Applicability of thyroxine measurements and ultrasound imaging in evaluations of thyroid function in turtles

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Introduction: The thyroid and parathyroid glands play a major role in maintaining physiological homeostasis in all vertebrates. Reptiles have plasma concentrations of thyroid hormones far lower than mammals. Low levels of these hormones in reptiles impede thyroid hormone detection with assays designed for the higher levels of mammals. The aim of this study was to explore teaming this with ultrasound imaging of the thyroid to appraise glandular function. Material and Methods: Thyroid function of four pond sliders was evaluated based on the results of T4 analyses and ultrasound. Results: The concentrations of T4 varied considerably between the examined animals from <9 nmol/L to >167.3 nmol/L. Ultrasound examination revealed uniform echogenicity and a smooth outline of the thyroid gland in all animals. Conclusion: Monitoring of thyroid function based on T4 and electrolyte concentrations is helpful in assessing the health and living conditions of reptiles, which is important in veterinary practice but problematic. Ultrasound examinations are useful in diagnosing changes in gland structure, such as tumours and goitres, and a combination of both methods supports comprehensive assessments of the anatomy and function of the thyroid gland.

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Journal of Veterinary Research

formerly Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

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