ISSN 2398-2985      

Heart examination

Jreptile
Contributor(s):

Agata Witkowska

Sarah Brown


Introduction

Rationale for technique

  • Examination of the cardiovascular system in reptiles relies on the similar principles in mammals.
  • The anatomy of the cardiovascular system is drastically different in reptile species.
  • The location of the heart varies between species but can generally be located along the axial midline:
    • In chelonia the heart lies deep to the margins of the humeral and pectoral scutes.
    • In most snakes, the heart can be located at 22-33% of the snout-vent length. This may be more caudal in aquatic species at 25-45%.
    • In most lizards, the heart is located within the pectoral girdle Chelonia anatomy and physiology Lizard anatomy and physiology Snake anatomy and physiology. Familiarity with the species anatomy is vital to being able to detect cardiac disease in reptiles.

Technical problems

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History

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Clinical examination

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Cardiac auscultation

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Further investigations

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Scheelings T F (2019) Anatomy and Physiology. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 7-10.
  • Schilliger L & Girling S (2019) Cardiology. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Divers S J & Stahl S J. Elsevier. pp 669-698.
  • Hynes B & Girgling S J (2019) Cardiovascular and Haemopoietic Systems. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 323-341.
  • Raftery A (2019) Clinical Examination. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 3rd edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 89-99.
  • Hunt C (2013) Electrocardiography of the Normal Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). In: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Zoological Medicine, DZM. pp 13-12.
  • McCracken H E (1999) Organ Location in Snakes for Diagnostic and Surgical Evaluation. In: Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine Current Therapy. 4th edn. Eds: Fowler M E & Miller R E. W B Saunders, USA. pp 243–248. 
  • Sedgwick C J (1991) Allometrically Scaling the Data Base for Vital Sign Assessment used in General Anaesthesia of Zoological Species. In: Proceedings of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. pp 360–369.

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