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Endoscopic renal evaluation and biopsy of chelonia
  1. S. J. Hernandez-Divers, BSc, CBiol, MIBiol, BVetMed, DZooMed, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Exotic Animal, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-7390, USA


Sixty-nine tortoises, turtles and terrapins representing 28 species of the order Chelonia, class Reptilia were evaluated by endoscopy for renal disease. Under general anaesthesia, coelomic and/or extracoelomic endoscopic evaluations and biopsies of the kidney(s) were undertaken. Endoscopic approaches required a 2 to 4 mm skin incision in the prefemoral fossa, and minimal blunt dissection through the subcutaneous tissues. For the coelomic approach the coelomic aponeurosis of the transverse and oblique abdominal muscles was penetrated so that the cranioventral kidney(s) could be examined and biopsied. The extracoelomic approach required the endoscope to be advanced in a caudodorsal direction, between the coelomic aponeurosis and the broad iliacus muscle, so that the dorsolateral kidney(s) could be examined and biopsied. Both techniques were safe and effective for obtaining renal biopsies for histological examination and microbiological culture. Several renal pathologies were identified including glomerulonephrosis, tubulonephrosis, interstitial nephritis, uric acid accumulation, tubulonephritis, glomerulonephritis, renal oedema, glomerulosclerosis, nephrosclerosis, soft tissue mineralisation, and pyelonephritis. Several infectious conditions were identified, including a predominance of Gram-negative bacterial infections, two cases of hexamitiosis, and one case of mycobacteriosis.

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