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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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association