Oncology of Reptiles: Diseases, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2017 Jan;20(1):87-110. doi: 10.1016/j.cvex.2016.07.003.


Based on necropsy review, neoplasia in reptiles has a comparable frequency to that of mammals and birds. Reptile neoplasia is now more frequently diagnosed in clinical practice based on increased use of advanced diagnostic techniques and improvements in reptilian husbandry allowing greater longevity of these species. This article reviews the current literature on neoplasia in reptiles, and focuses on advanced diagnostics and therapeutic options for reptilian patientssuffering neoplastic disease. Although most applied clinical reptile oncology is translated from dog and cat oncology, considerations specific to reptilian patients commonly encountered in clinical practice (turtles, tortoises, snakes, and lizards) are presented.

Keywords: Cancer; Chelonian; Chemotherapy; Lizard; Neoplasia; Radiation; Snake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Reptiles*