Blood samples of 85 immature, apparently healthy, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were analyzed for 13 hematologic variables and total solids of 5 age groups (8, 20, 32, 44, and 56 mo old) and for 20 plasma biochemical analytes of 4 age groups (20 to 56 mo old). Each individual turtle was sampled under similar conditions during a blood collection period of 3 days. Hematologic analytes included packed cell volume, white blood cell (WBC) counts, WBC estimates, and leukocyte differentials. Biochemical analysis included albumin, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, aspartate aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, chloride, cholesterol, creatine kinase, creatinine, gamma glutamyltransferase, globulins, glucose, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, total bilirubin, total protein, total solids, and uric acid. In due consideration of small sample size in all five age groups, the results of hematologic and biochemical analysis were used to determine ranges for these analytes and to compare values among consecutive age groups. Several significant differences in some hematologic and biochemical variables were identified and need to be considered in the interpretation of blood work of immature, growing sea turtles in human care.
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