!  Immediately he wrapped the fox in a towel and placed it in a box and began making phone calls to look for help for the fox.

Once Fox Wood Was contacted, we quickly made arrangements to meet.  The fox was then immediately rushed to a wonderful veterinarian who we work with.  He was carefully examined, X-Rayed, and found to have head trauma, but no broken bones!  Fluids and a steroid were given, and a long acting antibiotic was given.  There was not much else to do but wait and pray.

Day One, the fox remained unconscious.

Young Fox

Day 2: Semi- conscious, Gave some more steroid to reduce brain swelling, and an hour later taking some nourishment.  (See video on YouTube.)

Young Fox

Day 3:  Laying in a much better position with head up!  Eating and drinking with help

Young Fox

Young Fox

This is only day 3, so stay tuned….

First Red Fox Pup of 2015!

The first Red fox pup of 2015 is here!  He is almost three weeks old and was brought to Fox Wood by someone who at first  thought they were raising a domestic puppy.  He wasn’t fed the right foods from the start, so we are trying to get him back on track.  When he is old enough, he will get to join some of our wonderful foxes who love to raise the babies.

Pup 3-15-15

Discouraging Raccoons, Foxes and Skunks from Raising their Young Where it is Creating Problems

Coyote and urine can be used to humanely save lives! January, February, March,  April and May are the best times to use predator urine to get unwanted wildlife families to move from unwanted areas.  Coyote urine can be used to get a mother fox, raccoon or  skunk to move her young.  This will save you money, aggravation and  neighbor complaints, by convincing the mother of the young that she must move her babies to a safer location because the coyote urine will make her think that they are in danger where they area.   Through the years, I have gathered urine soaked bedding material from my coyote pens to give to people that were having issues with wildlife.  They have used the urine to encourage raccoon mothers to safely relocate their young without having to trap the female and then destroy the young left behind because they didn’t realize she had young.

In New York State, wildlife rehabilitators have to be specially licensed to raise orphaned raccoons and because of the prohibitive requirements only a handful of rehabilitators for orphaned raccoons exist.  These rehabilitators get filled up to the maximum # of baby raccoons they can handle very early in the year. that leaves hundreds of thousands of orphaned baby raccoons and the people who find them without options.  These numbers could be greatly cut if people would use a combination of  light, noise and coyote urine soaked bedding material to encourage momma to find another location to raise her young.  Many wild mammals do not want to keep their young in an area where there are predators such as coyotes and foxes.   Foxes don’t want to raise their young where there is a coyote roaming nearby.  If a coyote finds a littler of young fox, it will kill them.  They do this to ensure there is enough prey for their own pups. Sprinkling coyote urine soaked materials near a red or gray fox den will encourage momma fox to move her pups to a “safer” location.

Recently, a friend of mine had chipmunks chew the wire harness of his brand new truck causing some very expensive repairs that were not covered under the warranty.  It seems the new harness coating is “environmentally friendly” and tasty to rodents.  He had the problem repaired, with new “environmentally friendly” wire harness coating.  Worried it would happen again, he picked up some coyote urine soaked material and put it into a metal box with holes in it. He placed this under his truck in the parking spot.  Interestingly  enough, not only have chipmunks not chewed the new harness, but he hasn’t even seen a chipmunk anywhere near his house since. Prior to that, there were many, many of them in his wood piles and such.

Many people have come to get coyote urine to keep deer, rabbits and woodchucks from eating their garden vegetables, hostas and flowers.

I am offering coyote and fox urine soaked bedding to the general public via my website “Tip Jar” .  It is a cruelty-free product and  unlike the fur farms and trappers where coyote and fox urine is gathered now, my coyotes and foxes live comfortable happy lives at my sanctuary.  Call it “happy pee” if you want, but it sure works, and smells and performs better than the bottled stuff created by animals under stress  or killed.  I will gather it fresh when I get a request, and ship it out that day.  The money raised will go straight toward the care of injured and orphaned wildlife and also for making the living conditions for the permanent coyote and fox residents better and happier for them.

At present, I will mail the urine soaked bedding in a gallon zip lock plastic bags in a padded envelope for $40 , includes shipping and handling.  It can be purchased by clicking on the tip jar on the home page, and donating $40 to Fox Wood. Write a brief note and tell me if you prefer coyote or fox urine.  You may ask me any questions by e-mailing me at :  foxladye@yahoo.com

Fox Pups Are Born Now!

This little girl is going to be 4 weeks old on April 8th!

Fox 3 weeks

The Momma foxes are working hard to bring home food for their young. They are working 24/7, day and night. Please remember that Red foxes are NOT NOCTURNAL!  It is normal to see them at all times of the day. The moms are working especially hard to catch mice, squirrels, rats and rabbits to feed themselves and their young. They are working so hard and are so focused that they will trot right past you, through your yard, past your dogs and cats as they move from their hunting grounds to their den. They are not interested in eating your dogs or cats.

A Red fox will chase a cat that gets too close to her den- Cats are very curious and often end up in places they shouldn’t be.  A momma fox is concerned about having a cat too close to her pups, so she will chase kitty right back home, up onto your porch or tree it. She isn’t interested in eating your cat – she just wants it to go away from her pups. Please keep in mind, for the safety of your cat from other predators such as great -Horned Owls who now have hungry young in the nest, keep your cat indoors, especially at dusk and dawn when owls are hunting.

If you have a fox den, or even a skunk or raccoon with young that are in a place where you don’ want them, such as under a porch or back yard shed, its easy to convince mom to move her babies!  Coyote urine is easily purchased online (and from us!) and no momma wants to raise her young where a coyote is hunting.  I simply put coyote urine infused pine shavings in the area where the unwanted family is.  They generally are gone in the morning!  Trying to Live trap and “relocate” a family of foxes, skunks or raccoons is a futile effort and usually ends up creating orphans.  Try the coyote urine- it works, and is humane because Momma moves the family to a different place all by herself.