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  • Author or Editor: Nicole I. Stacy x
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A 19-year-old male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presented with inappetence and avoidant behavior.


Ultrasound revealed a large-volume left-sided pleural effusion, which was consistent with chronic nonchylous lymphatic effusion and mild chronic hemorrhage by cytology. Computed tomography identified ipsilateral rib fractures, atelectasis, nodular pleuritis, marginal lymph node enlargement, and suspected dilation of the thoracic duct and internal thoracic veins. Fifteen lipids were significantly higher in serum of the dolphin as compared with controls (n = 3) using nontargeted lipidomics.


A series of thoracentesis procedures were performed. Follow-up CT demonstrated marked reduction in pleural effusion with persistence of thoracic duct dilation and mass-like areas of pleural thickening. Ultrasonographic resolution of pleural effusion occurred 14 months after presentation; however, recrudescence was noted 5 months later. Over a total of 24 months, 21.52 L of pleural effusion was removed. Despite the presence of pleural effusion, the patient was clinically stable during this time and quality of life was considered good on the basis of continuous animal welfare evaluations. Humane euthanasia was elected following acute clinical decline 27 months after initial diagnosis. Necropsy confirmed severe pleural effusion, chronic severe pleural fibrosis with chronic hemorrhage, and mediastinal fibrosis with entrapped lymph nodes and thymic tissue.


Pleuritis and effusion were suspected sequelae of previous rib fractures. To our knowledge, this is the first report of nonchylous lymphatic pleural effusion with repeated pleural drainage and diagnostic imaging for clinical management in a bottlenose dolphin.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To characterize osteolytic lesions in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) hospitalized for rehabilitation and describe methods used for the management of such lesions.


25 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles hospitalized between 2008 and 2018.


Medical records of sea turtles with a diagnosis of osteolytic lesions were reviewed retrospectively to obtain the date of diagnosis, clinical signs, radiographic findings, microbial culture results, hematologic and plasma biochemical data, cytologic and histologic findings, antimicrobial history, time to first negative culture result, treatment duration, and outcome.


Lesions were identified radiographically a median of 50 days after admission and were located within epiphyses or metaphyses of various appendicular joints. Lesions were associated with periarticular swelling (n = 24), lameness (16), lethargy (2), and hyporexia (2). Bacterial culture yielded growth of single organisms (n = 16), multiple organisms (2), or no growth (6). Significant differences in hematologic and biochemical data were detected between the times of diagnosis and convalescence. Cytologic and histologic findings characterized the lesions as osteomyelitis leading to septic arthritis. Sixteen sea turtles were managed medically, and 8 were managed medically and surgically. Surgery resulted in rapid improvement in joint mobility and overall clinical status. Most (22/25 [88%]) sea turtles survived and were released after long-term management.


During rehabilitation, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles may be affected by osteomyelitis. Medical management based on antimicrobial susceptibility testing was effective for most turtles. Long term management efforts in turtles are justified by high survival rate.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association