Case of intestinal obstruction by gravel in red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) solved with medicamentous therapy

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Miloš Vučičević
Ana Pešić


Red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) are often kept as pets, even though their sale is prohibited in many countries due the invasiveness of this species. This report describes a case of a 4-year-old red-eared slider that presented with a month-long history of lethargy and unwillingness to go into the water and was unsuccessfully treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids. Upon clinical and radiological examination, it was discovered that the patient was suffering from intestinal obstruction caused presumably by gravel stones. Medicamentous therapy consisting of meloxicam, lactulose and Ringer’s solution for reptiles was then started and the turtle managed to pass all the ingested stones via the alimentary tract. Control radiological examination has shown no signs of high-density structures in the lumen of the intestines, and the turtle has made a full recovery.
With enterotomy often being considered indicated in chelonians suffering from intestinal obstruction caused by gravel, this is, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the first reported case of this kind resolved solely with medicamentous therapy in a red-eared slider.


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Vučičević, M., & Pešić, A. (2024). Case of intestinal obstruction by gravel in red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) solved with medicamentous therapy. Veterinarski Glasnik, 78(1), 88–92.
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