A retrospective review was done of traumatic and osseous lesions in 241 wolves (Canis lupus) and 316 coyotes (Canis latrans) necropsied at the University of Saskatchewan between 1971 and 1990. Most lesions were the result of interspecific conflict. The most frequently occurring lesion in wolves was fracture of one or more bones, primarily ribs. Lesions were healed in most cases and appeared to be compatible with injuries caused by prey animals. One wolf, found dead, died as a result of thoracic trauma. Limb and skull fractures were less common. Fractures were uncommon in coyotes. The most frequent injuries in coyotes were related to gunshot wounds. Four coyotes had been killed but not eaten by wolves. One wolf had been killed and another attacked by wolves. Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) quills contributed to the death of a wolf and two coyotes. Degenerative joint disease, involving the spinal column and limb joints, was found in a few individuals of both species. A coyote had severe anomalies of the spinal column and a wolf had anomalous external genitalia.
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Vol. 28 • No. 2