Long-term or repeated venous access in chelonians is difficult to obtain and manage, but can be critically important for administration of medications and blood sampling in hospitalized patients. Jugular catheterization provides the most rapid and secure route for vascular access, but catheters can be difficult to place, and maintaining catheter patency may be challenging. Long multilumen polyurethane catheters provide flexibility and sampling access, and minimize difficulties, such as catheter displacement, that have been encountered with traditional over-the-needle catheters. We describe placement of 4 Fr. 13-cm polyurethane catheters in three chelonians with the use of a modified Seldinger technique. Venous access was obtained with the use of an over-the-needle catheter, which allowed placement of a 0.018-in.-diameter wire, over which the polyurethane catheter was placed. Indwelling time has ranged between 1 and 4 mo currently. All tortoises were sedated for this procedure. Polyurethane central catheters provide safe, long-term venous access that allows clinicians to perform serial blood sampling as well as intravenous administration of medications, anesthetic agents, and fluids. A jugular catheter can also allow central venous pressure measurement. Utilization of central line catheters was associated with improvements in diagnostic efficiency and therapeutic case management, with minimal risks and complications.
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