Wing Cancer Tumor Healed
I am posting with the wish the information I am going to share will be of help, and hope, to the care givers of our wonderful Budgies who find themselves in need of help.
In early December 2017 I noticed that one of our Budgies, Kenny, was holding his wing a little funny and upon examination found a small bump near his left elbow joint. I took him to the vet and she suspected it was a cancerous tumor, but as a precaution started him on Baytril in case it was an infected feather follicle.
Over the next weeks the bump turned into a full fledged tumor, looking angry and red, and his wing really started to droop down. Kenny also stopped being as active and making his joyful everyday budgie sounds, along with our other two budgies, and although quite capable still of flight pretty well perched in the same spot all day long.
I returned to the vet and she did a puncture biopsy (had a hard time getting the bleeding to stop after) and I asked what were his treatment options. I was told because the tumor was so vascular that Kenny would probable die trying to remove it and that an amputation may be the best course to save his life. I said that he certainly would be not as happy loosing his ability to fly, as he and our budgies free fly all day in a safe bird room and I told her to leave it with me while we waited on the test results.
The test came back positive for malignancy and I was crestfallen to now have to cut his wing off to save his life. Out of desperation, and trying to find some kind of alternative for him, I turned, as many do, to the internet. I did not find a lot of options for him until I came across three videos by Dr. Ross Perry:
Birds Budgie Breast Skin Cancer Disappears #1 of 3 060110 - YouTube Birds Budgie Cancer Part 2 with Dr Ross Perry - YouTube Birds Budgie Breast Skin Cancer has Disappeared - YouTube
These videos gave me hope and I returned to my vets, this time booking with the most senior vet who I usually see, for a re-exam and to ask if we could try ligation on the tumor as I saw in the videos ( you know how much vets hate you coming in with something off the internet). Because the tumor was not well defined, I forget the medical terms he used, but think large dome instead of more mushroom like, he was not sure how successful trying to ligate it would be. I basically said what do we have to lose, we should at least try and give him a chance to keep his wing, to his credit he readily agreed that made sense to at least try and we'd give it a go.
After first seeing the videos I had ordered overnight from Amazon the Tagband skin tag remover to use instead of a rubber band as even before the re-exam I saw the shape of the tumor might make using a rubber band problematic. Also when the Tagband arrived I saw the bands included might be too aggressive to start with and purchased 4 small sections of medical tubing, amber, green, red and blue from which I cut small sections, about 3/32 to substitute for the ligation bands in the Tagband kit. The only other issue was the tumor was so large that the Tagband applicator would not fit over the large tumor so the cover cap for a marking pen was used as a go between, first onto the Tagband then onto the marker cap then applied.
Although not absolutely necessary, he suggested a light anaesthesia as to make sure we did not stress Kenny too much getting the first band on. I am attaching the images from beginning to end of his treatment.
Please forgive that I did not take better before photos, without any band, and more along the way shots. To tell you the truth, I did not want to take for granted the really miraculous outcome we achieved and documenting every detail with photos seemed a little presumptuous and I did not want to jinx things for Kenny.
Two other things, I did paint the tumor with a very fine paint brush with a 2% Chlorhexidine solution (lots of 2% solutions out there), so the necrotic tissue would not cause an infection as it died, this was once a day (maybe 1/2 a drop). After the tumor fell off I have now been painting on Hibitane cream (Chlorhexidine in a cream form from the vets) every night to speed healing and will do so for a few more days.
It appears that one of Kenny's primary flight follicles was permanently damaged, but outside of that the result are truly amazing and Kenny is totally back to his old self, flying as well as ever and chattering up a storm. My vet is tickled pink how well things went as well.
Photo 1: January 22, 2018 first band applied red color.
Photo 2: January 26, 2018 second band applied green color, photo taken January 31, 2018
Photo 3: February 8, 2018 third band applied amber, did not end up using Tagband tubes
Photo 4: February 20, 2018 amber 12 days in, tumor appears completely dead
Photo 5: February 25, 2018 morning of tumor falling off
Photo 6: February 25, 2018 what was left of tumor found in the bottom of Kenny's cage
Photo 7: March 1, 2018 wing elbow joint 4 days after tumor fell
Photo 8: March 5, 2018 wing elbow joint 8 days after tumor fell
Photo 9: Tagband Skin Tag Remover Kit used Amazon for overnight, eBay has them cheaper
Photo 10: Medical rubber hoses, cut rings and marker cap, did not end up using dark blue
(Prior bands were carefully cut off by the vet before applying the next)
Thank you Dr. Ross Perry for sharing you expertise, saving Kenny's wing and perhaps his life. I hope this does help others. Namaste.