Meniscal ossicles in large non-domestic cats

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Walker M, Phalan D, Jensen J, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2002;43:249-254.

Radiographs of the stifles of 6 species of 34 large, non-domestic cats were reviewed foremost for the presence of meniscal ossicles and then for the presence of the other potential four sesamoids. The animals in the review included 12 lions, 7 tigers, 7 cougars, 3 leopards, 3 bobcats, and 2 jaguars. Fluoroscopy, arthrography, computed tomography, necropsy, and histology were also used to evaluate the stifles of one tiger after euthanasia. Ossicles were found in the region of the cranial horn of the medial meniscus in most of the lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars. These ossicles were found in half of the cougars but in none of the bobcats. Among the large, non-domestic cats, meniscal ossicles had been reported previously only in Bengal tigers. The lions, tigers, and leopards having meniscal ossicles appeared to have a lateral but often not a medial fabella of the gastrocnemius muscle, an observation previously unreported. Popliteal sesamoids and patellas were present in all the skeletally mature cats.