Reptiles with dermatological lesions: A retrospective study of 301 cases at two university veterinary teaching hospitals (1992-2008)

Stephen D White, Patrick Bourdeau, Vincent Bruet, Philip H Kass, Lisa A Tell, Michelle Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This retrospective study reviews the medical records of 301 reptiles with dermatological lesions that were examined at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California at Davis (VMTH-UCD) and the Unité de Dermatologie-Parasitologie-Mycologie, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes (UDPM-ENVN) from 1 January 1992 to 1 July 2008. The most common reptile groups differed between the two hospitals, with lizards being the most common at the VMTH-UCD and chelonians at the UDPM-ENVN. At the VMTH-UCD, boa constrictors (Boa constrictor), ball pythons (Python regius) and other Python species were over-represented, and box turtles (Terrapene carolina) were under-represented in the dermatological lesion caseload. When institutional data were combined, 47% of all reptiles at both institutions with confirmed or suspected cases of sepsis had petechiae, with the highest association seen in chelonians at 82%. Dependent on institution and reptile group, from 29% to 64% of the cases had underlying husbandry issues. Sixty-two per cent of all cases were alive at final status. Veterinarians treating reptiles with skin disease should be aware of the following: (i) that boa constrictors and Python species may be predisposed to dermatological lesions; (ii) that client education is important for proper husbandry; and (iii) that there is a possible association between petechiae and sepsis, especially in chelonians. The conjectural association between certain skin lesions and sepsis remains to be confirmed by systematically derived data that demonstrate a causal relationship between the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-161
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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