No Rabies, Fox Scabies only in Alta

Red Fox ScabiesRed Fox with scabies. Photo: Wikimedia / LeoP~fiwiki

No Rabies, Fox Scabies only in Alta

After a fox attacked a baby in a stroller in Alta last week, the Game Board killed two foxes. Both were severely attacked by the skin disorder fox scabies, but none of them was infected by rabies.


A fox was culled at Aronnes and another in Tverrelvdalen. Both were sent to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute for examination and routinely checked for rabies.

“Neither of the foxes was infected by rabies, and we are very pleased with that. The autopsy that the veterinary institute carried out shows that the foxes that were culled were emaciated. They had lost a lot of their coats and had large areas of scabies on their hide. The health condition of the foxes can explain their abnormal behaviour, Department Manager in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA),” Siv June Hansen, informs.

Wants reports on culled or dead foxes at Aronnes

The extraordinary culling of foxes has now ended, but to be on the safe side, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority still wants to be notified if someone shoots or come across dead foxes in the area.

The environmental authorities are responsible for managing wild animals. For example, if you see a fox that has scabies, or sees a fox that is sick or injured, you should contact the local Game Board.

Facts about Fox Scabies

Fox Scabies is, like all other forms of Scabies, caused by a mite (Latin: sarcoptes scabiei was vulpes) that burrows into the hide of the animal. It causes severe itching, scabbing and hair loss. The Fox will eventually look straggly and become less shy and drawn towards settlements. Most foxes that are infected with Scabies die after a while.

Mites that fall off the host can survive for a few days if the climate is favourable. Frost kills mites. The most common way of infection is direct contact, but infection can also occur indirectly, if a fox scratches itself against a tree, for example, and another animal comes in contact with the tree shortly thereafter.

How do I notice that a dog is infected with Fox Scabies, and what to do next?

Dogs can be infected with Fox Scabies if they come in contact with something where a fox with scabies has been, for example where it has been lying down, rolled around or scratched itself.

A dog that has been infected with Fox Scabies will develop a profound itch that usually starts in the region on and around its head. It can eventually lead to scabs and the hide becomes thick, dry and wrinkled.

If you suspect that your dog has been infected with scabies, you should contact your veterinarian for examination and treat it with a prescribed antiparasitic ointment.

Do Fox Scabies Infect humans or other animals?

Humans who handle animals with Fox Scabies may experience an itchy rash afterwards. The mites cannot breed on humans, so the itching and rash will gradually disappear by itself.

Cats can in rare cases be infected with Fox Scabies. Then it will itch, especially on the ears and the hide will, eventually, have similar changes as those we experience in dogs.

© Mattilsynet / #Norway Today