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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis).

  • Author(s): Yanagisawa, N
  • Wilson, RE
  • Kass, PH
  • Verstraete, FJM
  • et al.

Skull specimens from 836 kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria; 559 specimens were included in this study. The study group consisted of 248 (44.4%) females, 267 (47.8%) males and 44 (7.9%) specimens of unknown sex; 128 (22.9%) skulls were from young adults and 431 (77.1%) were from adults. Of the 23,478 possible teeth, 21,883 teeth (93.2%) were present for examination, 45 (1.9%) were absent congenitally, 405 (1.7%) were acquired losses and 1,145 (4.9%) were missing artefactually. No persistent deciduous teeth were observed. Eight (0.04%) supernumerary teeth were found in seven (1.3%) specimens and 13 (0.06%) teeth from 12 (2.1%) specimens were malformed. Root number variation was present in 20.3% (403/1,984) of the present maxillary and mandibular first premolar teeth. Eleven (2.0%) foxes had lesions consistent with enamel hypoplasia and 77 (13.8%) had fenestrations in the maxillary alveolar bone. Periodontitis and attrition/abrasion affected the majority of foxes (71.6% and 90.5%, respectively). Nine-hundred and fifty-eight (4.4%) teeth were fractured, a large proportion (41.8%) of which were characterized as complicated crown fractures. Sixty-six periapical lesions from 52 (9.3%) skulls were found. A considerable portion of foxes (5.9%) showed evidence of low-grade temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis. Overall, kit foxes share dental pathology similar to that of the grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus).

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