Neoplastic diseases in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) in Italy: Classification and tissue distribution of 856 cases (2000-2010)

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© 2016 The Author(s). Background: The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and tissue distribution of neoplasms in Italian ferrets, compared to the epidemiological data previously reported in USA and Japan. Methods: Signalment and diagnoses of pathological submissions received between 2000 and 2010 were searched; cases with the diagnosis of neoplasm were selected and original sections reviewed to confirm the diagnosis. Results: Nine-hundred and ten samples were retrieved, 690 of which included at least one tumour for a total of 856 tumours. Ferrets with multiple neoplasms were 134 (19.4%). Median age was 5years, and F/M ratio was 0.99. Endocrine neoplasms were the most common. Other frequent tumours were cutaneous mast cell tumours, sebaceous tumours, and lymphomas. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) were consistently associated with sebaceous tumours. Twenty-four abdominal spindle cell tumours with an undefined origin were observed. Lymphomas and islet cell tumours had a lower incidence compared with previous extra-European studies. Discussion: Epidemiological information on ferret tumours derives from extra-European countries, mostly USA and Japan. In these countries similar distributions with minor discrepancies have been reported. Compared to previous reports, adrenal tumours were more frequent than pancreatic islet cell neoplasms, and a higher number of mesenchymal neoplasms arising from the adrenal capsule was noted. An unusual association between SCC and sebaceous gland neoplasms and a high number of intrabdominal spindle cell neoplasms with unclear primary origin were noted and grants further investigation. Conclusions: The tissue distribution of tumours recorded in this study paralleled previous findings in ferrets from USA and Japan. Some differences have been noted in the frequency of lymphoma, adrenal mesenchymal tumours and cutaneous tumours. Some tumours that are among the most common in other species seem to be uncommon in ferrets and are characterized by distinctive predilection sites.

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Avallone, G., Forlani, A., Tecilla, M., Riccardi, E., Belluco, S., Santagostino, S. F., … Roccabianca, P. (2016). Neoplastic diseases in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) in Italy: Classification and tissue distribution of 856 cases (2000-2010). BMC Veterinary Research, 12(1).

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