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Sterilisation of hybrid Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra) for island restoration. Part 2: phallectomy of males under intrathecal anaesthesia with lidocaine
  1. S. Rivera, DVM, MS, DAVBP(Avian)1,
  2. S. J. Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DACZM, DipECZM(herp), FRCVS2,
  3. S. E. Knafo, DVM2,
  4. P. Martinez, DVM3,
  5. L. J. Cayot, PhD4,
  6. W. Tapia-Aguilera, MS3 and
  7. J. Flanagan, DVM5
  1. Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315, USA
  2. Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 501 DW Brooks Drive, Athens, GA 30602, USA
  3. Galapagos National Park Service, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos, Ecuador
  4. Galapagos Conservancy, Suite 408, 11150 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
  5. Houston Zoo, 1513 Cambridge Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence srivera{at}

Lidocaine intrathecal anaesthesia was used to perform phallectomies in 15 hybrid Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone nigra) in a field setting as part of a conservation and ecosystem restoration project in the Galapagos Islands. The intrathecal injection was performed in the dorsal intercoccygeal region of the tail. Once the tail and hindlimbs were relaxed and the phallus was easily exteriorised, phallectomy was performed in a routine manner. All the animals recovered well from the procedure and were walking 30 to 60 minutes after surgery. No adverse effects were noted as a result of lidocaine intrathecal anaesthesia. One of the larger animals had evidence of haemorrhage from the surgical site 48 hours postoperatively. All tortoises continued to make full recoveries and were released on to the island of Pinta in May 2010.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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