In a 3-year (1988-1990) pathological study, 24 carcasses of beluga whales from the St Lawrence Estuary, Québec, Canada, showed numerous severe lesions, many of which had never been reported in cetaceans. The most common lesions were found in the digestive tract (21 animals) and consisted mainly of periodontitis and of erosions and ulcers in the oesophagus and the first two gastric compartments. Pneumonia, usually of parasitic origin, was also a common finding (12 animals). The adrenal glands often contained nodules (five animals) or cysts (seven animals), and mastitis was observed in five females. Overall, the incidence of degenerative, infectious, hyperplastic or necrotic lesions, in addition to numerous neoplasms described in another paper, was considerably higher than that found in marine mammals elsewhere or in other species of marine mammal from the same waters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine