WESTPORT, CT — Westport police said the department and Westport Animal Control have received several calls over the last two weeks regarding sightings of coyotes which appear to be suffering from sarcoptic mange. Animals suffering from mange will present with significant hair loss and skin lesions.
According to a news release, mange is a parasitic mite that infests the surface of the skin and can be spread by animal to animal contact. This type of mange will eventually kill the suffering animal.
Police said mange does not make the animal more likely to be aggressive, nor does it affect neurological behavior, however coyotes and other species suffering from this type of mange may be seen in unlikely places.
“They can often be found sunning themselves on open lawns, fields or driveways, as it makes their condition feel better,” Lieutenant Jillian Cabana said in a release. “The same precautions taken to avoid contact with healthy coyotes should be taken with those suffering from mange. To avoid potential contact, please take steps to remove attractions from your property.”
According to police, residents can take the following steps as a precaution:
- Eliminate sources of food that attract coyotes into residential or other areas that might encourage disease transmission.
- Clean grills after use and ensure your garbage is properly covered and secured.
- Small dogs and pets should not be left outside unattended.
Police said pets treated with topical flea and tick treatment should be protected from contracting mange. Should your pet have contact with a coyote, please notify animal control and your veterinarian, police advise.
Residents are asked to contact Animal Control at (203)-341-5076 or the Westport Police Department non-emergency number (203)-341-6000, should they see a coyote which appears to be suffering from sarcoptic mange. The police will respond with animal control and if safely able to do so, will euthanize the animal.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
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