Ultrasonographic diagnosis of pericardial effusion and atrial dilation in a spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca)

Vet Rec. 2000 Feb 12;146(7):183-5. doi: 10.1136/vr.146.7.183.


Ultrasonography was used to diagnose pericardial effusion, atrial dilatation and liver masses in a spur-thighed tortoise which was more than 80 years old and suffering from posthibernation anorexia, lethargy, oedema and pneumonia. The tortoise was treated twice with frusemide and ceftazidime for the pneumonia, resulting each time in a temporary remission for about a month. After a further recurrence, the animal was euthanased and the lesions predicted by ultrasound were confirmed postmortem. It is suggested that ultrasound may be useful for the differentiation of cardiac problems from other causes of posthibernation lethargy in the tortoise.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia / etiology
  • Anorexia / veterinary
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / veterinary
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Atria / pathology*
  • Hibernation
  • Male
  • Pericardial Effusion / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pericardial Effusion / veterinary*
  • Turtles*
  • Ultrasonography / veterinary*