The treatment effect, which was applied only to sick individuals, did not vary in turtles with different GE score. Every turtle that underwent the chamber treatment survived independently of the amount gas present in its body and fluids. After treatment, the long term effect also indicated significant changes in terms of respiratory flows and tidal volumes for both groups. Both parameters increased over time and may indicate that the animals became more used to the spirometry procedure.
The present study showed that respiratory functions of the bycaught sea turtles suffering from DCS were better after treatment. Although the mechanisms underlying the recovery remained uncertain, this study showed that the hyperbaric chamber is an effective method to improve the lung function of animals suffering from DCS. During rehabilitation, tidal volumes and flows increased for both groups and that healthy animals spent more time underwater. Further studies should investigate which mechanisms are responsible for the recovery of the animals and determine if the recovery of the respiratory functions affect the diving ability of the animals.
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Last updated: 04/27/17