Snake (yes, that’s his name!), an albino carpet python, presented to Lort Smith at two years old. He had a unilateral bullous spectaculopathy – an accumulation of clear fluid between the cornea and spectacle seal – it results in mild swelling, inflammation and a bulging of the eye area.
Thankfully, Lort Smith has Dr Tristan, an Unusual Pets and Wildlife Veterinarian on staff, who was able to help poor Snake out.
Initially, Dr Tristan anaesthetised Snake and flushed out the cavity, however three weeks post-surgery, the fluid had built-up again, determining that Snake had a fistula – an abnormal connection between his eye and mouth. Essentially, Snake’s tear duct was blocked.
Dr Tristan decided the next course of action was to perform a conjunctivoralostomy. Simply put, a new tear duct was created by passing a hypodermic needle through the corner of Snake’s eye, emerging into his mouth. A stent was then threaded through this passage opening and sutured to Snake’s scales to hold in place.
Six weeks post-surgery, Snake returned to have the stent removed and his medication ceased. We are delighted to report that Snake made a full recovery and his eye appears perfectly normal.
“I absolutely adore Snake. He is like a shining jewel in my every day,” says Sharon his carer.
Snake has a distinctive and endearing personality. He lives in a palatial enclosure and enjoys time out each evening for some exercise and loves nothing more than a bit of TV/couch time with his wonderfully committed carers.
Dr Tristan went on to present this case at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Unusual Pets & Avian Veterinarians Conference and won the ‘Toady Award’ for Most Entertaining & Informative Presentation.