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Common or genetic problems in foxes

When to spay, food, treats, illnesses, grooming, parasites, odor, Teeth, other care as it pertains to health, etc.

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Common or genetic problems in foxes

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:34 am

Inspired by another topic but I wanted one titled more fitting the main subject. To start keeping track of issues in foxes.

Hip issues and hip dysplasia in arctic foxes are common and genetic. Also one with spinal issues and weak hips when old.

A female red presented with hip dysplasia from a young age but was from a small unlicensed breeder - genetic

Captive arctics in the US seem prone to neurological issues. There have been cases of Arctics with seizures. And there was the case of the male who suddenly took to savagely attacking his mate and the vet said it was likely neuro but it's hard to really say on that one.

Several reds have presented with seizures as well.

autoimmune hemolytic anemia - reds

Several reds presenting with weak hocks as kits, walking plantigrade and bunny hopping. Most likely diet related but could also be genetic or environmental most cases were all from the same region and or source. Cleared up after time in new home on good diet.

A case of renal dyspepsia in a young fennec, this is normally a dominant genetic issue when congenital. There was also another case of a red with a genetic case of renal failure.

Self mutilation/chewing - all foxes species- possibly not one single cause for all cases, possible causes: allergies, mental, physical like pinched nerves or neuropathy. Another possible cause is early signs of gout since it causes pain in the joint several foxes had to be put down due to advanced gout when fed ONLY meat.

Liver and kidney disease in fennecs but this is likely diet rather than genetic but it's a common issue and genetics could play a role, especialy in any younger cases.

hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - heritable genetic - caused the death of a young fennec

I've seen leg tremors in fennecs, one presented with the leg tremors was examined by the vet with no cause found then died the next day so assume aneurysm or brain tumor. Another one was found to have the spinal lesions so I believe was diet related and had a diet too high in retinol. So probably not a common genetic issue but something to keep track of and see if maybe it could be at least a common problem. http://blog.livedoor.jp/with_fennec/?p=60

Possibly related to tremors is unexplained foot chewing which is more common. If nerves are involved they could be getting tingling rather than tremors but from the same underlying cause, like neuropathy or spinal issues, or could be unrelated to tremors and a separate issue. Something to keep an eye on either way.

I believe diabetes may be under reported in captive fennecs. Which could lead to kidney issues. If you look at the ISIS info mean is 126 and max was 261 minimum was 39 but a reminder this is not norms just the average of tested captive, that appeared healthy. Animals can appear healthy with diabetes for a long time. Dogs run 70-140 healthy norms., cats 40-130 So to me the sampling of captive fennecs seems high but we can't know at this point. I'd love to see wild fennec glucose values. I'll probably get my fennec a blood panel around a year of age and we'll see what his is like in comparison. This would be a diet issue too, too many carbs and fruit causing acquired diabetes. Or they could have a higher normal but without wild testing we don't know. I'd like to see this researched though.

Fennecs breaking bones is fairly common, this is partly diet but this is partly environmental as wild fennecs are not built for jumping on and off large hard object like furniture on to floor or wild equivalents from huge rock to hard ground, for the most part their environment is softer. Broken legs, toes, and one who broke the ball off his femur, one shattered it's hips from a fall and another broke it's back from fall off the cage(A fairly short one), another broke both it's front legs. Might contemplate adding a sprinkle of bone builder to food http://www.whitedogbone.com/Dogzymes-Do ... r-M122-2lb

Mentioned fennec issue
Glaucoma: "Childhood glaucoma — This is a rare condition that may be inherited, caused by incorrect development of the eye's drainage system before birth" Owners blamed it on lack of taurine which might contribute but this may be a genetic one to watch for.

Genetic fatal seizure disorder in fennec (Lafora's)
http://www.zoowildlifejournal.com/doi/a ... 009-0090.1
Some thing to watch for considering seizure issues in other foxes are already popping up and fennecs showing neurological/nerve issues already with tremors and possibly with the foot chewing.

Of course one case does not an issue make but they are something to watch for and see if they keep popping up. Of course genetic issues can sometimes be a fluke one off due to spontaneous gene mutation but when you start seeing repeats it is spreading in the species/breed due to those genes being allowed to stay in the lines. The others are several or more cases so common.

I'm sure it would be hard to convince any of them but it would be nice to at least see arctic breeders start testing their breeding pairs hips.

I know of two gray foxes that had rear end issues intermittent paralysis and/or weakness but they were both wild rescued as kits. Still thought I'd include it since we don't have much gray fox info.

Fennec fox in Japan third generation Captive Bred, presented as a kit with intermittent rear end paralysis,from partial to total. Admire the owner for caring for him and giving him a quality life and changing diapers and helping him poop when needed. Plus his other fennecs accept him so that's cool.

Some cases of Pyometeria & Endometrial Hyperplasia : all foxes but less often seen in fennecs and swifts than bigger foxes and less often in foxes in general than other canidae.
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Re: Common or genetic problems in foxes

Postby Ash » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:57 pm

Thank you for the thorough list. Hopefully if anybody experiences issues with their foxes they will not be afraid to post about them and we will have more data in the future. Very nice to see it all put together in one topic for those who are worried or curious.
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Re: Common or genetic problems in foxes

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:19 pm

I thought it was important to keep track.

Just found one from the old fennec group: Legg-Perthes Disease discovered after a broken bone - genetic
However the breeder was informed and stopped breeding the pair that threw that kit.
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Re: Common or genetic problems in foxes

Postby Vata Raven » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:14 am

I personally wondered if hip and bone issues with humans and animals is genetic or just poor diet.

My mother, she was having some joint problems, but a change in diet and it has gotten better.

These arctic foxes with the hip issues, where they wild or pets?
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Re: Common or genetic problems in foxes

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:24 am

Pets. The only wild born ones I listed were the grays.

Actually there are some genetic issues like gout that can cause joint problems due to diet in people.

The weak hocks in reds do seem to be diet related and "Nutrition Requirements of Mink and Foxes" mentions it. But hips are well accepted to be genetic though diet can effect it. Hyzzie had bad hips but mildly so joint supplements helped keep it from getting too bad until the end.

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