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Ultrasonographic anatomy of the coelomic organs of boid snakes (Boa constrictor imperator, Python regius, Python molurus molurus, and Python curtus)



Ultrasonographic anatomy of the coelomic organs of boid snakes (Boa constrictor imperator, Python regius, Python molurus molurus, and Python curtus)



American Journal of Veterinary Research 73(5): 634-645



To determine the ultrasonographic features of the coelomic organs of healthy snakes belonging to the Boidae and Pythonidae families. 16 ball pythons (Python regius; 7 males, 8 females, and 1 sexually immature), 10 Indian rock pythons (Python molurus molurus; 5 males, 4 females, and 1 sexually immature), 12 Python curtus (5 males and 7 females), and 8 boa constrictors (Boa constrictor imperator; 4 males and 4 females). All snakes underwent complete ultrasonographic evaluation of the coelomic cavity; chemical restraint was not necessary. A dorsolateral approach to probe placement was chosen to increase image quality and to avoid injury to the snakes and operators. Qualitative and quantitative observations were recorded. The liver, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines, kidneys, cloaca, and scent glands were identified in all snakes. The hemipenes were identified in 10 of the 21 (48%) male snakes. The spleen was identified in 5 of the 46 (11%) snakes, and ureters were identified in 6 (13%). In 2 sexually immature snakes, the gonads were not visible. One (2%) snake was gravid, and 7 (15%) had small amounts of free fluid in the coelomic cavity. A significant positive correlation was identified between several measurements (diameter and thickness of scent glands, gastric and pyloric walls, and colonic wall) and body length (snout to vent) and body weight. The study findings can be used as an atlas of the ultrasonographic anatomy of the coelomic cavity in healthy boid snakes. Ultrasonography was reasonably fast to perform and was well tolerated in conscious snakes.

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Accession: 056738836

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22533394

DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.73.5.634


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