Diseases of the thyroid gland are common in many zoo species, but there are few descriptions of thyroid dysfunction in Mustelidae. A 7-yr-old, captive-bred female fisher (Martes pennanti) with progressive alopecia was diagnosed with clinical hyperthyroidism based on persistent elevation of both total and free serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine, ultrasound examination, and histologic evidence of adenomatous hyperplasia. Four additional geriatric adult fishers (two male and two female) were identified with thyroid adenomatous hyperplasia in a review of 23 postmortem records. Banked sera were available for thyroid hormone testing from three of the four necropsy cases. Total and free thyroxine were elevated in four of four animals tested, and triiodothyronine was elevated in two of three animals tested. Necropsy findings in four cases identified cardiac hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, and vascular lesions consistent with hypertension; complete tissues were not available from the remaining case. Clinical and subclinical hyperthyroidism may be a common but overlooked condition of captive fishers.
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