Scientific Works Series C. Veterinary Medicine

PRINT ISSN 1222-5304, ISSN-L: 2065-1295, ISSN CD: 2343-9394,ISSN ONLINE 2067-3663
 

A CASE REPORT ON A RESCUED RED FOX IN AN URBAN AREA (BUCHAREST, ROMANIA) SUGGESTS POTENTIAL RISKS FOR PARASITIC DISEASES IN PETS

Published in Scientific Works. Series C. Veterinary Medicine, Vol. LXVI, Issue 1
Written by Oana VASILIU, Ioan Liviu MITREA, Mariana IONITA

Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have been increasingly detected as carriers of multiple pathogens throughout Europe, being considered to be asymptomatic to the presence of most. Currently, a rapid urbanization of red foxes has been reported in many European countries, posing high risks for the both human and animal health. Here we describe a clinical case on a young male red fox which was rescued in March 2020 from an urban area of Bucharest (Romania). The fox was found collapsed and unresponsive on the street and immediately was referred to a wildlife rehabilitation center. On the clinical examination, the animal showed underweight (5 kg), hypothermia (T = 35.6°C), severe dehydration, pale mucosae, nystagmus, tremors, and hemoglobinuria. Whole body, cranial and thoracic radiographs revealed no traumatic injuries. Subsequently, a specific therapy for stabilizing the body temperature, oxygen and supportive therapy was administered. In the following two days, the general status of animal was improved, however, anorexia, slight fever (39.1°C-39.3°C), hemoglobinuria, glucosuria, proteinuria and apathy, were registered. Hepatic and renal parameters determined by biochemical analyses showed increased values. Based on this pathology, babesiosis was suspected and subsequently a blood sample was collected and analyzed by molecular qPCR technique which confirmed the Babesia DNA in the fox blood. The animal showed good response to the symptomatic treatment, therefore, no babesiicid treatment was considered. During the monitoring period, the fox displayed a clinical status significantly improved and at 13 days after its admission, it was released in a natural wild habitat. This case clearly shows that foxes invading urban areas pose potential risks for pathogens of medical and veterinary interest.

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