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.
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