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Coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy in chelonians

Charles J. Innis VMD1, Stephen Hernandez-Divers BVetMed, DZooMed, DACZM2, and David Martinez-Jimenez LV, MSc3
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  • 1 Veterinary Centers of America Westboro Animal Hospital, 155 Turnpike Rd, Westboro, MA 01757
  • | 2 Section of Exotic Animal, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
  • | 3 Section of Exotic Animal, Wildlife and Zoological Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Abstract

Objective—To describe a coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy technique for use in chelonians.

Design—Descriptive report.

Animals—11 adult female turtles (6 red-eared sliders, 2 box turtles, 1 painted turtle, 1 four-eyed turtle, and 1 Chinese red-necked pond turtle). Five turtles required oophorectomy because of reproductive tract disease; the remaining 6 underwent elective oophorectomy.

Procedures—Turtles were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. An incision was made in the prefemoral fossa, and a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope was inserted into the coelomic cavity and used to identify the ovaries. Each ovary was grasped with forceps and exteriorized through the prefemoral incision. The ovarian vasculature was ligated, and the mesovarium was transected. Closure was routine.

Results—In 8 turtles, bilateral oophorectomy was performed through a single incision. In 2 turtles, unilateral oophorectomy was performed in an attempt to maintain reproductive potential. In 1 turtle with a unilateral ovarian remnant from a previous surgery, unilateral oophorectomy was performed. Nine turtles recovered. One box turtle with severe hepatic lipidosis died 7 days after surgery. A second box turtle died 2 days after removal of retained eggs and a large bacterial granuloma.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy is a practical and safe method for treating reproductive disorders and performing elective oophorectomy in turtles. This technique represents a potential alternative to plastron osteotomy in sexually mature chelonians.

Abstract

Objective—To describe a coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy technique for use in chelonians.

Design—Descriptive report.

Animals—11 adult female turtles (6 red-eared sliders, 2 box turtles, 1 painted turtle, 1 four-eyed turtle, and 1 Chinese red-necked pond turtle). Five turtles required oophorectomy because of reproductive tract disease; the remaining 6 underwent elective oophorectomy.

Procedures—Turtles were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. An incision was made in the prefemoral fossa, and a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope was inserted into the coelomic cavity and used to identify the ovaries. Each ovary was grasped with forceps and exteriorized through the prefemoral incision. The ovarian vasculature was ligated, and the mesovarium was transected. Closure was routine.

Results—In 8 turtles, bilateral oophorectomy was performed through a single incision. In 2 turtles, unilateral oophorectomy was performed in an attempt to maintain reproductive potential. In 1 turtle with a unilateral ovarian remnant from a previous surgery, unilateral oophorectomy was performed. Nine turtles recovered. One box turtle with severe hepatic lipidosis died 7 days after surgery. A second box turtle died 2 days after removal of retained eggs and a large bacterial granuloma.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy is a practical and safe method for treating reproductive disorders and performing elective oophorectomy in turtles. This technique represents a potential alternative to plastron osteotomy in sexually mature chelonians.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Innis' present address is Animal Health Department, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110.

Dr. Martinez-Jimenez's present address is Lawndale Veterinary Hospital, 4314 Lawndale Dr, Greensboro, NC 27455.

Presented in part at the Annual Conference of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, Omaha, October 2005.

Address correspondence to Dr. Innis.