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4 October 2021 Phacoemulsification for Cataract Management in Two Snakes
Jessica M. Eisenbarth, Susan Nelms, Richard R. Sim, Anne E. Rivas
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Abstract

A 10-yr-old male, zoo-housed eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) and an 8-yr-old female, zoo-housed eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) both presented with bilateral cataracts and behavioral changes related to decreased vision. Phacoemulsification was performed on both snakes. The eastern indigo snake underwent stepwise phacoemulsification in both eyes and developed uveitis postoperatively, which resolved with medical management. Ultimately, this procedure was thought to result in an improved quality of life for the snake. In the eastern hognose snake, a large spectaculectomy was required for the procedure due to the small size of the globe and previous scarring of the spectacle. This led to a significantly prolonged healing time. As a result, surgery on the other eye was not performed. These cases illustrate the feasibility of performing phacoemulsification for the management of sight-limiting cataracts in snakes and provide a description of some of the complications that clinicians may encounter and the methods used to manage these challenges.

Jessica M. Eisenbarth, Susan Nelms, Richard R. Sim, and Anne E. Rivas "Phacoemulsification for Cataract Management in Two Snakes," Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 31(3), 189-196, (4 October 2021). https://doi.org/10.5818/JHMS-S-20-00002
Published: 4 October 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
cataracts
Drymarchon couperi
eastern hognose snake
Eastern Indigo Snake
Heterodon platyrhinos
phacoemulsification
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