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    Trunk vertebrae osteomyelitis in a spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus)

    Dunbar, John P. and Zarelli, Micaela and Martin, Stephen A. and Gandola, Robert and Kavanagh, Kevin and Walsh, Fiona and Rivas, Jesus A. (2015) Trunk vertebrae osteomyelitis in a spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). Herpetological Bulletin, 134. pp. 15-18. ISSN 1473-0928

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    osteomyelitis is frequently reported in turtles, lizards and snakes and Salmonellae are increasingly reported as the causative organism. however, very little is known of this disease occurring in crocodilians. crocodilians are shy, robust animals and often hide clinical symptoms, especially when submerged in water. Knowledge of disease in crocodilians is important, especially in zoos and farms where they are often kept in high densities. here we report the first known case of trunk vertebrae osteomyelitis in the order Crocodilia. A six year old, captive raised spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) was admitted for veterinary examination after developing a postural abnormality in the vertebral region, including spinal curvature and dorsal indentation. radiographic and computed tomographic studies showed muscle wastage and multifocal vertebral osteolytic changes suggestive of osteomyelitis. the caiman was euthanized and post-mortem examination revealed coelomic serosanguinous effusion and a diffuse severe fibrinous coelomitis with firm visceral adhesions involving the liver and spleen. a 15 cm irregular mass was found within and greatly expanding a major blood vessel ventral to the trunk vertebrae. examination of the mass revealed an organized thrombus and examination of the affected trunk vertebrae revealed severe osteolytic changes with extensive remodeling. Salmonella enterica houtenae was isolated from the vertebral lesions. Salmonellae, a common constituent of the reptilian gut microbiota, are potentially pathogenic and can become clinically important in times of stress. Salmonella enterica houtenae was previously isolated from reptiles and humans with pathological symptoms. However, this appears to be the first documented case in association with osteomyelitis in vertebrates.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Trunk vertebrae; osteomyelitis; spectacled caiman; Caiman crocodilus;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 12670
    Depositing User: Fiona Walsh
    Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2020 12:50
    Journal or Publication Title: Herpetological Bulletin
    Publisher: Research Gate
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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