Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

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


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).

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View