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Coelioscopic orchiectomy can be effectively and safely accomplished in chelonians
  1. C. J. Innis, VMD, DABVP (Reptile and Amphibian)1,
  2. R. Feinsod, DVM2,
  3. J. Hanlon, CVT2,
  4. S. Stahl, DVM, DABVP (Avian)3,
  5. J. Oguni, DVM4,
  6. S. Boone, DVM, MS4,
  7. R. Schnellbacher, DVM4,
  8. J. Cavin, DVM1 and
  9. S. J. Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DipECZM (herpetology) DACZM, FRCVS4
  1. 1Animal Health Department, New England Aquarium, Boston,
    MA 02110, USA
  2. 2Ani-Care Animal Hospital, Dallastown, PA 17313-9541, USA
  3. 3Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
  4. 4Department of Small Animal Medicine (Zoological Medicine), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: cinnis{at}


Coelioscopic orchiectomy was performed in 27 male turtles (25 juvenile to adult red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), one adult eastern painted turtle (Chrysems picta picta), and one juvenile male yellow-spotted Amazon River turtle (Podocnemis unifilis)). Orchiectomy was conducted under coelioscopic visualisation using ligation and transection of the mesorchium, or transection of the mesorchium with monopolar radiosurgical scissors. In 22 cases, bilateral orchiectomy was performed through a single incision; five turtles required bilateral incisions. All turtles recovered from anaesthesia. Nine turtles died within one year of surgery from conditions believed to be unrelated to surgery. One turtle was lost to follow-up. Seventeen turtles remain clinically healthy one to three years postoperatively. Coelioscopic orchiectomy provides a minimally invasive method for sterilisation of male chelonians and provides excellent visualisation during surgery. This technique is a useful model for the development of additional minimally invasive surgical techniques for chelonians.

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