ISSN 2398-2985      

Laparotomy

6guinea pig

Introduction

  • Surgical procedure performed for access to the abdominal organs for handling, sampling and organ removal.
  • In the guinea pig performed via the midline or flank incision (unilateral or bilateral) depending on need for laparotomy and access to desired organs.
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Uses

  • Neutering Prescrotal orchidectomy: ovariectomy, ovariohysterectomy, abdominal castration, removal of abnormal testicles:
    • Male guinea pigs have an open inguinal canal allowing the testicles to move between the abdomen and the scrotum.
    • Infrequently, the testicles can become lodged in the inguinal canal leading to torsions and other abnormalities.
  • Exploratory:
    • Upon discovery of palpable abnormalities, where other options unavailable or prohibited, eg cost.
    • Allows evaluation and possible treatment of detected masses/abnormalities or diagnostic tests through sample collection, eg histology, culture and sensitivity.
  • Gastrointestinal surgery, eg foreign body removal Gastrotomy/gastrectomy Enterotomy/enterectomy:
    • Foreign body ingestion is rare in guinea pigs.
    • Gastrointestinal surgery carries a high risk of perforation.
  • Organ biopsy Biopsy overview:
    • Secondary liver abnormalities are common as a sequalae of many conditions in guinea pigs, eg hepatic lipidosis Hepatic lipidosis.
  • Urogenital access and surgery:
    • Reproductive disease is common in female guinea pigs.
    • Ovarian cysts occur in ~80% of female guinea pigs >3 years old.
    • Laparotomy is often performed for neutering due to ovarian cysts, pyometras and uterine as well as cervical neoplasia.
    • Cystotomy is most performed in male guinea pigs and carries a high risk of recurrence.

Advantages

  • Midline: fast and easy access to abdominal organs requiring minimal surgical experience.
  • Flank: fast and easy access to abdominal organs requiring some surgical experience such as flank ovariohysterectomy in cats.
  • Allows access to thoracic organs if incision extended through diaphragm.
  • Allows for sample collection and possible surgery at the same time.

Disadvantages

  • Invasive procedure.
  • Post-operative complications, eg ileus Gastrointestinal stasis, reduction of intestinal diameter post-enterotomy/enterectomy, pancreatitis due to pancreatic surgery, recurrence of uroliths Urolithiasis.
  • Risk of anesthesia.
  • Risk of abdominal surgery, eg infection, tissue adhesions.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Guarded to poor.
  • Risk of anesthesia is high in guinea pigs.
  • Gastrointestinal adhesions are a common complication of laparotomy in guinea pigs.
  • Cystotomy often successful, but uroliths often recur.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Miwa Y & Sladky K (2016) Small mammals: common surgical procedures of rodents, ferrets, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 19 (1), 205-244 PubMed.
  • Capello V (2011) Common surgical procedures in pet rodents. J Exotic Pet Med 20 (4), 294-307 SciDirect.
  • Redrobe S (2002) Soft tissue surgery of rabbits and rodents. Semin Avian Exotic Pet Med 11 (4), 231-245 SciDirect.

Other sources of information

  • Bojrab M J, Waldron D R, Toombs J P & Monnet E (2014) Surgical Techniques in Small Exotic Animals. In: Current Techniques in Small Animal Surgery. 5th edn. Scopus, USA. pp 690-691.
  • Bennett R A (2012) Soft Tissue Surgery. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents. 3rd edn. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 326-338, 373-391.
  • Keeble E & Meredith A (2009) Rodents: Digestive System Disorders. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. BSAVA, UK. pp 127.
  • Hillyer E V & Quesenberry K E (1997) Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Saunders, USA. pp 287-288 & 330.
  • Orcutt C J (2005) Fluid Therapy in Small Mammals. In: Proc North American Veterinary Conference. pp 1366-1368. Website: www.ivis.org.

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