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How to intubate a reptile

02 December 2019
6 mins read
Volume 10 · Issue 10


Intubation in reptiles can be challenging in some species. From their anatomy, anaesthetic protocols, technique, and recovery, reptiles have several special considerations. With the right instruments, intubation can be performed successfully on reptiles. In this article, we will discuss the various tools that help to properly intubate reptiles. We will also discuss techniques that will help with intubation on reptile patients as well as protocols for anaesthesia and recovery.

The highest standard of care for anaesthesia and support should be attempted for all patients, including reptiles. Intubation is the preferred method to allow ventilation and emergency ventilation if required. Reptiles are best intubated due to the pressure on the simple lungs during positioning for procedures. The pressure can interfere with stimulation for reptiles to breathe on their own (Doneley et al, 2018). Reptiles require a different technique of intubation to mammals. In this article, we will discuss the reasons for intubation, the supplies needed to successfully intubate reptiles, and the techniques for proper intubation in reptiles.

The purpose of intubation is to establish an airway for better delivery of anaesthetics and to allow manual ventilation. Intubation is the act of placing a tube down the patient's trachea to have direct access to the airway before, during, and for a brief period after their procedure (Box 1).

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