A FOX was dicing with death, as the Sussex Express went to press this week, after it was given a substance believed to be rat poison.
The veterinary team at East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were battling to save the life of the fox found in the Woodgate area of Eastbourne on Tuesday, August 29.
WRAS runs a Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith on the A22 between Hailsham and Uckfield.
Vets from Highcroft Veterinary Group in Hailsham confirmed that the most likely cause of the symptoms suffered by the fox was rat poisoning. This has prompted the WRAS charity to issue a warning to residents near where the fox was rescued.
WRAS Rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Jayden Banks attended on site and caught the fox behind a garden shed.
They noticed bleeding around the gums and at first thought the fox may have been a road casualty, but on closer inspection back at WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre alarm bells starting ringing that the fox could be a poisoning case.
Mr Weeks said: “Due to the foxes’ deterioration we decided to get the fox into Highcroft Vets in Hailsham for one of their vets to confirm our fears, which they did.
“The fox was placed on intravenious fluids and given Vitamin K1 injections to help beat the poisoning.
“We are issuing this warning to the public it is highly likely that this fox has picked up poison within the residential area surrounding Woodgate Road, Eastbourne. “
Mr Weeks added: “Either this is secondary poisoning where the fox has picked up a rat or mouse which has been poisoned and eaten it or poison has been placed irresponsibly or illegally in a place where other animals can gain access to it putting wildlife and pets at risk.”
Mr Weeks wanted all pet owners in the area to be careful to check for poisoning symptoms such as saliva mixed with blood. There are many other symptoms, according to Mr Weeks who said: “We are urging pet owners in the area to keep an eye out for these symptoms and to seek urgent veterinary advice if they think their pet may be effected.”