Considering limited information available on skeletal system properties in silver foxes, the aim of this study was to determine morphological and densitometric parameters of mandible obtained from males and females. The study was performed on 1-year old male (n=7) and female (n=8) silver foxes. Mandible was isolated and its weight and length were determined. Bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) for whole mandible, mandible body and mandible ramus were determined using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) method and Norland XR-46 Densitometer (Fort Atkinson, WI, USA) equipped with Research Scan software. Statistical comparison of the investigated parameters of mandible between males and females was performed with a use of non-paired Student t-test and P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Final body weight was significantly higher by 20% in males than in females (P=0.004). Mandible length and weight were significantly higher in males by 7% and 22%, when compared to the group of females, respectively (P < 0.001). BMC measured for whole mandible and for its ramus reached significantly higher values in males by 10.5% and 18.3% when compared with the females (P ≤ 0.01). In conclusion, this study has shown sex-related differences of body weight as well as length, weight and BMC values of mandible in silver foxes. This study provides data on basic anatomical and densitometric properties of mandible in male and female silver foxes. The obtained results indicate that silver fox may serve as an attractive experimental model for further studies on bone metabolism regulation in mammals in response to physiological, environmental, pharmacological, nutritional and toxicological factors, being an alternative model for other monogastric animal species such as dogs.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.