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Originally posted by Byrd
It's a fox with mange.
Another major killer is sarcoptic mange, in which the most obvious symptom in affected individuals is fur loss. Whole family groups may be wiped out by this extremely unpleasant mite-borne disease. The foxes may become totally bald in severe cases and these animals are distressing to observe as they may take a long time to die. Some milder cases may recover spontaneously.
Foxes do moult naturally during the summer months and this may lead the observer to erroneously believe that a healthy animal might have been infected with mange. During the autumn the thick winter coat will grow and moulted foxes will then achieve their physical peak prior to mating. All of the illustrations above show foxes in this condition and the degree of insulation offered is seen in the photograph of the vixen in the snow - none of the snowflakes have melted.