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the fox hospital

About us

The Fox Hospital provides specialist care, rehabilitation, rescue, medical assistance and physiotherapy of all kinds to sick, disabled and injured red foxes no matter how simple or complex the condition.  

We have successfully rehabilitated foxes from paralysis or paresis to walking, from severe systemic health issues and organs failing to full health, tumours to recovery, broken neck to full recovery and back to the wild, spinal injuries, nerve damage patients, from multiple epileptic seizures daily to none at all, broken bones to fully healed, amputees, hepatic conditions, renal problems, brain disorders, sight and hearing impairment, severe parasite conditions, and these are to name just a tiny amount of successful cases.  A handful of case studies out of the many hundreds are below. 

If you are reading this and are, or know someone who would like to change the lives of thousands of animals then please
get in touch now.  There simply are not enough facilities in the country for the amount of foxes needing help, many are being turned down, left to suffer in the wild through lack of space in rescue centres or euthanised when taken to vets or overstretched wildlife hospitals.  The Fox Hospital will eliminate this.

 

help us fund our new hospital + sanctuary

 

We have planned and designed a state-of-the-art purpose built 2 acre hospital building on a 40 acre multi area sanctuary, there is nothing like it in the country (or possibly any country for that matter, which we know is a bold claim) due to having everything needed on site for referral level veterinary care from MRI to hydrotherapy to a full physio suite, 4 surgeries with their own decontamination rooms, self contained dental surgeries, 2D and 3D CT imaging with separate dental CT scanning machines, Fluoroscopy theatres, Laparoscopy theatres with Endoscopy, full Radiography suite, 9 wards including a huge quarantine/new intake ward, surgery recovery wards and various standard wards for various stages of age and recovery prior to release back to the wild (or for those with lasting disabilities a multi section outdoor natural sanctuary separated into various sections depending on disability, vulnerability, condition or age).  With some specialist equipment not seen in veterinary practices to referral level veterinary machines and equipment capable of taking on any injury, disability or health condition in-house, the facilities will allow us to aid all other fox rehabbers, rescues and sanctuaries whether established or new as well as general wildlife rehabbers who often have little experience or space for foxes in addition to all veterinary practices who may have taken in a fox from a member of public or rescue and have nowhere to transfer to or may wish to help wildlife but are unable to based on space or infection control (or if corporate, due to policy), particularly in the event of a special or complex case.  It will also allow us to take patients from wildlife hospitals who generally are so busy they receive more patients than they can handle or do not have a general basic knowledge of foxes rather than a specialist indepth knowledge of foxes which is often the case.

With plans for a large full time 24 hour veterinary team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, a locum physiotherapist and animal care staff on site, the project is outside the cost scope of virtually all standard grants, so we are looking to philanthropic means. 

The Fox Hospital will accept fox patients from members of the public, veterinary practices, other rescuers, rehabbers, wildlife rescue organisations, wildife hospitals, charities and sanctuaries for any reason with any physical or neurological injury, condition or disability.

With more space and dedicated fox facilities than any other sanctuary or rescue in the country and on site veterinary professionals 24/7 with access to on site state of the art medical equipment and machines usually only seen in large human hospitals, this will provide the care and attention they deserve in-house and on site that up to now has been inaccessible.  The hope is also to be able to provide free care to any fox transferred or referred from another rescue or veterinary facility eliminating any cost prohibitive treatment usually faced by rescues as well as sanctuary for those with amputations of any limb(s) or any neurological condition including seizures, toxoplasmosis, neosporosis (with a dedicated self contained and segregated infection controlled neosporisis sanctuary for those very rare cases).  See some case studies below.

The Fox Hospital - Fox Cub Patient

Case Study Patients

Of the thousands examined or treated so far, here are a few examples of cases who many practices and even rescues would have very likely euthanised upon presentation of initial symptoms. 
The Fox Hospital has a different approach, treatment/cure methods and focuses on root cause curing rather than symptom treating as well as thinking far out of the box in problem solving, as such these patients all recovered.  These specific cases were selected to show that even some of the most complex cases can be rehabilitated with sufficient effort and willingness.

Case Study Patients

Patient Name:

Rabbit

Indications:

  • Vet assessed radiographs as severe neck break, fracture to the 2nd and 3rd Cervical Vertebrae (fig. 1 and 2).

  • Open Wound on left forearm exposing intact radius and ulna bones (fig. 5).

  • Minor open wound and fresh lesion to either side of the neck from how and where he was stuck at the rescue site between a wall and plastic debris. 

Treatment:

His wounds were treated by flushing them out internally with sterile saline and some hibiscrub dilute around the outside of the wound to discourage any bacteria, with the surrounding areas shaved to inhibit reach of any hair ingress hindering any granulation and healing.  Sterile medical manuka was packed into the open wounds then an Allevyn foam dressing to prevent drying out, then a single layer of Steroply conforming bandage followed by a single layer of orthoband type padding, finally a layer of vet wrap to protect the bandages (fig. 5 and fig. 6).  This was changed every 3-4 days as he kept them clean and its important to allow the white blood cells to do their job, removing and changing the dressing too often pulls vital cells away from the site and can slow the process.  His arm wound healed fully in 5 weeks.

 

For his neck fracture, I made a custom neck brace to stabilise the vertebrae (fig. 7), since the vet didn't offer any solution or advice (see Challenges section below).  I had been issued with a SAM Splint just before I deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and still had it in my kit - little did I know years prior that the very device I had been given to potentially help save my life would go on to save the life of a little baby fox.  I knew it would work to stabilise his neck with some modifications, so a SAM Splint was cut down and modified (fig. 7), which you can see on the radiographs in fig. 3 and fig. 4 and covered with layers of veterinary padding, bandage and vet wrap in fig. 7, 8, 9 and 10.  It proved successful, although since cubs grow very rapidly there were multiple made week by week to allow for growth. 

 

I changed the design a couple of times as he healed, the final one being more of a skeletal open design (fig. 11 and fig. 12) due to a challenge faced (see below under Challenges).  He kept on the brace until he was ready to have it removed after multiple x-rays at different stages.  The vet remained happy and amazed at his progression.  Rabbit continued to show rapid healing and proved to be one of the most active patients at the time proving resilience and desire to survive even in the most serious of injuries, he remained fully wild and defensive with human presence as well as naturally playful of normal behaviour with other cubs and adult foxes and exhibited all normal wild behaviour his entire time.  Its important to note that fox behaviour is pre-programmed by nature, human presence all that time had no effect on his personality and he was very wild as shown in many of our videos during his recovery on social media at the time and to be brutally honest he was a bit of a cheeky, bitey sausage as he matured before eventual release.   Fig. 13 shows him the day his brace was removed, and fig. 14 momentarily into a veterinary kennel for a general exam prior to integration before soft release phase. 

Outcome:

To ensure there were no issues while the vertebrae grew, making sure the fractured vertebrae calcified correctly and did not impinge on the spinal cord as it too grew, Rabbit was monitored for just over a year until full vertebral growth was confirmed.  Throughout his entire time he showed all normal signs of growth from a baby to young adult. At this point he was successfully integrated into a group and released back to the wild as a healthy, fully recovered (and very wild, instinctive) fox. 

Challenges:

Veterinary perception:

Like many cases like this throughout the country each year, the surgeon used at the time at a corporate vet practice initially was insisting on him being euthanised, “just in case” he had issues as the vertebrae healed and grew.  While I had a very good working relationship with this vet lasting a couple of years at this point and had never needed to question any decisions with trust, I knew this was the wrong decision based on Rabbit's behaviour and body language.  The cub (Rabbit) was still trying to be mobile, I had to reassure the vet that I would make him a neck brace and also as well as clinical signs it is vital to understand fox specific behaviour and body language.  Foxes body language does not always match clinical symptoms or results, sometimes they test fine and bloods and clinical data shows normal, but their behaviour indicates otherwise.  Other times their results look horrendous yet their behaviour and body language is that of one who is going to be fine.  It is more important to understand their behaviour than clinical data on many occasions which is how I was able to know Rabbit would heal well, against the vet’s original diagnosis.  Rabbit was showing no signs of any potential for adverse healing despite his injury, so I suggested and it was agreed that he would be examined every 24 hours, monitored and assessed daily.  after a week this became weekly assessments for 2 weeks then it became monthly for a couple of months until no longer needed.  

 

Stabilising the neck on an active wild baby fox:

His age made handling him easier, but he was still a wriggle bum and just wanted to explore so it was important to ensure the neck brace was fully secure and unable to shift. 

 

One challenge was the lack of airflow under the brace and he has a small abrasion wound from where his neck was stuck between the wall and panel he was trapped in before rescue, the lack of airflow was initially causing some bacteria growth on a rub wound he had on his neck on the day of rescue so I changed the design.  The open design I made (fig. 11 and fig. 12) proved the best of the prototypes and worked a treat, made from a SAM Splint, natural cotton pad roll/wound care padding, steroply bandage and medical tape (fig. 11).  He kept on the brace until he was ready to have it removed (fig. 13) after multiple x-rays at different stages.  The vet remained happy and amazed at his progression.  Rabbit continued to show rapid healing and proved to be one of the most active patients at the time proving resilience and desire to survive even in the most serious of injuries, he remained fully wild and defensive with human presence as well as naturally playful with normal behaviour with other foxes and cubs and exhibited all normal wild behaviour his entire time.

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Case Study Patients

Patient Name:

River

Indications:

  • Hind Leg Paralysis, Tail Paresis, Atrophied gluteals, hamstrings and quadricep muscle groups, Lungworm (River's faecal microscopy shows a Lungworm Egg in fig. 17 and Lungworm in fig. 18).

  • Radiographs (fig. 15 & 16) showed no evidence of any new or old fracture or present impingement, other than two vertebrae quite close together in the lumbar area to investigate.

  • Diagnosis possibilities were either a Thrombus caused by lungworm, a spinal cord impingement causing inability to use legs for long enough to cause muscle atrophy, or a fall and subsequent spinal jarring.

Treatment:

  • Treatment was focused to encourage nerve regeneration and improving tone and hind limb musculature.

  • Pulsed Electro Magnetic FIeld (PEMF) Therapy on neurological 200Hz settings.

  • Laser Therapy using a single diode infrared 200mW laser head to both stifles (fig. 22)

  • Tapotement to hindlimb musculature, with passive range of motion PROM cycling and toe tickling (fig. 20).

  • Massage to paraspinals and hindlimb musculature throughout treatment.

  • NMES (NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation) at 10Hz and 100µs (fig. 19)

  • Assisted Wobble cushion for muscle build with assisted squats on wobble aid (fig.21).

  • Physio Therapy in dedicated physio room with incline/decline ramps, multi-terrain, free moving miscanthus (similar to walking/running on loose sand for strong limb natural workout) and natural branches and tree stumps for climbing.

  • Lungworm treatment for 4 months with weekly faecal microscopy for the duration (see Challenges below regarding lungworm treatment resistance.

  • Wheelchair fitment sizing in case of requirement (although ended up not being required)

Outcome:

River was able thought controlled, regular therapies to regain walking, gain muscle mass and go from paralysis to paresis to fast walking.  He has remained in safe sanctuary as he still has a limited gait enough to disadvantage him in the wild, with a mild muscle control limitation so he doesn't have 100% control over his hind legs, probably somewhere around 85-90% so he gets up to plenty of mischief and is extremely active, but if he was in the wild hunting would be a significant problem for him, he would not be able to sneak up and pounce on prey.  He would also be disadvataged defending himself fully.  In sanctuary though he is very active and mobile and fast enough to be able to escape humans easily, even if sometimes clumsily.

Challenges:

Getting vets in general to take animals like River with injuries such as his seriously is the biggest challenge with much prejudice, misinformation and lack of understanding of wildlife due to a lack of training in veterinary school.  Thankfully working with an advanced vet who works regularly with paralysed dogs and understands that there is no difference between the compassion of wanting and being willing to help a wild animal versus a companion animal or ‘pet’ is the key to helping foxes like River.  The majority of vets would have euthanised a fox presenting with the initial indications (symptoms) that River had, and this has been found many times in the past when trying to get foxes like him into vets in being rejected or only offered euthanasia.

Thankfully there have been a few good vets I have found and worked with for years  With the right vet with more realistic and understanding attitude and willingness to listen to my experience we are able to work together and River is a perfect example.  An experienced fox specialist, an advanced veterinary surgeon with an independent family practice and a veterinary physio all working together for one soul.  

Lungworm in foxes is extremely resistant to prescription medication that claims to eradicate it,.  Regular (weekly) centrifugal faecal floats are essential, do not rely on the medication claims as we have found them all to be entirely false, some of which being completely ineffective.  This is particularly a problem in immunocompromised patients due to the toxic nature of many of those medications.  We have also found that almost 100% of adult fox patients coming in have lungworm in faecal floats under microscopy, meaning even those with minor injuries require longer hospitalisation than expected, and most fox rescues are overlooking this in favour of a quick turnaround resulting in negligent treatment through lack of testing.

Case Study Patients

Patient Name:

Willow

Indications:

  • Right Arm - Broken Elbow (ulna separation at the olecranon tuber) with floating triceps brachii tendons and Detached Tricep (fig. 29, 30 & 31).

  • Left deltoid area - Large deep, open, infected wound with mild necrotic tissue (fig. 32).

  • Compound Open Fractured and infected Caudal Vertebrae (fig. 33 & 34).

  • Anaemia, malnutrition and mineral deficiencies. 

Treatment:

- Elbow

Amputation of right arm (fig. 37 & 38 post-op recovery) - see 'Challenges' below for the reason due to surgical limitations.  Physio of right shoulder compensating for adjusted gait.

- Tail

Partial amputation to remove infected vertebrae and tissue to prevent spread of necrosis and sepsis (fig. 36).

- Left Arm

Wound lavage with sterile saline, minor debriding of necrotic tissue and daily cleaning with further lavage and chlorhexidine dilute around the tissue. Not in a good place to dress with sterile medical grade manuka honey and foam dressing, suturing a hydrocolloid dressing in place (a different method with a similar result) was an option but it was decided against by the vet to allow it to air out and monitor.

 

- Anaemia

Controlled and specific diet, organic bioavailable mineral additions to food to aid in replenishment.  Anaemia was mild and nutrient related, general other blood levels not too bad.  Willow was in a rural setting but found opposite a horse riding school, it is presumed she may have been getting some food sustenance  from cat food left out for the yard cat since her wounds were such she would not have been able to hunt at all, and it only takes a few days for foxes being without food to develop other complications like hepatic lipidosis or severe decline eventually resulting in a heavy parasite burden which Willow fortunately did not have. 

Outcome

Willow made a full recover from both, although in her specific case contrary to other arm amputees, she had developed a very specific coping mechanism and gait as a result of how bad and painful her injury was in the wild, so this took some time for her to get out of the habit of that gait.  She remained a very cautious fox after the surgical recovery, had physio on her left shoulder from time to time and specific dietary additions to prevent any inflammation or adverse development and generally as you can see from fig. 39 and fig. 40 became very healthy and thrived.  Autumn was not released to the wild under the circumstances and was instead given safe sanctuary and care.

Challenges:

The surgeon wanted to initially see if the elbow would heal without surgery.  Unfortunately it did not, and as you will see from the radiography images (which proved to be an issue during surgery) the section of the elbow on the Ulna (known as the olecranon tuber) had broken off where the triceps brachii tendons attach, meaning the tricep was also detached and unable to function properly.  Willow would attempt to hold up her arm so not to weight bear but even that was difficult for obvious reasons so she had learned to walk with a very slow, careful and awkward gait to allow for the injury. and manage her pain in the wild   This had also resulted in severe weight loss through inability to hunt effectively and she was in a rural setting.  It is unknown exactly how long she carried these injuries but based on the exposed sections of the protruding caudal vertebrae, weathering and calcification it is estimated at least a couple of months.  During surgery, the veterinary surgeon made various attempts to pin or fix the tip of elbow in this case and save the arm, unfortunately the tendons and tricep had shortened no doubt due to length of time with this injury in the wild, as such it was impossible to pin.  Much to the disappointment of the surgeon, the only choice at this point was to amputate. 

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Case Study Patients

Patient Name:

Autumn

Indications:

  • Intermittent proprioception issue, generally clumsy.

  • Generalised "not all there" type demeanour, possible previous head or brain injury.

  • Anaemia, mineral deficiency and low body score (approx 1.5 of 5)

 

Later Symptoms

  • Onset of epileptic seizures 2 years after rescue, seemingly out of nowhere.

Treatment:

Initial conditions

  • Anaemia - specific dietary support

  • Demeanour - with no physical evidence of injuries she remained her clumsy self with no otherwise concerning issues except her being an obvious special needs individual under regular monitoring. 


Epileptic Seizures

  • Firstly one of the important things to do when figuring out the root cause for a seizure is to observe and record the sequence of events and timings. Neurologists are taught this during their training.  After Autumn's first seizure she was brought back into a large veterinary kennel to examine and protect her from injury during seizures.  A live and recording camera was placed on her veterinary kennel to record the lead up to, during and post seizure events for to capture every detail and timing of any seizure even though there was always someone within a few seconds of her 24/7.  Since she was having seizures at similar times, and of a frequency of between 2 to 5 seizures per 24 hours, from these video observations and being able to detect the beginning of a seizure from knowing her behaviour it was possible to ascertain that the seizures were epileptic.  This was because events occurred in a specific order, pointing to the seizure beginning in a specific part of the brain according to neurology studies and training.  During seizures she was held carefully (avoiding her mouth) to ensure she did not suffer any potential seizure caused dislocations since her seizures were extremely violent.

    In addition, since we at the Fox Hospital know that a very large number of illnesses can be traced to some form of mineral deficiencies, a bio-resonance test was carried out to determine mineral, nutrient and vitamin deficiencies, as well as food and non-food intolerances, blood samples and preparing for the possibility of needing an MRI and potential E.E.G. Bioresonance results showed a sodium and chromium deficiency, and also showed an interesting list of intolerances for the species in general (such as many types of marine animals including fish, oat straw, watermelon, and of course obvious ones like pork, beef, and all dairy. 

    Of course, the sodium deficiency was the obvious stand out issue needing addressing, since this can indeed cause seizures.  This was quite odd though since all of the foxes in treatment and in general are only given coconut water as hydration instead of normal H2O because it is exceptional at hydration and already contains sodium and potassium in the correct form and quantity, so we know she and all the others get sufficient sodium levels in  a bioavailable form.  There appeared to be an issue with her body absorbing the sodium which needed further investigation.

    Since the seizures were epileptic, specific additions to her food were given.  Initially in addition to the following fruit added to her food for key minerals and nutrients to help cleanse and get her lymph nodes in the head region removing waste (around a third of the hundreds around the body are from the neck up to assist the brain) and get her blood pushing nutrients around more efficiently, she was also given syringe fed nutrients to ensure she got them on regular times since she takes her time eating throughout the day unlike the others who finish their food within minutes.  She was given in her food, honeydew melon, various organic berries (black, rasp, straw and blue), tenderstem broccoli just because she enjoys it and green beans, both for the natural source of the essential mineral chromium that she was showing deficient in.  Twice per day she was also syringe fed around 5-10ml of a paste made up of cocoa nucifera (coconut water) base, a blend of 7 adaptogenic brain functional mushrooms (reishi, lion's mane, chaga, cordiceps, tremella, maitake, shiitake and agaricus blazei) for vascular support, organic spirulina and chlorella for mineral support, B vitamin complex, capsicum annuum (cayenne pepper) to boost the nutrients and aid the flow around the blood.  Fasting was also incorporated into her plan, with only one meal per day, the rest of the day being a fast (to encourage stem cell production), and once a week she would have a full 24 hour fast, with only minerals provided to ensure nutrients, but without the burden of digesting actual food to aid her metabolism and help cleanse her system.  This must be done with knowledge and caution, it is not advised if one does not fully understand when and how to do and when and how not to do it, especially with foxes. 

    She was also given initially Hartmann's Solution to address her dehydration.  Despite a sufficient intake of oral fluids per day with food, she did show dehydration symptoms including slow skin turgor so this was addressed with Fluid Therapy. 

    The reason she was not given medication is due to virtually all prescribed seizure medication having significant adverse reactions / side effects and in Autumn's case, some of those would have been even more detrimental than the seizures themselves.  While she was prescribed phenobarbital (epiphen) Q24H, the vet only provided one week's worth and it takes longer to get into the system and start to work.   Not only this, it, like other seizure medication, is very narrow spectrum and none of them cover all types of seizures so unless you know the exact cause by way of successful EEG and MRI scans, it can be difficult to pinpoint which medication will be effective.  And since we at The Fox Hospital understand that mineral deficiencies play a huge part in may diseases, this was the root that was taken for Autumn and it proved perfectly effective in stopping the violent seizures of up to 5 per day to zero with no need for ongoing medication.  This is just the route The Fox Hospital took, and it is not meant as a guide on how to treat seizures, its very important to understand these conditions properly, not simply copy one remedy as these are individual lives we are dealing with and serious brain conditions.

Outcome:

Initial conditions

  • The Anaemia was straight forward as a huge percentage of our new intake patients have some form of nutrient deficiency anaemia.  Although she has remained a general special needs fox, she isn't anywhere near as clumsy as she was, her brain function is much improved in comparison to her first few months during treatment.

Epileptic Seizures

  • With the dietary change and observations, and a logical approach to her entire situation, her seizures managed to be under control without any medication and completely ceased after 3 months with no further occurrences.  After the first week they drastically reduced to around 1 per day but would flair up roughly every 4 weeks until by the third month she had a couple of days with mild seizures in comparison and then they ceased entirely.   

Challenges:

Initial conditions

  • Not knowing the root cause of her brain condition since she had no physical wounds at all, so it was hard to tell if she'd suffered a head injury in the past or as a baby, or just been born with a defect.  One major source of annoyance for us at The Fox Hospital is known that other rescues do indeed wrongly send out medication to members of the public in the post, including before and during cub season which can lead to foetal complications.  This includes products such as medication they send out for assumed mange (since they never actually confirm it as the only true way to confirm is microscopy) such as bravecto/simparica tablets, ivermectin (all of which fatal for newborns and young cubs) and this also goes for natural and homeopathic remedies because of the potency.  We hugely advocate for natural remedies but medicinal remedies are so potent that the doses for an adult fox are far, far overdose for a foetus, newborn or young cubs with the point being that there is potential for damage to be done to babies for any times between the start of mating season around November (early matings) to late march (very late matings, rare but do occur) and cub season (January to August safely).  this is why sending medication in the mail is bad practice and really needs to stop in many cases particularly from those who do not fully understand the implications.

Epileptic Seizures

  • Finding the root cause

  • protecting her from injury during seizures (made easy by containing her into a large clinical veterinary kennel)

  • holding her during seizures to prevent potential limb dislocations.

  • controlling and potentially stopping them altogether.

Case Study Patients

Patient Name:

Ember

Indications:

Gunshot embedded bullet/pellet embedded near the distal the femur.

The stifle showed extreme remodelling.
 

Mass or intussusception at the ileo-caeco-colic junction on ultrasound.

Liver Jaundice and rounding.

General jaundice due to fatty liver as a direct result of the intestinal mass, resulting in jaundice of the skin, inner eyelids, ears and gums.  

Treatment:

The Leg
She was initially assessed and the vet chose not to x-ray, despite request and suggested see how she goes since the leg is healed (albeit deformed).  She was taken to a different vet for  second opinion and radiography where it was found that she had been previously shot by someone.  This lovely vet suggested to see how she goes since she did not currently specialise in orthopaedics, although I know foxes to self mutilate if there is pain so the worry was if she went at her leg herself.  After a period of close assessment she did indeed gnaw at the knee area causing a lesion so she was taken again for further radiography at an amazing advanced referral vet with a view to potentially amputate or remove the bullet/pellet.  The assessment was:

 

"this is an end stage osteoarthritic knee, secondary to trauma. There is also a curvature to the tibia and fibula (as demonstrated by the red-line on the radiographs [fig. 51]) which indicates a malunion from a previous fracture". 

 

Options were to either amputate the leg as a salvage procedure to eliminate pain and improve mobility, or long term pain relief knowing she may self mutilate again.  The decision was made to surgically remove the leg which proved the best decision.

 

Post surgery treatment was simply forced bed rest to prevent splitting of any sutures and keep the surgical repair intact. Ember is an easy and relaxed patient and remained compliant throughout recovery as most ampuptees do.

The Mass and Liver
Enterectomy to remove the damaged part of the small intestine followed by end to end anastamosis.  It was not known what caused the mass or intussusception since during surgery there was no foreign body, simply an organic mass.  This did cause the patient to be inappetant, produce black tar-like faeces and dark bilirubin-filled urine. 

Points to note on foxes specifically, in a similar way to cats, when they stop eating for 3 to 4 days, excessive fat that is stored throughout the body is broken down more quickly in order to attempt to provide energy and nutrients.  however, the liver usually becomes overloaded and it can’t process the fat properly leading to the buildup of fat within and around the liver cells.  The result is an obstruction of the liver's functions, referred to in this case as hepatic lipidosis.  This in itself can prove fatal in foxes in a very short space of time, sometimes a couple of weeks or less so if a fox is off their food for more than 24 hours it is very strongly advisable to get them checked, abdominal palpation, scan with ultrasound, radiography.  There may be instances where a CT and/or MRI could be beneficial but in this particular case that was not needed. 

Treatment for the fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis) included adding the following extras to her mild post-surgery recovery diet; rather than the synthetically synthesised version of Silybin in Denamarin derived from Milk Thistle, instead the proper natural and more bioavailable organic version in the form of actual ground organic milk thistle was given as well as dandelion root (both very powerful and rapid liver repair/support plants), coconut water was given instead of normal H2O as it is excellent for dehydration treatment and also acts as both a superior cell hydrator to help flush the liver and kidneys, can act as a safe diuretic, as well as containing bioavailable sodium and potassium to hydrate cells more effectively.  Spirulina and Chlorella was also added for bioavailable minerals replacement essential to recovery as well as honeydew melon, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries as astringent alkalising fruits to help provide the optimum environment for the body to heal, move the lymphatic system to aid cellular waste and toxin removal, aid kidney filtration while minimising metabolic waste strain on the liver.

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Outcome

Following amputation, Ember made a full recovery within 3 weeks, copes very well and is very mobile, playful and fast.  Since she was hobbling and barely weight bearing on the limb before, the amputation actually allowed her to be slightly more mobile than she was and she is now free from any pain and limb hinderance from the deformed limb with the embedded object. 


Separate later abdominal surgery saw Ember's surgical wound heal within 17 days with virtually no scarring thanks to excellent surgery and her bilirubinemia reversed within 9 days entirely on all areas as a result of the very specific post surgery treatment diet and aftercare, with liver values returning to normal within the same timescale, with no further reoccurrences.

Challenges:

Ensuring no cables anywhere because Ember seems to have a fascination with attempting to chew through them, especially phone charger cables.  Other than that, initial challenge of having the initial surgeon take on board species specific rehabber experience which doesn't always match veterinary advice hence why both must work together for the potentially best outcome.

The Fox Hospital - Fox Cub Neck Brace - Rabbit-blanket.JPG
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