In the present study, the clinical state of health of 49 European tortoises of both sexes was determined by a clinical examination. A detailed history about the keeping and feeding conditions as well as details from the signalment were collected for each animal.
Blood samples were collected from the dorsal coccygeal vein. The following blood parameters were analyzed on a wet chemistry basis: Total protein, alanine-aminotransferase, uric acid, calcium and phosphorus. In addition an examination was conducted with diagnostic imaging methods from 40 of these tortoises within the scope of another dissertation. The bodymeasurements, calcium- and phosphorus concentrations and the calcium-phosphorus-ratio showed differences between sexes. The measured values of the body, the calcium- and phosphorus concentrations and the ratio of these parameters increased with age.
Furthermore the Jackson`s ratio and the laboratory parameters were compared with the health status of the tortoises. Tortoises with red discoloration of their shell showed higher average total protein concentrations and animals with malnutrition had higher uric acid levels than the other tortoises. Tortoises with an even and smooth carapax showed lower average phosphorus values and a higher calcium-phosphorus-ratio than the animals with an uneven shell. Those animals with alterations determined by the diagnostic imaging methods had the highest average uric acid levels.
Afterwards the blood parameters of those tortoises, which showed no pathological symptoms in the examinations were statistically analyzed.