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  • Author or Editor: Trevor T. Zachariah x
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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


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


Objective—To establish reference ranges for critical care blood values measured in wild and aquarium-housed elasmobranchs by use of a point-of-care (POC) blood analyzer and to compare values on the basis of species category (pelagic, benthic, or intermediate) and phlebotomy site.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—66 wild and 89 aquarium-housed elasmobranchs (sharks and rays).

Procedures—Aquarium-housed elasmobranchs were anesthetized for sample collection; wild elasmobranchs were caught via hook and line fishing, manually restrained for sample collection, and released. Blood was collected from 2 sites/fish (dorsal sinus region and tail vasculature) and analyzed with the POC analyzer. Reference values of critical care blood analytes were calculated for species most represented in each population. Values were compared on the basis of species categorization (pelagic, intermediate, or benthic) and collection site.

Results—Oxygen saturation and circulating concentrations of lactate and glucose were significantly different among aquarium-housed pelagic, intermediate, and benthic species. Lactate concentration was significantly different among these categories in wild elasmobranchs. Significant differences were detected between samples from the 2 collection sites for all blood analytes. In both study populations, pH and lactate values were infrequently < 7.2 or > 5 mmol/L, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Brevity of handling or chemical restraint may have reduced secondary stress responses in fish because extreme variations in blood analyte values were infrequent. Sample collection site, species categorization, acclimation to handling, and restraint technique should be considered when assessing values obtained with the POC analyzer used in this study for blood analytes and immediate metabolic status in elasmobranchs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the safety, efficacy, and effects on hemolymph gas analysis variables of sevoflurane anesthesia in Chilean rose tarantulas (Grammostola rosea).

Animals—12 subadult Chilean rose tarantulas of unknown sex.

Procedures—Spiders were anesthetized in a custom chamber with sevoflurane (5% in oxygen [1.0 L/min]), then allowed to recover in 100% oxygen. Righting reflex was evaluated every 3 minutes during anesthesia to determine time to anesthetic induction and recovery. Hemolymph samples were collected from an intracardiac location prior to and after induction of anesthesia and evaluated to determine various gas analysis variables.

Results—Mean ± SD induction and recovery times were 16 ± 5.91 minutes and 29 ± 21.34 minutes, respectively. Significant differences were detected for Po 2, base excess, and glucose and ionized magnesium concentrations between hemolymph samples obtained before anesthesia and those obtained after induction of anesthesia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested that the use of sevoflurane as an anesthetic agent for Chilean rose tarantulas was safe and effective. Various hemolymph sample gas analysis values changed during anesthesia.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research