To evaluate a minimally invasive endosurgical system in birds, endoscopic orchidectomy and salpingohysterectomy were evaluated in 11 male and 14 female pigeons (Columba livia). Anesthesia was maintained by using isoflurane delivered by a pressure-cycle ventilator and produced good to excellent anesthesia during 96% of procedures. Endosurgery was performed with a 2.7-mm telescope system, 3-mm human pediatric laparoscopy instruments, and a 4.0-MHz radiofrequency device. Mean ± SD surgery times for bilateral orchidectomy and salpingohysterectomy procedures were 39 ± 18 minutes and 34 ± 15 minutes, respectively. Procedures were generally straightforward, with any minor complications easily overcome. Surgical complications were generally minor, with mild hemorrhage and focal coagulative damage to the kidney being most common. All pigeons recovered quickly (20 ± 11 minutes), with 95% displaying good to excellent recoveries. No birds exhibited any clinically apparent morbidity or mortality associated with endosurgery. At least 1 male and 1 female bird were subjected to elective euthanasia and necropsy on postoperative days 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, and 90 to determine the success and side effects of surgery. Gross and histologic abnormalities, when observed, were generally mild, with hemorrhage and partial necrosis of the cranial kidney present in 27% of males. Mild damage or hematoma associated with the left kidney was also reported in 28% of females. The surgical objectives were achieved in 23 of 25 pigeons. The 2 surgical failures (regenerated testes in a male and large oviductal remnant in a female) were attributed to endosurgical inexperience and occurred during the first procedures. Salpingohysterectomy does not appear to prevent ovarian development and ovulation in the pigeon, at least not during the first 3 postoperative months. Orchidectomy and salpingohysterectomy appear to be safe procedures when performed using appropriate equipment and techniques. Endosurgery offers a valuable, minimally invasive alternative to the standard coeliotomy techniques commonly used in birds.
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Vol. 21 • No. 1