Syngnathidae is the family of fish that includes sea horses, pipefish, and sea dragons. To date, only a single publication has described neoplasia in syngnathids, a fibrosarcoma of the brood pouch in an aquarium-reared lined sea horse (Hippocampus erectus). From 1998 until 2010, the Toronto Zoo submitted 172 syngnathids for postmortem; species included the spotted or yellow sea horse (Hippocampus kuda), the pot-bellied sea horse (Hippocampus abdominalis) and the weedy sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). Seven neoplasms and two neoplastic-like lesions were identified from these cases. Under light microscopy, the neoplasms had morphological characteristics of a cardiac rhabdomyosarcoma, renal adenocarcinoma, renal adenoma, renal round cell tumors, which were likely lymphomas, exocrine pancreatic carcinoma, and intestinal carcinoma. Of these neoplasms, four had clear evidence of metastasis: the pancreatic and intestinal carcinomas and both round cell tumors. As syngnathids are highly fastidious animals, they can be difficult to maintain in captivity. In order to improve their husbandry, preventative and palliative care, as well as treatment, it is important to investigate and document the types of diseases affecting syngnathids.
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