Gross Lesion Recognition in Zoo Reptiles
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2017
Michael M. Garner, DVM, DACVP
Northwest ZooPath, Monroe, WA, USA


Gross lesion recognition, like other imaging modalities, is a bit of an art form. Vast zones of grey may confront the investigator when considering what the lesion is, what it could be, and what to do with it. And nobody is good at all of it: A seasoned livestock pathologist could possibly clear an entire day’s necropsies without the help of a single histology slide. A beekeeper would recognize immediately the maggot stages that parasitize his colony. A dog-cat pathologist in a busy private laboratory or a companion animal clinician may not have a clue about gross lesions in livestock or bees. Historically, attempts to accurately diagnose disease by gross lesion recognition have been a humbling experience, and that has been the impetus for all further diagnostic specialties. So, now that gross pathology has been put in its proper place, why even bother with such an imperfect science? Obviously, gross lesions, or lack thereof, are the first visual indication of what may be wrong with the patient. These are the lumps, the effusions, the asymmetrical oddities, the discolorations, the odiferous clues to disease that (hopefully) stimulate a “scientific” thought process culminating in a list of differential diagnoses. The purpose of this masterclass is to present images of common and not-so-common reptile gross lesions in live and necropsy specimens and, in a participatory manner, establish a differential diagnosis and means for establishing a definitive diagnosis.


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Michael M. Garner, DVM, DACVP
Northwest ZooPath
Monroe, WA, USA

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