Plasma Biochemistry and Hematology Values in Juvenile Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) Undergoing Rehabilitation
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2010
Valentina Caliendo1, DVM, MRVC; David Robinson2; Warren Baverstock2; Kevin Hyland3
1Al Wasl Veterinary Clinic, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 2Burj Al Arab Aquarium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 3Wildlife Protection Office, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is one of five species of sea turtle found in the Arabian Gulf, and along with the green turtle, is one of only two species that regularly nests in the region. All sea turtles are included in the IUCN red list and the hawksbill is listed as critically endangered. They face extensive threats from such human impacts as pollution, coastal development and fishery practices. If these hazards continue at their present rate, the sea turtle population of the Arabian Gulf could be jeopardized. As a conservation group, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project aims to rescue, study, and treat injured sea turtles in order to release them back to their natural habitat. Blood tests taken from juvenile hawksbills during convalescence and prior to release, have been correlated, establishing hematology1-3 and biochemistry4 reference ranges for juvenile hawksbills of the Arabian Gulf. Hemoglobin (B-Hemoglobin Photometer Hemocue AB, Angelhom Sweden), PCV, WBC (1% ammonium oxalate solution stain) and AST, CK, UA, GLU, Ca, PHOS, TP, ALB, GLOB, K, Na (Abaxis VetScan Classic Analyzer, Germany) are the parameters investigated.


The authors would like to thank HH Sh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HH Sh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum for their ongoing support of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project.

Literature Cited

1.  Campbell, T.W. Clinical pathology of reptiles. In: D.R. Mader, ed. Reptiles Medicine and Surgery. 2nd ed. Saunders Elsevier; 2006:453–470.

2.  Casal, A.B., J. Oros. Plasma biochemistry and haematology values in juvenile loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. Veterinary Record. 2009;164:663–665.

3.  Samour, J.H., C. Howlett, C. Silvanose, C.R. Hasbun, S.M. Al Ghais. Normal haematology of free-living green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the United Arab Emirates. Comparative Haematology International. 1998;8:102–107.

4.  Hasbun, C.R., A.J. Lawrence, J. Naldo, J.H. Samour, S.M. Al-Ghais. Normal blood chemistry of free-living green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) from the United Arab Emirates. Comparative Haematology International. 1998;8:174–177.


Speaker Information
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Valentina Caliendo, DVM, MRVC
Al Wasl Veterinary Clinic
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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