Volvulus of the proximal colon in a Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Juergen Schumacher, Rebecca Papendick, Lawrence Herbst, Elliott R. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


An adult 68-kg male Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) with clinical signs of lethargy and anorexia was presented to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of Florida, for evaluation and treatment of a possible intestinal obstruction. Whole-body radiographs revealed an obstruction of the distal colon and gas-distended loops of the small intestine and colon proximal to the obstruction site. The turtle died on the day of presentation during evaluation. At necropsy, all parietal and visceral coelomic surfaces were covered with a thick layer of fibrinous exudate. The coelomic cavity contained approximately 2 L of red fluid. The distal colon contained multiple foreign bodies, including a rubber band and multiple pieces of thin wire that were incorporated in 40 cm of firm fecal material coated with mucus and fibrin. A 360° volvulus incorporating approximately 60 cm of colon just proximal to the chronic obstruction was present. Anaerobic culture of coelom yielded heavy growth of Clostridium sp. The death of this turtle was associated with clostridial toxemia secondary to devitalization of the section of colon involved in the volvulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Eretmochelys imbricata
  • Hawksbill turtle
  • Impaction
  • Volvulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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