1. bookVolume 14 (2014): Issue 3 (July 2014)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Open Access

Body Condition Scoring and Obesity in Captive African Side-Neck Turtles (Pelomedusidae)

Published Online: 29 Jul 2014
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2014) - Issue 3 (July 2014)
Page range: 573 - 584
Received: 15 Jan 2014
Accepted: 21 Mar 2014
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2300-8733
First Published
25 Nov 2011
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

African side-neck turtles (Pelomedusa subrufa and Pelusios castaneus) are popular in captivity, in many parts of the world. their natural tendency to accumulate body fat reserves may be a reason for many health issues. for keepers and veterinarians body condition scoring is an important tool in the process of management and care of the animals. therefore the main aim of the study was to formulate a single mathematic formula for allometric equations and simple body condition scoring method which can be used in juvenile, sub-adult and adult specimens of Pelomedusa subrufa and Pelusios castaneus. twelve healthy turtles (7 Pelomedusa subrufa and 5 Pelusios castaneus) – 4 males, 4 females and 4 immature were measured and weighed for 52 weeks (624 measurements). the obtained data were used to formulate equations of estimated body weight and compared to results of measurements of 73 turtles from private keepers. additionally, visual assessments of their body condition were made. The results showed that body weight is significantly (P=0.001) correlated with straight carapace length of turtles. in the assessed population of 73 captive Pelomedusidae kept as pets, no emaciated turtles were recorded, and 10% of them were underweight. In the case of 68% of the animals, body condition was identified as optimal, and in 15% and 7% as overweight and obese, respectively. The population of african side-neck turtles seems to be in quite good body condition. However, a high percentage of overweight and obese animals suggests the need for continuous monitoring of pet turtles for body condition.

Keywords

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