Ninety-one red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) found dead in the UK between January 1994 and August 1998 were necropsied at the Institute of Zoology (London, UK); their oral cavities were examined visually, and in eight cases, radiographically. Four red squirrels, which had evidence of oral disease when necropsied as part of a mortality survey, also were examined. A low prevalence (prevalence =0.033, SE =0.02, n=91) of oral disease was found in free-living red squirrels. In only two cases was oral disease the probable cause of death. Attrition of the cheek teeth (three cases) and overgrowth of the incisors (four cases) were the most common lesions found. Partial anodontia was recorded in one squirrel.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2