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Histological evidence of disease in wild stoats (Mustela erminea) in England
  1. R. A. McDonald, BSc, PhD1,
  2. M. J. Day, BSc, BVMS, PhD, MRCPath, FRCVS2 and
  3. R. J. Birtles, BSc, PhD2
  1. 1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 lUG
  2. 2 Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 lTD
  1. The Game Conservancy Trust, The Gillett, Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 OHA


Forty-four free-living stoats were collected from five game estates in England and examined for evidence of disease. All the macroscopic lesions were attributable to the trauma associated with being trapped or shot. There were no significant microscopic lesions in 27 (61 per cent) of the stoats. There was evidence of nematode parasitism in the intestines of six stoats (14 per cent), and in the lungs of five stoats (1 1 per cent), and of pulmonary granulomatous inflammation or microgranulomas in five stoats. In two of the stoats, blood-filled cavities in the liver were suggestive of peliosis hepatis, possibly associated with infection by Bartonella species or with sublethal exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides.

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