Salmonellosis in a Boa constrictor
History: A 3-year-old female Boa constrictor has no prior clinical signs.
Gross findings: The snake was in good body condition. The ventral scales were multifocally reddened, and the gingiva of the upper jaw was reddened. The gall bladder was moderately distened with bile, and the bile duct was not patent.
The duodenum distal to the bile duct was dilated, and the serosal surface was dark red to black. The mucosa was hyperplastic, and necrotic.
The liver contained multifocal tan foci from 1-3 mm throughout the organ.
The pericardium contained 7 ml of clear serous fluid.
Duodenum: The mucosa was hyperplastic and covered by a thick mat of fibrin, necrotic cellular debris (diphtheritic membrane), mixed with serum and degenerate heterophils. There was bacterial overgrowth (post-mortem).
Liver: The liver was moderately autolyzed, but even so,there are discernable random multifocal areas of hepatocellular lytic necrosis.
Heart: There is multifocal myocardiocyte degeneration and necrosis, and accumulation of large numbers of macrophages and fibroblast proliferation.
Bacterial Culture: Salmonella group D1, and D2 was cultured from all tissues.
Salmonellosis is a common cause of fibrino-necrotic enteritis, necrotizing hepatitis and septicemia in lizards and snakes.