ABSTRACT

A 12 yr old dachshund, a 7 yr old English springer spaniel, and a 1.5 yr old French bulldog presented following envenomation by a coral snake. Each patient displayed evidence of varying degrees of lower motor neuron dysfunction, but all three developed transient megaesophagus. Two patients developed secondary aspiration pneumonia, with one requiring mechanical ventilation, which the owners declined, resulting in euthanasia. The third developed hypoventilation without aspiration pneumonia, was mechanically ventilated, and was successfully weaned. In the two surviving patients, the megaesophagus resolved by time of discharge. Coral snake envenomation is an uncommon occurrence, and these are the first documented cases of transient megaesophagus secondary to a North American species.

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