Chronic shoulder osteoarthritis in a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

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This report describes the lesions seen in an extremely weak and emaciated adult male loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) found stranded near Perth, Western Australia. Blood collected from a dorsal cervical sinus immediately prior to euthanasia demonstrated severe anaemia, markedly elevated plasma concentrations of creatinine kinase (2263 U/L), alkaline phosphatase (58 U/L), urea (18.1 mmol/L) and hypoglycaemia (glucose 0.7 mmol/L). Necropsy examination demonstrated a severe chronic osteoarthritis of the right shoulder joint with marked remodelling of the glenoid fossa, coracoid, scapula and humerus. There was marked synovial effusion and periarticular fibrosis. Cytological examination and culture of synovial fluid failed to demonstrate an infectious agent. Other findings were low numbers of trypanorhynch cysts present on the surface of the liver and numerous spirorchid eggs in the attached mesentery. Several large and small spirorchid flukes were present in the heart and there was a localised endarteritis in the left aortic arch associated with this infection. Numerous nematode eggs and at least three species of spirorchid eggs were seen microscopically in faeces collected from the terminal colon. The pathogenesis and significance of these lesions is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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