A 7-y-old backyard Leghorn chicken (Gallus domesticus) was submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS)–Turlock branch for postmortem examination, with a history of unexpected death. At postmortem examination, a hemorrhagic soft tissue mass was observed in the cervical region. Microscopically, a densely cellular neoplasm of polygonal epithelial cells and small lymphocytes was observed. The microscopic features of the neoplasm in combination with positive immunohistochemistry for pancytokeratin and CD3 were used to classify the lesion as a thymoma. Thymoma was diagnosed in only 5 birds submitted to CAHFS from 1990 to 2019. Thymoma has been described only rarely in birds, and is an unusual diagnosis in backyard chickens.
- backyard chickens
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