Distribution and outcome of ocular lesions in snakes examined at a veterinary teaching hospital: 67 cases (1985-2010)

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Abstract

Objective-To determine the distribution and clinical outcome of ocular lesions in snakes. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-67 snakes with ocular lesions. Procedures-Signalment, lesion duration, diagnosis, treatment, and clinical outcome were recorded for all snakes with ocular lesions that were examined at a veterinary teaching hospital from 1985 to 2010. Results-71 ocular lesions were detected in 67 of 508 (13%) snakes examined. Affected snakes were of the families Boidae, Pythonidae, Colubridae, and Viperidae. The distribution of ocular lesions did not vary by taxonomic family, age, or sex; however, snakes from the genus Epicrates with ocular lesions were overrepresented in the population. The most commonly diagnosed ocular lesions were retained spectacle (n = 41), pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess (13), trauma (8), and cataracts (4). Pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess developed more frequently in Colubridae than in non-Colubridae snakes. Of the 16 snakes with retained spectacles for which data were available, the lesion recurred once in 4 snakes and multiple times in 5 snakes. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results indicated that retained spectacle was the most common ocular lesion diagnosed in snakes. Compared with other snakes with ocular lesions, snakes of the genus Epicrates had a higher than expected frequency of ocular lesions in general and snakes of the family Colubridae had a higher than expected frequency of pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume243
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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