Coyote Ailments and Injuries in the City

What diseases and injuries do coyotes in cities have to deal with? There probably are many, but the ones I’ve been able to see in this city include, first and foremost, being hit and killed by a car. A number of people have noticed coyotes crossing busy streets, very often during prime-traffic time. Three people told me that they “just missed” hitting a coyote in the early morning.

The second gravest injury I have encountered is a knee or leg injury. One of the coyotes here injured its leg so badly that it almost could not get up from a lying down position — its entire back twisted as it made the attempt. It did succeed and was able to get around by holding this leg up all the time, and later on just holding it up as it ran. It was not able to put full weight on this leg for an entire month.

Fleas are an important issue for coyotes — this is one of the reasons they move from den to den: so as to move out of a flea infested one. Once they leave, the fleas actually die, and they can move back after a while.

Mosquitos affect all of us, including the coyotes. On one hot morning after a rainstorm, when I myself was being devoured by these insects, I saw a coyote with a swarm of mosquitos buzzing around it. The coyote was attempting to bat them away from its face with its front paws.

Today I became very aware that worms are something coyotes have to deal with: a coyote was “scooting” on the ground and then mouthing its rear area in an attempt to alleviate this kind of parasite. I’m wondering if this condition just continues to worsen once the coyote has been infested, or if it is a temporary condition?

Another affliction must involve foreign objects in the ears, because I’ve seen one coyote shake its head considerably from side to side. Eye injuries occur: I’ve noticed a swollen eye. Also foot ailments: I’ve notice a coyote mouthing a paw and lifting it, as if trying to dislodge something.

Dysentery is something I have seen a number of times. Ticks and mange I’ve recently become aware of. These are important to know about since San Francisco itself has been known as an area not having ticks — this is obviously not so.

And then there are “nose injuries” that could have been caused in self-defense or in a fight for food.

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