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What do you know about the grief associated with losing a pet to a fox? As I sit and write this, my mind drifts back to the events of Thursday 6th November 2003 and the surprise that I recall feeling upon getting up to investigate the quacking of our two pet "Call" ducks.

For those of you who are familiar with the 9 standardized and half-dozen or more non-standardized types of Call duck listed by the British Wildfowl Association in 1999, one was a "Grey" or "Mallard" and the other was a "Bibbed" duck.

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.

For more detailed coverage, please see the main Sarcoptic Mange article.

(Back to Menu) Q: It’s all very well for you to sit at your computer and tell people that foxes only kill pets to feed themselves and don’t kill for sport.

I had hoped that shouting at the fox would cause it to drop the duck and flee – I was wrong; it did indeed flee, although much to my increasing despair took its quarry with it.

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The during July 2001, severely infected foxes may be taken into captivity for treatment, although it seems that they may return to find their territory has been taken over by another fox within a few days.

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.

Anyhow, looking out of my dining room window, I saw the Bibbed duck (named Flick - the brown duck in the photo on the left) lying almost motionless on the netting of our fishpond, pinned down by an adolescent fox.

Shouting “” or some such -- admittedly slightly more explicit -- harangue, I shot through the kitchen and flew out of the back door shouting at the top of my lungs.