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Proximal duodenoileal anastomosis for treatment of small intestinal obstruction and volvulus in a green iguana (Iguana iguana)

Sarah Wills MS, DVM1, Hugues Beaufrère DVM, PhD2, Gwyneth Watrous DVM3, Michelle L. Oblak DVM, DVSC4, and Dale A. Smith DVM, DVSC5
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  • 1 Health Sciences Centre, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON NIG 2WI, Canada.
  • | 2 Health Sciences Centre, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON NIG 2WI, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON NIG 2WI, Canada.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON NIG 2WI, Canada.
  • | 5 Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON NIG 2WI, Canada.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 13-year-old female green iguana (Iguana iguana) was examined because of a 6-day history of vomiting, anorexia, and lethargy and a 4-day history of decreased fecal and urate output.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination revealed a distended abdomen, signs of depression, pallor, tachycardia, harsh lung sounds, and vomiting. Abdominal radiographs revealed gas distention of the stomach and small intestine with fluid lines evident on the lateral view. Plasma biochemical analysis indicated hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis, hyperglycemia, and hyperuricemia.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Exploratory laparotomy confirmed a diagnosis of small intestinal entrapment and 170° volvulus involving approximately 80% (20 to 30 cm) of the small intestine. The portion of the small intestine extending from the middle portion of the duodenum to the caudal extent of the ileum was resected, and end-to-end anastomosis of the remaining small intestine was performed. The iguana recovered without apparent complications and was reportedly doing well 1 year after surgery.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that iguanas, as hindgut fermenters, may tolerate > 70% resection of the small intestine with a good outcome and no clinical evidence of residual gastrointestinal dysfunction.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Beaufrère (beaufrer@uoguelph.ca).