Hepatic Granulomas in a Blood Python
History: A 6 month old Blood Python was found dead with no apparent illness.
The snake was thin with prominent dorsal spinous processes of the vertebrae with mild autolysis. The stomach contained a partially digested mouse, and the colon was full of moderately firm feces. Near the vent was a 1 cm diameter yellow,doughy mass of urates.
Liver: There are multifocal areas of necrosis with a central area filled with variable numbers of brightly eosinophilic degenerate and intact heterophils in a distinct mass with occasional cells having intracytoplasmic bacilli. Surrounding the heterophils are moderate numbers of macrophages and necrotic hepatocytes.
Small Intestine: There is severe autolysis of the small intestine. Nevertheless there is a focal area of heterophilic and granulomatous inflammation with loss, blunting and flattening of villi. There are small numbers of heterogranulomas in the mucosa consisting of a central core of brightly eosinophilic heterophils surrounded by macrophages. There is
moderate amount of exudate and necrotic debris covering the mucosa with moderate numbers of bacilli colonies and multiple areas of mineralization. The submucosa has increased numbers of heterophils and macrophages.
We did not culture the liver. Common bacteria associted with these lesions are Salmonella sp, Aeromonas sp, and Pseudomonas sp among others. Entamoeba invadens can also casue these lesions, but we did not see any of these organisms in the tissue sections.