Computed tomography of the lungs of Indian pythons (Python molurus)

Michael C. Pees Clinic for Birds and Reptiles, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Search for other papers by Michael C. Pees in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet
,
Ingmar Kiefer Department of Small Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Search for other papers by Ingmar Kiefer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet
,
Eberhard W. Ludewig Department of Small Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Search for other papers by Eberhard W. Ludewig in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet
,
Juergen P. Schumacher Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Search for other papers by Juergen P. Schumacher in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet
,
Maria-Elisabeth R. Krautwald-Junghanns Clinic for Birds and Reptiles, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Search for other papers by Maria-Elisabeth R. Krautwald-Junghanns in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet
, and
Gerhard U. Oechtering Department of Small Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Search for other papers by Gerhard U. Oechtering in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DrMedVet

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of computed tomography (CT) for detection of pneumonia in snakes.

Animals—8 clinically normal Indian pythons (Python molurus) and 5 pythons with evidence of respiratory tract disease.

Procedures—Preliminary examinations (clinical examination, conventional radiography, and microbiologic examination of a transtracheal wash sample) were performed. The lungs of each snake were then examined by use of CT performed in accordance with a standardized protocol. Structures of the lungs were assessed, and thickness and attenuation of the parenchyma were determined.

Results—It was possible to assess lung parenchyma in all pythons. Mean ± SD attenuation in healthy pythons was −744.4 ± 47.1 Hounsfield units. Significant differences were not evident between the right and left lungs or among measurement areas within a lung. In all Indian pythons with clinical signs of dyspnea and microbiologic detection of pathogens, hyperattenuation of the alveolar tissue was evident.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of the results revealed the benefit of CT for use in the diagnosis of pneumonia in snakes. A standardized protocol and reference values were established as a basis for CT assessment of the lungs of snakes.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of computed tomography (CT) for detection of pneumonia in snakes.

Animals—8 clinically normal Indian pythons (Python molurus) and 5 pythons with evidence of respiratory tract disease.

Procedures—Preliminary examinations (clinical examination, conventional radiography, and microbiologic examination of a transtracheal wash sample) were performed. The lungs of each snake were then examined by use of CT performed in accordance with a standardized protocol. Structures of the lungs were assessed, and thickness and attenuation of the parenchyma were determined.

Results—It was possible to assess lung parenchyma in all pythons. Mean ± SD attenuation in healthy pythons was −744.4 ± 47.1 Hounsfield units. Significant differences were not evident between the right and left lungs or among measurement areas within a lung. In all Indian pythons with clinical signs of dyspnea and microbiologic detection of pathogens, hyperattenuation of the alveolar tissue was evident.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of the results revealed the benefit of CT for use in the diagnosis of pneumonia in snakes. A standardized protocol and reference values were established as a basis for CT assessment of the lungs of snakes.

  • 1

    Mader DR, Mader-Weidner BS. Understanding the human-reptile relationship. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;1423.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Wise JK, Heathcott BL, Gonzalez ML. Results of the AVMA survey on companion animal ownership in US pet-owning households. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:15721573.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Driggers T. Internal medicine. In:Ackerman L, ed.The biology, husbandry and health care of reptiles. Vol III. Neptune City, NJ: TFH Publications, 1998;574592.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Köhler G. Krankheiten der Reptilien und Amphibien. Stuttgart, Germany: Eugen Ulmer, 1996.

  • 5

    Schumacher J. Respiratory diseases of reptiles. Semin Avian Exot Pet Med 1997;6:209215.

  • 6

    Murray MJ. Pneumonia and normal respiratory function. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;865877.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Perry SF. Lungs: comparative anatomy, functional morphology, and evolution. In:Gans C, ed.Biology of the reptilia Vol 19. Ithaca, NY: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 1998;192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Funk RS. Snakes. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;4258.

  • 9

    Murray MJ. Cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;124134.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10

    Silverman S. Diagnostic imaging. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;471489.

  • 11

    Taylor WM. Endoscopy. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;549563.

  • 12

    Schildger BJ, Gabrisch K. Reptiles and amphibians. In:Rübel GA, Isenbügel E, Wolvekamp P, ed.Atlas of diagnostic radiology of exotic pets. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1991;176221.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Jackson OF, Sainsbury AW. Bildgebende Untersuchungsverfahren. In:Beynon PH, Lawton PH, Lawton MPC, et al, eds.Kompendium der Reptilienkrankheiten: Haltung, Diagnostik, Therapie. Hannover, Germany: Schluetersche Verlagsanstalt, 1997;7181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    Gumpenberger M, Henninger W. The use of computed tomography in avian and reptile medicine. Semin Avian Exot Pet Med 2001;10:174180.

  • 15

    Wilkinson R, Hernandez-Divers S, Lafortune M, et al.Diagnostic imaging techniques. In:McArthur S, Wilkinson R, Meyer J, ed.Medicine and surgery of tortoises and turtles. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing, 2004;187238.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16

    Schumacher J. Advanced radiography and ultrasonography in reptiles. Semin Avian Exot Pet Med 2001;10:162168.

  • 17

    Schumacher J, Yelen T. Anesthesia and analgesia. In:Mader DR, ed.Reptile medicine and surgery. 2nd ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2006;442452.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement