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

Samantha D. Swisher, Kathryn L Phillips, Jeremy R. Tobias, John M. Cullen, Tracy L. Gieger, Vanessa L. Grunkemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-256
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016



  • African grey parrot
  • avian
  • beak
  • neoplasia
  • psittacine
  • Psittacus timneh
  • radiation therapy
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Small Animals

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