Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Multiple myeloma is a rare, systemic proliferation of neoplastic plasma cells. A case was reported in an 11-year-old male captive lion (Panthera leo) at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Pretoria. The classic features of symptomatic multiple myeloma were all evident in this case; namely osteolytic lesions, monoclonal gammopathy in the serum with excretion of monoclonal proteins in the urine, neoplastic plasma cells in the bone marrow and associated renal failure and anaemia. In addition, similar to the common pattern of this disease in domestic felids, at least three extramedullary tumours were found and several organs were infiltrated by neoplastic plasma cells. The cytoplasm of approximately 50% of the neoplastic round cells, including a few giant myeloma cells, stained weakly to strongly using immunohistochemical stains for B-lymphocytes (CD79a). The normal haematological parameters and lack of any osteolytic lesions in the lion at the time of the first evaluation suggest that the primary neoplastic cells could have originated from one of the extramedullary tumour sites. Only two cases of multiple myeloma have previously been reported in captive wild felids. To the authors' knowledge, there are no case reports of multiple myeloma in lions.