Ophthalmic abnormalities secondary to periocular or ocular snakebite (pit vipers) in dogs-11 cases (2012-2014)

Bianca C. Martins, Caryn E. Plummer, Kirk N. Gelatt, Dennis E. Brooks, Sarah E. Czerwinski, Caroline Monk, Shari M. Greenberg, Brendan G. Mangan, Leonel Londoño, Luiz Bolfer, Carsten Bandt, Michael Schaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe ophthalmic abnormalities secondary to periocular and ocular snakebite in dogs. Animal Studied: Retrospective review of medical records from dogs presenting to the Small Animal Hospital at University of Florida following snakebites to the face (2012-2014). Two groups were identified: periocular bites (PB) and ocular bites (OB). Results: Records from eleven dogs matched the search criteria and were included in the study (PB=9, 81.8%; OB=2, 18.2%). Both OB cases involved the cornea. Facial edema, blepharospasm, chemosis, and conjunctival hyperemia occurred in all cases (100%). Hemorrhage from the eyelids occurred in eight cases (72.7%; PB=7, OB=1). Subconjunctival hemorrhage occurred in seven cases (63.6%; PB=6, OB=1). Third eyelid laceration and nictitans gland prolapse occurred in 1 case each (9%; PB=1). Lagophthalmia was present in three cases (27.3%; PB=3), with secondary corneal ulcer in two cases (18.2%; PB=2). Corneal ulcer due to direct corneal bite occurred in two cases (18.2%-partial thickness with melting 1 and full thickness 1). Uveitis was present in 6 cases (54.5%; PB=4, OB=2), with flare and miosis in 4 cases (36.4%; PB=2, OB=2). Hyphema, fibrin in anterior chamber, and cataract occurred in one case (9%; OB=1). Vision loss occurred in two cases (18.2%; PB=2), secondary to retinal degeneration (PB=1) and amaurosis (PB=1). Mean follow-up time was 7 weeks (range: 3 days-11 months). Most clinical signs had resolved by last examination. Conclusions: Periocular symptoms were more commonly observed than ocular alterations, regardless of bite location. Appropriate supportive therapy should be instituted according to clinical signs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Dog
  • Envenomation
  • Eye
  • Ocular
  • Pit viper
  • Snakebite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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