Nonregenerative immune-mediated anemia associated with a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in a captive jaguar (Panthera onca)

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An 18-year-old male castrated jaguar (Panthera onca) was presented with anorexia and continuous bleeding from the oral cavity after a history of fighting with the partner animal. Clinical evaluation revealed ulcerating lesions on the gingiva and hard palate and a hematoma on the tongue. Computed tomography of the head and endoscopic examination of the esophagus and stomach were unremarkable. Hematology and clinical chemistry revealed severe nonregenerative anemia, mild thrombocytopenia, and moderate azotemia. Several PCRs for feline hemotropic mycoplasmas (Mycoplasma haemofelis, M heamominutium, M turicensis), Babesia felis, and Bartonella spp., as well as an FeLV antigen test were negative. The cytologic examination of a bone marrow aspirate was consistent with ineffective erythropoiesis, most likely due to immune-mediated destruction of the erythroid precursor cells. Prednisolone therapy was initiated (1.25 mg/kg/day), and the CBC returned to normal 16 days after the initiation of the therapy. Anemia relapsed after 4 months and severe splenomegaly was noted. A repeat bone marrow aspirate revealed active erythropoiesis in the presence of erythroid precursor phagocytosis suggesting an immune-mediated process. Splenic fine-needle aspiration and tissue biopsies were taken, and all findings including histology and immunohistochemistry were consistent with a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Five days later, the clinical condition deteriorated and the jaguar died. Histopathology following necropsy showed infiltration with neoplastic lymphoblasts in the spleen, liver, and abdominal lymph nodes. This case report describes a nonregenerative immune-mediated anemia associated with a DLBCL in a jaguar.

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