Mange is caused by a microscopic burrowing parasitic mite and there are a number of types that infect different animals. In the UK, the type that causes mange in dogs and foxes is sarcoptic mange. It is a common disease in foxes and is different to the type that infects other animals or humans.
Mange mites need a host on which to feed and breed and are normally spread by direct contact between animals. However, the mite can also survive on its own in the environment for quite a long time. Being microscopic, it is almost impossible to find the source of an infection.
It is highly unlikely that a pet dog would come into close enough contact with a live fox for the disease to be passed on. However, if your dog was to come into contact with the body of a dead fox that had mange, there is a possibility that it could get the disease.
For more information about foxes, visit our wildlife pages.
Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal whether it is domestic, wild, dead or alive.
Other useful information:
A sick or injured fox that is still mobile
Cats and foxes
Deterring foxes from a garden
Fox cubs found on their own
Foxes in towns and gardens
Foxes with mange
Information about fox cubs