Treating any wild animal whilst it is still in the wild can be difficult. The most effective treatment for mange requires either injections or repeated applications to the skin. Efforts have been made to treat foxes - usually by putting medicine in the food left out for them. Even if such methods relieve the symptoms, they give no immunity. Foxes may be re-infected and so treatment is unlikely to prevent the spread of the disease.
During a recent epidemic of mange in Bristol, many foxes were treated either by injection or via food, but this did not stop the disease destroying the fox population. Where possible, foxes may be caught and taken to a wildlife centre for treatment. However, severely affected foxes may need to be humanely destroyed to prevent suffering.
Veterinary medicines used for killing parasitic mites in farm and domestic animals, such as Ivermectin or Panomec, are available from vets and can be fed to foxes. However, these medicines can be toxic to other animals and may kill certain breeds of domestic dog. They should only be used as a treatment for mange in consultation with a vet, and where it is known that the affected fox will immediately eat the food that contains them (i.e. not take the food away or bury it where another animal could eat it later).
Homeopathic treatments are recommended by some organisations and are a safer option - but their effectiveness has not been scientifically proved. Before starting treatment, food scraps such as cheese, boiled potatoes, parts of chicken carcasses, and bread can be put out at a selected location to get the fox used to taking food there without interruption. When it has become used to visiting that location, medicine can be added to small amounts of food provided for the fox.
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
Dogs catching mange from foxes
Fox cubs found on their own
Foxes in towns and gardens
Information about fox cubs