Saturday 3 January 2009

Fox with a wounded paw

One of the foxes that regularly visits my garden has hurt its paw. I have no idea how it did it, or the exact nature of the injury, but it is limping.

It is a different animal from the one that had an argument with Luna, my garden cat, over food the other day. I have seen Limping Fox in my garden a few times over the past days and he or she isn't putting any weight on one front paw. I'm in a bit of a dilemma about what to do.

I already put food out for wild creatures and I'll put out a bit extra, especially now the weather is so cold, but I'm not really sure if there is anything I could or should do to try to treat the fox's injury.

The RSPCA will treat wild animals if they can be captured and has a 24-hour advice line on 0300 1234 999 to report incidents.

On its website,, the RSPCA says:
"The best way to help the fox is to monitor the animal's condition and, if necessary, start preparing the animal for capture... Unfortunately, with wild animals ranging over some distance, it is often only when they are seriously sick or injured, and known to pass through a certain location on a regular basis, that it is possible to catch them."
I'm certainly keeping an eye out for Limping Fox to see if he or she gets better or worse but at the moment, even on three legs, the fox is much to fast for me to catch and certainly not tame enough to let me approach without running away.

I'm also concerned that trying to catch a fox might be traumatic for it. If the injury is something that will heal by itself naturally over time, then it might be best left alone.

There are plenty of dustbins and food scraps for a fox to scavenge, quite apart from food that myself and others are putting out deliberately, so I'm not really worried about it starving.

A friend I spoke to about the problem yesterday said: "If the fox can get food and can run too fast for you to catch it, it probably doesn't need catching."

That seems good advice, but I still wish I could do a bit more to help.

If anyone reading this blog has any suggestions, do leave a comment.



slothgoth said...

A truly hurt or sick animal will stop eating. It might be worth finding out if there are any animal centres nearish you that specialise in wild animal rescue. I agree that trying to capture it alone would be both difficult (very) and might totally traumatise the fox, even to the extent of it injuring itself further. Someone out there should be equipped and prepared to assist. Maybe the RSPCA would, but I don't know - I know they will come out for animals that are running loose near busy roads and stuff.

slothgoth said...

This one

might be local to you. Others I found:

Badwitch said...

Thanks very much for the links. The fox project certainly looks local to me. The website seems to have a lot of good information about foxes too.