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Papillomas Or Papillomavirus

Papillomavirus is a virus within the Papovaviridae family, and causes the growth of benign tumors on the unfeathered parts of psittacines.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: July 26, 2013, 10:30 a.m. PDT


Papillomavirus is a virus within the Papovaviridae family, which when infecting psittacine birds, causes the growth of benign tumors on the unfeathered parts. Internal lesions along the gastrointestinal track and cloaca are also associated with this infection.


According to Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications (Ritchie, Harrison and Harrison), lesions that are slow growing, dry, sappy and wart-like appear on the skin of the feet and legs of birds with this virus. Cloacal papillomas can cause droppings to be loose and feathers around the vent to be stained with fecal matter.


Growths found on the cloaca due to the virus are removed using cryotherapy, radiocautery or surgical excision. Vaccines used along with surgical removal are not usually effective.


Care must be given when removing the masses that grow due to the virus so that no additional tissue is damaged.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health section is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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