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1 September 2013 THE USE OF SPIROMETRY TO EVALUATE PULMONARY FUNCTION IN OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLES (LEPIDOCHELYS OLIVACEA) WITH POSITIVE BUOYANCY DISORDERS
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Abstract

This study utilized computed spirometry to compare the pulmonary function of two stranded olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) presenting with a positive buoyancy disorder with two healthy captive olive ridley sea turtles held in a large public aquarium. Pulmonary function test (PFT) measurements demonstrated that the metabolic cost of breathing was much greater for animals admitted with positive buoyancy than for the normal sea turtles. Positively buoyant turtles had higher tidal volumes and significantly lower breathing-frequency patterns with significantly higher expiration rates, typical of gasp-type breathing. The resulting higher energetic cost of breathing in the diseased turtles may have a significant impact on their long-term survival. The findings represent a method for clinical respiratory function analysis for an individual animal to assist with diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to evaluate objectively sea turtles presenting with positive buoyancy and respiratory disease using pulmonary function tests.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Todd L. Schmitt, Suzanne Munns, Lance Adams, and James Hicks "THE USE OF SPIROMETRY TO EVALUATE PULMONARY FUNCTION IN OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLES (LEPIDOCHELYS OLIVACEA) WITH POSITIVE BUOYANCY DISORDERS," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(3), 645-653, (1 September 2013). https://doi.org/10.1638/2012-0210R.1
Received: 8 September 2012; Published: 1 September 2013
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