In the past couple of weeks I have discovered a lot about mange. I now know, for instance, that it is not the mange itself that kills the foxes, but mange causes their skin to dry and crack and they succumb to secondary infections which kill them.
I initially contacted the National Fox Welfare Society but I didn’t seem to have much luck with them and so I phoned The Fox Project who were extremely helpful and informative. It seems that there is some strong and effective medicine but this needs to be administered under control and is used in extreme cases where over 40% of the fur has been lost. In these circumstances, the fox needs to be caught in a cage trap and brought in to be treated.
In less severe infestations, there is a homeopathic medicine that is said to be extremely effective, although it needs to be given daily for at least three weeks and up to six in some cases. It has the slightly alarming name of Arsenicum and Sulphur:
This liquid is to be dropped onto jam sandwiches and left out for the foxes. The advice given tells us to disperse the sandwiches around a bit making it slightly less likely that one fox will wolf down the lot, although, should this happen, it is not possible to overdose on this stuff. Nor would it harm anything else that ate the sandwiches.
Last night the trap camera caught two foxes eating the sandwiches, one of which appears to have mange, although its not a very good image. But there is definitely something very wrong with its tail.
We have been putting out sandwiches now for a week and monitoring the scene with the trap camera. Unfortunately I don’t think we have yet seen this fox shown below eating them who we recently got a photo of which started this whole thing off:
Here in East Kent, we are outside the catchment area of the Fox Project and so I was given the number of our local wildlife centre – Fur and Feathers Wildlife Trust near Folkestone. This seems to be run primarily by one heroic lady who cares sufficiently about the plight of our injured or orphaned wildlife to dedicate her life to doing something about it. It is very good to know that, should we find a fox that is very severely affected, she will come and trap it and take it away for treatment. I have now found another very worthy cause to support.