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Incidence of lymphocytosis and lymphoid leukemias in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) at a private diagnostic laboratory

17th International Conference on Pathology & Cancer Epidemiology

October 08-09, 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland

Rand J Wilson

Finn Pathologists–CVS Diagnostic Laboratories, UK

ScientificTracks Abstracts: RRJMHS


For this 6-month period of 2012, a regional diagnostic laboratory in Chicago, Illinois received 31 separate hematology sample submissions from bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) sent in from several public and private reptile collections and veterinary practices. Of these samples, there were 5 that exhibited moderate to marked circulating lymphocytosis on the complete blood count and differential. This indicates a presumed incidence of 16% of all hematology submissions in this reptile species over this period. This was of concern for a potential over-representation of lymphocytosis in this species, and possibly an underlying alternative etiopathogenesis in addition to spontaneous neoplastic transformation. Two of these 5 individuals were determined to be most likely lymphoid leukemias and 3 were likely transient reactive lymphocytic responses to non-neoplastic unidentified conditions based upon progression or lack thereof. Other criterion considered was a worsening clinical course, minimal response to therapy, or euthanasia due to disease complications. In addition, 2 cases had follow up CBC’s and one principle case was followed closely and monitored with serial hematology examinations, as well as other ancillary of tests to attempt to characterize the lymphoid population in this animal. A sequence of DNA was found in this animal’s blood which was similar in arrangement and character to the sequence for Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV) and the genome identified for Bovine Leukemia virus (BLV) as well. This sequence could not be verified due to the lack of a normal genomic sequence for Pogona vitticep established or identified for this species.


Dr Rand Wilson has joined leading veterinary diagnostic laboratory Finn Pathologists in the newly created role of Head of Clinical Pathology. Dr Wilson received a BSc in Wildlife Biology in 1984 and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 from Colorado State University. He spent the next 20 years practising small animal, exotic and avian medicine and surgery and undertaking PhD studies in clinical pathology and infectious disease. He became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2008 and achieved Board Certification in Clinical Pathology in 2008 from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Arriving in the UK in 2008, he gained experience in the veterinary labs sector before taking up his new role at Finn Pathologists, one of the UK’s leading veterinary diagnostics laboratories in Harleston, Norfolk.

E-mail: [email protected]