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Infectious canine hepatitis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the United Kingdom
  1. H. Thompson, BVMS, PhD, DipECVPath, MRCVS1,
  2. A. M. O'Keeffe, BVMS1,
  3. J. C. M. Lewis, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS2,
  4. L. R. Stocker, MBE, HonAssocRCVS3,
  5. M. K. Laurenson, MA, VetMB, PhD4,5 and
  6. A. W. Philbey, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc(Pathology), MRCVS1
  1. 1Division of Pathological Sciences, Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH
  2. 2International Zoo Veterinary Group, Keighley Business Centre, South Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 1AG
  3. 3Wildlife Hospital Trust, Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, Aston Road, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP17 8AF
  4. 4Wildlife and Emerging Diseases, Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG
  5. 5Frankfurt Zoological Society, PO Box 14935, Arusha, Tanzania
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philbey, e-mail: adrian.philbey{at}


The pathological findings are described in three cases of infectious canine hepatitis in free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in England. The foxes died after short periods of clinical illness. Mild jaundice and hepatic congestion were evident grossly. On histopathological examination, intranuclear inclusion bodies were visible in hepatocytes, in association with hepatocyte dissociation and necrosis, as well as in renal glomeruli, renal tubular epithelial cells and vascular endothelial cells. Canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) was isolated from all three foxes. In a serological study, antibodies to CAV-1 were detected in tissue fluid extracts taken from 11 of 58 (19 per cent) frozen red fox carcases from England and Scotland.

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