Fox in Need
by Peter Hanscomb
GG the young fox needs help. GG has been spotted in our back garden for the past few nights on our cctv and the young chap has a really bad case of Sarcoptic mange , sarcoptes scabeii also called fox mange the single most common infection in British foxes. ( more information )
If untreated GG’s prospects aren’t good , typically most foxes will die within 2-3 months , and it’s a slow painful end. After a lot of phone calls today , my wife Anne has managed to borrow and Fox trap. So the plan is to set up the trap in the back garden ,baited with a tasty lump of chicken and wait , hopefully trap GG and then off to the vets. If we can catch GG in time , there is a really good chance of a full recovery , only time will tell ?
Update 26th July
Our little visitor GG isn’t to sure about our new garden feature , the cage and has been giving it a wide berth. Not great news , however last night he had a little look with two of his hog friends . I guess safety in numbers ?
Update 1st August
GG has been in and around the garden for the past few nights , still no nearer to catching him in the trap , however we have managed to feed him 4 antibiotic tablets over the last two nights hidden in cheese lumps . Definitely a step in the right direction.
Update 5th August
GG has now had 4 nights of antibiotics, the trap is still set but no luck catching him ….and he slept in the trap last night !!
Update 7th August
Another night of cheese wrapped antibiotics, GG’s getting a real taste for Canadian Cheddar cheese. He’s also getting brave , approaching to within a few metres of me . This can happen with badly infected foxes , they loose fear of humans but GG looks like he’s still got some fight in him . Still no closer to catching the little one but we are still trying. Latest picture not the best but you can still make out the mange at his rear end.
Update 12th August
GG had a sleepover last night in the garden. Still no luck trapping him but at last it looks like the tablets are having an effect. In general he looks a lot brighter and there is some improvement in his coat.
Update 14th August
so close and yet so far. GG triggered the trap last night, slammed shut but our quick little fox managed to leap clear. Still at least he’s now entering the trap . One step closer ?
Update 21st August
Unfortunately all our efforts to trap GG the fox have failed . Numerous different delights where used to bait the trap , ranging from fresh meat to jam doughnuts. As you may recall from previous updates GG set off the trap on night but managed to escape. He even had a quick early morning nap last Friday on top of the trap. So the trap has now been dismantled and returned to the RSPCA. We are waiting for another trap to be delivered from a local animal rescue centre and when it arrives we will try again.
On the plus side we have resumed GG’s mange treatment with tablets. He has had one course and then a break in treatment. We are now on round number two and in principle it sounds easy , hide the tablet in food , place food out and the fox will eat the food and the tablet. However in reality it’s a very time consuming process as the simple steps above soon break down when you have multiple foxes visiting.
Luckily for me our GG is a big brave boy and happy to have me watch him at close quarters. It also means he gets a special bowl all to himself with lots of lovely food and of course the all important tablets. The downside is i have to wait outside for his lordship to arrive , then place the bowl on the floor and retreat to a safe distance ( i should say it’s GG’s comfort zone i worry about and not myself ! )
The mange is still very much in evidence , he’s on his second course of tablets and if i’m honest he’s bright and alert but not showing signs of fur growing back yet. I’m not 100% sure how long it should take and deep down still think that trapping GG and taking him to a vet long term is the best plan of action.