Surgical approach to the coelomic cavity through the axillary and inguinal regions in sea turtles

Antonio Di Bello Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Division of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010, Valenzano (Bari), Italy.

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Carmela Valastro Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Division of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010, Valenzano (Bari), Italy.

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Francesco Staffieri Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Division of Veterinary Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010, Valenzano (Bari), Italy.

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Abstract

Objective—To describe a surgical approach to the coelomic cavity through the axillary and inguinal regions in sea turtles.

Design—Descriptive report.

Animals—9 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that had ingested fishhooks or monofilament fishing line.

Procedure—Turtles known to have ingested foreign bodies were anesthetized. For the extraction of fish-hooks located in the stomach, an approach to the coelomic cavity through the soft tissues of the left axillary region (along the cranial margin of the plastron) was made. For the removal of fishhooks and long fishing lines in other portions of the intestinal tract, an approach to the coelomic cavity was performed via the inguinal region. Foreign bodies were removed via gastrotomy or enterotomy.

Results—Of the 9 loggerhead turtles, 3 had a fish-hook in the stomach, 1 had a fishhook in the stomach and fishing line throughout the intestinal tract, 2 had a fishhook in the ileum and fishing line in the ileum and colon, and 3 had fishing line throughout the intestinal tract. Following surgery, 8 turtles recovered successfully; 1 turtle (in which an enterectomy was performed) died. After approximately 8 weeks, the surviving turtles were well enough to be released from captivity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that an axillary approach to the coelomic cavity in sea turtles could be a useful alternative to plastron osteotomy. Moreover, the inguinal approach allows the exteriorization of the intestinal tract from jejunum to colon, which facilitates surgical removal of long linear foreign bodies ingested by turtles.

Abstract

Objective—To describe a surgical approach to the coelomic cavity through the axillary and inguinal regions in sea turtles.

Design—Descriptive report.

Animals—9 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that had ingested fishhooks or monofilament fishing line.

Procedure—Turtles known to have ingested foreign bodies were anesthetized. For the extraction of fish-hooks located in the stomach, an approach to the coelomic cavity through the soft tissues of the left axillary region (along the cranial margin of the plastron) was made. For the removal of fishhooks and long fishing lines in other portions of the intestinal tract, an approach to the coelomic cavity was performed via the inguinal region. Foreign bodies were removed via gastrotomy or enterotomy.

Results—Of the 9 loggerhead turtles, 3 had a fish-hook in the stomach, 1 had a fishhook in the stomach and fishing line throughout the intestinal tract, 2 had a fishhook in the ileum and fishing line in the ileum and colon, and 3 had fishing line throughout the intestinal tract. Following surgery, 8 turtles recovered successfully; 1 turtle (in which an enterectomy was performed) died. After approximately 8 weeks, the surviving turtles were well enough to be released from captivity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that an axillary approach to the coelomic cavity in sea turtles could be a useful alternative to plastron osteotomy. Moreover, the inguinal approach allows the exteriorization of the intestinal tract from jejunum to colon, which facilitates surgical removal of long linear foreign bodies ingested by turtles.

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