Fleas

Most coyotes, foxes and wolves, as well as other species of small game, are host to fleas that can, and will, bite humans. Generally, these fleas don’t stay on people very long, but the bites are particularly itchy and may require medication. On rare occasions, fleas can also transmit infectious diseases, such as plague, to humans. A greater risk, though, is having the fleas infect household pets. Experienced trappers and hunters place canid carcasses in large garbage bags and spray them down with insecticide to kill fleas before skinning.

Sarcoptic Mange

Hunters sometimes find these pea-sized blisters, or cysts, in the connective tissue of the body cavity or on the surface of organs in hares and rabbits. These are actually the larvae of a tapeworm that lives in the intestines of many carnivores, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, lynx and even domestic cats and dogs. Neither rabbits nor carnivores suffer any ill effects from harbouring this common parasite and, since it’s not infectious to people, there’s no risk in handling or eating infected animals.


Rabbit Blisters

Hunters sometimes find these pea-sized blisters, or cysts, in the connective tissue of the body cavity or on the surface of organs in hares and rabbits. These are actually the larvae of a tapeworm that lives in the intestines of many carnivores, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, lynx and even domestic cats and dogs. Neither rabbits nor carnivores suffer any ill effects from harbouring this common parasite and, since it’s not infectious to people, there’s no risk in handling or eating infected animals.

OC_0912_AnimalDIeasesB_supAlberta Fish and Wildlife