Article Text

Short Communication
Intestinal adenocarcinomas in three generations of sheep
  1. T. Løken, DVM, PhD1,
  2. E. R. Bjørnstad, DVM2 and
  3. C. Ersdal, DVM, PhD1
  1. Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway
  2. 3355 Solumnsmoen, Norway
  1. E-mail for correspondence torleiv.loken{at}

Statistics from

INTESTINAL adenocarcinomas are the most frequently reported type of tumours in sheep (Ross 1980) and have also been reported in other domestic animal species and in human beings (Johnstone and others 1983, Hamir 1985, McCoy and others 2009). In sheep, these tumours have a low incidence (Else 2007), although an incidence of up to 6 per cent in some populations has been documented (Simpson and Jolly 1974). In Norway, intestinal adenocarcinomas were described in 2.9 per cent of 1256 adult sheep submitted for postmortem examination over a period of eight-and-a-half years at a research institute (Ulvund 1983). The tumour presents as a stenotic, often annular, firm tissue 3 to 5 cm in length, typically situated in the jejunum or ileum (Georgsson and Vigfússon 1973, Tontis 2006, Munday and others 2006). The neoplastic tissue has a tendency to grow via the intestinal wall to the mesentery and along the serosal lymphatics to the regional lymph node (Munday and others 2006, Brown and others 2007). Metastatic implantations on the peritoneum are common, and the tumour may occasionally spread to the serosal surfaces in the thoracic cavity. In a few cases, haematogenous metastasis to the liver and/or the lungs have been demonstrated (Ross 1980, Ulvund 1983). Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and thorax is frequent in amounts of up to 35 litres (Ulvund 1983). This short communication describes scirrhous jejunal adenocarcinomas in three closely related ewes in a sheep flock.

The flock consisted of approximately 120 winter-fed sheep in eastern Norway. The animals were of the Norwegian White breed, demonstrated high quality and production, and were routinely treated for endoparasites and vaccinated against clostridial infections. During the six-month winter season, the sheep were kept indoors on a slatted wooden floor and fed hay silage and commercial …

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