Saturday, May 08, 2010

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

May 8 is Pet Cancer Awareness Day, and the month of May is pet Cancer Awareness month. Although many believe cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for our dog and cat family members, no one is sure yet how fast cancer is increasing in our avian friends.

As the caretakers of several retired breeding parrots, many abused, and some abandoned birds, who have come to our care, we are seeing more cases of cancer in parrots from Budgies to Amazons. Many of these birds are older birds and the increased life span of our pet birds may be one reason an increased number of parrots with cancer are appearing.

We have sadly experienced wing/shoulder joint tumors in a Peach Front Conure and a female Budge. These tumors were inoperable for these birds. We have also experienced a Maroon Belly Conure and a Green Cheek Conure both with tumors in throat areas that were also inoperable due to the location of the tumors. We have also seen two older female Amazons, one a Green Cheeked Amazon, and one a Blue Front Amazon, with multiple tumors on x-ray. Both birds eventually had kidney failure due to the cancer. The Amazons were both believed to be well over 50 years of age. We have seen other cases of birds with non-diagnosed tumors that were suspected to be cancerous but pathology was not done to know for sure.

Here is a link to a very good article written by Dr. Margaret A. Wissman concerning cancer in parrots.

Avian Cancer by Dr. Margaret A. Wissman

Please help support any cancer research if you can, and it is important to have your bird checked out thoroughly by an Avian Veternarian yearly to help prevent, or diagnose early any health problems.

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