“The Vomiting Boa Constrictor” — Sonopath’s January 2017 Case Of The Month

January 2, 2017
The Focal Zone


There are very few things as impressionable from an exotic practice standpoint as a vomiting and dehydrated boa constrictor. This was a heartfelt sonogram, with a solid answer, but unfortunately not a good one.

Even in a reptile, the sonogram is all about following the path of obstruction until you find the cause.

In this case, a non-resectable invasive mass causing progressive vomiting and weight loss was found in this snake.

Many thanks to the wonderful team at Animal Clinic of Morris Plains in Morris Plains, NJ in managing this case.

Patient Information:

Age:         14 Years
Gender:    Female, Intact
Species:   Exotic
Breed:      Columbian Red-Tailed Boa


  • Vomiting
  • 10 months of anorexia
  • Weight loss


  • Ultrasound
  • 22-gauge U/S-guided FNA

Image Interpretation:

  • A 5.0 cm wide, irregular, mixed, echogenic, mineralizing mass was noted at the distal aspect of the small intestine at the junction with the cecum.
  • A fluid obstruction pattern was noted prior to the mass that continued throughout the coelom.
  • Ultrasound guided FNA was performed upon the mass to assess the suspected neoplasia prior to potential exploratory surgery.

*** Click here to view the entire case and outcome, as well as watch the video clips: https://sonopath.com/resources/cases-month/mesenchymal-neoplasia-14-year-old-f-columbian-red-tailed-boa-our-case-month-ja