Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Trachea in a Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

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Abstract

A 4-year-old, castrated, male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was evaluated for a possible upper respiratory tract infection and wheezing for approximately 3 weeks. Supportive care for a suspected upper respiratory tract infection was initiated; however, the patient became progressively more dyspneic over the next 48 hours. A possible tracheal mass was identified upon thoracic radiographic imaging of the ferret. Tracheoscopy and a computed tomography scan of the neck and thorax confirmed the presence of a tracheal mass approximately 3 cm from the larynx obstructing 80% of the tracheal lumen. Rather than pursuing surgical resection, the owners elected humane euthanasia. An adenosquamous carcinoma of the trachea was diagnosed after histologic analysis. This tumor type has been diagnosed in the lungs of ferrets that were experimentally exposed to carcinogens found in cigarette smoke; however, there are no previous reports of this or any other tumor type associated with the ferret trachea. A tracheal mass causing a partial upper airway obstruction should be considered within the differential disease diagnosis list when a ferret is presented with dyspnea.

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