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First fox- new onset of aggression?

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mjnetzley
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First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby mjnetzley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:52 pm

I have had my female fox since may of 2016. She's a little over a year old (born in April). She is not fixed. The people bought her from said it wasn't necessary since they don't come into heat and bleed like a dog? Although she does aggressively hump my arm, a LOT. Anyways, me and my boyfriend bought a new house and I've read all about foxes and decided I was ready. (Probably wasn't but damn I'm trying my hardest, I love her). Sorry this will be long.

Anyways, she has always loved me, but never cuddled or let me pick her up. I can pick her up temporarily (depends on her mood at that moment) but basically to carry her from one room to another and then she jumps down. She is far more tolerable towards me than my boyfriend, I'm with her more. And if I'm not there she's just fine with my boyfriend. But between us, I'm her favorite (: which is why this sudden attitude change is killing me. Like I said she never had a loving nature to her. But she would get so happy when I came home wagging her tail, happy peeing all over, roll over for me to pet her, run laps through the house making her weird happy noises. That was her loving me. I think she's sat in my lap once, only the front end and stiff as a board. If I would have exhaled she'd been gone. Even still I have to tread lightly or she runs. I have to watch how I walk up to her or sit next to her in order to pet her. Sometimes I only get to from arms length away. But that's always been her, never cuddle, only tolerates.
Now I can't even look in her direction without her growling/ warning me. And its rare for her to get excited when she sees me. If I do get to pet her she doesn't try to run but growls the whole time.
Since she was so little last summer we hadn't built an enclosure, I just played a lot with her in the house (fetch, tag, hide n seek, she knows how to sit and is basically potty trained). I feel like this attitude change has been since we built the enclosure. But depending on the moment I can pet her other times I can't. She's bit me, didn't draw blood but still hurt. And now I don't know if ill be able to pet her or if ill get warned if I look at her. She doesn't actually come after/ charge me like she will my boyfriend. If he has to yell at her to get off the counter he said she tries to bite him. (He has never hit her or raised his hand, or his voice- just never really bonded) where me, if I catch her being naughty, I just have to look at her and she jumps down whining sulking away.
Just today she was finally happy to see me rolled over so I could pet her and she just starts warning me. She can be across the living room warning me. I don't understand. I saw in a previous post about the "October crazies?"
Her enclosure is big, 10 ft x 15ft x 8 ft tall. Attached to the garage with an opening to a box that's another 3x5 ft for her bed. I burried fence 2ft so she could dig. Completely enclosed. 3 locks, and a roof. Its made for a fox. Like I said its new to her. Once I lure her out there she's really happy. But she's definitely happier and its easier to get her back inside than it is to get her out there.
Please let me know what I can do. I can barely pet her, and I could barely pet her with a good attitude before.
Any helpful hints or ideas?
I tried to add photos and I can't figure it out. Sorry
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Ash
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby Ash » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:08 pm

Sorry you're having problems with your baby. It could be due to multiple things.

The fact that it started since she got the enclosure makes me think that it IS enclosure related. I think she's experienced life outside, has loved it, and now feels couped up in the house. For a lot of foxes, being indoors brings out aggression, and that aggression can be really extreme sometimes. If she is happy out in the enclosure, it may be a bad idea to bring her back in the house now that she's experienced a whole new side of life. That is personally what it sounds like to me.

Keep in mind foxes do mellow out significantly at around the 2 year mark. So you may get to pet and "cuddle" her a lot more when she's a little older. I'm not saying she'll be a little lap fox by any means, but they calm down and hold still. Not quite as jumpy and skittish like the younger ones are.

Another reason she may be acting like this may be due to improper diet. If a fox does not receive all of the essentials in its diet, it really throws their body out of whack. When I took in Carousel, she was malnourished and was ultra aggressive. After two weeks on a new, consistent diet she really sweetened up to what is her regular self. For me the difference a proper diet made was night and day. Your fox may not be receiving enough of something in her diet, so could be acting out since her body is upset. What are you feeding her?

PS, if the diet turns out to be what is causing the problem, don't feel bad. It's a common mistake owners make, and I made it too. My first fox Fable had a taurine deficiency his second winter and became really aggressive until I corrected his diet.

By the way, your enclosures sounds like a great size for her, and the space for her to dig is awesome. She really will love it out there. It's a lot more enriching--new sights, new smells, birds, etc. It gives them a lot to watch and observe, and this is really good for them. The height of the enclosure is really good. Maybe try adding a fox tower for her so she can go and be a look out. Mine really love their fox tower and are always using it.

It's odd for a fox to just become aggressive seemingly out of the blue, but these two situations I mentioned would be reasons for it.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
mjnetzley
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby mjnetzley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:04 pm

She doesn't like new things. She's so stubborn. She loves sitting in her bedroom window so I got an end table that was the perfect size and she freaked out! Got really aggressive hid under the chair, would not go in her room all day! I finally got her in her room to face her demons and after 5 min she was on the dresser farthest from the window and table. So I took it out. She went back to normal. Just the other day I tried to add a black insulation tunnel to her kennel outside so she could hide and run through it. Freaked out! Climbed the chain link fence walls screeching. So I don't know if ill be able to add anything else. Right now she has a kiddie pool and toys and blankets... And dirt.

Her diet, when I first got her from tiny tracks I bought two bags of food from them. I looked it up and it was just a high protein/energy dog food. So then I researched and looked up so many brands and found really awesome equivalent dog food and I mixed it with very healthy cat food 1:3 (cat:dog). Cat food has the tourine. Plus she loves fruit, any kind. She gets that morning and night every day and as treats. She also gets eggs boiled and not. At least 1 x wk. And then chicken cooked unseasoned when I have chicken. Vegetables when we have vegetables.. The eggs she used to eat immediately, now she plays with them,or buries them in my couch. She will eat it eventually. I heard when they start hiding their food its because they aren't hungry at that moment and are storing it for later?

I also wonder now that its warmer I've been outside, so I put her in her enclosure while I do stuff. In the past when I got home it was 1 on 1. I still go in her enclosure and play tag and fetch. Until she gets bored with me then I go back to doing my stuff. But I take breaks to play just like I would inside. Would that really make her that upset? Is she that emotional but doesn't show affection? I think my fox is broken. I want one with separation anxiety that just loves me unconditionally. I can't wait for the 2 year mark or 5 years..

About me not getting her fixed, is that an issue?

Thank you for the feedback. I wish I could add photos. Her kennel is awesome but so is her room. Its fox proof.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:18 pm

I know in fennecs spaying females can help if they are aggressive. Reports vary for reds. Some say it does help and some say it doesn't.

Does the dog food also have taurine? That really is a biggy with causing fear and aggression if they do not get enough. She should be getting more fresh meat and some organ meats for more taurine. It's best to only give cooked eggs.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby mjnetzley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:46 pm

I just looked and the dog food doesn't, but the cat food does which is why I mix it. How much taurine is she supposed to get?
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:32 am

1000mg/kg of food eaten or about 500mg-1000mg per day total taurine.

If you are just going to supplement then giving about 250-500mg a day is good since some of the food has it in it already. Finding a dog food that lists taurine is good. Also try to use a food with a nutrient analysis available, you can ask for it if their site doesn't have it. If they don't have this then they don't really know if the food is good. I've run into that asking companies about retinol. "Oh we don't have an analysis done so can't say" Then you don't know what you're selling people.

This is an issue because some foods don't have the taurine they may think is in them either "The food was analyzed and discovered to be deficient not only in taurine, but also calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc and thiamine. " http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/he ... iency.aspx
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby Ash » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:48 am

I don't know if she would be getting enough vitamins from those foods alone, although I don't know the brands. Supplementing with raw and whole prey really does wonders for their attitudes. Regarding the feeding of raw eggs, they have avidin which prevents the absorption of biotin. So it could be the raw eggs are giving her a deficiency there.

What my vet (she's a zoological vet) recommends for red foxes is the exotic canine Mazuri feed, supplemented with 1 frozen-thawed rat each week. I've put my foxes on Mazuri when I run out of their regular food (feed from a fur farm made specifically for red foxes) and they do very well on it while receiving supplemental whole prey items or meats. You can order the Mazuri feed here: http://www.mazuri.com/mazuriexoticcaninediet.aspx. The nutritional break-down is here: http://www.mazuri.com/product_pdfs/5MN2.pdf. It's actually a very good feed for foxes. The reason for adding a rat once or twice a week is to supplement with taurine intake.

My foxes have not been on the Mazuri feed too long, and not during a winter with fur growth. So I can't say 100% for myself whether I like it as the best feed to give. However, I do know of many fox owners here in Utah who feed it with no problems.

May be worth a try.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby mjnetzley » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:29 pm

What do you do as their regular food? Ill look into that, thank you! I couldn't find any places that sold fox food.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:05 pm

I don't like Mazuri because they use BHA it is a carcinogen and bad for the kidneys.

I did a lot of research and settled on Instinct Ultimate Protein Canine Chicken Kibble. The Feline is also okay and has more taurine but both versions have enough taurine.

The diet I use is mostly whole prey ground rabbit though and I've put freeze dried rabbit or kibble out since he's growing in case he needs something between meals. So he really hardly gets any kibble but that's the one I'd feed if I were going to. I know going mostly rabbit will be more expensive for a bigger fox.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby Ash » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:58 pm

I usually keep them on a fur farm feed called Heartland Blend. You have to buy it directly from the fur farm though and pick it up yourself unless you're ordering a half ton of it. If you could find a way to get it, I think it's a great feed. I leave it out for them at all times and then give a lot of meats and whole prey. It was mad specifically for red foxes, so is good for them.

I didn't know that about the Mazuri, thanks. I will ask my vet about it. I'm only using it as a temporary food for now.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby mjnetzley » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:57 am

Do you give them a full rabbit? Skinned, cooked or raw, with bones or without? I would definitely add a rabbit to her diet. And some taurine supplements if she will, she's so picky. I don't even know about the rabbit, she barely likes chicken.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:09 pm

I buy ground whole rabbit and have it shipped to me. It's skinned but with organs and bones but I have a fennec. You can buy whole rabbits that way to or from local farmers if you have one close. I don't. I know Ash feeds rabbit but I'm not sure how. To lessen waste you could 1/4 a whole rabbit and feed parts.
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Re: First fox- new onset of aggression?

Postby Ash » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:13 pm

I give them a full dead rabbit. They have fun tearing it apart and hiding pieces around the enclosure. I should offer less than a whole dead one to cut back on the waste, but they just seem to love having one to nom on for a while. Of course, I do have to go through and find all the pieces that they didn't eat to throw away, but usually they're pretty good about eating most of it.

I get rabbits from a local rabbit breeder. She raises show rabbits and has lots of extras to sell to reptile owners.
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