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Evaluation of pulmonary function in European land tortoises using whole-body plethysmography
  1. A. L. Schifino Valente, PhD1,
  2. A. Martínez-Silvestre, PhD2,
  3. L. García-Guasch, PhD3,
  4. A. Riera-Tort, DVM3,
  5. I. Marco, PhD4,
  6. S. Lavin, PhD4 and
  7. R. Cuenca, PhD4
  1. 1Departmento de Morfologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Instituto de Biologia, Campus Universitário s/n, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 354, 96010-900,
    Brazil
  2. 2Department of Veterinary, Catalonian Reptile and Amphibian Rescue Center (CRARC), C/Santa Clara s/n, Masquefa, Barcelona 08783, Spain
  3. 3Department of Cardiology and Respiratory, Hospital Veterinari Molins, Pol. Ind. Moli dels Frares, B-27, Sant Vicens dels Horts, Barcelona 08620, Spain
  4. 4Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193, Spain
  1. E-mail for correspondence: schifinoval@hotmail.com

The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of whole-body plethysmography as a non-invasive method to determine the respiratory parameters and profiles in two tortoise species belonging to the genus Testudo. Pulmonary functions and volumetric parameters were determined in 10 adults of Testudo hermanni and in seven Testudo marginata animals, using whole-body plethysmography. A profile pattern was regularly observed: an inspiratory flow peak, an expiratory peak, an apnoea phase and a second expiratory peak, previous to the beginning of the next respiratory cycle. Positive and significant correlation was observed between the inspiratory time, weight and length of the tortoises. Larger tortoises showed a higher time of inhalation. The peak of inspiratory flow was correlated with the sex, being longer in the females. T. marginata had an inspiratory time longer than that of T. hermanii. In T. hermanii, differences related to the sex were observed in the tidal volume, peak inspiratory flow, peak expiratory flow, expiratory flow of 50 per cent and enhanced pause, which could be related to the smaller size of males. The results suggest that additional information on new technologies currently used in pet medicine or even in human medicine should be developed and adjusted as alternative ways to support the rehabilitation of turtles and tortoises.

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