Taenia coenurus in the orbit of a chinchilla


Address communications to: S. R. Hollingsworth Tel.: (530) 752-1393 Fax: (530) 752-0454 e-mail: srhollingsworth@ucdavis.edu


A 4-year old, male intact, captive-bred chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) was presented due to progressive exophthalmos of the right eye over a 5-month period. Ophthalmic examination revealed exophthalmos with dorsal displacement of the right globe. Retropulsion was decreased and a fluctuant, subcutaneous mass could be palpated posterior and dorsal to the central aspect of the zygomatic bone. Transdermal ultrasonography revealed a fluid-filled mass consistent with a cyst located within the ventral right orbit. Computed tomography demonstrated dorsal displacement of the globe, lateral displacement of the zygomatic arch, and numerous mineral-dense foci within the lumen of the cyst. The cyst was removed en bloc by ventral transpalpebral orbitotomy. Histopathology revealed a single capsulated cyst with multiple invaginated protoscolices, characterized by a prominent scolex with refractile hooklets, suckers, and abundant calcareous corpuscles consistent with a Taenia coenurus. Exophthalmos resolved with surgical therapy and there was no evidence of recurrence or postoperative complications over a period of 2 years. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of an orbital cyst of parasitic origin in a chinchilla.