Laser as a Treatment for Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Pacific White Sided Dolphin
IAAAM 1994
Sam Dover, DVM
Sea World of Ohio, Aurora, OH

Lasers have been used extensively in human medicine for the last two decades but only recently have they been utilized in veterinary medicine. A major benefit of lasers in surgery is the wide variety of applications as well as the precision they can achieve in cutting, coagulation and vaporization of tissue. A 16 year old female Pacific White-Sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) was diagnosed histopathologically with squamous cell carcinoma of the right upper lip and rostral hard palate. Due to the vascularity and difficulty in achieving hemostasis after the biopsy, it was determined that a conventional surgical approach was not the best option. With the assistance of a human health laser surgery team a neodymium: yttrium-aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser was tested to determine the best technique for this purpose. The animal was sedated and under a local anesthetic a blunt contact tip was used to ablate the majority of the lesion. The laser provided excellent control of hemostasis and depth of penetration while allowing clear visualization of the surgical field. Although the lesion will require further treatment, the majority of the area treated is completely healed or is covered with a bed of granulation tissue. The positive results achieved are encouraging and could lead to other uses of this technology in aquatic animal medicine.

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Samuel R. Dover, DVM
SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, FL, USA

MAIN : Session VI : Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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