The evaluation of uric acid concentrations in the blood of snakes is a crucial tool in the diagnosis of gout and renal disease; both prevalent diseases in captive reptiles. However, without an understanding of the physiological fluctuations in uric acid levels and the absence of distinction that makes pathological changes, biochemical parameters are devalued. This study focuses on investigating the relationship between feeding rate and plasma-uric acid concentrations of snakes. The aim of this investigation is to facilitate a better understanding of the feed-induced changes that occur, and to render the analysis of this biochemical parameter as a more potent diagnostic tool. A total of 10 snakes were used in the study and the basal concentration of uric acid was established prior to feeding via blood biochemical analysis. The snakes were then fed rats and successive postprandial blood samples were taken for the monitoring of uric acid levels. The results demonstrated that feeding led to substantial elevations in the uric acid values, whereby postprandial concentrations were significantly elevated for up to 5 days after feeding. The postprandial elevations in uric acid documented in these snakes were of similar levels reported in snakes afflicted with gout or renal disease. The results demonstrated the significant changes that occur to uric acid levels after feeding, and highlights the resemblance between postprandial increases in uric acid and concentrations reported in snakes suffering from renal disease or gout. To avoid a misdiagnosis and to distinguish transient postprandial hyperuricemia from pathological elevations, collecting sufficient anamnestic data on time since last feeding in performing repeated sampling after one week period of fasting is suggested.
- feed-induced changes
- uric acid