"Pet Fox 505"
Let's talk about "cooties"!!!
One of the spaniels was in the house yesterday, apparently his flea bath didn't work too well (probably some ancient flea shampoo.) I noticed a very few fleas in the house before Sid came, and they quickly moved onto him. The spaniel probably brought in a fresh batch, also.
Animals can easily get tapeworms from fleas. The majority of de-wormers bought in a store are not designated for killing typical tapeworms, and thus I use Safeguard for my dogs. More on that later....
Fox tapeworm is usually spread by the wild fox eating rodents, and is not a nice thing to have around! Fox tapeworms can be transferred to humans by contact with feces (including domestic animal feces) and can cause liver failure in humans. (And this is one reason why taking in an actual wild fox is not a good idea.) Be sure to have plenty of plastic baggies and lots of soap and water available!!!
So keeping a pet fox around the house for the purpose of eliminating rodents is also not a good idea. If one uses rodent poisons, they must be placed in strategic areas where the fox cannot find it and eat it. Since I don't expect the fox or dogs to climb into the attic or between the walls, those are pretty good places. I wouldn't place poison inside of a kitchen cabinet or a closet, simply because it would be too easy to forget and leave a door open...
Mice traps would probably not cause significant damage to a curious fox, but baited traps would be too much temptation, and traps would probably not stay set for very long. Rat traps are another story, those things are big and a fox sticking his nose into one would probably not be a pretty picture and could involve a necessary quick trip to a vet who might or might not be there.
Prevention is the best option. Once fleas are in, they are not easy to get rid of. Fortunately, I have a gallon bottle of flea spray for the furniture, and some flea bombs for the house....which are not to be used while any animals are in the vicinity. If you use such products, be sure to read the directions because different brands of the same type of products have different instructions and requirements.
Now, onto flea elimination. I called the vet's office who told me it is okay to use Frontline Plus for dogs...with the same age and weight ranges as for a dog. I wouldn't buy any brand which is not sold by a veterinarian because there have been too many reports of "over the counter" brands causing reactions, sickness and even death of pets.
There are other ways of eliminating fleas, if there are some who prefer to not use, or cannot tolerate, chemicals.
One way of immediately killing fleas is to boil a scored lemon in a quart of water for 10 minutes, and then cool the juice. (If life hands you lemons, use them to kill fleas!)
Use a sponge dipped in the 'lemonade'to wash the animal. (I haven't tried this one.)
Fleas also don't like the smell of sage or peppermint. Feeding small amounts of garlic to the animal will also deter fleas. There are a zillion other remedies which I will leave for others to look up.
I earlier mentioned using Safeguard on my dogs. It is one of the few dewormers on the market that kills multiple types of worms, including tapeworms. I haven't verified it yet for Sidney, the fox. (Now, here is a nice piece of information which some vets and the makers of Safeguard might not like if I share it here, but here it is.)
As a former breeder of German Shepherds, I know that buying Safeguard for dogs is an expensive thing. While searching online, and after okaying it with the vet, I started buying and using Safeguard Goat dewormer for my dogs. It requires a different dosage, so read closely. The Safeguard Goat Suspension 10% dewormer can be bought in small and large bottles at farm supply stores, veterinary supply stores, and online. If you are using it on dogs, pay absolutely no attention to the dosages listed on the bottle. The dosage for dogs is 1 CC to 4-5 lbs of dog, administered orally. Dogs don't seem to mind the taste, but cats hate any sort of meds. I have also used this successfully on cats at the same dosage.....DO NOT USE on pregnant or nursing dogs or cats.
And another thing I have learned is that it works okay with one dosage...the second and third dosages are required only to kill the whipworms.
More about cooties in a later "Pet Fox course".
On to the other stuff......
Finally verified with the DNR that Sidney (a marble fox) does not require a permit in the state of Indiana. I got hold of the DNR guy, and he said that since marble foxes are not listed in the Class I, II, or III requirements for a permit, and since marble foxes are not indigenous to the state (they originated in Norway), no permit is required.
However, another problem has arisen and that was through my conversations with the vet's office. They don't treat 'wildlife' unless the owner has a license or permit to keep it. I relayed this information to the DNR guy, who asked for the phone number of the vet....and he agreed to call and even email the vet's office to let them know that Sidney does not require a permit. I will have to follow up on this later, because Sid will need his rabies innoculation pretty soon. The exotics vet here won't be back from vacation until the end of the month.
And on to the 'fun' stuff....when a fox is good, he is very very good, but when a fox is bad, he poops directly on the tv remote. I am guessing he was 'voicing' his displeasure that the spaniel went back outside for the night.
I suppose the change of diet also makes it a little worse, since the previous owners did not bless me with the brand of dog food that Sidney had been eating, and also since he's switching over to cat food, anyway. His stools are sometimes firm and sometimes not.
And while I'm at it, I might mention something worth taking note of.......... When Sidney arrived, he had this voracious appetite. A bowl of dog/cat food mix would disappear very quickly and he was eating almost every snack that I gave him. At first I thought this was normal (I didn't know whether or not foxes were normally that way), but his appetite has slacked off a little. *Whew*
Then I remembered...when I went to see him the first time, there was no food in his cage. When I went to pick him up the next day, there was no food in his cage. The poor little guy was just very hungry when he got here.......
I've seen this type of thing before, in animal rescue. When someone advertises an animal for sale, there are times when the animal has already stopped being cared for.....but not always!
I am hoping that Sidney is being better cared for here.
Sidney enjoyed the first playtime with one of the cocker spaniels yesterday. His first reaction was of happy submission. "Please play with me while I roll over onto my back on the floor." An hour later he was happily humping the spaniel...who didn't care one way or the other. Today, the other CS will come in to play. One introduction at a time!
Now a note about "the smell." When I walked into Sidney's two rooms this morning, I could smell it. More like mild skunk, and not like musky ferret. Time to clean! First of all was to clean the tv remote and then other areas of foxy poo. The smell was still there. Empty the trash where I had been depositing the plastic bags, rags, paper towels, etc....ah, much better. Next is to wash and disenfect the litter box. Several layers of newspaper is best.
Now to explain my house.......which is in the midst of necessary reparations. I inherited my house, complete with leaky roofs, mold in the ceiling and walls, leaky plumbing, and areas of the tile ceiling where the mice chewed holes. That's not all of it, but gives everyone a good idea of what it's like here. My parents installed the carpeting 30 some years ago and it had never seen a carpet shampooer or steam cleaner. After a couple of years of dogs and pups running in and out of the house (and an episode of 23 rescued pups) it was time for the carpet to go...voila and the carpet is gone, leaving hardwood floors with dark and light spots (depending what was peed or spilled on the carpets.)
Hardwood floors can handle only so much potty accidents and cleanings, so I am considering the ceramic or porcelain tile flooring for the living/dining rooms...The kitchen is nicely and newly redone.
I definitely would not recommend a pet fox for carpeted floors!!
Carpets are hard to clean, retain nasty smells and there is stuff that makes it's way through carpeting and padding that can never be gotten out without removing the entire carpet and pad.
And finally, time for a quick commercial Easy-Off BAM is not only good for cleaning grime, lime and soap scum, but is an excellent de-greaser and paint stripper.