Orange Tipped Amazon: first fluid, now lump
by Mike Moreau
(Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)
Hello: I have an Orange Tipped Amazon hen named Betty. She is about 30 years old (I am the second owner so her age is only a guess) and about a month ago, I noticed starting to breathe heavy. We made a appointment for her and while waiting for the day to take her, we noticed a sizable lump that went from just behind her legs and extended to the cloaca. We also noticed she had trouble pooping, but she still pooped. The vet took x-rays and concluded that it was a cyst and drained it. He informed us it was going to need to be drained several more times to get rid of it. We had the fluid sent to a lab that stated there were no signs of cancer and appeared to be standard cyst fluid. On the 3rd draining (on Aug 24) he noticed a small lump after draining. He then told us it may not be a cyst but ovarian cancer and this was now beyond his expertise gave us a reference for the Ontario Veterinarian College located in Guelph University. Our appointment for her is on Aug 30. They will be performing ultrasound tests and will be taking over Betty's care.
Currently, Betty's health is excellent. She has a large appetite and is very active. She plays, climbs, honks and talks just fine. She is pooping like she always did and is a free-run parrot so she flies about the home showing no sings of being sick. Before we took her for her first draining, she was exhibiting all the classic signs of be sick; sitting low, not talking much, feathers ruffled and dull. But since then her condition looks so much better.
My question is; can a fluid filled cyst form a hard spot or is this indeed a tumor/cancer? If it is cancer, how come it did not show up in the x ray or in the lab test of the fluid? From what I have read, if there is ovarian cancer, it should affect the left side of her yet she shows no lameness and still sits on on foot to sleep. She uses both legs with no sign of favoring.
I know that she will be in good hands at the OVC and we will find out for sure then. I also know that we acted very quickly to her heavy breathing; she saw a vet less than 3 days after noticing it. We also took action at the first sign of heavy breathing reoccurring and we never let her get over 40 breathes per minute before making a run to the vet.
I would just like to know more about cysts and lumps in this area on parrots and how how common cancer is in this sub species over benign tumors. Are Orange tipped more prone to cancer?
One more thing. Betty used to be a smarty pants and would literally "drop" on our coffee table hitting her belly (abdomen) to make a sound to get our attention. about a month before this problem arose, she stopped doing it. Would the repeated hitting have something to do with this as well??