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Vet Pathol. 2008 Nov;45(6):949-51. doi: 10.1354/vp.45-6-949.

Diagnostic exercise: astrocytoma with involvement of medulla oblongata, spinal cord, and spinal nerves in a raccoon (Procyon lotor).

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.


Neoplasms affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems of wild animals are extremely rare. Described are clinical signs and pathologic and immunohistochemical findings in an adult female raccoon (Procyon lotor) with an astrocytoma that involved medulla, cervical spinal cord, and roots of the cervical spinal nerves. Microscopically, the neoplastic cells revealed some pleomorphism but generally had fusiform morphology and showed moderate numbers of mitotic figures. Glial fibrillary acidic protein was demonstrated within the neoplastic cells by immunohistochemistry. This appears to be the only reported case of astrocytoma that involved multiple anatomic sites in the central nervous system of this raccoon.

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