The current report describes the temporary regression, due to intensive symptomatic treatment, of ulcerative skin lesions caused by squamous cell carcinoma in a white rhinoceros. A captive, 40-yr-old southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) developed profound, ulcerative skin lesions on the pads of both hind feet. At the peak of the disease, at least one quarter of the pads was affected. A diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma was made via biopsy. Treatment included anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and local care. The lesions regressed on both feet until they seemed clinically healed. It was presumed that long-term, anti-inflammatory treatment and local bandaging had induced the temporary regression of the lesions. Two years later, however, a small ulcerative lesion reappeared on one pad and post mortem examination confirmed that the carcinoma was also histologically present in the clinically intact tissue. No metastasis was found and computed tomography showed normal digital bones.
Keywords: Ceratotherium simum simum; foot pad; imaging diagnosis; regression; squamous cell carcinoma; white rhinoceros.