Objective—To determine selected cardiopulmonary values and baroreceptor response in conscious green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and to evaluate the use of blood gas analysis and pulse oximetry in this species.
Animals—15 healthy juvenile green iguanas.
Procedures—Baseline cardiopulmonary values were determined in 15 conscious iguanas breathing room air. Effects of 100% O2 inspiration were also measured (n = 6), and the baroreceptor reflex was characterized by exponential sigmoidal curve fitting analysis.
Results—Conscious iguanas had a mean ± SD resting heart rate of 52 ± 8 beats/min, respiratory rate of 28 ± 6 breaths/min, and systolic, mean, and diastolic arterial blood pressures of 69 ± 10 mm Hg, 62 ± 12 mm Hg, and 56 ± 13 mm Hg, respectively. Mean arterial pH at 37°C was 7.29 ± 0.11, Pao2 was 81 ± 10 mm Hg, and Paco2 was 42 ± 9 mm Hg; corrected for a body temperature of 30°C, mean arterial pH at 37°C was 7.382 ±0.12, Pao2 was 54 ± 15 mm Hg, and Paco2 was 32 ± 7 mm Hg. Inspiration of 100% O2 did not change heart and respiratory rates but increased Pao2 to 486 ± 105 mm Hg (corrected value, 437 ± 96 mm Hg). A baroreceptor reflex was evident, with mean heart rates ranging from 30 ± 3 beats/min to 63 ± 5 beats/min and mean arterial blood pressures ranging from 42 ± 3 mm Hg to 58 ± 3 mm Hg.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study provided needed information on cardiopulmonary values in healthy green iguanas, the application and limitation of arterial and venous blood gas analysis, and the accuracy of pulse oximetry.
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.
Objective—To evaluate first-intention healing of CO2 laser, 4.0-MHz radiowave radiosurgery (RWRS), and scalpel incisions in ball pythons (Python regius).
Animals—6 healthy adult ball pythons.
Procedures—A skin biopsy sample was collected, and 2-cm skin incisions (4/modality) were made in each snake under anesthesia and closed with surgical staples on day 0. Incision sites were grossly evaluated and scored daily. One skin biopsy sample per incision type per snake was obtained on days 2, 7, 14, and 30. Necrotic and fibroplastic tissue was measured in histologic sections; samples were assessed and scored for total inflammation, histologic response (based on the measurement of necrotic and fibroplastic tissues and total inflammation score), and other variables. Frequency distributions of gross and histologic variables associated with wound healing were calculated.
Results—Gross wound scores were significantly greater (indicating greater separation of wound edges) for laser incisions than for RWRS and scalpel incisions at all evaluated time points. Necrosis was significantly greater in laser and RWRS incisions than in scalpel incision sites on days 2 and 14 and days 2 and 7, respectively; fibroplasia was significantly greater in laser than in scalpel incision sites on day 30. Histologic response scores were significantly lower for scalpel than for other incision modalities on days 2, 14, and 30.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In snakes, skin incisions made with a scalpel generally had less necrotic tissue than did CO2 laser and RWRS incisions. Comparison of the 3 modalities on the basis of histologic response scores indicated that use of a scalpel was preferable, followed by RWRS and then laser.
OBJECTIVE To determine degrees of production of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 and other mediators of inflammation in noninflamed and inflamed skin and muscle tissues in ball pythons (Python regius).
ANIMALS 6 healthy adult male ball pythons.
PROCEDURES Biopsy specimens of noninflamed skin and muscle tissue were collected from anesthetized snakes on day 0. A 2-cm skin and muscle incision was then made 5 cm distal to the biopsy sites with a CO2 laser to induce inflammation. On day 7, biopsy specimens of skin and muscle tissues were collected from the incision sites. Inflamed and noninflamed tissue specimens were evaluated for production of COX-1, COX-2, phosphorylated protein kinase B (AKT), total AKT, nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, phosphorylated extracellular receptor kinases (ERKs) 1 and 2, and total ERK proteins by western blot analysis. Histologic evaluation was performed on H&E-stained tissue sections.
RESULTS All biopsy specimens of inflamed skin and muscle tissues had higher histologic inflammation scores than did specimens of noninflamed tissue. Inflamed skin specimens had significantly greater production of COX-1 and phosphorylated ERK than did noninflamed skin specimens. Inflamed muscle specimens had significantly greater production of phosphorylated ERK and phosphorylated AKT, significantly lower production of COX-1, and no difference in production of COX-2, compared with production in noninflamed muscle specimens.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Production of COX-1, but not COX-2, was significantly greater in inflamed versus noninflamed skin specimens from ball pythons. Additional research into the reptilian COX signaling pathway is warranted.
Case Description—A 5-month-old captive female striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) was evaluated because of lethargy, signs of depression, azotemia, and erythema of the skin around the eyes.
Clinical Findings—Antemortem diagnostic tests revealed renal disease but failed to identify an etiologic agent. A diagnosis of severe nonsuppurative interstitial nephritis was made on the basis of results of histologic examination of renal biopsy specimens.
Treatment and Outcome—The skunk was administered isotonic fluids SC daily and later every other day because of the handling-related stress. Because of the skunk's deteriorating condition, it was euthanized after 24 days of supportive care. Aleutian disease was diagnosed on the basis of positive results of a PCR assay that targeted the DNA from Aleutian disease virus (ADV); positive results for ADV were also obtained by use of plasma counterimmunoelectrophoresis and an ELISA. Genetic sequencing of the 365-base pair PCR product revealed 90% sequence identity with mink ADV.
Clinical Relevance—In the skunk of this report, infection with a skunk-specific parvovirus resulted in clinical signs and pathologic changes similar to those associated with ADV infection in mink. For skunks with signs of renal failure, differential diagnoses should include parvovirus infection. In confirmed cases of infection with this ADV-like virus, appropriate quarantine and biosecurity measures should be in place to prevent spread to other susceptible animals within a zoological collection.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of laser treatment on incisional wound healing in ball pythons (Python regius).
ANIMALS 6 healthy adult ball pythons.
PROCEDURES Snakes were sedated, a skin biopsy specimen was collected for histologic examination, and eight 2-cm skin incisions were made in each snake; each incision was closed with staples (day 0). Gross evaluation of all incision sites was performed daily for 30 days, and a wound score was assigned. Four incisions of each snake were treated (5 J/cm2 and a wavelength of 980 nm on a continuous wave sequence) by use of a class 4 laser once daily for 7 consecutive days; the other 4 incisions were not treated. Two excisional skin biopsy specimens (1 control and 1 treatment) were collected from each snake on days 2, 7, 14, and 30 and evaluated microscopically. Scores were assigned for total inflammation, degree of fibrosis, and collagen maturity. Generalized linear models were used to investigate the effect of treatment on each variable.
RESULTS Wound scores for laser-treated incisions were significantly better than scores for control incisions on day 2 but not at other time points. There were no significant differences in necrosis, fibroplasia, inflammation, granuloma formation, or bacterial contamination between control and treatment groups. Collagen maturity was significantly better for the laser-treated incisions on day 14.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Laser treatment resulted in a significant increase in collagen maturity at day 14 but did not otherwise significantly improve healing of skin incisions.