Alimentary squamous cell carcinoma in psittacines: 12 cases and review of the literature

Viviana Gonzalez-Astudillo, Aslı Mete, Mauricio A. Navarro, Francisco A. Uzal, Javier Asin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is a neoplasm that usually arises from the integument, is reported uncommonly in pet birds. Only a few reports of SCCs in the alimentary tract of birds, including psittacines, have been published, and a detailed description of the pathology is not available in the literature. We present here 12 cases of alimentary SCC in psittacines. The average age of the birds was 22.2 y (range: 15–29 y), and affected species included 4 Amazon parrots (Amazona sp.), 3 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 3 macaws (Ara sp.), 1 conure (Eupsittula sp.), and 1 Senegal parrot (Poicephalus sp.). Frequent clinical complaints included regurgitation, dysphagia, dyspnea, lethargy, and/or weight loss. SCC primarily affected the oral cavity in 6 of 12 cases, the crop alone in 2 of 12 cases, the crop and esophagus in 1 of 12 cases, the proventriculus alone in 1 of 12 cases, and the crop, esophagus, and proventriculus in 2 of 12 cases. Histologically, alimentary SCCs were locally invasive and often resulted in mucosal ulceration. Although there were no metastases in any of our cases, poor clinical outcomes were frequent and associated most commonly with complete effacement of the alimentary segment and severe inflammation with opportunistic bacterial infection. Our review of the literature records commonly affected species, variability of gross presentations and clinical signs, plausible etiologies, and current diagnostic developments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • alimentary neoplasia
  • psittacines
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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