Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) and Treatment with Carboplatin Implantable Beads
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2015
James G. Johnson III1, DVM; Lisa M. Naples2, DVM; Caroline Chu3, DVM, MS; Michael J. Kinsel3, DVM, DACVP; Jennifer E. Flower1, DVM, MS; William G. Van Bonn2, DVM
1Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency Program, Urbana, IL, USA; 2A. Watson Armour III Center for Animal Health, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL, USA; 3Zoological Pathology Program, University of Illinois, Maywood, IL, USA
A 3-yr-old male panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) presented with two bilateral raised and crusted skin lesions on the thorax. These lesions were excised and submitted for histopathology with subsequent diagnoses of carcinoma in situ and squamous cell carcinoma. Despite incomplete excision of the squamous cell carcinoma, both excision sites healed; however, several more lesions with a similar appearance developed along both flanks and the tail. The incompletely excised squamous cell carcinoma was re-excised and a piece of implantable carboplatin bead (Wedgewood Pharmacy, Swedesboro, NJ, USA) was placed in the excision site at 5 mg/kg to evaluate this animal’s tolerance of this therapy. Two of the new lesions were sampled for histopathology and viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) due to the multifocal nature of the lesions. Histopathology confirmed squamous cell carcinoma in the new location and PCR was negative for both papillomaviruses and herpesviruses. Due to the significant skin loss that would result from attempting complete excision of all lesions, implantable carboplatin beads were placed in each lesion. A maximum carboplatin dosage of 10 mg/kg within a 3-wk period was not exceeded. The animal was monitored for response to therapy and no adverse effects of the carboplatin beads were observed. Tumor excision sites treated with beads healed with no tumor recurrence and lesions not excised and treated with beads decreased in size. This is the first report of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in a panther chameleon, as well as the first description of implantable carboplatin bead use in this species.
We thank Dr. Heidi Phillips for her guidance in the use of the carboplatin beads, as well as the Animal Health and Fishes departments at the John G. Shedd Aquarium for their care of this patient.