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Mammals (other)
Dentigerous cyst in a South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)
  1. José Carlos Almansa Ruiz1,
  2. Carol Knox2,
  3. Sonja Boy3,4 and
  4. Gerhard Steenkamp1,5
  1. 1Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2South African Association for Marine Biological Research, uShaka Marine World, Durban, South Africa
  3. 3Pathology Department, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
  4. 4Lancet Laboratories Pretoria Main Office (Pencardia), Arcadia, Pretoria, South Africa
  5. 5Centre for Wildlife Veterinary Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr José Carlos Almansa Ruiz;{at}


The dental pathology of pinnipeds has been well studied with periodontal disease the most common dental pathology accounting for 19.4–91.8 per cent of all dental pathologies. An eight-month-old stranded South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) was rescued from the south coast of South Africa; during his rehabilitation process his handlers noticed the absence of his left maxillary canine tooth (204). Eleven years later, during a health examination, the veterinarian upon closed examination could visualise approximately 5 mm of a tooth crown in the area where tooth 204 should have been. A presumed diagnosis of a dentigerous cyst was made based on the radiological findings. Surgery was performed to surgically extract 204 and enucleate the cyst lining. The histological analysis of the enucleated cyst lining confirmed the first reported case of a dentigerous cyst in a marine mammal.

  • seals
  • dentigerous cyst
  • treatment
  • marine mammals
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  • Contributors JCAR and GS drafted the manuscript. SB was involved in histopathology. CK did the follow-up radiographs and oral examination of the patient. GS, SB and CK critically reviewed the manuscript.

  • 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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