A Clinical Case from the Archives : 18/06/2007

Jennie my wife thinks that most of the photos I bring home are pretty gruesome but this one, as we would say, takes the biscuit! I guess this tortoise has had a traumatic incident but what other dietary factor may be at play with the defective eyelid healing here?

With dysplastic epithelial pathology in chelonia, as this might well be, one alwsys has to bear in mind hypovitaminosis A. This rather dusty old slide is from the great Dr Edward Elkan who, with Dr Zwart, first recognised low dietary vitamin A as the causative factor back when I was a mere child (Elkan and Zwart: The ocular disease of young terrapins caused by vitamin A deficiency. Pathol Vet. 4:201-22, 1967). It may not be the sole factor in today’s case, but dietary supplementation may be worthwhile, always with concern to ensure that hypervitaminosis A is not produced.


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