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  • Author or Editor: Ingmar Kiefer x
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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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research