Endotracheal intubation of small exotic mammals
Saturday, July 2, 2022
The veterinary nurse or technician plays an important role in avian and exotic anaesthesia, often inducing, intubating, and maintaining an anaesthetic while the veterinary surgeon prepares for a procedure. Gone are the days of avian and exotic specialists being the only source of veterinary care for companion rodents; with an increase in the ownership of these species comes an increase in general practitioners undertaking routine or preventative health procedures. Owners of these pets expect the same standard of care afforded to dogs and cats, and consequently veterinary staff may be required to provide the same standard of intensive anaesthetic management. Successful anaesthetic management requires an awareness of patient limitations, and one such limitation in small exotic mammals is the difficulty of endotracheal intubation. Intubation allows for better respiratory control while minimising the risk of aspiration and is particularly important for procedures lasting longer than 30 minutes, during which hypoventilation and respiratory obstruction are most likely to occur. Regardless of procedure length or complexity, intubation should be the routine standard of care if it can be done in a swift and safe manner.
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