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Open Access Ringtail in Suckling Munich Wistar Fromter Rats: A Histopathologic Study

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Ringtail is a pathologic condition of the tail of rats and other rodents that is traditionally attributed to low environmental humidity, although dietary deficiencies, genetic susceptibility, environmental temperature, and degree of hydration of the animal also have been suggested as possible causes. To the authors' knowledge, a detailed histopathologic study that may serve to shed light on the etiopathogenesis of this disease has not yet been published. We describe the histologic findings of ringtail observed in 12 suckling Munich Wistar Fromter (MWF) rats from two litters. Epidermal hyperplasia characterized by orthokeratotic and parakeratotic hyperkeratosis and acanthosis was observed in all affected rats. Numerous often dilated vessels were present in the dermis of tails that appeared of red/brown color at gross examination. In severe cases, the dilated vascular structures were thrombotic and accompanied by dermal hemorrhages and focal coagulative necrosis of the overlying epidermis. These findings suggest that epidermal acanthosis and hyperkeratosis are the main and primary events in the development of ringtail. To clarify the cause of this disease, future studies should be focused on the numerous factors that can induce such epidermal changes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2000

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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