A 4-yr-old, male, captive-born African helmeted turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) was presented for an ocular disorder of 3 days duration. Physical examination showed edema of all limbs and blepharedema of the left eye. Ophthalmic examination revealed severe blepharoconjunctivitis, a large melting corneal ulcer, and stromal densification that prevented evaluation of the anterior chamber. Examination of the right eye was unremarkable. Ultrasonography of the left eye revealed corneal perforation associated with severe anterior uveitis. Enucleation was performed based on the poor prognosis for the eye and the risk of septicemia. Providencia rettgeri was identified from bacterial culture. Fungal culture was negative. Histopathology of the eyeball revealed a corneal perforation associated with edema and heterophilic infiltration of the corneal stroma. Three weeks after surgery, the enucleation wound had healed. Providencia rettgeri has been reported as a rare cause of keratitis in humans. A systematic literature review showed one case of a melting corneal ulcer in an Asian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) associated with this infectious agent. This is the first report of corneal perforation associated with P. rettgeri in a reptile.

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