This must be an especially bad fall for mange in Red Fox. We've received quite a few phone calls in the last week and we already have some under our care, more hopefully on the way.
The good news: It's 100% curable. The fox just needs to be brought to us for treatment.
Contrary to what you might read online, it is not safe for the fox to treat it by just putting something in food you make available. The medication is based on weight, it must receive specific doses over a period of time, and it's not good for other animals to ingest medication not meant for them.
Mange is caused by a mite that burrows into the skin and does all sorts of nasty things once its there. It's incredibly irratating to the animal, so they'll scratch and pull at their fur. Once the mite begins multiplying, large "mats" occur in the fur, which then fall or are pulled off by the fox, leaving naked skin exposed. Fox eyes may appear to be squinty or closed as well as a result of the effects of mange.
If you have fox in your yard or area that appear to have mange, you can set a large Havahart live trap to capture them. Once you capture the fox, leave it in the trap and just bring it to us. We'll transfer it out of the trap and give it right back to you.
Squirrels also develop mange, although it's caused by a different species of mite. The same treatment protocols go for them: Capture and transport to us.
If you're not comfortable trying to live trap the fox, please call you city and ask them to consider trapping and transporting the fox to us. It helps them to know there is a place they can bring the fox for treatment. Questions? Call us, we're open 9am-6pm: 651-486-9453.
Following up on an animal you brought to us? Drop us a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the person's name who admitted it, the approximate date and the species. We'll get back to you within a few days!
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The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC) in Roseville, Minn., is a nonprofit, donor-supported organization. The WRC was established in response to the increased need for medical care of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife. With a medical staff of 8, the Center is one of the largest and busiest wildlife medical centers in the nation. More than 400 volunteers care for, rehabilitate and release the wildlife that they've worked with. The WRC treats more than 8,500 wild animals every year, representing more than 160 different species.
We cannot give tours since we do not keep any animals for educational use. We do have an open house every winter, usually in February. Watch our Facebook page or register for our emails to keep up to date with WRC.