The prevalence of neoplasia in birds is generally low; however, in some species of companion and aviary birds, the incidence is high and neoplasia is a common cause of death. Surgical excision or limb amputation has been performed as the therapeutic plan. Chemotherapy in the treatment of avian neoplasia is largely empirical and poorly documented. For example, cisplatin has been used intralesionally in macaws (Ara species) with limited clinical success. Eight sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), under general isoflurane anesthesia, were infused intravenously with cisplatin at 6.4 or 1.0 mg/kg over 1 hour and hydrated with lactated Ringer's solution for 1 hour before and 2 hours after cisplatin infusion. Birds were euthanatized 96 hours after infusion, except for 2 birds given the low cisplatin dose, which were euthanatized on day 35 after dosing. All birds tolerated the study procedure while under anesthesia. Blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate did not change significantly. In the low-dose group, the mean cloacal temperature decreased significantly during the infusion period (P < .001) and then rose progressively to preinfusion values by 24 hours. Also in this group, the mean body weight tended to increase during the infusion period before significantly decreasing (P < .05) by 5% at 96 hours after dosing. At 24 hours after dosing, all birds were bright and eating. However, intermittent regurgitation and fecal changes (moist, dark green feces and yellow urates) occurred in 3 of 8 birds, especially those given the high dose. By 72 hours after dosing, droppings in the low-dose group were normal in appearance. One bird in the high-dose group died by 94 hours after dosing. Myelosuppression was not observed in any bird and at necropsy, no evidence of cisplatin toxicity was found except in 1 bird given the high cisplatin dose. On histology, this bird showed nephrotoxicity, and its serum uric acid levels and mean estimated white blood cell count increased significantly by 24 hours after dosing. This paper reports for the first time the effect of systemic cisplatin administration in birds and provides veterinarians data for formulating efficacious and safe protocols for platinum-containing compounds when treating neoplasia in parrots and other companion birds.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1