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.
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.