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  • Author or Editor: Marlana K. Roundtree x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether there are increased concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitaminn D3 in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) after exposure to UV radiation.

Animals—12 yearling turtles recently removed from aestivation.

Procedures—Turtles were randomly allocated to 2 groups (6 turtles/group). An initial blood sample was collected from all turtles for measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations. Turtles of 1 group were then provided no supplemental lighting, whereas turtles of the other group were exposed to full-spectrum coil bulbs at a distance of 22.86 cm. The UV-A and UV-B radiation generated by the supplemental lighting was measured by use of a radiometer-photometer at weekly intervals. Measurements were collected 2.54 and 22.86 cm from the bulb surface. The study was continued for a 4-week period. At the end of the study, a second blood sample was collected from all turtles for measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.

Results—Mean ± SD 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations differed significantly between turtles provided supplemental UV radiation (71.7 ± 46.9 nmol/L) and those not provided UV radiation (31.4 ± 13.2 nmol/L).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Appropriate husbandry recommendations for raising and maintaining red-eared slider turtles should include use of sunlight that is unobstructed by UV-B filtering material or provision of an artificial source of UV-B radiation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate a combination of 2 nonantibiotic microbicide compounds, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), as a treatment to suppress or eliminate Salmonella spp from red-eared slider (RES) turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) eggs and hatchlings.

Sample Population—2,738 eggs from 8 turtle farms in Louisiana.

Procedures—Eggs were randomly sorted into 3 or, when sufficient eggs were available, 4 treatment groups as follows: control, pressure-differential egg treatment with NaOCl and gentamicin, NaOCl and PHMB bath treatment, and pressure-differential egg treatment with NaOCl and PHMB. Bacterial cultures were performed from specimens of eggs and hatchlings and evaluated for Salmonella spp.

Results—RES turtle eggs treated with NaOCl and PHMB as a bath (odds ratio [OR], 0.2 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.1 to 0.3]) or as a pressure-differential dip (OR, 0.01 [95% CI, 0.001 to 0.07]) or with gentamicin as a pressure-differential dip (OR, 0.1 [95% CI, 0.06 to 0.2]) were significantly less likely to have Salmonella-positive culture results than control-group eggs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Concern over reptile-associated salmonellosis in children in the United States is so great that federal regulations prohibit the sale of turtles that are < 10.2 cm in length. Currently, turtle farms treat eggs with gentamicin solution. Although this has reduced Salmonella shedding, it has also resulted in antimicrobial resistance. Results of our study indicate that a combination of NaOCl and PHMB may be used to suppress or eliminate Salmonella spp on RES turtle eggs and in hatchlings.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether corn snakes exposed to UVB radiation have increased plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations, compared with control snakes.

Animals—12 corn snakes (Elaphe guttata).

Procedures—After an acclimation period in individual enclosures, a blood sample was collected from each snake for assessment of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration. Six snakes were provided with no supplemental lighting, and 6 snakes were exposed to light from 2 full-spectrum coil bulbs. By use of a radiometer-photometer, the UVA and UVB radiation generated by the bulbs were measured in each light-treated enclosure at 3 positions at the basking surface and at 2.54 cm (1 inch) below each bulb surface; the arithmetic mean values for the 3 positions at the basking surface and each individual bulb surface were calculated immediately after the start of the study and at weekly intervals thereafter. At the end of the study (day 28), another blood sample was collected from each snake to determine plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration.

Results—Mean ± SD plasma concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in snakes that were provided with supplemental lighting (196 ± 16.73 nmol/L) differed significantly from the value in control snakes (57.17 ± 15.28 nmol/L). Mean exposure to UVA or UVB did not alter during the 4-week study period, although the amount of UVA recorded near the bulb surfaces did change significantly.

Clinical Relevance—These findings have provided important insight into the appropriate UV radiation requirements for corn snakes. Further investigation will be needed before exact husbandry requirements can be determined.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research