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External Beam Radiation Therapy of Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the Beak of an African Grey Parrot (Psittacus timneh)

Swisher Samantha D., Phillips Kathryn L., Tobias Jeremy R., Cullen John M., Gieger Tracy L., Grunkemeyer Vanessa L.
Journal of avian medicine and surgery 2016 v.30 no.3 pp. 250-256
Psittacus erithacus, beak, birds, computed tomography, death, excision, granulation tissue, metastasis, necropsy, prognosis, radiography, radiotherapy, regrowth, squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma has been reported in a variety of bird species, most commonly psittacine and gallinaceous birds. The long-term prognosis in nongallinaceous birds is generally poor if complete surgical excision is not possible. Squamous cell carcinoma of the rhinotheca was diagnosed in a 34-year-old timneh African grey parrot (Psittacus timneh) with a 2-year history of beak abnormalities. No evidence of metastasis or local invasion were found on results of radiographs or computed tomography scan. The bird was treated with surgical debulking and palliative megavoltage radiation therapy. After 4 radiation treatments, the affected tissue was necrotic and was debrided to reveal healthy granulation tissue. The bird died approximately 7 months after diagnosis and 4 months after cessation of radiation treatment. At the time of death, a small scab lesion remained at the left oral commissure, but no visible tumor regrowth was evident. A postmortem examination was not performed, however, and tumor recurrence could not be ruled out in this bird.