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Amphibians, reptiles and fish
Diagnostic evaluation and treatment of a Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) with seizures


An 11-year-old female Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) with presumed seizures was examined. Complete blood count, plasma biochemistry and MRI did not identify a cause of seizures and thus cryptogenic epilepsy was diagnosed. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was performed on the affected lizard and a healthy conspecific, revealing a lack of normal background electrical activity in the affected individual compared with the normal individual. The patient was treated with oral phenobarbital and serum phenobarbital levels were routinely measured. Although phenobarbital was an effective antiepileptic drug, the patient's clinical condition worsened and the lizard was humanely euthanased after 70 days of therapy. Postmortem examination and histopathology did not identify a cause for the seizures. This is the first description of seizures, MRI, EEG and seizure treatment in a Chinese crocodile lizard.

  • Reptiles
  • Seizures
  • Chinese Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Epilepsy
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
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