Objective—To determine the distribution and clinical outcome of ocular lesions in snakes.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—67 snakes with ocular lesions.
Procedures—Signalment, lesion duration, diagnosis, treatment, and clinical outcome were recorded for all snakes with ocular lesions that were examined at a veterinary teaching hospital from 1985 to 2010.
Results—71 ocular lesions were detected in 67 of 508 (13%) snakes examined. Affected snakes were of the families Boidae, Pythonidae, Colubridae, and Viperidae. The distribution of ocular lesions did not vary by taxonomic family, age, or sex; however, snakes from the genus Epicrates with ocular lesions were overrepresented in the population. The most commonly diagnosed ocular lesions were retained spectacle (n = 41), pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess (13), trauma (8), and cataracts (4). Pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess developed more frequently in Colubridae than in non-Colubridae snakes. Of the 16 snakes with retained spectacles for which data were available, the lesion recurred once in 4 snakes and multiple times in 5 snakes.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that retained spectacle was the most common ocular lesion diagnosed in snakes. Compared with other snakes with ocular lesions, snakes of the genus Epicrates had a higher than expected frequency of ocular lesions in general and snakes of the family Colubridae had a higher than expected frequency of pseudobuphthalmos or subspectacular abscess.
CASE DESCRIPTION A 5-year-old sexually intact female guinea pig was evaluated because of mild dysuria and a subcutaneous mass located cranioventral to the urogenital openings.
CLINICAL FINDINGS Non–contrast-enhanced CT and surgical exploration of the distal aspect of the urethra revealed a urethral diverticulum with an intraluminal urolith. Analysis revealed that the urolith was composed of calcium carbonate and struvite.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The urolith was surgically removed and ablation of the urethral diverticulum was attempted. Approximately 3 months later, the guinea pig was reevaluated for masses in the perineal region, and positive-contrast urethrocystography revealed 2 uroliths present in the same diverticulum. Uroliths were manually expressed with the patient under general anesthesia. Approximately 2 weeks later, urethroplasty was performed to create an enlarged stoma with the diverticulum, thereby preventing urine from pooling in the diverticulum and potentially reducing the risk of future urolith formation. The urethroplasty site healed well with no reported complications or evidence of urolith recurrence 6 months after surgery.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Urolithiasis is common in guinea pigs, and urethral diverticulum and intraluminal urolith formation should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis for a subcutaneous mass along the distal aspect of the urethra. Creation of a urethral stoma from a urethral diverticulum via urethroplasty achieved a successful outcome in this patient.