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Clinicopathologic findings and urolith composition for green iguanas (Iguana iguana) with urolithiasis: 21 cases and 132 stones (1996–2020)

Anthony J. Cerreta DVM1, Krista A. Keller DVM, DACZM1, Sara M. Gardhouse DVM, DACZM2, Jody P. Lulich DVM, PhD, DACVIM3, and David Sanchez-Migallon Guzman LV, MS, DACZM, DECZM4
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN
  • | 4 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To document the clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment of urolithiasis in green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and to report on the composition of uroliths from green iguanas submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center for analysis.

ANIMALS

21 green iguanas with urolithiasis.

PROCEDURES

Medical record databases of multiple veterinary teaching hospitals were searched from 1996 through 2020. Emails were sent to all facilities that submitted a urolith from a green iguana to the Minnesota Urolith Center from 1996 through 2020. Signalment; presenting complaint; physical examination findings; hematologic, biochemical, and diagnostic imaging findings; treatment; necropsy results; and survival times were described for each patient.

RESULTS

Iguanas most commonly presented with nonspecific clinical signs, but 9 of the 21 iguanas had clinical signs associated with the urogenital tract. Twelve iguanas had a palpable mass in the caudal coelom. All uroliths were visible on radiographs. Surgery was performed on 15 iguanas; 3 died secondary to intra- or postoperative complications. Iguanas that underwent surgery had a median survival time of 39 months. Necropsy was performed on 5 iguanas, and urolithiasis contributed to the decision to euthanize or was the cause of death for 4. Uroliths from 132 iguanas were analyzed, and all were composed of 100% uric acid salts.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Green iguanas with urolithiasis may not have clinical signs or physical examination findings associated with the urinary system, and hematologic and biochemical abnormalities are nonspecific. Green iguanas should be routinely examined for uroliths, and surgical treatment should be pursued.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To document the clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment of urolithiasis in green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and to report on the composition of uroliths from green iguanas submitted to the Minnesota Urolith Center for analysis.

ANIMALS

21 green iguanas with urolithiasis.

PROCEDURES

Medical record databases of multiple veterinary teaching hospitals were searched from 1996 through 2020. Emails were sent to all facilities that submitted a urolith from a green iguana to the Minnesota Urolith Center from 1996 through 2020. Signalment; presenting complaint; physical examination findings; hematologic, biochemical, and diagnostic imaging findings; treatment; necropsy results; and survival times were described for each patient.

RESULTS

Iguanas most commonly presented with nonspecific clinical signs, but 9 of the 21 iguanas had clinical signs associated with the urogenital tract. Twelve iguanas had a palpable mass in the caudal coelom. All uroliths were visible on radiographs. Surgery was performed on 15 iguanas; 3 died secondary to intra- or postoperative complications. Iguanas that underwent surgery had a median survival time of 39 months. Necropsy was performed on 5 iguanas, and urolithiasis contributed to the decision to euthanize or was the cause of death for 4. Uroliths from 132 iguanas were analyzed, and all were composed of 100% uric acid salts.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Green iguanas with urolithiasis may not have clinical signs or physical examination findings associated with the urinary system, and hematologic and biochemical abnormalities are nonspecific. Green iguanas should be routinely examined for uroliths, and surgical treatment should be pursued.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Keller (kak@illinois.edu)