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1 September 2009 Fungal Keratitis in a Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
Debbie A. Myers, Ramiro Isaza, Gil Ben-Shlomo, Jeffrey Abbott, Caryn E. Plummer
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A free-ranging gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) presented for trauma and blindness. Fibrinous exudate obscured visualization of the globes. This exudative crust extended from the conjunctival fornices through the palpebral fissure and was manually removed. Ophthalmic examination revealed bilateral corneal ulcerations and scarring and phthisis bulbi of the left globe. Histology of the crust revealed a necrotic conjunctivitis with intralesional fungal hyphae. Culture of the corneal ulcer of the left eye isolated moderate growth of a mixed fungal flora consisting of Curvularia sp. and Aspergillus sp. Miconazole ophthalmic solution was administered and the ulcers in both eyes healed, but corneal edema continued. After 2 mo of treatment with miconazole, tramadol, acetylcysteine, hypertonic saline ointment, artificial tears, and hypertonic saline flushes, the right eye was normal with only a small scar. The left eye remained phthisical. This is the first report of fungal keratitis in a wild reptile and a gopher tortoise.

Debbie A. Myers, Ramiro Isaza, Gil Ben-Shlomo, Jeffrey Abbott, and Caryn E. Plummer "Fungal Keratitis in a Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 40(3), 579-582, (1 September 2009).
Published: 1 September 2009

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