Metabolic and respiratory derangements associated with death in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii): 32 cases (2005-2009)

Krista A. Keller, Charles J. Innis, Michael F. Tlusty, Adam E. Kennedy, Sarah B. Bean, Julie M. Cavin, Constance Merigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess selected clinicopathologic variables at hospital admission (day 1) for cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) that died during the first 3 days after admission (nonsurvivors) and turtles that survived (survivors) and to determine the percentage change of each variable from day 1 to day of death (nonsurvivors) or to day 2 or 3 of hospitalization (survivors). Design: Retrospective case-control study. Animals: 64 stranded, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles hospitalized from October 2005 through December 2009. Procedures: Blood gas, pH, Hct, and selected biochemical values in blood samples determined on day 1 and day of death (nonsurvivors; n = 32) or day 2 or 3 of hospitalization (survivors; 32) were obtained from medical records. For each variable, initial values and percentage changes (from initial values to values at the day of death or day 2 or 3 of hospitalization) were compared between survivors and nonsurvivors. Results: Compared with blood analysis findings for survivors, nonsurvivors initially had significantly higher potassium concentration and Pco2 and significantly lower Po2, pH, and bicarbonate concentration than did survivors. For the first 2 or 3 days of hospitalization, percentage changes in potassium, lactate, and ionized calcium concentrations were significantly higher and percentage changes in pH and plasma glucose and bicarbonate concentrations were significantly lower in nonsurvivors. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: At hospital admission, cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles were affected by metabolic and respiratory derangements; severe derangements were associated with death. Evaluation of blood gas, pH, Hct, and selected clinicopathologic variables provided useful clinical and prognostic information during rehabilitation of cold-stunned Kemp's ridley turtles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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