Skeletal Pathology of Farm-Reared Obese Juvenile Blue Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)
Mustonen, Anne-Mari; Lawler, Dennis F.; Ahola, Leena; Koistinen, Tarja; Jalkanen, Liisa; Mononen, Jaakko; Lamidi, Marja-Leena; Nieminen, Petteri (2017)
Lawler, Dennis F.
African Association of Veterinary Anatomists
Orthopedic abnormalities of farmreared blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus) have increased recently, creating new concerns about their welfare. Therefore, skeletal condition of obese juvenile blue foxes was evaluated for relationships to degree of obesity. Two pilot study groups included less obese foxes (N = 5) and more obese foxes (N = 5); the latter group had visible carpal joint laxity and locomotor deficits. The principal aims were to examine forelimb deformities and abnormal locomotion in light of degree of obesity. Overt and incipient (mild or developing) pathology were prevalent and reflected degree of obesity. It is likely that genetic selection and feeding practices were primary underlying problems, but disrupted mineral nutrition and housing practices may have been involved as well. These observations underscore the importance of new actions and additional studies of breeding, nutrition, and housing practices, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the welfare of farmed foxes.
- Julkaisut