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Dental Pathology of the Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
- Evenhuis, J.V., Zisman, I., Kass, P.H., Verstraete, F.J.M.
- Journal of comparative pathology 2018 v.158 pp. 39-50
- Urocyon cinereoargenteus, ecology, females, foxes, juveniles, males, neonates, osteoarthritis, periodontitis, skull, teeth, young adults
- Museum specimens from 637 grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria. Of the 637 specimens, 569 were included for further examination. The study population included more males (n = 261, 45.9%) than females (n = 196, 34.4%) and animals of unknown sex (n = 112, 19.7%). Additionally, 481 (84.5%) adults, 67 (11.8%) young adults and 21 (3.7%) individuals of unknown age comprised the study population, with juveniles and neonates excluded. The number of teeth present for examination was 23,066 (96.5%) with 624 (2.6%) absent artefactually, 15 (0.06%) absent congenitally and 193 (0.8%) lost ante mortem through acquired tooth loss. No persistent deciduous teeth or temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis were found in any of the specimens. Ten supernumerary teeth from nine (1.6%) specimens were encountered. Teeth with extra roots were found in 61 individuals (10.7%), with 0.4% of all teeth affected. Of the alveoli examined, 1,529 (6.4%) displayed bony changes suggestive of periodontitis, with 276 (48.7%) of individuals affected. Significantly more adults were affected by bony changes associated with stage 3 periodontitis than young adults. All specimens displaying stage 4 periodontitis were adults. Fractures affected 446 (78.4%) of the specimens examined and 3,554 (15.4%) of teeth present. Almost half (n = 10,856, 47.1%) of the teeth available for examination and most specimens (n = 487, 85.6%) displayed some degree of attrition or abrasion. Two individuals (0.4%) exhibited periapical lesions. Traumatic skull injuries affected 56 (9.8%) specimens. Characterizing the dental pathology in the grey fox provides key insight into the ecology of the species and factors contributing to fitness.