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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-151

Estimation of gastrointestinal transit time in the West African Mud Turtle, Pelusios castaneus (Schwinger 1812) using contrast radiography

1 Department of Veterinary Surgery and Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Folayemi Omotomilola Olayinka-Adefemi
Department of Veterinary Surgery and Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan 200284
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.206808

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Background: Gastrointestinal (GI) transit time is a useful diagnostic technique routinely done around the world in human medicine. In veterinary medicine, however, this has only been done in few species in developed nations. With veterinary science, still developing in many parts of Africa, this technique is not routinely done. Our aim was to determine GI transit (GIT) time in Pelusios castaneus, a small sized group of freshwater pleurodira turtles that inhabit the tropics of West Africa. Materials and Methods: The study group comprised four males and four females with a mean weight of 0.81 ± 0.37 kg. Using a routine feeding technique, 10 ml of dilute barium sulfate suspension was administered orally and the GIT time of the contrast observed and monitored through radiography. The transit time was recorded in hours as it traveled through each section of the GIT. The time for complete contrast excretion was recorded for each turtle. Results: The contrast mean transit time from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach was 1.06 ± 0.20 h and the mean onset of gastroduodenal transit was 4.05 ± 0.09 h while mean intestinal transit time was 245.90 ± 53 h. The mean total contrast excretion time was 10.8 ± 2.4 days. The female excretion time was shorter than the males (males: 13.7 ± 3.33 days; females: 7.8 ± 3.27 days), but this was not statistically significant. Our findings were at variance with results obtained among freshwater turtle species that inhabit temperate climates. Conclusion: These findings suggest an influence of turtles' natural habitat climatic conditions on their GIT time and possibly digestion.

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