The electrocardiogram (ECG) can be very useful for evaluation and monitoring in wild animals. The literature is scarce about electrocardiographic data in Chelonoidis.
This study aimed to evaluate the EKG of 27 healthy Chelonoidis sp., kept in captivity, without the use of pharmacological restraint.
Eight females and 19 males were evaluated. The data was assessed according to gender (males and females) and body weight (animals up to 5 kg - G1 and animals above 5 kg - G2). The EKG was performed with the electrodes positioned similarly to the mammalian EKGs. The variables evaluated were: heart rate (HR); heart rhythm; duration, and amplitude of the EKG waves and intervals.
Alligator-type electrodes, connected to the thoracic and pelvic limbs, were effective in capturing cardiac electrical impulses. Morphology of the recorded waves was similar to mammals. In G1 and G2 the sinus rhythm was predominant. HR in G1 was higher than G2. In wave morphology, SV wave was observed in two animals from G2. The P-wave showed positive deflection in 78.57% and negative in 21.43% of G1. All of the animals in G2 presented positive P-wave. QRS complex in G1 and G2 showed a positive R-wave and the absence of Q and S waves were observed in 100% of the animals, and the duration was superior in G2.
Body weight influenced heart rate, duration of the QRS complex, and QT and RR intervals. It is very important to consider the weight of the animal in EKC interpretation in Chelonoidis sp.