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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.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.

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Fortunately, it had not punctured his air sac (lungs) or he would’ve died almost immediately.

We left him at the vet, returning a couple of hours later to pick up our newly sewn-up duck.

At the vet's he was examined, and we found a large cut about 3cm (about 1.5 in) long and about 2cm (1 in) deep.

The fox’s teeth had cut clean through his skin and into his breast muscle.

Foxes undergoing their summer moult are sometimes mistaken for those suffering from mange, because the infection starts from the hind quarters and spreads forward; infected foxes often have very bedraggled looking hips and tails.

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.

Conjunctivitis and changes in behaviour (the infected fox becomes less and less active) are also common.

So intense is the irritation caused by this mite, that foxes are reputed to have gnawn off appendages!

I finally fought my way through the brambles, and was just able to lift the steel pipes off him.

Picking him up, and holding him close to my chest I began my travels back to the familiarity of my garden, talking to him all the way.

I screeched like an opera singer with an appendage caught in a car door, and the fox dropped the duck into a small crevice under some steel pipes.