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Hematology and clinical chemistry of adult yellow-headed temple turtles (Hieremys annandalii) in Thailand

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Yellow-headed temple turtles (YHT), Hieremys annandalii, native to Thailand, are protected from exploitation under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, also listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list. Objectives:

The objectives of this study were to describe quantitative, morphologic, and cytochemical features of blood cells and plasma biochemical analytes of clinically healthy YHT. Methods:

Blood samples were collected from 40 adult YHT from October 2007 to February 2008. Hematologic and biochemical analyses, cytochemical staining, and ultrastructural evaluation were performed using standard methods. Results:

Hematologic results (mean ± SD) included: RBC count, 0.275 ± .094 × 106 cells/μL; WBC count, 11.7 ± 6.6 × 103 cells/μL; heterophils, 29.4 ± 6.9%; eosinophils, 23.7 ± 5.3%; basophils, 21.2 ± 1.9%; lymphocytes, 14.8 ± 5.9%; and azurophils, 10.7 ± 5.3%. Erythrocytes stained dark red with peroxidase-staining. Periodic acid-Schiff stain could not differentiate between thrombocytes and lymphocytes. Thrombocytes contained cytoplasmic vacuoles, similar to mammalian platelets and those of birds and snakes. Heterophils and eosinophils were similar in structure and cytochemical staining characteristics to those of other turtles and reptiles. Structure of basophils was similar to avian basophils. Lymphocytes and azurophils had similar cytochemical staining compared with mammalian lymphocytes and monocytes. Mean MCHC, WBC counts, absolute azurophil counts, and plasma alanine aminotransferase activity were higher in male turtles than in females. Conclusion:

Blood characteristics of YHT are species-specific, and this study can be served as a reference for future clinical studies and medical care of YHT.
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Keywords: Azurophils; cytochemistry; electron microscopy; endangered species; morphology; ultrastructure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ornamental Aquatic Animals and Aquatic Animal for Conservation (OAAC) Research Unit, Department of Veterinary Medicine 2: Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Publication date: 01 June 2011

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