Mange in Red Fox

The mangy red fox below was shot as a mercy killing by a friend of mine. This animal was not a small fox, but he was certainly doomed to an otherwise pathetic and painful death due to loss of hair, cracking skin, open sores, and coming winter.

The whippet-like body of the red fox is easy to discern with all the fur gone.

Sarcoptic mange is one of the diseases that thins out red fox populations in the absence of hunting, coyotes, or wolves. When red fox occupy den sites year after year, mange mites can colonize dens and never die off. In a healthy fox population (i.e. one that is not overly crowded), red fox will leave a den site fallow two years out of three.

Mange is caused by the scabies mite, and if your dog catches it the proper treatment is Ivermectin (Ivomec) in two doses, two weeks apart, to kill the mites. Follow the directions on the label closely. A Mitaban dip (Amitraz) will also work, but again follow the directions on the label. Mange is a very treatable disease.

While red fox seem to have no resistance to mange, the Gray fox rarely catches the disease.