A Clinical Case from the Archives : 07/10/2005

This Boa constrictor is presented for an eye problem. What is your diagnosis and what would you suggest is done to correct it?

That was a bit of un unfair question without seeing the other more normal eye perhaps – here is its other eye. The snake has retained its spectacle after a shed. Remember that snakes do not have eyelids but these are fused to form the transparent spectacle. This should be shed with the rest of the skin slough. Normally the problem with dysecdysis is too low an ambient humidity or snake mite damage around the edge of the spectacle. Raising the humidity and applying a damp cotton wool pad to the eye normally alows the spectacle ot the shed well with the next skinn slough. Here the owner knows his stuff and the boa is kept at just the right temperature and humidity. In fact the problem seems not just a simple failure to hed but rather a centripetal growth of skin around the spectacle. Normally we wouldn’t consider trying physically to remove the retained ‘eyecap’ since the underlying cornea is very delicate but here we may be forced to resort to surgery.


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