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Transcutaneous pulmonoscopic removal of intrapneumonic mucus in a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
  1. J. Stumpel, DVM, MRCVS,
  2. L. Benato, DVM, GPCert (ExAP), CertZooMed, MRCVS and
  3. K. Eatwell, BVSc (hons), DipZooMed, DipECZM, MRCVS
  1. Hospital for Small Animals, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Division of Veterinary Sciences, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence j.b.g.stumpel{at}

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COELIOSCOPY is popular in reptiles, as it allows for a much more detailed diagnosis in species in which physical examination is limited. Many techniques have been reported, including transcutaneous pulmonoscopy in snakes and lizards (eg, Harrison and Wildt 1980, Schildger 2000, Pressler and others 2003, Hernandez-Divers 2004a, b, Hernandez-Divers and others 2005, 2007, 2009, Jekl and Knotek 2006, Taylor 2006, Stahl and others 2008). The technique is easier to perform in snakes than in lizards, as snakes possess a caudal air sac, which is a poorly vascularised membrane and is directly attached to the body wall. Some lizards do have less vascularised caudal areas in their air sacs, but these are free floating in the coelomic cavity.

Reptiles are unable to cough to remove exudates from their lungs, as they lack a diaphragm. Pulmonary infections, therefore, can lead to accumulation of exudates, which in turn lead to severely compromised respiration and a reduced efficacy of therapeutics.

This case report demonstrates how aspiration of a relatively large volume of fluid from the respiratory tract of a severely dyspnoeic lizard resulted in clinical resolution.

A 5.5-year-old, 282 g male bearded dragon (Pogona [Amphibolurus] vitticeps) was presented for treatment of an acute hemipenile prolapse. The animal had been active, feeding and displaying mating activities towards its female companion. Diet and husbandry seemed appropriate. Upon clinical examination, the animal appeared to be bright and …

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