Objective—To establish a safe and effective endoscopic method for visualizing the gonads and identifying the sex of hatchling Chinese box turtles and to compare the effects of general versus local anesthesia during coelioscopy.
Animals—58 hatchling Chinese box turtles (Cuora flavomarginata).
Procedures—Turtles were randomly assigned to be anesthetized with a mixture of ketamine, medetomidine, and morphine (n = 29) or to receive local anesthesia with lidocaine in the prefemoral region (29). Coelioscopy was performed with a rigid 1.9- or 2.7-mm telescope following insufflation with sterile lactated Ringer's solution. Ease of endoscopic sex identification and quality of anesthesia were scored. Body weights were recorded before and 7 and 14 days after surgery.
Results—Gonads were easily visualized and sex was easily identified in all 58 turtles without complications. Endoscopy scores and pre- and postoperative weights did not differ significantly between groups. However, anesthesia scores were significantly worse for animals that received local anesthesia alone, compared with those that underwent general anesthesia. All anesthetized turtles recovered within 21 minutes after administration of the reversal agents, atipamezole and naloxone.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that coelioscopy with a rigid endoscope and lactated Ringer's solution for insufflation was a safe and effective method for identifying the sex of hatchling Chinese box turtles. General anesthesia was effective and effects were rapidly reversible; local anesthesia with lidocaine alone was considered insufficient for coelioscopy.
Objective—To establish a safe and effective endoscopic technique for collection of liver biopsy specimens from lizards by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope system that is commonly available in zoologic veterinary practice.
Animals—11 subadult male green iguanas (Iguana iguana).
Procedures—Each lizard was anesthetized, and right-sided coelioscopic examination of the right liver lobe and gallbladder was performed. Three liver biopsy specimens were collected from each lizard by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope and 1.7-mm (5-F) biopsy forceps. Biopsy samples were evaluated histologically for quality and crush artifact. Ten days following surgery, all iguanas were euthanatized and underwent full necropsy examination.
Results—For all 11 iguanas, the right liver lobe and gallbladder were successfully examined endoscopically, and 3 biopsy specimens of the liver were collected without complications. Mean ± SD durations of anesthesia and surgery were 24 ± 7 minutes and 6.8 ± 1.0 minutes, respectively. At necropsy, there was no evidence of trauma or disease associated with the skin or muscle entry sites, liver, or any visceral structures in any iguana. All 33 biopsy specimens were considered acceptable for histologic interpretation; in most samples, the extent of crush artifact was considered minimal.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope, liver biopsy procedures can be performed safely, swiftly, and easily in green iguanas. Biopsy specimens obtained by this technique are suitable for histologic examination. For evaluation of the liver and biopsy specimen collection in lizards, endoscopy is recommended.
Objective—To establish a safe and effective technique for the endoscopic examination and biopsy of snake lungs by use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope system.
Animals—17 adult ball pythons (Python regius).
Procedures—The right lung of each anesthetized snake was transcutaneously penetrated at a predetermined site. Endoscopic lung examination was objectively scored, and 3 lung biopsies were performed. Tissue samples were evaluated histologically for diagnostic quality. One year later, 11 of the 17 snakes again underwent pulmonoscopy and biopsy; specimens were placed in various fixatives to compare preservation quality. All 17 snakes were euthanatized and necropsied.
Results—No major anesthetic, surgical, or biopsy-associated complications were detected in any snake. In 16 of 17 pythons, ease of right lung entry was satisfactory to excellent, and views of the distal portion of the trachea; primary bronchus; intrapulmonary bronchus; cranial lung lobe; and faveolar, semisaccular, and saccular lung regions were considered excellent. In 1 snake, mild hemorrhage caused minor procedural difficulties. After 1 year, pulmonoscopy revealed healing of the previous transcutaneous lung entry and biopsy sites. Important procedure-induced abnormalities were not detected at necropsy. Diagnostic quality of specimens that were shaken from biopsy forceps into physiologic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution before fixation in 2% glutaraldehyde or neutral-buffered 10% formalin was considered good to excellent.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope, lung examination and biopsy can be performed safely, swiftly, and with ease in ball pythons. Biopsy specimens obtained during this procedure are suitable for histologic examination.