Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Complex odontoma in a young captive reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)

Complex odontoma is a rare odontogenic lesion reported in rodents (order: Rodentia) and odd-toed ungulates (order: Perissodactyla), to name a few, and only in bovine animals of the order Artiodactyla. A 3-year-old female giraffe presented with a steadily proliferating, firm mass in the rostral mandible. With further expansion and ulceration of the mass, the general condition of the giraffe deteriorated and it was euthanized. Post-mortem examination revealed greyish-white tissue with an irregular arrangement of yellowish hard tissue arranged in thin plates and intermingled areas of greyish soft tissue. Histologically, irregular proliferated odontogenic epithelium and mesenchyme, dentin, cementum and empty spaces, suggestive of decalcified enamel, were present. These findings are consistent with a diagnosis of complex odontoma, which should be added to the differential diagnoses of oral tissue proliferations in giraffes. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a complex odontoma in a giraffe.

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