We fetched this poor fox this weekend from a nearby town. Initial reports were that the fox was lying in a hedge bottom and looking very sorry for himself, it didn’t sound good at all.
By the time we got there, all kitted out to rescue him, he had moved. Even a dying animal, fearing for their life, can get enough energy to move away and escape. They don’t know we are there to help.
We searched a couple of nearby gardens, then fortunately found him hiding in an out building. We trapped him and brought him back to our animal hospital at the sanctuary, for a good examination.
He has mange, which is a parasite that lives on the skin, causing severe irritation to the fox, so much so that he has scratched himself crazy and now has infected wounds. He has even gnawed all of the fur off his tail. Ordinarily we treat mange ‘in situ’ and get people to put the treatment in food, but this guy has needed antibiotics, pain relief. we also bathed his wounds as well as started him on his course of mange treatment, and removed a dozen or more tics.
Other than mange and tics, he was eating and drinking, and following pain relief, we did all we could for him. Unfortunately though he died the following day.
It is mentally very challenging rescuing wild life sometimes, we only interfere if we have too and by the time wildlife are ill enough to be caught, they are often past human intervention to save them. But that doesn’t put us off, we do the best for the animals.
We still believe though we made a difference, this young man would have died in the cold and wet in a hedge bottom, instead he passed away peacefully in the warmth of our hospital, with food, water, pain relief and love.