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On October 19th, Greenwood received a melanistic (black) fox who was badly in need of treatment. She had a severe case of mange, which was so far progressed that she could barely open her eyes. Mange is a horrific disease caused by parasitic mites that burrow into the skin resulting in itching and hair loss. It is often a death sentence for wild animals if there is nobody who can help. The disease leads to extended pain and suffering, which is a tragic way to die. When the fox arrived, we weighed and assessed her, gave her subcutaneous fluids for dehydration as well as antibiotics and topical Bravecto for the mites. In spite of her poor health, she maintained a feisty and untamed spirit. 

Severe mange affected the fox’s face and ears most heavily.

For several days after her initial evaluation, she received regular baths with medicated shampoo to help relieve the itching and pain. She began to gain weight and soon you could see her inquisitive eyes. The transformation was astounding! As her health continued to improve, we moved her to our recently renovated outside enclosure where she had room to run around and play. She was the first resident in the new space! She loved passing the time by observing the cows far off in the neighboring field.

She watches the cows graze a nearby field.

Last week, she was released back into the wild within 10 miles of where she was found. She eagerly burst out of the kennel that was used to transport her and curiously evaluated her surroundings before disappearing from view.

The fox once plagued with mange, returns to the wild.

A Melanistic Fox’s Miraculous Recovery