Neoplasia in ferrets: Eleven cases with a review

J. E. Dillberger, N. H. Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Records from a veterinary diagnostic laboratory in south Florida, U.S.A. were reviewed for cases of neoplasi in pet ferrets. Twelve ferret tumours were received over a four-year period; one case, a ferret with lymphocytic leukaemia and multi-organ involvement, had been reported previously. The other eleven tumours were: two chordomas of the tail, two sebaceous adenomas of the skin, a sebaceous epithelioma of the skin, a cutaneous mastocytoma, a malignant fibrous histiocytoma from the eyelid, a malignant mesenchymoma and an undifferentiated sarcoma from the dorsal abdominal cavity, a leiomyosarcoma found unattached in the abdominal cavity and an interstitial cell tumour of the testicle. A review of the literature yielded reports of 83 other tumours in domestic ferrets, black-footed ferrets and European polecats. Of the 95 ferret tumours, 46 were considered malignant. Tumours occurred in all organ systems except the respiratory tract and central nervous system. Affected ferrets ranged in age from 209 days to 12 years. The most frequently occurring tumours were ovarian stromal tumours (24 of 95), haemangiomas/haemangio-sarcomas (15 of 95). This information indicates that, contrary to previous opinion, ferrets appear to be subject to a similar incidence and variety of tumours as other animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-176
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • veterinary(all)


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