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Squeezing through the bifurcated trunk of a smallish tree, I found myself entangled in branches and bramble.
I clambered across broken bricks and paving slabs, being reasonably careful to avoid the glass.Weight loss and organ damage are sometimes evident and, if left untreated, death follows in four to six months.Indeed, the impact of mange on fox populations may be dramatic; the outbreak in 1994 succeeded in wiping out 95% of Bristol's fox population in only two years.Now, had I been thinking clearly I would’ve gone back into the house, got the telescopic loppers and hacked my way through the undergrowth something akin to the great Scottish Missionary Dr David Livingstone.However, I was concerned that the fox may return in my absence, and I was damned if I was going to just leave Flick there to die from his injuries.It then went around our shed and over the back garden wall, with me in hot pursuit, screaming for all I was worth!
Where I used to live, the back gardens of each row of houses back on to each other, with a narrow gap of about 60 cm (about 2ft) separating the two opposing gardens.
Conjunctivitis and changes in behaviour (the infected fox becomes less and less active) are also common.
So intense is the irritation caused by this mite, that foxes are reputed to have gnawn off appendages!
Content Updated: 7th February 2016 QUESTIONS: What is mange? How can I keep foxes out of my garden and secure my pets? Why shouldn’t I feed foxes (and animals in general) chocolate? Is it likely that a fox will attack me, my child, my cat or my dog? Should we introduce large predators to control fox numbers? Sarcoptic mange is a skin disease caused by a small (2 to 4 mm or less than one-quarter inch) parasitic mite ( causes the condition commonly referred to as "scabies" and foxes have been known to infect the occasional human.
Why does my dog seem to have a penchant for rolling in fox scat? Does surplus killing represent a "waste" of energy and resources for a fox? When and how did foxes come to live in our towns and cities? Why do foxes kill their own young and the young of other foxes? Female mites burrow into the skin where they may live for as long as two months.
This area was overgrown, with brambles, discarded glass, bricks, paving slabs and the odd tree interspersed for good measure.