Ulcerative and Granulomatous Stomatitis in a Female Puma (Puma concolor)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Katja Natalie Koeppel, BVMS, MSc

Johannesburg Zoo, Parkview, Johannesburg, South Africa


A 12-year-old, 27-kg female puma (Puma concolor) was reported with a depressed appetite, which gradually worsened over a two-week period to total anorexia. Upon immobilization and medical examination, a protruding, cauliflower-like mass was discovered at the base of the tongue as well as an ulcerative lesion over one third of the hard palate. Biopsies were taken from the tongue and the hard palate. Histopathology confirmed the presence of ulcerative stomatitis of the hard palate and granulomatous lesions on the base of the tongue. Serologic testing showed a titre of 1:640 for feline herpes virus (FHV) by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFA) and 1:80 for feline calicivirus (FCV) (IFA). Chronic stomatitis has been associated with FHV and FCV infections, but the development of lesions is thought to be multifactorial.1 Treatment consisted of the long-acting corticosteroid Dexafort®, (1.5 ml dexamethasone sodium phosphate [1 mg/ml] and dexamethasone phenylpropionate [2 mg/ml]; Intervet, Kempton Park, South Africa) and ranitidine HCL 100 mg (Zantac®, Aspen Pharmacare, Sandton, South Africa). The animal received three treatments of Dexafort and Zantac 10 days apart. Two days after the first treatment, the puma started eating a diet of ground beef and the following day she resumed her normal diet of beef on the bone. A follow-up examination three months later showed weight gain and that lesions in the mouth and on the tongue had not progressed. Serology revealed an increased titre of 1:640 for FCV (IFA) and no change in the FHV titre.

Literature Cited

1.  Healey AE, Dawson S, Burrow R, Cripps P, Gaskell CJ, Hart CA, et al. Prevalence of feline chronic gingivostomatitis in first opinion veterinary practice. J Fel Med Surg. 2007;9:373–381.


Speaker Information
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Katja Natalie Koeppel, BVMS, MSc
Johannesburg Zoo
Parkview, Johannesburg, South Africa

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