ISSN 2398-2985      

Obesity

Jreptile
Contributor(s):

Robert Johnson

Sarah Brown


Introduction

  • Cause: overfeeding (too much and/or too often), excessive fat content in the diet, lack of opportunity to exercise.
  • Signs: obesity, lethargy, possibly impaired mobility.
  • Diagnosis: physical examination, visual inspection/body condition scoring (BCS).
  • Treatment: modify diet, provide environmental enrichment.
  • Prognosis: varies according to presence of comorbidities - can be associated with hepatic lipidosis.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Energy intake is significantly higher than energy expenditure.
  • Obese reptiles store fat in deposits located in coelomic, subcutaneous, and parenchymatous sites.
  • Fatty infiltration of organs may occur.
  • Lack of exercise, especially that necessary for food procurement, is a likely factor in obese patients.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Sedentary nature, ie species-specific.
  • Insufficient environmental enrichment to stimulate activity.
  • Insufficient physical space for active movement.

Specific

  • Overfeeding.
  • Feeding prey items or feed with increased fat content.
  • Female reptiles undergoing seasonal cycles of lipogenesis in preparation for folliculogenesis that do not have the opportunity to breed.

Pathophysiology

  • Obese reptiles store fat in deposits located in coelomic, subcutaneous, and parenchymatous sites. Fatty infiltration of organs may occur.
  • Lack of exercise, especially that necessary for food procurement, is a likely factor in obese patients, along with overfeeding or feeding a diet too high in fat.
  • Obesity is likely to negatively affect quality of life with impairment of movement (and potentially thermoregulation) and stress to, eg the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. Obesity can be a factor in dystocia. Fat deposits may also act as space-occupying masses.
  • Obesity may contribute to shorter lifespans.
  • Obesity may also predispose to hepatic lipidosis: a pathological increase in accumulation of triglycerides in hepatocytes which negatively affects hepatic function.
  • Species prone to stress-induced anorexia seem to be especially vulnerable to hepatic lipidosis.

Timecourse

  • Variable.

Epidemiology

  • Usually affects individuals, although dietary and husbandry errors may lead to group susceptibility in collections.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mans C & Braun J (2014) Update on common nutritional disorders of captive reptiles. Vet Clin Exotic Anim Pract 17 (3), 369-395 PubMed.
  • Divers S J & Cooper J E (2000) Reptile hepatic lipidosis. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 9(3), 153-164 JExoticPetMed.

Other sources of information

  • Kischinovsky M, Raftery A & Sawmy S (2018) Husbandry and Nutrition. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice. Eds: Doneley R, Monks D, Johnson R & Carmel B. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 45-60.
  • Donoghue S (2006) Nutrition. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Mader D R. Elsevier, USA. pp 251-298.
  • Calvert I (2004) Nutrition. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 2nd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 18-39.
  • Divers S J (1999) Reptilian Liver and Gastrointestinal Testing. In: Laboratory Medicine, Avian and Exotic Pets. Ed: Fudge A M. Saunders, USA. pp 205-209.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code