Oral masses in African pygmy hedgehogs

Gabriela Del Aguila, Cristian G. Torres, Francisco R. Carvallo, Carlos M. Gonzalez, Federico F. Cifuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) frequently develop oral neoplasms, and most of these neoplasms are malignant. We characterized oral masses detected in hedgehogs at clinical examination. During a 1-y period, we diagnosed oral cavity masses in 27 privately owned hedgehogs; 16 were female and 11 were male, with ages of 2–7 y (mean: 4.3 y). Eight masses were non-neoplastic and were diagnosed as gingival hyperplasia (GH). Nineteen masses were neoplastic, of which 17 were squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 2 were mesenchymal tumors (1 spindle cell tumor of probable neural origin, and 1 hemangiosarcoma). The GHs were noninvasive, exophytic, and did not recur after surgical excision. The SCCs were highly invasive tumors that induced facial deformation and were located in the caudal portion of the oral cavity, with 12 of them arising from the right-caudal maxilla. Thus, clinical signs, growth pattern, and anatomic location can be used to suspect a diagnosis of SCC among the other possible diagnoses, such as GH, in this location. However, histopathology is necessary for confirmation. Also, hemangiosarcoma should be considered among the differential diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-867
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • African pygmy hedgehogs
  • anatomic location
  • clinical signs
  • gingival hyperplasia
  • oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral masses in African pygmy hedgehogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this