Surgical sterilization of the African Giant Pouched Rats

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Tanzania Veterinary Journal


Surgical sterilization of rodents is increasing as a result of increased biomedical research centers which employ rodents. In order for them to perform their duties effectively, the rodents have to be sterile to avoid interference from estrus, pregnancy and lactation. Other reasons include control of breeding, treatment of diseases or conditions such as tumors cysts, pyometra, pyometritis, and endometritis. In this study three surgical procedures were performed to African Giant Pouched Rats; 6 females were ovariectomized, 6 females were ovariohysterectomized, and 6 males were Orchidectomized. All eighteen (18) animals in the study recovered well and have returned to APOPO to continue with the training on smelling and detecting landmines and tuberculosis in human sputum samples without any difficulties. Complications from these surgical procedures are rare but comprise anesthetic overdose, dehydration, hypothermia, pulmonary hypostatic congestion, hemorrhage, eviscerations, wound dehiscence, and infections. However, many of these complications can be prevented by careful physical examination and selection of health animals fit for the intended surgical procedure, as well as adherence to all principles of surgery. This study has demonstrated the three surgical procedures for African Giant pouched rats as being useful to veterinarians in public/private practice and/or in biomedical research facilities.



Surgical sterilization, Ovariectomy, Ovariohysterectomy, Orchidectomy, African giant pouched rats