Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Coyotes, foxes, bobcats with mange, missing fur, mites in California - How to treat, care, diagnose - Mary Cummins Animal Advocates

Coyotes, foxes, bobcats with mange in California

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Here in Southern California Animal Advocates gets a few calls a day about foxes, coyotes and bobcats with mange. They will be missing fur and scratching themselves. We even get calls about raccoons, skunks, opossums and squirrels with mange 

There are two types of mange i.e., demodectic and sarcoptic. Demodectic mange is caused by a compromised immune system from eating poisoned animals. The demodex sp mite is always present in the animal. The mites get out of control if the immune system is compromised from eating animals that have eaten anti-coagulant rodenticide used to kill mice, rats, gophers and ground squirrels. This also causes sores and injuries to not heal like this coyote below.

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The treatment for demodectic mange is supportive care and Ivermectin. Extreme cases may need dips, baths and antibiotics. Generally wildlife with demodectic mange are still ambulatory and can't be caught easily. The mange should resolve over time if they stop eating poisoned animals. We generally can't catch them for treatment unless they have an injury and are down. The best way a member of the public can help animals with demodectic mange is to not poison mice, rats, gophers or ground squirrels. Even if we could trap them, treat them they will get mites again if they continue to eat the poisoned animals.

Here is a good infographic about anticoagulant bait and mange in wildlife.

Below is a bald coyote with mange and an injured foot walking around Griffith Park. He sits next to the poison bait stations waiting to get a gopher or ground squirrel as it emerges from the bait station. He eats leftover food from the park visitors who use the BBQs.

The other type of mange is sarcoptic. The skin is infected with the microscopic parasitic mite sarcoptes scabei. It causes extreme itchiness, redness, skin scales and infection. It is contagious. This type of mange is treated with baths, dips, drugs and supportive care. It's possible to treat mild cases with three rounds of Revolution. First to kill live mites, second to kill mites that hatch after the first dos and one more just to be safe.
Sarcoptic mange, Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, dog, coyote, fox, bobcat, wildlife, mites, ivermectin
coyote, bobcat, fox, dog mange mites sarcoptic demodectic treatment ivermectin drug medication

We get a lot of calls for bald, emaciated coyotes. Adult coyotes weigh 30-35 pounds. They naturally appear thin because they have long legs. When they lose their fur they look even thinner. If you can see ribs, spine, they are too thin. Native grey foxes weigh eight to 15 lbs. Non-native red foxes weigh five to 30 lbs. 

If the animal with mange is ambulatory, they will be almost impossible to catch to treat. We can't get them in Hav-a-Hart box traps. Only humane snares work but now all snares are illegal in Los Angeles. While we can rodeo lasso, know how to use nets, but coyotes are too fast and quick. 

Again, the best thing someone can do is not poison animals. Cities and counties still poison animals especially in areas such as Griffith Park. Griffith Park is regulated by the park system. The only thing one can do in this situation is to petition to stop the poisoning in the park. 

We are not a veterinarian. This is just FYI. Contact your vet for veterinary advice. 

Ivermectin comes in oral, topical and injectable. The easiest way to treat wildlife with mange in the wild is with Ivermectin oral. Ivermectin is prescription medication for dogs. One can legally use horse ivermectin off label for certain animals. It is over the counter for farm animals such as horses, cows, swine. You can find a tube of Ivermectin paste 1.87% at the Red Barn or any farm or feed store, Drs Fosters & Smith for $2-10. This is a paste form for a horse up to 1,250 lbs. Read the package. Every brand is different.

We are not veterinarians. We do not give veterinary advice. We give dog dosage for coyote, fox, dogs. Certain breeds of dogs such as Collies, Collie mixes, are hypersensitive. Do not give this to sensitive breeds. Pitbullls, labradors, german shepherds are fine with this medication. Those are generally the dogs we find feral roaming the streets as strays. This is only for animals you can't catch and get to the vet. 

"Dosage using Ivermectin Paste 1.87% for treatment of demodectic mange in dogs:

30-40 lbs 1 weight marking CUT IN HALF
84 pounds and above: 1 weight marking
Calculations: Dosage is 300 to 600 mcg/kg of body weight. Each tube of ivermectin 1.87% contains 113.7 mg (113,700 mcg) of ivermectin; each weight marking on the syringe delivers 22,740 mcg ivermectin, enough to treat dogs weighing 38 to 76 kg (84 to 176 pounds)." The dosage to treat mange with Ivermectin is higher than the dosage to treat heartworms and other parasites. 

One doesn't want to give too much. It will make the animal sluggish for a couple of days. If you give way too much, i.e. 4x normal dose, you could make them very ill. 

We measure with oral syringes. The medication is very bitter. They fortunately now sell an apple flavored version. Still, we put it inside a cooked meatball mixed with bacon. Coyotes, foxes are very attracted to the smell. This will guarantee that they eat it instantly. We inject the paste into the middle of the meatball after the meatball is cooked and cooled to room temperature. We never support feeding wildlife. Medicating wildlife is a different situation. Only wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians can treat wildlife.

Thanks for caring about wildlife!

Animal Advocates

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

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