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1 September 2017 CHARACTERIZING THE 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D STATUS OF TWO POPULATIONS OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE CAROLINA CAROLINA)
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Abstract

Ultraviolet B radiation is recommended for captive reptiles to stimulate production of adequate levels of vitamin D; however, little is known regarding the vitamin D status in many free-ranging populations. Current reference ranges for vitamin D in eastern box turtles have not yet been established. Sixty free-ranging eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) from two well-studied populations in Illinois (n = 24) and Tennessee (n = 36) were assayed for plasma vitamin D concentration in 2014. There were no significant differences in concentrations between individuals in Illinois (mean: 117.5 nM/L) and Tennessee (mean: 98.7 nM/L) (P = 0.129) populations. Similarly, there were no differences in concentrations based on age class (P = 0.533) or sex (P = 0.532). There was a significant correlation between UV at the time of capture and vitamin D concentrations (R = 0.301, P = 0.030). Vitamin D was not correlated with total calcium (R = 0.018, P = 0.89) or Ca : P ratio (R = 0.025, P = 0.85). Diseases in captive individuals, including secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism, may commonly be associated with vitamin D deficiencies, and clinical intervention relies on reference data. Vitamin D supplementation may be recommended if animals are deemed to be deficient. Data obtained can be used to improve the care of captive and free-ranging turtles by providing reference ranges, as well as better characterize the health of wild populations.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Megan K. Watson, John Byrd, Christopher A. Phillips, and Matthew C. Allender "CHARACTERIZING THE 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D STATUS OF TWO POPULATIONS OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE CAROLINA CAROLINA)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(3), 742-747, (1 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0236.1
Accepted: 1 May 2017; Published: 1 September 2017
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