Abscess on lower throat area defined by white puffy fur ball

Wound revealed as coyote howls

This little coyote has been plagued with an abscess on her lower throat area for months and months. Finally, it looks like nature did its work — the infection looks like it has drained and it looks like the wound is a clean one.

I wonder what might have caused the infection and why it lasted so long? My first guess is that this resulted from a tick or another insect, but there is no way for me to really know.

Few of us think about the health of our wild animals, but they suffer the same range of infirmities that we do, along with the attendant pain and fatigue. It’s something to think about.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindie White
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 05:57:32

    Wow. Amazing and thought provoking. So nice to keep in touch with the daily life of coyotes through Coyote Yipps. I am so grateful to have these insights, which always prompt me to reflect and know Coyote better. Most of all, as if I could not possibly love Coyote any more, each post proves that I do


  2. Barbara Knupp
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 23:38:17

    Yikes , wildlife depends upon good health to survive. Always amazes me how animals seem to adapt better than humans to aches, pains, and ills. What a handsome coyote this one. Hope it does quite well in healing.


  3. Charles Wood
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 10:56:21

    Could the wound have been from a fight? My dad coyote has fight scars on his nose where it looks like a flap of skin was torn off and then healed. My mom coyote as I’ve mentioned before has an ear deformed by an ear infection, probably has had the ear canal collapse and it must be a constant pain for her.


    • yipps
      Oct 07, 2012 @ 13:11:10

      I, too, have seen scars on the faces of coyotes, due to a fight with another coyote or, more likely, a fight with a raccoon or some other prey. I suggested a tick as a possible cause in this case because of the large abscess this coyote carried around for months. My thought is that something was actually embedded in there to cause the abscess. But a wound inflicted by another animal could probably cause the same thing.

    • Barbara Knupp
      Oct 07, 2012 @ 13:35:05

      Something I’ve wondered. Going after a raccoon or other prey could lead to some serious injuries, I’m sure. I’ve had the impression – maybe wrong – that coyotes would rarely fight each other seriously due to their family structure and established territories. Some dogs are quick to pick a fight with another dog but seems that would be counter productive in the wild. I have several dogs (an artificial pack?) and while they don’t fight, there seems to be a constant jockeying by some for rank.

    • yipps
      Oct 07, 2012 @ 20:14:57

      Hi Barbara —

      I think fights are something they try to avoid because, as you say, a resulting injury could be serious and lead to death. With prey they probably weigh the possible risks: a smaller animal may be less risky than a larger one.

      I’ve seen male sibling coyotes spar with each other, but it mostly involved intimidation and bullying, though a few nips I’m sure occurred. The bullied coyote eventually left. I have seen photos of adult male coyotes fighting viciously. I can’t remember if it was two coyotes from different packs vying for a territory, or if it had to do with dominance and food. Janet

  4. Charles Wood
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 09:35:26

    Your impressions are good ones, Barbara and I totally agree with Janet. I wanted to add that most of what I see my coyotes do is avoid fights by using their good communication skills. For example, in their territory they mark over any urine or scents that an intruder coyote may have left in order to give notice that they still claim that ground. Marking is part of their daily routine, finding scents and obliterating them with a fresh dose just part of the job that comes with territory, where territory is food security.

    Generally, coyotes look for food, not fights, and they aren’t out for food that puts up much of a fight. The fighting fool coyote stock, if it ever existed, must have died out long ago because of the fatal consequences of needless fighting. What remains are coyotes that beat their chests more than they actually beat each other, so to speak, and who aren’t afraid to run like heck if they have to.


  5. Charles Wood
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 10:07:45

    As to coyotes fighting over food within the family group: I’m sure there is some of that although I also think that they don’t fight for food that is already swallowed and most of it seems to get swallowed pretty quickly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: