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Updated: 06/28/2018 08:30:01AM

Coyotes: Wily as ever

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By Pam DeFouw

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Coyotes, loved by some and hated by others, have spread through the United States. Florida sightings started in the 1970s. If you see a full-grown coyote roaming your area with its thick mane of hair and long bushy tail, you might say they are a beautiful canine (they are part of our beloved dog family). On the other hand, if you see a coyote with mange, with its matted or missing fur, sores and emaciated frame you might say that looks like a ghost dog or something out of a horror film.

Sarcoptic mange has recently been a hot topic in our area, but it’s been a problem in all parts of North America for quite some time. This skin disease is caused by tiny mites that can bite and infest the skin of most mammals. These mites are present in most animal’s skin and fur. In the right conditions — mainly when the animal is in generally poor health or has been exposed to other animals with heavy mite infestations — mange can spread over the entire body causing massive hair loss and infections that can become internal, causing the animal to die.

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