Abstract

A 16-year-old, male, intact blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides) was evaluated for reluctance to eat, deviation of the tongue, and a pink mass noted in the mouth. On physical examination, a 2–3 cm long by 1 cm wide pink, well-vascularized, friable, cobblestone-textured mass was found adhered to the median raphe on the ventral aspect of the tongue. Surgical debulking was performed and biopsy samples were submitted for histopathology, which revealed a squamous cell carcinoma. Very small numbers of mixed-growth bacteria were also cultured from the sample. A complete blood count revealed toxic heterophils, monocytosis, and basophilia; however, the total white blood cell count was within reference values. A partial glossectomy was performed excising the distal 40% of the tongue, including the mass with 0.5–1 cm gross surgical margins. Histopathologically, the neoplasm was excised with narrow margins of normal tissue, leading to the concern for possible local tumor recurrence and metastasis. The patient was hospitalized for 1 wk following surgery for continued monitoring and to provide nutritional support. Two days after discharge from the hospital, the patient began eating. Weekly recheck appointments affirmed the tongue was healing without complication and the animal exhibited normal food prehension, appetite, and weight maintenance. There was no tumor recurrence 2.5 yr postsurgery. Currently, the skink is able to adequately locate and prehend food and is maintaining its weight and normal body condition following partial glossectomy.

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