Junginger J, Hansmann F, Herder V, et al.
This retrospective study provides an overview on spontaneous diseases occurring in 38 captive wild felids submitted for necropsy by German zoological gardens between 2004 and 2013. Species included 18 tigers, 8 leopards, 7 lions, 3 cheetahs and 2 cougars with an age ranging from 0.5 to 22 years. Renal lesions, predominantly tubular alterations (intra-tubular concrements, tubular degeneration, necrosis, intra-tubular cellular debris, proteinaceous casts, dilated tubuli) followed by interstitial (lympho-plasmacytic inflammation, fibrosis, metastatic-suppurative inflammation, eosinophilic inflammation) and glomerular lesions (glomerulonephritis, glomerulosclerosis, amyloidosis) were detected in 33 out of 38 animals (87%). Tumors were found in 19 of 38 felids (50%) with 12 animals showing more than one neoplasm. The tumor prevalence increased with age. Neoplasms originated from endocrine (11), genital (8), lympho-hematopoietic (5) and alimentary organs (4) as well as the mesothelium (3). Most common neoplasms comprised uterine/ovarian leiomyomas (5/2), thyroid adenomas/adenocarcinoma (5/1), pleural mesotheliomas (3), hemangiosarcomas (2) and glossal papillomas (2). Inflammatory changes were frequently encountered in the intestine and the lung. Two young animals displayed metastatic mineralization suggestive of a vitamin D- or calcium intoxication. One tiger exhibited degenerative white matter changes consistent with an entity termed large felid leukoencephalomyelopathy. Various hyperplastic, degenerative and inflammatory changes with minor clinical significance were found in several organs. Summarized, renal lesions followed by neoplastic changes as well as inflammatory changes in lung and gastrointestinal tract represent the most frequent findings in captive wild felids living in German zoological gardens.