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Diseases of chelonians: (1) Necropsy survey of tortoises
  1. IF Keymer


The results of necropsies of 144 tortoises of 17 species that died in captivity are presented. Intestinal and nutritional disorders (27.0 and 22.2 per cent respectively) were the most common causes of death. Nematode infestations were found in 43.8 per cent, but with exception of a few species the parasites were seldom pathogenic. Infestations with other helminths appear to be very unusual. Protozoan infections were relatively common (at least 22.9 per cent) but protozoa are probably seldom pathogenic. Bacterial infections occurred in 7.6 per cent and no fungal infections were diagnosed. It was tentatively concluded that infections with Salmonella spp are less important in tortoises than in other reptiles in this country. In 34.7 per cent of cases no diagnosis was made.

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