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Evaluation of orchiectomy and ovariectomy surgical techniques in degus (octodon degus)

Malbrue, Raphael A., Arsuaga-Zorrilla, Carmen B., Bidot, Willie, Molitor, Laure E., Mendoza, Kriscelle A., Barnes, Shateenah K., Alexander, Derecka J., Bova, Jonathan F., Evans, Dawn E.
Journal of exotic pet medicine 2019 v.30 pp. 22-28
Octodon degus, adults, anesthesia, castration, control methods, females, males, ovariectomy, pain, saliva, secretion, small mammals
In this study, 2 previously described surgical techniques for performing an orchiectomy in the adult male degu (Octodon degus) were evaluated: (1) prescrotal open technique and (2) scrotal open technique. Additionally, an ovariectomy procedure was assessed in female degus using the bilateral (dorsolateral) technique similar to that performed in related species. Twenty two animals (n = 14 males; 8 females) from a local small mammal shelter group, that were presented for routine surgical castration for population control measures, were included in this study. There was a significant difference in mean surgical time for the prescrotal and scrotal approach of 16.46 ± 4.28 and 23.83 ± 2.09 minutes, respectively. No significant differences were noted on anesthesia and recovery times for the orchiectomy procedures. Overall, the prescrotal approach was a faster procedure and required less anesthesia time. One male degu undergoing the scrotal open technique died during surgery, this was believed to be related to anesthesia complications (increased saliva secretions). No other complications were reported perioperatively in any other animals. All animals were observed to have sufficient pain management using an in-house visual analogue scale. The bilateral flank (dorsolateral) ovariectomy approach in female degus yielded a short total procedure time with no adverse events. No over grooming and or self-injurious behaviors were reported during both the 24 hours and 14 days recheck examinations.