Keratoacanthoma of the spectacle in a Boa constrictor

Vet Ophthalmol. Sep-Oct 2007;10(5):320-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2007.00561.x.


Animal studied: A Royal Boa constrictor presented with retained spectacle of the right eye and a tumor-like appearance of the left eye.

Procedure: The snake was euthanized, the head fixed in buffered formaldehyde, and histologic examination of both spectacles and both eyes performed.

Results: The left orbital rim encircled a solid, scaly mass projecting 5-6 mm from the spectacular area. A cup-shaped tumor with a central keratin plug was observed microscopically. There was a thickening of the proliferating squamous epithelium, with squamous eddies and single cell keratinization. A few mitotic figures were seen in the basal layers but the tumor showed no infiltrative growth. The same morphology was observed in the right eye but to a lesser extent. The remaining parts of the eye were normal.

Conclusions: The diagnosis was keratoacanthoma and this is the first reported keratoacanthoma of the spectacle in a reptile. Keratoacanthoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis when trying to remove retained spectacles from a reptile eye.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Boidae*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / veterinary*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Keratoacanthoma / pathology
  • Keratoacanthoma / veterinary*