Spontaneous Tumors and Non-Neoplastic Proliferative Lesions in Pet Degus (Octodon degus)

Vet Sci. 2020 Mar 13;7(1):32. doi: 10.3390/vetsci7010032.


In recent years, degus (Octodon degus), rodents native to South America, have been becoming increasingly popular as pet animals. Data about neoplastic diseases in this species are still sparse and mainly limited to single-case reports. The aim of this study was to present neoplastic and non-neoplastic proliferative changes in 16/100 pet degus examined at the Veterinary Faculty University of Ljubljana from 2010 to 2015 and to describe the clinic-pathological features of these lesions. Twenty different lesions of the integumentary, musculoskeletal, genitourinary and gastrointestinal systems were diagnosed: amongst these were 13 malignant tumors, six benign tumors, and one non-neoplastic lesion. Cutaneous fibrosarcoma was the most common tumor (7/16 degus). It was detected more often in females (6/7 degus) and lesions were located mainly in hind limbs. The gastrointestinal tract was frequently affected, namely with two malignant neoplasms - an intestinal lymphoma and a mesenteric mesothelioma, four benign tumors - two biliary cystadenomas, an oral squamous papilloma and a hepatocellular adenoma, and a single non-neoplastic proliferative lesion. In one animal, two organic systems were involved in neoplastic lesions.

Keywords: Octodon degus; degu; non-neoplastic proliferative lesions; pathology; tumors.