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Abstract

Objective—To describe a coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy technique for use in chelonians.

Design—Descriptive report.

Animals—11 adult female turtles (6 red-eared sliders, 2 box turtles, 1 painted turtle, 1 four-eyed turtle, and 1 Chinese red-necked pond turtle). Five turtles required oophorectomy because of reproductive tract disease; the remaining 6 underwent elective oophorectomy.

Procedures—Turtles were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. An incision was made in the prefemoral fossa, and a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope was inserted into the coelomic cavity and used to identify the ovaries. Each ovary was grasped with forceps and exteriorized through the prefemoral incision. The ovarian vasculature was ligated, and the mesovarium was transected. Closure was routine.

Results—In 8 turtles, bilateral oophorectomy was performed through a single incision. In 2 turtles, unilateral oophorectomy was performed in an attempt to maintain reproductive potential. In 1 turtle with a unilateral ovarian remnant from a previous surgery, unilateral oophorectomy was performed. Nine turtles recovered. One box turtle with severe hepatic lipidosis died 7 days after surgery. A second box turtle died 2 days after removal of retained eggs and a large bacterial granuloma.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy is a practical and safe method for treating reproductive disorders and performing elective oophorectomy in turtles. This technique represents a potential alternative to plastron osteotomy in sexually mature chelonians.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess selected clinicopathologic variables at hospital admission (day 1) for cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) that died during the first 3 days after admission (nonsurvivors) and turtles that survived (survivors) and to determine the percentage change of each variable from day 1 to day of death (nonsurvivors) or to day 2 or 3 of hospitalization (survivors).

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—64 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles hospitalized from October 2005 through December 2009.

Procedures—Blood gas, pH, Hct, and selected biochemical values in blood samples determined on day 1 and day of death (nonsurvivors; n = 32) or day 2 or 3 of hospitalization (survivors; 32) were obtained from medical records. For each variable, initial values and percentage changes (from initial values to values at the day of death or day 2 or 3 of hospitalization) were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors.

Results—Compared with blood analysis findings for survivors, nonsurvivors initially had significantly higher potassium concentration and Pco 2 and significantly lower Po 2, pH, and bicarbonate concentration than did survivors. For the first 2 or 3 days of hospitalization, percentage changes in potassium, lactate, and ionized calcium concentrations were significantly higher and percentage changes in pH and plasma glucose and bicarbonate concentrations were significantly lower in nonsurvivors.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At hospital admission, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles were affected by metabolic and respiratory derangements; severe derangements were associated with death. Evaluation of blood gas, pH, Hct, and selected clinicopathologic variables provided useful clinical and prognostic information during rehabilitation of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine central corneal thickness (total corneal thickness [TCT], epithelial thickness [ET], and stromal thickness [ST]), anterior chamber depth (ACD), and intraocular pressure (IOP) in Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

DESIGN

Prospective cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS

25 healthy rehabilitated juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

PROCEDURES

Body weight and straight-line standard carapace length (SCL) were recorded. All turtles underwent a complete anterior segment ophthalmic examination. Central TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were determined by use of a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography device. Intraocular pressure was determined with a rebound tonometer; the horse setting was used to measure IOP in all 25 turtles, and the undefined setting was also used to measure IOP in 20 turtles. For each variable, 3 measurements were obtained bilaterally. The mean was calculated for each eye and used for analysis purposes.

RESULTS

The mean ± SD body weight and SCL were 3.85 ± 1.05 kg (8.47 ± 2.31 lb) and 29 ± 3 cm, respectively. The mean ± SD TCT, ET, ST, and ACD were 288 ± 23 μm, 100 ± 6 μm, 190 ± 19 μm, and 581 ± 128 μm, respectively. Mean ± SD IOP was 6.5 ± 1.0 mm Hg when measured with the horse setting and 3.8 ± 1.1 mm Hg when measured with the undefined setting.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results provided preliminary reference ranges for objective assessment of ophthalmic variables in healthy juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the prevalence, distribution, and progression of radiographic abnormalities in the lungs of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) and associations between these abnormalities and body weight, carapace length, and hematologic and plasma biochemical variables.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—89 cold-stunned juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed. Dorsoventral and horizontal beam craniocaudal radiographs were evaluated for the presence, distribution, and progression of lung abnormalities. Turtles were categorized as having radiographically normal or abnormal lungs; those with abnormalities detected were further categorized according to the distribution of abnormalities (left lung, right lung, or both affected). Body weight, carapace length, and hematologic and plasma biochemical data were compared among categories.

Results—48 of 89 (54%) turtles had radiographic abnormalities of the lungs. Unilateral abnormalities of the right or left lung were detected in 14 (16%) and 2 (2%), respectively; both lungs were affected in 32 (36%). Prevalence of unilateral abnormalities was significantly greater for the right lung than for the left lung. Evaluation of follow-up radiographs indicated clinical improvement over time for most (18/31 [58%]) turtles. Prevalence of bilateral radiographic abnormalities was positively correlated with body weight and carapace length. There was no significant association between radiographic category and hematologic or plasma biochemical variables.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Radiographic abnormalities of the lungs were commonly detected in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles. Results of this study may aid clinicians in developing effective diagnostic and treatment plans for these patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To document hematologic and plasma biochemical values for a large number of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles at the beginning of rehabilitation, to investigate differences in hematologic and plasma biochemical values of turtles that ultimately survived versus those that died, and to compare values of survivors during convalescence with initial values obtained at the time of admission.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—176 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles hospitalized between 2001 and 2005.

Procedures—Hematologic and plasma biochemical values obtained at the time of admission were compared retrospectively for turtles that died versus turtles that survived. Initial results for survivors were compared with convalescent results obtained later in rehabilitation.

Results—Turtles that died had significantly greater plasma concentrations of sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and uric acid than did turtles that survived. For survivors, values obtained during convalescence for BUN concentration and plasma calcium concentration were significantly greater than initial values obtained at the time of admission, whereas values obtained during convalescence for glucose, sodium, and uric acid concentrations were significantly lower than initial values.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles may be affected by electrolyte derangements, dehydration, and decreased renal function. Hematologic and plasma biochemical evaluation of such turtles provided useful clinical and prognostic information during the rehabilitation process.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate clinical data for cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) with Enterococcus spp infections during rehabilitation.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—50 stranded cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles hospitalized between 2006 and 2012.

Procedures—Medical records for turtles from which Enterococcus spp were isolated were reviewed retrospectively, and clinical data, including morphometric data, body temperature at admission, physical examination findings, antimicrobial medication history, history of medications administered IV, environmental data, day of diagnosis, clinical signs at diagnosis, microbiological testing results, sources of positive culture results, hematologic and plasma biochemical data, cytologic and histopathologic results, radiographic findings, antimicrobial treatments, time to first negative culture result, treatment duration, results of subsequent cultures, and case outcome, were collated and analyzed.

ResultsEnterococcus spp were isolated from bacteriologic cultures of blood, bone, joint, and respiratory tract samples and a skin lesion, with supporting evidence of infection provided by histopathologic, cytologic, and radiographic data. Positive culture results were associated with clinical problems such as lethargy, anorexia, and lameness. Most (34/43 [79%]) turtles for which an antemortem diagnosis was made survived with treatment and were released into the wild.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles may be affected by serious Enterococcus spp infections during rehabilitation. Recognition and treatment of these infections are important for successful rehabilitation.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize osteolytic lesions in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) hospitalized for rehabilitation and describe methods used for the management of such lesions.

ANIMALS

25 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles hospitalized between 2008 and 2018.

PROCEDURES

Medical records of sea turtles with a diagnosis of osteolytic lesions were reviewed retrospectively to obtain the date of diagnosis, clinical signs, radiographic findings, microbial culture results, hematologic and plasma biochemical data, cytologic and histologic findings, antimicrobial history, time to first negative culture result, treatment duration, and outcome.

RESULTS

Lesions were identified radiographically a median of 50 days after admission and were located within epiphyses or metaphyses of various appendicular joints. Lesions were associated with periarticular swelling (n = 24), lameness (16), lethargy (2), and hyporexia (2). Bacterial culture yielded growth of single organisms (n = 16), multiple organisms (2), or no growth (6). Significant differences in hematologic and biochemical data were detected between the times of diagnosis and convalescence. Cytologic and histologic findings characterized the lesions as osteomyelitis leading to septic arthritis. Sixteen sea turtles were managed medically, and 8 were managed medically and surgically. Surgery resulted in rapid improvement in joint mobility and overall clinical status. Most (22/25 [88%]) sea turtles survived and were released after long-term management.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

During rehabilitation, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles may be affected by osteomyelitis. Medical management based on antimicrobial susceptibility testing was effective for most turtles. Long term management efforts in turtles are justified by high survival rate.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association