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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering how many pigeon lovers/rescuers have had birds with cancer.
I might have another one, Alice's mate.
Lucky bird came to me four years ago, he had a missing eye due to infection. The socket is covered by the eyelids with just a little opening which occasionally drained clear fluid. My vet had told me this is normal.
About a week ago I noticed the eye socket started swelling. I started him on Cipro and Flagyl only to see it grow, not much but enough to make me take him to the vet today.
The vet thought first it is an abscess and put him under anesthesia to open up the opening more and take the junk out. Once he looked inside he noticed it is a tumor not an abscess.
He told me that tumors at this site are generaly malignant and Lymphoma (what Alice had) in birds is caused by a virus. So, there is a good chance Lucky has cancer.
He will take it out on Monday and send it for a pathology exam, then we will know for sure.

I talked to a friend in Broward who has pigeons and in the past two years she had three birds with cancer.
That is a whole lot.

Reti
 

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Reti,

I'm sorry to hear about Lucky bird's having a tumor. I haven't thought much about cancer until I had a very sick bird a couple of months ago. I treated her for every thing I could think of, as she had gone light and didn't have any specific symptoms. I did take her to the vet who told me I was already doing what he would prescribe. He did raise the issue at that time that she could have cancer. I have hung in there with her and she is slowly coming around, with some weight gain. I had to hand feed for about three weeks tho. This is the first time I have heard of cancer being virally caused in birds.

I do hope that the tumor comes back benign and that Lucky bird has a few more years left. Will watch for your posts next week.

Margaret
 

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Reti,

I so hope that Lucky will be OK. I, personally, have never had a bird with a definite diagnosis of cancer, so I have no useful information to offer .. only my hopes for a good outcome for Lucky. I also was not aware that cancer in birds can be or is caused by a virus. I'll have to do some reading on this to get myself up to speed.

Terry
 

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My understanding is that some cancer in birds is caused by herpes virus.
 

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Reti,
I don't know if it would be of interest, but the "holistic bird" list has had a good bit of discussion on cancer in birds. An interesting list (I must admit I hoard most of their mail for reference at need rather than reading it at once). Their home page:
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/HolisticBird/

Hoping the very best for Lucky bird!
Forest
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your replies.
I hope Lucky will be alright, if it is cancer hopefully it is localized and by removing it we're done with it. He is doing fine, eating, preening and being his mean self (although he is not quite as mean as he used to be).

There is evidence that some cancers in humans are caused by virus. A certain type of Lymhoma (Burkitt's Lymphoma) is caused by Ebstein-Barr virus (the mononucleosis virus) and HTL-1 virus causes Leukemia.

Thank you for the link Forest. Will do some reading today.

Reti
 

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Reti,

I'm so sorry to hear about Lucky, but I hope and pray he will be fine, and the tumor removed is benign.

I remember Maggie was talking about a bird that she had that the vet said had cancer, not sure if it was a just a guess on the vest part or an actual diagnosis.

Thanks for sharing the holisitic bird link, Forest. I'm going to check it out too.
 

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Reti, we have had two that our vet was pretty sure had cancer. Both were in the abdominal area.

The first one, Gracie, was pretty bad. She was about 12 - 14 years old when we had her PTS because she was so sick. She had severe swelling from her breast area to her rump. When the vet went in with a needle to drain the fluids to give her some relief from the swelling, only blood showed in the syringe. The vet said that usually occurred only with cancer. She went downhill very rapidly and was obviously in pain and severe discomfort.

The second one, Silver, who had only one leg, started having convulsions one afternoon and died within minutes. We had already had at least two tumors removed from his stomach and they came back along with others. I honestly can't remember if she had the ones she removed analyzed but she said it was cancer. He was very young when he had the tumors removed - just months old and died when he was about 4 years old.

I so hope Lucky lives up to his name and you find that his is benign. Will be thinking about you and him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for your input.

When the vet opened up the tiny hole to remove the lump (which we thought was an abscess) it also started bleeding quite heavily. Also the lump is not mobile, that should have given us a clue that it is not an abcess. I also think it has grown some in the past few days.
I hope it is benign.

I am attaching pics so you can see what it looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lucky had surgery today. Unfortunately the tumor could not be removed, it is an ugly looking tumor atached to the tissues and impossible to remove in totality, it has no margini and is bleeding a lot when trying to detach from the surrounding tissues.
It looks like it is a sarcoma and those type of cancers are very aggressive. Radiation would be the only option but there is nobody in the area who does it in birds. Even that wouldn't guarantee a cure.
So, we are still waiting for the pathology exam and we take it from there.

Since we got back from the vet Lucky is just standing in the back of the cage facing the wall. I gave him Metacam cause I am sure he is in pain. Hope he will eat later.
This is so sad, I am heartbroken.

Reti
 

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Reti,

:( I'm so sorry to hear this is such a difficult and ugly tumor and can't be removed in its entirety.

I will say a little prayer for Lucky and hope he is not in any pain and eating soon.
 

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Ah, Reti, I'm really sorry. It is so bad when it is attached like that. From the pictures, it is swollen quite a bit. Still keeping fingers crossed that it is benign.
 

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Hi Reti ,

My heart goes out to you and your little friend . I know how heartbreaking it is to have a pet get very sick or lose them . It doesnt seem fair ... they hurt no one and yet sometimes they suffer . I'm hoping for the best ........


hambone
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is so sad indeed, those little creatures have not hurt anybody and they have to go through such pain and suffering.

Maggie, this is very unlikely to be a benign tumor the way ot looks.

He hasn't eaten yet, he just sits there. I will bring Fanny (his mate) in here today and will keep them both in the living room so I can watch him better.
It is very difficult to give him his Metacam as I have no way of holding his head without hurting him. This thing seems like it is growing by the day and it is still bleeding some.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just received the pathology results. It is a fast growing malignant round cell tumor with grave prognosis.
The recommendation is euthanasia. There is no point in removing it as it will grow back within a week.
It has grown considerably in past week, but he is still eating, mating, biting, he just can't fly anymore but it doesn't seem to bother him.
This is devastating news, I still was hoping that there was something that could be done.

Reti
 

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Reti,

I'm so deeply sorry to hear the news, I know it is very devistating :(

to find out that nothing other then euthanasia can be done for him at this time.

Do you know if he is in any kind of pain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Reti,

I'm so deeply sorry to hear the news, I know it is very devistating :(

to find out that nothing other then euthanasia can be done for him at this time.

Do you know if he is in any kind of pain?
I don't know if he is in pain, but from reading in my medical books and emedicine, he probably is, considering that the tumor is quite large and located in the head area.
Most likely at this point he has also metastasis.
I will start him on twice daily Metacam and when I notice he stops eating and enjoying life I will make the decision.

Reti
 

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Reti, I'm so sorry..........You have to make the decision because you're there, but we all know that you will do what's best for the bird, period, because that's really all that matters. Hugs.
 

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I will pray to God to give you the strength to know when it is time for Lucky to be released of His earthly wings and bondage and to leave this troubled world. :(

Meanwhile I know you will do everything to keep him as comfortable as possible, you always do.
 
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