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  • Author or Editor: Trevor J. Gerlach x
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Objective—To establish reference ranges for coagulation parameters in healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and compare results with those for debilitated manatees undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation facility.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—29 healthy manatees and 45 debilitated manatees with various diseases.

Procedures—Manatees considered healthy on the basis of results of physical examination, CBC, and serum biochemical analysis underwent coagulation testing including measurement of prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, D-dimer concentration, platelet count, and fibrinogen concentration to establish reference ranges. For comparison, a group of manatees undergoing rehabilitation was also tested, and the results were compared. Thromboelastography was also performed on some animals.

Results—Values for D-dimer concentration were significantly higher in debilitated versus healthy animals. There was no significant difference for prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, or fibrinogen concentration between groups. Thromboelastography was performed on 8 healthy animals.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reference ranges were established for various tests of coagulation that may assist clinicians during the initial evaluation and rehabilitation of Florida manatees. Future research to evaluate the effect of specific disease processes on the coagulation cascade is recommended.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To establish an echocardiographic technique and 2-dimensional reference parameters for southern stingrays (Hypanus americanus). A second objective was to compare echocardiographic measurements obtained from animals of different sex, size, environment, handling technique, and position.


84 presumed healthy, wild, semiwild, and aquarium-housed southern stingrays.


Animals, anesthetized and manually restrained, were positioned in dorsal recumbency, and echocardiography was performed. A subset of this population was also imaged in ventral recumbency for comparison.


Echocardiography was feasible, and reference parameters were established for this species. While some standard measurements could not be assessed due to body habitus, all valves, chambers, and the conus were clearly visualized in the majority of animals. Statistical significance was reached for some variables when comparing animals from different environments and handling methods, but these differences were not considered clinically relevant. The data were therefore separated into 2 subsets of echocardiographic reference parameters based on disc width since some of the measurements were dependent on body size. This approach mostly separated the sexes due to strong sexual dimorphism.


Limited information is available regarding cardiac disease in elasmobranchs; most of the available information on cardiac physiology focuses on a few shark species. Two-dimensional echocardiography is a noninvasive tool utilized to evaluate cardiac structure and functionality. Southern stingrays are one of the most commonly displayed elasmobranchs in public aquaria. This article expands on the growing body of information regarding veterinary care in elasmobranchs and provides clinicians and researchers with another diagnostic modality to utilize in screening for health/disease.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research