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Chronic shoulder osteoarthritis in a turtle
Osteoarthritis is a common problem in many species including men. Especially older dogs are often presented with a chronic osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. This problem is rare in turtles but maybe it is just underdiagnosed, as this case report shows. The patient showed much more signs than pain!

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 in the compete article.


Source: RAIDAL, SR, SHEARER, PL & PRINCE, RIT (2006): Chronic shoulder osteoarthritis in a loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). In: Australian Veterinary Journal 84 (7), 231-234.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

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