Oral, nasal, and cutaneous lesions resembling eosinophilic granulomas (EGs) were observed in eight captive black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis). Oral lesions were observed in all affected animals and occurred most often behind the prehensile lip. The typical clinical history of affected animals included oral bleeding or epistaxis from multilobulated, fungating, proliferative masses with areas of ulceration. Histologically, lesions were characterized by prominent infiltrates of eosinophils and rare foci of collagen degeneration on a background of marked submucosal or dermal neovascularization. Mucosal or epidermal hyperplasia was also present sometimes in association with distinctive epithelial degenerative changes consistent with superficial necrolytic dermatopathy of black rhinoceroses. Lesions of EG and superficial necrolytic dermatopathy were interpreted as being concurrently manifested in these cases. EG lesions spontaneously resolved over periods of 30 days–7 mo and were recurrent in three animals. Lesions were responsive to treatment with corticosteroids or to local cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen. Two animals treated with systemic corticosteroids died of disseminated fungal infections, emphasizing that corticosteroids should be used cautiously in black rhinoceroses.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1