Objective—To determine the effects of recumbency on air sac volume, lung volume, and lung densities in CT images of healthy, conscious and anesthetized spontaneously breathing Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti).
Animals—25 adult (13 male and 12 female) Humboldt penguins.
Procedures—CT images of conscious penguins in ventral recumbency and anesthetized penguins in dorsal, ventral, and right lateral recumbency were obtained. Air sac volume, lung volume, and lung densities in CT images were calculated. A paired samples t test was used to determine whether right and left lung densities differed among recumbencies. Repeated-measures ANOVA (controlled for sex and order of recumbencies during CT) was used to determine whether air sac or lung volumes differed among recumbencies.
Results—Recumbency had a significant effect on air sac volume but not lung volume. Air sac volume was largest in conscious penguins in ventral recumbency (mean ± SD, 347.2 ± 103.1 cm3) and lowest in anesthetized penguins in dorsal recumbency (median, 202.0 cm3; 10th to 90th percentile, 129.2 to 280.3 cm3). Lung densities were highest in anesthetized penguins in dorsal recumbency (right lung median, 0.522 g/cm3; left lung median, 0.511 g/cm3) and lowest in anesthetized penguins in ventral recumbency (right lung median, 0.488 g/cm3; left lung median, 0.482 g/cm3).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that anesthetized Humboldt penguins had the lowest air sac volume and highest lung densities in dorsal recumbency. Therefore, this recumbency may not be recommended. Minimal changes in lung volume were detected among recumbencies or between conscious and anesthetized penguins.