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Use of computed tomography to determine a species-specific formula for body surface area in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps)

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  • 1 From the Department of Clinical Sciences and Molecular, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 2 From the Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use CT-derived measurements to calculate a shape constant (K constant) and create a formula to calculate body surface area (BSA) on the basis of body weight in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS

12 adult client-owned bearded dragons that underwent CT between December 4, 2019, and April 2, 2020.

PROCEDURES

Each bearded dragon in this prospective cohort study underwent physical examination, body weight measurement, and CT. A 3-D surface model was then reconstructed from CT data with available software and used for BSA calculations. Animals were considered collectively and grouped by sex and age. Nonlinear regression analysis of BSA versus body weight was performed, and a species-specific formula was derived for calculating BSA in bearded dragons.

RESULTS

Mean age, body weight, and CT-derived BSA were 2.1 years, 356 g, and 580 cm2. The calculated K constant was 11.6 (R2 = 0.994; SE = 0.275) for the 12 bearded dragons, and the CT-derived BSA formula was as follows: BSA in cm2 = 11.6 × (body weight in g)2/3. The K constant differed substantially for bearded dragons grouped by age (12.1 for younger [between 1 and ≤ 2 years of age; n = 8] vs 10.9 for older [> 2 years of age; 4] animals) but did not differ on the basis of sex.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that because the K constant for bearded dragons in the present study was larger than the preexisting K constant of 10 used for reptiles or the various K constants established for some companion mammals, doses of chemotherapeutic drugs needed to treat affected bearded dragons may be higher than previously thought.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To use CT-derived measurements to calculate a shape constant (K constant) and create a formula to calculate body surface area (BSA) on the basis of body weight in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS

12 adult client-owned bearded dragons that underwent CT between December 4, 2019, and April 2, 2020.

PROCEDURES

Each bearded dragon in this prospective cohort study underwent physical examination, body weight measurement, and CT. A 3-D surface model was then reconstructed from CT data with available software and used for BSA calculations. Animals were considered collectively and grouped by sex and age. Nonlinear regression analysis of BSA versus body weight was performed, and a species-specific formula was derived for calculating BSA in bearded dragons.

RESULTS

Mean age, body weight, and CT-derived BSA were 2.1 years, 356 g, and 580 cm2. The calculated K constant was 11.6 (R2 = 0.994; SE = 0.275) for the 12 bearded dragons, and the CT-derived BSA formula was as follows: BSA in cm2 = 11.6 × (body weight in g)2/3. The K constant differed substantially for bearded dragons grouped by age (12.1 for younger [between 1 and ≤ 2 years of age; n = 8] vs 10.9 for older [> 2 years of age; 4] animals) but did not differ on the basis of sex.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that because the K constant for bearded dragons in the present study was larger than the preexisting K constant of 10 used for reptiles or the various K constants established for some companion mammals, doses of chemotherapeutic drugs needed to treat affected bearded dragons may be higher than previously thought.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Harrison (tara_harrison@ncsu.edu).