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Valvulopathy consistent with endocarditis in an argentine boa (boa constrictor occidentalis)

Wernick, Morena B., Novo-Matos, José, Ebling, Alessia, Kühn, Karolin, Ruetten, Maja, Hilbe, Monika, Howard, Judith, Prohaska, Sarah, Hatt, Jean-Michel
Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine 2015 v.46 no.1 pp. 124-129
Boa constrictor, Ochrobactrum intermedium, Pseudomonas putida, bacteria, bacterial pneumonia, echocardiography, endocarditis, hypertension, inclusion bodies, lymphocytes, mineralization, necropsy, radiography, snakes
An Argentine boa (Boa constrictor occidentalis) of 5 yr 7 mo of age was presented for respiratory problems and regurgitation. Radiographs revealed evidence of cardiomegaly and pneumonia. Blood smear examination revealed the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in peripheral lymphocytes, consistent with inclusion body disease. Cultures of a tracheal wash sample resulted in growth of Ochrobactrum intermedium and Pseudomonas putida. Echocardiographic examination revealed a large vegetative lesion on the right atrioventricular valve with valvular insufficiency, a mildly dilated right atrium, and pulmonary hypertension. Postmortem examination confirmed the presence of pneumonia and bacterial endocarditis with dystrophic mineralization of the right atrioventricular valve, associated with different bacteria than those cultured from the tracheal wash. The present case is the first report of endocarditis in a boa constrictor and contributes to the rare reports of cardiac disease in snakes.