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Surgical treatment of an umbilical hernia in a free-ranging sub-adult African elephant in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Authors Mijele D, Njoroge M, Kaitho T

Received 22 September 2014

Accepted for publication 25 March 2015

Published 7 May 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 165—170

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S74756

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Takashi Agui


Domnic Mijele, Michael Njoroge, Titus Kaitho

Veterinary Services Department, Species Conservation and Management Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract: A 10-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya, weighing approximately 1,600 kg, presented with an umbilical hernia in October 2013. Umbilical herniorrhaphy was carried out under field conditions. Anesthesia was induced and maintained using etorphine hydrochloride for 3 hours during the surgery. This case report details both the surgical and anesthetic procedure carried out to correct the hernia, and the eventual successful recovery of the elephant from anesthesia. However, the elephant died weeks after the surgery and a postmortem could not reveal the cause of death because predators had scavenged the carcass. The challenges of the surgical procedure and outcome including possible causes of death are highlighted in this report.

Keywords: African elephant, general anesthesia, etorphine hydrochloride, local anesthesia Lignocaine + adrenaline, umbilical herniorrhaphy

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