Objective: To establish reference ranges for coagulation parameters in healthy Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and compare results with those for debilitated manatees undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation facility.
Design: Prospective study.
Animals: 29 healthy manatees and 45 debilitated manatees with various diseases.
Procedures: Manatees considered healthy on the basis of results of physical examination, CBC, and serum biochemical analysis underwent coagulation testing including measurement of prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, D-dimer concentration, platelet count, and fibrinogen concentration to establish reference ranges. For comparison, a group of manatees undergoing rehabilitation was also tested, and the results were compared. Thromboelastography was also performed on some animals.
Results: Values for D-dimer concentration were significantly higher in debilitated versus healthy animals. There was no significant difference for prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count, or fibrinogen concentration between groups. Thromboelastography was performed on 8 healthy animals.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Reference ranges were established for various tests of coagulation that may assist clinicians during the initial evaluation and rehabilitation of Florida manatees. Future research to evaluate the effect of specific disease processes on the coagulation cascade is recommended.