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OBJECTIVE To determine anatomic reference points for 4 turtle species and to evaluate data on relative anatomic dimensions, signal intensities (SIs), and position of selected organs within the coelomic cavity by use of MRI.

ANIMALS 3 turtle cadavers (1 red-eared slider [Trachemys scripta elegans], 1 yellow-bellied slider [Trachemys scripta scripta], and 1 Coastal plain cooter [Pseudemys concinna floridana]) and 63 live adult turtles (30 red-eared sliders, 20 yellow-bellied sliders, 5 Coastal plain cooters, and 8 hieroglyphic river cooters [Pseudemys concinna hieroglyphica]).

PROCEDURES MRI and necropsy were performed on the 3 turtle cadavers. Physical examination, hematologic evaluation, and whole-body radiography were performed on the 63 live turtles. Turtles were sedated, and MRI in transverse, sagittal, and dorsal planes was used to measure organ dimensions, position within the coelomic cavity, and SIs. Body positioning after sedation was standardized with the head, neck, limbs, and tail positioned in maximum extension.

RESULTS Measurements of the heart, liver, gallbladder, and kidneys in sagittal, transverse, and dorsal planes; relative position of those organs within the coelom; and SIs of the kidneys and liver were obtained with MRI and provided anatomic data for these 4 turtle species.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE MRI was a valuable tool for determining the position, dimensions, and SIs of selected organs. Measurement of organs in freshwater chelonians was achievable with MRI. Further studies are needed to establish reference values for anatomic structures in turtles. Results reported here may serve as guidelines and aid in clinical interpretation of MRI images for these 4 species.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the use of rebound and applanation tonometry for the measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) and to assess diurnal variations in and the effect of topical anesthesia on the IOP of healthy inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

ANIMALS 56 bearded dragons from 4 months to 11 years old.

PROCEDURES For each animal following an initial ophthalmic examination, 3 IOP measurements were obtained on each eye between 9 AM and 10 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM, and 5 PM and 7 PM by use of rebound and applanation tonometry. An additional measurement was obtained by rebound tonometry for each eye in the evening following the application of a topical anesthetic to evaluate changes in the tolerance of the animals to the tonometer. Descriptive data were generated, and the effects of sex, time of day, and topical anesthesia on IOP were evaluated.

RESULTS Bearded dragons did not tolerate applanation tonometry even following topical anesthesia. Median daily IOP as determined by rebound tonometry was 6.16 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 5.61 to 6.44 mm Hg). The IOP did not differ significantly between the right and left eyes. The IOP was highest in the morning, which indicated that the IOP in this species undergoes diurnal variations. Topical anesthesia did not significantly affect IOP, but it did improve the compliance for all subjects.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that rebound tonometry, but not applanation tonometry, was appropriate for measurement of IOP in bearded dragons. These findings provided preliminary guidelines for IOP measurement and ophthalmic evaluation in bearded dragons.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


During a 3.3-year period, gastric dilatation-volvulus was diagnosed in 134 dogs. Thirteen of them died or were euthanatized prior to treatment. In 33 dogs, decompression and emptying of the stomach was successfully performed via a gastric tube. Rate of recurrence was 75.8% (25/33) for these dogs. Eighty-eight dogs were treated surgically. In all but 1 surgically treated dog, a new technique for gastropexy was performed for prevention of relapse. For the 5-cm-long gastropexy, the pyloric antrum was incorporated in the cranial suture of the abdominal wall. Of the surgically treated group, 63 dogs (79.7%) were discharged from the clinic in good condition. Recurrence of gastric dilatation, without evidence of gastric volvulus, 2 (n = 3) and 6 (n = 1) months after surgery, was observed in 6.6% (4/61) of surgically treated dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus. Four (6.6%) of the 61 dogs died or were euthanatized because of other causes, but had been without signs of gastric dilatation within a mean of 19 months after surgery. In the remaining 53 dogs (86.8%), relapse had not been observed by the end of the follow-up period. In dogs with surgical treatment of gastric dilatation-volvulus, recurrence rate (6.6%) was significantly (P < 0.0001) different from that in those with medical treatment (75.8%). This study indicated that recurrence of gastric dilatation-volvulus may be prevented with this simple and fast gastropexy technique.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association