A free-ranging, adult male Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) was immobilized and evaluated for hematuria following routine capture. Prior to anesthetic recovery, the panther was fitted with a telemetry collar. After an initially quiet recovery, the panther began thrashing in the transport cage, and was again immobilized. Pink foam was evident from the nostrils, and crackles were ausculted over the chest, indicating pulmonary edema. Postobstructive pulmonary edema was diagnosed based on history, clinical signs, radiographic evaluation, and blood gas analysis. The animal was treated intensively for several hours with diuretics, oxygen, and manual ventilation. The panther responded rapidly to therapy and was released back into the wild 48 hr after presentation. Postobstructive pulmonary edema, also called negative-pressure pulmonary edema, may be underrecognized in veterinary medicine. In this case, the telemetry collar, in conjunction with anesthetic recovery in a small transport crate, may have contributed to tracheal obstruction. Wildlife veterinarians and biologists should be aware of the risk of airway obstruction when placing tracking collars, and animals should be continuously monitored during anesthetic recovery to ensure the presence of a patent airway.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2