Stress in chelonians (tortoises, terrapins and turtles)
Friday, June 2, 2017
Chelonians are not commonly seen in general veterinary practice. Stress, distress and pain can be very difficult to observe or measure in this group of reptiles. As ectotherms they are totally reliant on the captive environment for provision of suitable conditions to maintain good health and wellbeing. This is essential to avoid environmental stress in chelonians. Stress in captivity is likely to be chronic, and is often due to poor husbandry or environmental conditions. Transportation, treatment and handling could also lead to acute stress episodes. Any treatment, extended stay or handling at the veterinary practice requires provision of suitable accommodation, which is often not available.
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