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Ultrasonographic anatomy of reproductive female leopard geckos

6 August 2018 – News

Leopard geckos are a popular species of small reptile. They suffer from common conditions including gastrointestinal impaction, follicular stasis, dystocia, neoplasia and lesions in the hemipene. Ultrasound imaging is very accessible and can be used to diagnose these conditions. It is more cost-effective than MRI but little information is available on the ultrasonographic anatomy of these geckos.

To address this, 11 healthy female geckos were integrated into a prospective study and a 13–18 MHz linear array transducer was used to visualize and measure the following structures: the ventral surface of lungs, liver, caudal vena cava, portal vein, gallbladder, ventral abdominal vein, aorta, ovarian follicles, fat bodies and brain. The digestive tract was observed but deemed too small to be measured. The geckos were then necropsied to compare the organs with what was seen during the ultrasound. One of the animals was molting and loose skin made it impossible to obtain ultrasound images.

The heart, kidneys, urinary bladder, spleen and pancreas could not be visualized and the authors point out that this could be because of size of the geckos and the fact that they were not using a higher frequency transducer.

The use of all reproductive females in this study is a significant limitation but ultrasonography represents a useful avenue to support diagnosis. Its use is widespread as it does not require anaesthesia.

In Cojean O, Vergneau‐Grosset C, Masseau I. Ultrasonographic anatomy of reproductive female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2018