Epidemiologic determinants of 46 cases of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were evaluated. County human population density, year and season of admission, weight, and sex did not affect the risk for box turtles to develop aural abscessation. Counties with cases of aural abscessation were not randomly distributed, but rather were clustered into two multi-county regions. Geographic location was the only risk factor associated with aural abscessation in box turtles found in this study. Possible etiologies could include chronic infectious disease, malnutrition, or chronic exposure to environmental contamination with organochlorine compounds.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4