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Objective

To examine clinical and pathologic findings in 60 ferrets with lymphoma.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

60 ferrets in which the diagnosis of lymphoma had been confirmed by means of histologic examination of biopsy or necropsy specimens.

Procedure

Information including age, sex, coat color, history, clinical signs, clinicopathologic abnormalities, treatment, outcome, and results of histologic examination of biopsy and necropsy specimens were retrieved from medical records of ferrets with spontaneous lymphoma examined between 1982 and 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or private veterinary practices in 10 states. Classification of lymphoma was assigned according to the National Cancer Institute's working formulation for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, χ2 Trend analysis was used to determine whether age was associated with history, clinical signs, hematologic abnormalities, stage, histologic grade, or outcome.

Results

Acute onset, mediastinal mass, lymphocytosis, and multicentric distribution were linked with younger ferrets, and lymphopenia and survival longer than 2 months after diagnosis was associated with older ferrets. Twenty percent of ferrets in this study had cohabitated with another ferret with lymphoma. Chemotherapeutic efficacy was not evaluated.

Clinical Implications

Clinical and pathologic features linked with age should be considered when evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic options for ferrets with lymphoma. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208: 1297–1301)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association