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.
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