Print Shortlink

Disease and Sanitation


The fox producer must always be aware of the condition of his herd, and be able to recognize signs of a distressed or ill animal. Common problems in United States fox farms are easily addressed and controlled through proper sanitation measures, conscientious nutrition formulation and vaccinations. These include taurine deficiency, lungworm, fleas, distemper and encephalitis.

Utilize these tips on disease prevention and learn more about specific illnesses by scrolling down to our list of known diseases in foxes.

  • The producer should develop a close working relationship with a local veterinarian.
  • It is important that fox producers develop an ability to observe the fox closely in order to detect any abnormalities of behavior, posture, gait, or other indication of ill health.Appropriate treatment should be given immediately.
  • The producer should pay particular attention to the feces of fox, which is an excellent indicator of the animals’ health.
  • No unexplained death(s) should go uninvestigated by post mortem examination.
  • Fox should be inoculated against encephalitis and distemper.Young fox should be inoculated within two to three weeks of weaning. First year adults should also be inoculated at this time. It is accepted that if the producer is certain an animal has had at least two (2) treatments, in consecutive years, it is then protected for life.
  • Note: At this time there are no medications approved by the FDA for use in fox. However, the use of certain medications on the market today is accepted by producers, and has proven effective in prevention. It is further noted that there is no way to positively insure that one hundred percent of the animals inoculated are therefore protected. A two or three treatment plan has proven both adequate and sufficient in the industry today.
  • A program should be designed to prevent and eliminate any infections or parasites on or in the fox. this should include internal (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, lungworms, etc.), and external, (fleas, ear mites, ticks, etc.). Fox may be treated by injection, subcutaneously or orally in the feed. Consultation will help an individual determine which is best in each case.
  • In the event of an outbreak of any type of infestation, the producer should immediately contact a veterinarian. Infected fox should be quarantined from the herd, and a program implemented to eliminate the contamination.1

The canine distemper vaccine used today was developed by a U.S. fox farm in the 1930s. Learn more.

Learn about symptoms and prevention of specific illnesses:

Viral Diseases

[catlist id=33 numberposts=-1]

Diseases Related to Nutrition

[catlist id=35 numberposts=-1]

Diseases Caused by Parasites

[catlist id=36 numberposts=-1]

Fungal Diseases

[catlist id=34 numberposts=-1]

Bacterial Diseases

[catlist id=32 numberposts=-1]


[catlist id=37 numberposts=-1]

Non-Specific Conditions

[catlist id=38 numberposts=-1]

Diseases Related to Reproduction

[catlist id=39 numberposts=-1]


A fox producer must impose effective hygienic and sanitary programs to avoid conditions which are unpleasant for the animals. Regular cleaning and fly control must be carried out, and adequate drainage must be available at all times.

  • Poor drainage can cause bad sanitation.Wet or damp areas are both unpleasant, and breeding grounds for germs.
  • Leaking water valves are a serious factor in causing wet areas. Inspect valves regularly.
  • Manure should be removed from under pens at least twice a month.
  • The control of fly population in the warm months is highly recommended. A fly control program is important. (Note: Remember that some insecticides are harmful to fox and humans. Seek professional advice.)
  • The feed preparation buildings and surrounding area should be kept clean using effective and safe methods.
  • Pens and nest boxes should be inspected for accumulation of feces and cleaned when necessary.
  • Unsanitary conditions can cause distress to the animals, and can be unpleasant for the producer, visitors, neighbors, and the environment.1
1. U.S. Fox Shipper’s Council And North Central Fox Producers. Standard Guidelines for the Operation of Fox Farms in the United States, 2006. USFSC and NCFP.