Article Text

Diseases of chelonians: (2) necropsy survey of terrapins and turtles
  1. IF Keymer

Abstract

A total of 122 terrapins (freshwater chelonians) of 36 species and seven turtles (marine chelonians) represented by three species, all of which had died in captivity, were necropsied. In terrapins, bacterial infections were a common cause of death (15.5 per cent). Although salmonella infections appear to be less common in Great Britain than in the USA, terrapins are a potentially important source of infection to humans. Fungal infections amounted to only 3.3 per cent. Nutritional disorders, especially hypovitaminosis A and osteodystrophies, were common (19.7 per cent), particularly in pets. Parasitism appeared to be less prevalent than in tortoises. Nematodes were found in 18.9 per cent. No other helminths were found. Protozoan infections amounted to at least 33.6 per cent, but most protozoa are seldom pathogenic. In 33.6 per cent of cases, no diagnosis was made. Bacterial and fungal diseases were diagnosed in turtles.

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