The Wildlife Hotline Mange By Mail Signup Page
Step Two: This program starts today! Start acclimating the animal now by feeding chicken, beef, canned or dry dog food, just to keep him coming around until you get the medication. We want to be reasonably sure that the sick animal will return to a predictable area for feeding. *This is ONLY recommended in cases with sick coyotes and foxes. NEVER feed these animals when they are healthy.*
Step Three: Make a donation to cover our cost of the medication and priority shipping. It costs us approximately $9 to mail this package via 2 or 3 -Day Delivery with the USPS. The medication and supplies cost us approximately $10.00. We spend approximately $19 on each package we mail. This is why we require a donation in order to send out an order. We wish we didn’t have to! The minimum donation for this program is $20, however, ANY additional funds that you are able to donate will help us keep this program going and be able to take in the worst cases locally to nurse them back to health. Donations go directly to the dozens of foxes and coyotes that we admit into our care each year when they are sick, injured, and orphaned.
*On the donation form, please make sure to select the option: “I would like to designate this donation to a special fund” and select the “Mange by Mail Program”. Don’t forget to include your mailing address! Please allow up to one week for delivery, at the very most. Normally, you will receive your package in 3 days.
Warning!! You must be capable of predicting the movements of the sick animal with reasonable accuracy before using medicated bait. It is important that the bait is entirely eaten by the intended target species – the coyote or fox. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT PETS DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE BAIT STATION! Some breeds of dog are extremely sensitive to Ivermectin and it can be toxic to them. These breeds include Collies, Australian Shepherds, Sheepdogs, and Shelties. Learn more about this sensitivity and have your pet tested for it at Washington State University’s Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Lab.
When It Happens: From September – November in the Midwest, it is ‘mange season’. We see a spike in the number of cases every year during this time frame. You will find many photos of mange on this website, but there are also some behavioral signs to watch for that act as confirmation that an animal is truly sick.
How Animals with Mange Behave: less fear of people, lying out in the grass/sun during the day, not running from your dog, getting into trash cans to find food, living under a house or porch of a home that is inhabited (not abandoned), constantly stopping to scratch- even when in open areas like roads, parks, etc. It is NOT NORMAL for a fox or coyote to eat from your trash cans or live under a house with people in it. These are VERY shy animals when they are well, and they truly love the chase of live prey far more than any amount or type of trash.
How Animals with Mange Appear: extreme hair loss, extreme weight loss, red blotchy almost bloody skin appearance, ‘hunchback’ appearance when standing and walking, scratching often, dull, confused appearance. Check out our mange gallery for photos! Email our experts to confirm a mange diagnosis – [email protected]
*Many mange chances are reported as sightings of a hyena, chupacabra, or other exotic sighting. It is surprising how unrecognizable coyotes and foxes can be when they have no hair, are starving and dying. If you live in Missouri or Illinois, you are NOT seeing a wolf, hyena, or chupacabra! It’s a mangy coyote or fox.*
Letting “Nature Take Its Course”: Mange is not technically a terminal illness. Sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies, is a highly contagious infestation of Sarcoptes scabiei canis, a burrowing mite. The canine sarcoptic mite can also infest cats, pigs, horses, sheep, and various other species. The human analog of burrowing mite infection, due to a closely related species, is called scabies (the “seven year itch”). All these burrowing mites are in the family Sarcoptidae. They dig into and through the skin, causing intense itching from an allergic reaction to the mite, and crusting that can quickly become infected. Hair loss and crusting frequently appear first on elbows and ears. Skin damage can occur from the dog’s intense scratching and biting. Secondary skin infection is also common. Dogs with chronic sarcoptic mange are often in poor condition, and in both animals and humans, immune suppression from starvation or any other disease causes this type of mange to develop into a highly crusted form in which the burden of mites is far higher than in healthy specimens. Eventually the infections become overwhelming, and the animal either dies of septic shock or starvation due to his inability to hunt for prey. When an animal has mange, they lose the ability to hunt effectively. They itch, 24 hours a day and they never sleep. It doesn’t take long before they are so tired that they cant spot prey, much less chase it. They get so weak and so miserable that it MAY be possible at times for a child or pet to walk up to them. At this point they are desperate for food, and they are not thinking straight. This is a dangerous situation for everyone involved. It is an intensely miserable way to die, and it can take MONTHS for the entire disease process to run its course. During this time, an infected fox or coyote will be more of a risk to the public then at any other life stage. Because of his condition they will take unusual chances and attempt to interact with people and venture into highly populated areas seeking relief and easy food sources for their own survival. Humans should be able to imagine how desperate we would be if we knew we were dying, starving, and how that condition may change our behavior for the worse. This makes for a dangerous brew of circumstances which has much more potential for harm to the public than any healthy fox or coyote ever would.
Lethal Action: In many areas it is legal to shoot coyotes and foxes but ALWAYS contact your local police department and/or the Dept. of Conservation before you even think about it! The main problem with this solution is that there are always more mangy foxes in the area and it becomes a never ending battle. Killing a coyote only serves to increase the population in your area the following year. It makes sense when you think about it. Once you trap or kill all of the foxes and coyotes in an area, it is only a matter of time before word gets out that their territory is up for grabs. In addition to this, it’s not easy to shoot a fox or coyote, even when they are sick. They’re still extremely cautious, and quick on their feet until they are almost on their last steps. Lethal action should always be the last resort, especially when there are alternatives available.
Humane Resolution: We have followed the lead of our British fox-loving counterparts. and are offering a mange by mail program that treats coyotes and foxes for mange with the help of you, the concerned citizen. You call us at 1-855-WILD-HELP or email us at [email protected] to verify a sighting of a sick fox or coyote. Once we determine that it is a coyote or fox with mange, we ask that you donate a minimum $10 to cover our shipping costs, and we ship you the medication. Under the advice of our team of veterinarians, we use the broad-spectrum antiparasitic drug Ivermectin at a dose of 300 µg/kg to treat wild canids with sarcoptic mange, . Outside of a special warning for certain breeds of dogs (found below), Ivermectin is considered extremely safe and has been used worldwide since 1981 when first developed. Farmers across the globe POUR copious amounts of this same medication onto their cattle and other livestock every season, with no known reports of soil damage or environmental impact. It is the same medication present in Heartgard Heartworm Prevention, Iverhart for Dogs, and many other flea, tick, and worming veterinary products. There have been no reported issues with public health. In fact, it is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system. You will receive this medication in liquid form, and can easily mix into canned dog food, or inject into beef, chicken, pork, etc. Just put the medicated food in a paper bowl or plate, and leave it in the vicinity of where you have been seeing the sick animal on a fairly regular basis. Please recheck the site in 2-4 hours to make sure that the bait was eaten, and clean up the bowl or plate you left. Because we are suggesting you use meat products or can dog food for bait, it would be extremely unlikely that a rabbit or squirrel would accidentally eat the bait, and larger wildlife species will tolerate the medication just as well as the coyote or fox.