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.
- Accepted May 9, 2012.
- British Veterinary Association