Metabolic bone diseases (MBDs) are a common presenting complaint in reptiles and amphibians to veterinarians; however, understanding of the causes and diagnostic and treatment options is often extrapolated from human or other mammalian medicine models. Although the roles of UV-B, calcium, phosphorus, and cholecalciferol are better understood in some MBDs, there remain many X factors that are not. Likewise, quantitative diagnosis of MBDs has been difficult not only in terms of staging a disease but also regarding whether or not a condition is present. Treatment options also present challenges in corrective husbandry and diet modifications, medication/modality selection, and dosing/regimen parameters.
J Zoo Wildl Med. 2010 Sep;41(3):538-41.
Pituitary cystadenoma, enterolipidosis, and cutaneous mycosis in an Everglades ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni).
An 11-yr-old captive-born male Everglades ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta rosalleni) presented with dysecdysis, hyperkeratosis, and inappetance. Two skin biopsies demonstrated a diffuse hyperkeratosis with both a bacterial and fungal epidermitis. Fusarium oxysporum was cultured from both biopsies and considered an opportunistic infection rather than a primary pathogen. Medical management was unsuccessful, and the snake was euthanized. Histologic findings included a pituitary cystadenoma arising from the pars intermedia, severe intestinal lipidosis, generalized epidermal hyperkeratosis, and lesions consistent with sepsis. It is hypothesized that endocrine derangements from the pituitary tumor may have caused the skin and intestinal lesions.