Surgical tubal ligation was used to sterilize urban free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) as a methodology of a larger study investigating the influences of intact, sterile females on population dynamics and behavior. Deer were either trapped in clover traps (n = 55) and induced with an i.m. injection of xylazine and tiletamine/ zolazepam or induced by a similar protocol by dart (n = 12), then intubated and maintained on isoflurane in oxygen. Over 3 yr, individual female deer (n = 103) were captured in Highland Park, Illinois, with a subset of females sterilized using tubal ligation by ventral laparotomy (n = 63). Other sterilization procedures included tubal transection by ventral (n = 1) or right lateral (n = 2) laparoscopy and ovariohysterectomy by ventral laparotomy (n = 1). One mortality (1/ 67, 1.5%) of a doe with an advanced pregnancy was attributed to a lengthy right lateral laparoscopic surgery that was converted to a right lateral laparotomy. The initial surgical modality of laparoscopy was altered in favor of a ventral laparotomy for simplification of the project and improved surgical access in late-term gravid does. Laparotomy techniques included oviductal ligation and transection (n = 14), application of an oviductal mechanical clip (n = 9), ligation and partial salpingectomy (n = 40), and ovariohysterectomy (n = 1). As of 2 yr poststerilization, no surgical does were observed with fawns, indicating that these procedures provide sterilization with low mortality in urban white-tailed deer.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3