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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 95:43-48 (2011)  -  DOI:

Biochemical and hematological reference intervals for Krefft’s turtles Emydura macquarii krefftii from the Burnett River Catchment, Australia

Mark Flint1,2,*, Duncan J. Limpus3, Colin J. Limpus2,3, Janet C. Patterson-Kane2,4, Jennifer A. Eales2, Paul C. Mills2

1Aquatic Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32608, USA
2Veterinary-Marine Animal Research, Teaching and Investigation (Vet-MARTI) unit, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
3Department of Environment and Resource Management, PO Box 2454, City, Queensland 4001, Australia
4Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK

ABSTRACT: Biochemical and hematological reference intervals have not previously been reported for Emydura macquarii krefftii. In 2009, 56 E. m. krefftii were captured by hand from the Burnett Catchment, clinically assessed to determine health status and blood sampled. Reference intervals were calculated from the 35 clinically healthy turtles using techniques established in other chelonid species. Aberrant blood results were identified from the 21 clinically unhealthy turtles. Low numbers of observed cases of creatine kinase, glucose, magnesium, phosphorus and uric acid outside of the blood biochemistry reference interval were recorded, as were high numbers of observed cases of estimated eosinophils, thrombocytes and total leukocyte counts outside of the hematological reference interval. Lesions of the shell and plastron (shell rot) were observed in 38% (21/56) of the examined healthy and unhealthy turtles. Microbiological assessment of a subsample (n = 7) of these lesions grew Aeromonas veronii 100% (7/7), Aeromonas hydrophila 29% (2/7) and Acinetobacter baumannii 14% (1/7). Of the examined turtles, 13% (7/56) had evidence of opacity of the lens or anterior chamber of the eye and 70% (39/56) had erythema of the neck, axillary and inguinal soft tissues. Not all observed cases of erythema were associated with clinical ill-health. The anomalous blood results and clinical findings identified in this study suggest disease processes which may have resulted from causative agents in the surrounding environment.

KEY WORDS: Aeromonas · Blood biochemistry · Disease · Environmental factor · Hematology · ­Emydura macquarii krefftii · Shell rot

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Cite this article as: Flint M, Limpus DJ, Limpus CJ, Patterson-Kane JC, Eales JA, Mills PC (2011) Biochemical and hematological reference intervals for Krefft’s turtles Emydura macquarii krefftii from the Burnett River Catchment, Australia. Dis Aquat Org 95:43-48.

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