The official journal of The Sri Lanka Veterinary Association
SURGICAL CASES IN BLACK TURTLES (MELANOCHELIS TRIJUGA THERMALIS) PRESENTED TO THE VETERINARY TEACHING HOSPITAL AT UNIVERSITY OF PERADENIYA, SRI LANKA
Journal - Sri Lanka Veterinary Journal (volume: 62)
Volume - 62
Year - 2015
Page Number - 11
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Clinical Communication

S.L.Vet.J. 2015, 62(A): 11-14

SURGICAL CASES IN BLACK TURTLES (MELANOCHELIS TRIJUGA THERMALIS) PRESENTED TO THE VETERINARY TEACHING HOSPITAL AT UNIVERSITY OF PERADENIYA, SRI LANKA

M.G.C.M Jayasinghe, K.G Indika, M.A.Y Chaturangani, A.M.R Bandara, A.M.S.M.B Wickramarathna,

A. Dangolla, D.D.N de Silva

Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Peradeniya


SUMMARY: The clinical presentations, diagnosis, treatment and management of seven free ranging black turtles (Melanochelis trijuga thermalis) presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka during the period of 16 months (October 2013 to February 2015) are described. Clinical complications included shell fractures (n=4), fish hook lodged in the maxilla (n=1), avulsion of fore leg (n=1) and a minor abrasion on the dorsum (n=1). All were stabilized with warm intraceolomic (ICe) fluids (Normal Saline) before and during anaesthesia. All but one turtle were anaesthetized with ketamine (20-80 mg/kg) IM or IV, and propofol (5-10mg/kg, IV) was used in one turtle. Enrofloxacin (5-10mg/kg,IM) was used in all as an antibiotic and the pre- and post-surgical pain management was achieved with meloxicam (0.2mg/kg, IM). Orthopaedic wires were used for shell fracture stabilization while Plaster of Paris was used in one turtle in addition to orthopaedic wires. Fresh fractures were repaired after wound cleaning on the day of presentation and fracture management was delayed in one turtle with infected fracture (n=1). Enteral feeding through an esophagostomy tube, provision of water and adequate sunlight in order to maintain the body temperature were important considerations during the hospitalization period. The fish hook lodged in the maxilla was removed with a small pair of hemostat forceps after opening the mouth using a tongue depressor, laceration due to the penetrated hook was sutured with absorbable suture materials. The right fore leg was amputated from the shoulder joint in the turtle with the avulsion of fore leg. Five out of seven turtles recovered after the hospitalization, and four turtles were released to their natural habitat while one turtle is maintained in captivity.

Corresponding author: niranjalad@yahoo.com

How to cite:

Jayasinghe, M.G.C.M., Indika,K.G., Chaturangani, M.A.Y., Bandara,A.M.R.,  Wickramarathna, A.M.S.M.B., Dangolla, A.,  de Silva, D.D.N., (2015). Surgical cases in black turtles (Melanochelis trijuga thermalis) presented to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Veterinary Journal. 62(A), pp.11–14.

Keywords: Black turtle, Melanochelis trijuga thermalis, propofol, Surgical cases, VTH, Enrofloxacin, Ketamin, Shell, Fracture