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Cancer in Reptiles?

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by Ashuresque, Nov 2, 2008.

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  1. Ashuresque

    Ashuresque Elite Member

    This may seem like a stupid question, but I've never really seen or heard of cancer in reptiles. Today my mom found a lethargic green snake by the barn and took it to me just to give me a look. It had a strange looking tumor-like growth right by its head. We released it right after so I didn't get a picture, but I was wondering if that was what it could have been.
  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I have no idea. It could have been an abscess though too...
  3. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Reptiles can and do get cancer. In his book, Green Iguana: The Ultimate Owner's Manual, James Hatfield tells how Za, his green iguana got cancer.

    But Liz is right, it could also have been an abcess.
  4. kritrdr

    kritrdr Member

    Cancer in reptiles does in fact happen. My own 14 year old iguana had a very malignant ovarian cancer (quite common in older green iguanas). I have seen fibroids, I have recently seen an unknown mass of tissue on ultrasound that was blocking a corn snakes ability to defecate. So cancer is very possible. As stated previously with a snakes tough skin, an abscess can look very much like a tumor.
  5. Ashuresque

    Ashuresque Elite Member

    Thanks for the replies. What are the survival rates like for animals like iguanas with cancer?
  6. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Like in humans, it depends on the type of cancer, how soon it is caught, and the quality of care given.
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