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Neoplastic Diseases of Reptiles

By Stephen J. Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DACZM, DECZM (herpetology), FRCVS, Professor of Zoological Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

Neoplasia is becoming increasingly common as captive reptile populations age, and it should always be included in the differential diagnosis of disease. In addition to spontaneously developing neoplastic diseases, tumors have been associated with parasitism and oncogenic viruses. Surgical or endoscopic biopsies are preferred for diagnosis. Techniques such as radiography, CT, MRI, ultrasonography, endoscopy, cytology, histopathology (biopsy), and viral isolation provide improved diagnostic capabilities. Once neoplasia is diagnosed, treatment protocols similar to those used in other animals could be considered.

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