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Ophidian Spectaculitis and Spectacular Dysecdysis: A Histologic Description

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The histologic features of abnormal spectacles in 60 snakes from the 5 families of Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae, Pythonidae, and Viperidae are described in a retrospective study conducted on specimens submitted to a private diagnostic service during a period of 15 years. Fifty-two snakes had inflammatory reactions in the spectacle. The stroma and outer epithelium of the spectacle were the layers most often involved in inflammatory disease. Lesions of the outer epithelium included edema, hyperkeratosis, and granulocyte infiltration occasionally with bacterial colonies and fungal elements. The stroma had infectious agents and inflammatory reactions in vessels and between the collagen fibrils. The inner epithelium had varying degrees of hyperplasia and hypertrophy, but no infectious agents were seen. Infectious agents in these cases included mites, bacterial disease, fungal disease, or a combination of bacterial and fungal disease. Special stains identified the bacteria most commonly involved to be Gram-positive cocci. Thirteen snakes had dysecdysis of the spectacle. Of these, 5 displayed a concurrent inflammatory reaction of the spectacle, while the remaining 8 snakes had extra keratin layers on a spectacle with an otherwise normal appearance. These keratin layers were attached to serocellular crusts located on the inner surface of the periocular scales. The cause for dyskeratotic lesions of the spectacle was not always apparent, and concurrent acariasis, other forms of dermatitis, trauma, suboptimal husbandry, and visceral disease were considered possible contributing factors. It was notable that only 4% of the submitted cases were found to have spectaculitis and/or spectacular dysecdysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Volume52
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1220-6
Number of pages7
ISSN0300-9858
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

ID: 46262413