On April 15th a tiny fox kit arrived at the centre. On April 16th after a long, horrible seizure one of at least two that we knew of, the little one named Rocky passed away.
After 35 bait traps were found within a 1km area around the den. Our prognosis was rat poisoning. Parents were seen bringing the kits rats to eat. Another kit arrived on the 16th. Found lethargic and severely dehydrated. The kit that passed away was sent for testing. Another kit was found dead near the den a few days later.
Distemper was ruled out, and the report came back with the cause of death turning out to be highly pathogenic avian influenza. There is no cure. The parents were seen bringing a duck to feed their kits. This is not good news as this shows that the avian flu has crossed species. The kits are under strict quarantine at the centre. Biosecurity protocols are in place to make sure the kits do not come in contact in any way with other animals, especially foxes. They are under a 2-week quarantine period.
We are still awaiting the results to see if rat poisoning is also factored in. It could be.
If you see sick waterfowl or birds do not touch them without masks AND gloves.
FYI. At this time, Procyon is NOT accepting any birds. You can call TWC (Toronto Wildlife) 416-631-0662 or Shades of Hope Wildlife at 705-437-4654.
If you find a dead waterfowl or bird, then you must contact:
Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative in Guelph online at Http://cwhc.wildlifesubmissions.org
This way allows them to track information quickly and accurately.
Or call them at 1 866 673 4781
They will instruct you what to do.
In the meantime, our two kits seem to be doing well. Playing, vocalizing, and eating well. Every day is a new day. They will see the veterinarian for a checkup and tests after quarantine is up.
Any donations to help in their care during this critical time would be much appreciated.