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Objective—To compare blood biochemical values obtained from a handheld analyzer, 2 tabletop analyzers, and 2 diagnostic laboratories by use of replicate samples of sea turtle blood.

Design—Validation study.

Animals—22 captive juvenile sea turtles.

Procedures—Sea turtles (18 loggerhead turtles [Caretta caretta], 3 green turtles [Chelonia mydas], and 1 Kemp's ridley turtle [Lepidochelys kempii]) were manually restrained, and a single blood sample was obtained from each turtle and divided for analysis by use of the 5 analyzers. Hematocrit and concentrations or activities of aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, glucose, total protein, albumin, BUN, uric acid, P, Ca, K, Na, Cl, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase were determined. Median values for each analyte were compared among the analyzers.

Results—Significant differences were found among the analyzers for most values; however, data obtained from the 2 diagnostic laboratories were similar for all analytes. The magnitude of difference between the diagnostic laboratories and in-house units was ≥ 10% for 10 of the 15 analytes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Variance in the results could be attributed in part to differences in analyzer methodology. It is important to identify the specific methodology used when reporting and interpreting biochemical data. Depending on the variable and specific case, this magnitude of difference could conceivably influence patient management.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To compare physiologic and anesthetic effects of alfaxalone administered IV to yearling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at 3 different doses.

DESIGN Randomized crossover study.

ANIMALS 9 healthy yearling loggerhead sea turtles.

PROCEDURES Animals received each of 3 doses of alfaxalone (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb], 5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], or 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) administered IV in randomly assigned order, with a minimum 7-day washout period between doses. Endotracheal intubation was attempted following anesthetic induction, and heart rate, sedation depth, cloacal temperature, and respirations were monitored. Times to first effect, induction, first voluntary muscle movement, first respiration, and recovery were recorded. Venous blood gas analysis was performed at 0 and 30 minutes. Assisted ventilation was performed if apnea persisted 30 minutes following induction.

RESULTS Median anesthetic induction time for all 3 doses was 2 minutes. Endotracheal intubation was accomplished in all turtles following induction. Heart rate significantly increased after the 3- and 5-mg/kg doses were administered. Median intervals from alfaxalone administration to first spontaneous respiration were 16, 22, and 54 minutes for the 3-, 5-, and 10-mg/kg doses, respectively, and median intervals to recovery were 28, 46, and 90 minutes, respectively. Assisted ventilation was required for 1 turtle after receiving the 5-mg/kg dose and for 5 turtles after receiving the 10-mg/kg dose. The 10-mg/kg dose resulted in respiratory acidosis and marked hypoxemia at 30 minutes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE IV alfaxalone administration to loggerhead sea turtles resulted in a rapid anesthetic induction and dose-dependent duration of sedation. Assisted ventilation is recommended if the 10 mg/kg dose is administered.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



4 wild adult rat snakes (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) were evaluated after ingesting spherical or ovoid foreign bodies.


Physical examination revealed a large, firm mass at the level of the stomach in each snake. Radiographic findings were consistent with ingestion of a golf ball (3 snakes) or an artificial egg (1 snake). Signs consistent with prolonged impaction included scale loss, dermal abrasions, and apparent loss of body condition in one snake and regional skin ulceration, dehydration, and generalized muscle atrophy in another.


Nonsurgical removal of the foreign body was attempted in anesthetized or heavily sedated snakes by external manipulation in the orad direction. A golf ball was removed through the oral cavity without complications in 1 snake. In the other 3 snakes, tension caused by the advancing foreign body resulted in full-thickness skin rupture in the cervical region. The procedure was completed with the use of a balloon catheter to aid foreign body advancement for 1 of the 3 snakes, and the skin defect was closed. The procedure was converted to esophagotomy for the other 2 snakes. Three snakes recovered and were released; 1 died of complications from prolonged impaction and esophageal perforation.


The described nonsurgical techniques for removal of ingested round or ovoid foreign bodies were associated with substantial complications in 3 of 4 treated rat snakes. Although a nonsurgical method for removal of ingested objects such as golf balls could benefit snakes, the methods used for these patients did not appear to be more beneficial than traditional gastrotomy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether Scyphomedusa jellyfish with eversion syndrome had alterations in husbandry conditions, elemental content, or histologic appearance, compared with unaffected jellyfish.

Animals—123 jellyfish (44 with eversion syndrome and 79 without) at 6 institutions.

Procedures—Elemental analyses were performed on 24 jellyfish with eversion syndrome and 49 without, and histologic examinations were performed on 20 jellyfish with eversion syndrome and 30 without. A questionnaire distributed to 39 institutions with Scyphomedusa jellyfish was used to gather information about husbandry, environmental conditions, and prevalence of eversion syndrome.

Results—For the 39 institutions that responded to the questionnaire, prevalence of eversion syndrome ranged from 0% to 30%. For Aurelia aurita, eversion was more common at institutions with only captive-raised and no wild-caught jellyfish. Eversion was most common among young (approx 1- to 2-month-old) growing jellyfish and older (> 6-month-old) jellyfish. Elemental analysis revealed only minor differences between affected and unaffected jellyfish, with great variation among jellyfish from the same institution and among jellyfish from different institutions. Striated muscle degeneration and necrosis and extracellular matrix (mesoglea) degeneration were evident on histologic examination of affected jellyfish.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that eversion syndrome is a complex phenomenon associated with degenerative changes of the bell matrix.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine population pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin in purple sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) administered an intracoelomic injection of enrofloxacin (5 mg/kg) or immersed in an enrofloxacin solution (5 mg/L) for 6 hours.

ANIMALS 28 sea stars of undetermined age and sex.

PROCEDURES The study had 2 phases. Twelve sea stars received an intracoelomic injection of enrofloxacin (5 mg/kg) or were immersed in an enrofloxacin solution (5 mg/L) for 6 hours during the injection and immersion phases, respectively. Two untreated sea stars were housed with the treated animals following enrofloxacin administration during both phases. Water vascular system fluid samples were collected from 4 sea stars and all controls at predetermined times during and after enrofloxacin administration. The enrofloxacin concentration in those samples was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. For each phase, noncompartmental analysis of naïve averaged pooled samples was used to obtain initial parameter estimates; then, population pharmacokinetic analysis was performed that accounted for the sparse sampling technique used.

RESULTS Injection phase data were best fit with a 2-compartment model; elimination half-life, peak concentration, area under the curve, and volume of distribution were 42.8 hours, 18.9 μg/mL, 353.8 μg•h/mL, and 0.25 L/kg, respectively. Immersion phase data were best fit with a 1-compartment model; elimination half-life, peak concentration, and area under the curve were 56 hours, 36.3 μg•h/mL, and 0.39 μg/mL, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that the described enrofloxacin administration resulted in water vascular system fluid drug concentrations expected to exceed the minimum inhibitory concentration for many bacterial pathogens.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research