Blue Fronted Amazon - 40+ years old with a cyst on her tongue

by Troy Wells
(Canoga Park, California, USA)

I was speaking with my brother yesterday and he told me the family pet, a 40+ year old blue fronted amazon had some form of cyst on her tongue. They went to the local bird store and the owner suggested some antibiotics. The cyst will grow, then pop and ooze for a day or so before clearing up and coming right back.
Her mood and mannerisms have not changed during this time, she is very active, and social.

The cyst is a purple/red in color. When it bursts he described it as a runny mucus.

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Dec 10, 2013
De-bulking went well
by: Troy

I took Wanda to Dr. Nemetz in Orange County. On initial inspection the Doctor said something you never want to hear... "Oh boy..."
That being said, he immediately cleared her air passage and began educating us on what her possible prognosis was (good and the bad).
We went ahead and had the mass debulked, allowing the doctor to send the mass away for testing (for cancer), however he believes it's actually Papilloma (Wanda was originally an import from the Amazon back in the 70s prior to our ownership).
We were called into the operating room while Wanda was still under and he explained that he had attempted to bring her out of sedation twice, both times she began to bleed from the debulking (after cauterizing and micro sutures. He informed us that when he brings her out a third time, if there continues to be bleeding, there wouldn't be much more that could be done. She was brought out of sedation and although there was very minor bleeding, it clotted and she is fine.
Now we are waiting for the lab results (10 days) to confirm that it's pappilloma (or cancer).

Nov 27, 2013
Update on Wanda
by: Troy

Well the Vet we have been seeing and helping us put some weight on Wanda has told us that the tumors have now gone vascular and we will need a specialist. She referred us to Dr. Nemetz at the Bird Clinic in Orange County CA.
He comes highly recommended, the other Avian specialist is actually a few blocks away, but he trained with Dr. Nemetz so I will take my life long feathered companion to the best.
Wanda has reclaimed her health, with the exception of having the tumor in the back of her beak/throat. She is on a soft/liquid diet...anything thick and she could potentially choke.
She is a 40+ year old and the Vet said her responsiveness to stimulus is excellent.
Her initial consultation/exam is in 2 weeks.

Jun 24, 2013
Bird with cyst on tongue
by: The Avian Vet

Over the counter antibiotics should never be used. This could be a viral infection, inflammatory response to something possibly toxic (Dieffenbachia plants can cause similar lesions in some animals) or nutritional deficiency.

Dr B

Jun 24, 2013
by: Alex

Best of luck with Wanda putting on weight and that is a worse diagnosis than expected. Let's hope it is no cancerous.

Fingers crossed that Wanda can be treated and make a full recovery.

Keep us updated.

Jun 23, 2013
Wanda's issues
by: Troy

Well the Vet had a field day with her.
It isn't a cyst but a tumor and it goes down her throat...blocking part of her airway...and making it difficult to not only breath, but eat.
When my wife and I picked her up from my brothers I noticed she was a lot thinner than wasn't until the vet pointed something out that we really saw how bad it was. Because she has been unable to properly eat...she has been slowly starving to death. This has caused her lab work to come back with a lot of results that she is not sure are because of Wanda's malnourished state, or other medical issues.
My wife and I the very first night experienced her difficulty with eating, it caused us to break down seeing her in so much distress.
The next day we ran some errands to pick her up additional foods (hand feeding baby parrot food, baby food, milled fruitblend pellets and a little bit of cooked noodles - she LOVES pasta). When we arrived home we saw her picking at her food...which to me is a start. This morning my wife called me completely excited that when she changed the food dishes out with fresh "mash"...Wanda did what Wanda does when placing food in front of her (when she is well)...she wolfed it all down.
So...we have a few days to get her feeding semi regularly and getting her health back to a safe level so the Vet can then conduct further tests.
She will do an xray and then cut out as much of the mass as she can (and send it to lab)...Then Wanda goes on steroids to try to slow the progression of the tumor's regrowth while we wait for the results.

Jun 18, 2013
Blue Fronted Amazon - 40+ years old with a cyst on her tongue
by: Troy

Her eating and drinking habits remain unchanged as is her personality. I had already asked my brother these questions.
I am looking for a good avian vet in my area to take her this weekend.
Thanks for everyone's help.

Jun 18, 2013
by: Alex

As Sandra and Linda have said below, the bird needs to see an avian vet. The leaking pus is highly infectious and the bird will be swallowing some of it, and this could make it very ill.

The infection appears to be confined to the tongue but can spread through the leakages being ingested.

The fact that it continues to come back once drained shows that the problem, will not rectify itself.

Anti-biotics may be needed, but should only be taken if prescribed by an avian vet. There are different types of anti-biotics out there, just like there are for us, and only particular ones will help with particular bacterial infections.

Please take the bird to an avian vet as the cyst will also be causing some discomfort to the bird.

Side note: Is the bird eating and drinking normally? The avian vet will ask this.

Jun 18, 2013
by: Anonymous

I will tell my brother to stop giving her those meds and have him take her to the vet immediately.

Jun 17, 2013
Blue Fronted Amazon - 40+ years old with a cyst on her tongue
by: Sandra D Singh

Hello Troy,
I think it would be wise to take your loving bird to an Avian Vet as soon as possible because a cyst can become cancerous; you do not want that happening. As you said, the cyst will grow then pop and ooze for a day or so before clearing up and coming right back.
DO NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES PLEASE Troy, especially when it shall bursts and your bird may swallow the runny mucus; that's NOT good. Your bird would've some pain but she wouldn't really show it. Where your loving bird whom you've had for the past 40 years you take no chances. Take her to an Avian Vet and NO ONE ELSE. She has given your family so much love for so long now it's time to give her THAT care and love she so needs. Good luck and God bless.

Jun 17, 2013
Blue Fronted Amazon - 40+ years old with a cyst on her tongue
by: Linda

Your bird will have to be seen in person by an Avian Vet ONLY in your area. California has many avian vets, so should not be a problem.

Do not give her any more over the counter meds because until this is diagnosed by a licensed and trained avian vet, it cannot be treated. What the stuff from the pet store does is either make bird very sick or nothing. This cannot be treated without first having a diagnosis.

The Avian Vet will take a draw from the abscess and find out what type of infection it is and then treat it accordingly. Give no more of the pet store meds because they may very well keep avian vet from making correct diagnosis as to what type of meds she really needs. I do wish they would outlaw pet stores selling meds when they are not avian vets or even close. Lots of birds are hurt by these meds every year and some die. Let us know what the avian vet has to say and thanks for writing.


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