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Subcutaneous fibrosarcomas with pulmonary metastases in a white tiger (Panthera tigris) and a lion (Panthera leo)
  1. Deborah Johanna Eikelberg1,
  2. Lisa Allnoch1,
  3. Pierre Grothmann2,
  4. Julia Bohner3 and
  5. Marion Hewicker-Trautwein1
  1. 1Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation, Hannover, Germany
  2. 2Doctor’s Office for Wildlife and Zoo Animals, Geestland, Germany
  3. 3Department of Research, Serengetipark, Hodenhagen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marion Hewicker-Trautwein; marion.hewicker-trautwein{at}


Two cases of recurrent subcutaneous fibrosarcomas in a white tiger and a lion were observed and the animals were euthanised humanely due to clinical deterioration. In both animals, postmortem examination revealed multinodular, white to fawn, firm to greasy, subcutaneous masses at the left side of the thorax infiltrating into the adjacent musculature. Furthermore, the tiger showed a single mass and the lion multiple masses in the lung. Histopathologically, the subcutaneous and pulmonary masses consisted of spindle-shaped neoplastic cells with necrotic areas, and infiltration with multinucleated giant cells and lymphocytes. Immunohistochemically, tumour cells labelled positive for vimentin and negative for desmin, factor VIII-related antigen, smooth muscle actin S100, CD31 and nerve growth factor receptor p75. Thus, the pulmonary tumours were diagnosed as metastases of subcutaneous fibrosarcomas. Like domestic cats, also large, non-domestic felids could be predisposed for metastasising fibrosarcoma, which may be associated with injections or trauma.

  • wildlife
  • white tiger
  • lion
  • fibrosarcoma
  • pulmonary metastasis
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  • Contributors DJE and LA contribute equally first.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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