A male ferret, which was purchased from abroad at 9 months of age, had shown significant weight loss starting at 13 months of age. The ferret subsequently showed decreasing motor activity and recumbency and was euthanized at 14 months of age. At necropsy, a white, quail egg-sized mass was found in the mesentery. Histopathologically, multifocal granulomas consisting of necrotic foci, macrophages, fibroblasts and plentiful fibrous connective tissues were observed in the mesenteric mass. Surrounding the granulomas, inflammatory cell infiltration consisting of neutrophils, lymphocytes and plasmacytes was observed diffusely and significantly. Immunohistochemistry revealed small numbers of macrophages around necrotic foci that were positively stained for anti-mouse feline coronavirus. Electron microscopically, the cytoplasm of the macrophages contained viral particles, which were identified as coronavirus. The histopathological features in this ferret were similar to those in cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). This was the first case in ferrets in Japan.
2010 The Japanese Society of Toxicologic Pathology