Currently used dosages for external-beam megavoltage radiation therapy in birds have been extrapolated from mammalian patients and often appear to provide inadequate doses of radiation for effective tumor control. To determine the tolerance doses of cutaneous and mucosal tissues of normal birds in order to provide more effective radiation treatment for tumors that have been shown to be radiation responsive in other species, ingluvial mucosa and the skin over the ingluvies of 9 ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) were irradiated in 4-Gy fractions to a total dose of either 48, 60, or 72 Gy using an isocentric cobalt-60 teletherapy unit. Minimal radiation-induced epidermal changes were present in the high-dose group histologically. Neither dose-related acute nor chronic radiation effects could be detected in any group grossly in cutaneous or mucosal tissue over a 9-month period. Radiation doses of 72 Gy in 4-Gy fractions were well tolerated in the small number of ring-necked parakeets in this initial tolerance dose study.
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Vol. 23 • No. 1