Article  Client Education Handout  Video  Webinar 

Reptile and Amphibian Nutrition

Dr. Thomas Boyer presented this live, interactive webinar. The RACE-approved recording discusses nutrition, the leading cause of disease in reptiles and amphibians. Chronic nutritional diseases remain common, including nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, hepatic lipidosis, protein deficiency, hypovitaminosis A, hypervitaminosis A, pyramidal shell growth, renal disease, urocystoliths, thiamine deficiency, vitamin E/selenium deficiency, steatitis, corneal lipidosis, and obesity. The goal of this web-based seminar is to educate veterinary health professionals such that they can provide sound nutritional advice to reptile and amphibian keepers. Dr. Boyer has also shared his client education handout on growing mealworms and superworms.

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Case Challenge Discussion

Husbandry-related conditions are very common in reptiles, and nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism is frequently recognized in clinical practice. The discussion portion of this Case Challenge reviews pathogenesis, history, examination findings, and diagnostic test results with radiography, and clinical pathology. Key points of case management are explored, including correction of husbandry and dietary factors, management of hypocalcemia, as well as stabilization and supportive care. Prognosis and prevention are also discussed.

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism and Cholangiohepatitis in a Guinea Pig

A 3-year old intact male guinea pig was presented on emergency for suspected bloat and with a history of chronic hair loss. Clinical examination revealed non-pruritic symmetric truncal alopecia, thin skin, severe cachexia, and an abdominal fluid wave. Alkaline phosphatase, alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, leukocytes (neutrophils), bilirubin, and serum cortisol were markedly elevated. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed peritoneal effusion, cholestasis, and cholelithiasis. Hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed based on…

Article  Case Study 

AEMV-Lafeber Case Report: Hyperthyroidism Treated with Radiation Therapy (I-131) in Two Guinea Pigs

Two guinea pigs suspected of having hyperthyroidism based on weight loss, presence of a cervical mass, and elevated total thyroxine (TT4) levels were confirmed to have active thyroid masses via scintigraphy with Technetium-99 and treated with radioactive iodine therapy (I¹³¹). Both patients responded initially with weight gain and a decrease in the TT4. The purpose of this case series is to describe the use of scintigraphy to aid in confirming a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, as well as to show the benefits and effectiveness of using radioactive iodine therapy (I¹³¹) to treat hyperthyroidism in guinea pigs in order to provide the best treatment protocol.

Article 

Calcium Homeostasis in the Rabbit

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and the majority of total body calcium is found within bones and teeth. Most mammals make only one or two sets of teeth in a lifetime, however rabbit teeth continually grow throughout their lifetime. This continual tooth eruption plays an important role in the rabbit’s long-term calcium needs.

Article 

Calcium in the Avian Patient

The most widespread mineral in the body, calcium is required for normal metabolism and bone mineralization.

Physiology

Calcium homeostasis is under the control of calcitonin, which is produced by the ultimobranchial gland, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone. In laying hens, most dietary calcium is used for egg production. Rising estrogen levels promote increased intake of calcium supplements like cuttlefish bone and calcium-rich foods, however the quantity of calcium ingested daily is insufficient for the massive deposition of calcium required for eggshell calcification.

Article 

Pancreatic Beta Cell Tumors in the Ferret

Pancreatic beta cell tumor or insulinoma is commonly seen in middle-aged to older pet ferrets in some nations, including the United States. This article reviews the common clinical picture as well as expected laboratory results. While there is no cure for beta cell tumors, surgical debulkment of the tumor with possible partial pancreatectomy is the treatment of choice. This treatment modality is discussed as well as medical management, which centers around corticosteroid and/or diazoxide administration.

Article 

Adrenocortical Disease in Ferrets

Hyperadrenocorticism is a common and complex clinical condition in the pet ferret. This disease occurs most frequently in ferrets three years or older but has been reported in animals as young as one year of age. Presumptive diagnosis of adrenal disease in the ferret is based on history, clinical signs, imaging diagnostics, and steroid hormone analysis. Medical therapy using deslorelin implants, though not curative, is recommended. Ferrets may remain asymptomatic for a median of 1-1.5 years. Adrenalectomy may be indicated in case non-responsiveness to medical treatment, although adrenalectomy of the right adrenal gland is difficult.

Article  Presenting Problem 

Presenting problem: Pallor and Anemia in the Ferret

Although the medical approach to anemia is the same as in dogs & cats, some red cell parameters and some differentials differ in the ferret.

The ferret with moderate to severe anemia will exhibit pallor of the mucous membranes, nasal planum and skin. If a clotting disorder exists, petechial, ecchymotic and purpural hemorrhages can also be observed. The owner may complain of lethargy and reduced activity.

Client Education Handout 

Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles and Amphibians

What is metabolic bone disease or nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism? This educational handout will help the reptile and amphibian owner understand this common problem from the underlying cause and signs of illness to the testing and treatment commonly recommended by your veterinarian.

Client Education Handout 

Insulinoma in the Ferret

Insulinoma, or pancreatic beta cell tumor, is an abnormal growth of the pancreas that secretes excess amounts of insulin. Unfortunately, insulinoma can be an extremely common disease of middle-aged to older ferrets in some nations. Client education is crucial for owners of affected ferrets. Teach owners to recognize signs of hypoglycemia and to prevent hypoglycemic episodes from occurring. Owners must also recognize situations that can precipitate a hypoglycemic crisis and take measures to minimize stressors whenever possible. Other important preventive measures are also explored.

Client Education Handout 

Adrenal Disease in the Ferret

Adrenocortical disease is a common endocrine disorder in middle-aged to older ferrets. This client education handout answers several questions for the ferret owner:  What is the adrenal gland? What causes adrenocortical disease? What are the clinical signs of adrenal disease? How can adrenal disease be diagnosed and treated? And finally, why should I treat adrenal disease?