Endoscopy Assisted Retrieval Tools: Creative Solutions to Challenging Cases
IAAAM 2000
SFC William I. Applegate1; MAJ Bryan Ketzenberger2; MAJ Jonathan M. Fradkin3; Eric Jensen4, DVM; William Van Bonn4, DVM
1Gulf Coast District Veterinary Command, Fort Rucker, AL, USA; 2Uniform Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA; 3Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station, TX, USA; 4U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, Vetlab, San Diego, CA, USA


Retrieval of foreign objects in the gastro-intestinal tract of marine mammals and especially cetaceans is well documented. The human arm and hand as well as various endoscopy assisted or delivered retrieval tools have been employed for the removal of foreign objects. Veterinarians using the commercially available traditional baskets, snares, or forceps, have been able to retrieve a wide variety of objects safely and successfully. However, there are instances when these tools may be inadequate and animal care staff members are required to become "creative" in the design and manufacture of novel retrieval hardware. The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program Vetlab has developed three such pieces of equipment that have been designed and manufactured to meet some unique retrieval requirements. The use of these tools in conjunction with endoscopy has allowed clinicians good visualization, manipulation, and control in the esophagus and forestomach of the bottlenose dolphin resulting in safe non-traumatic recoveries. Designs for two of the recovery tools were based on enlargement of a traditional three-pronged retrieval basket model (three-pronged basket and jointed three-pronged basket). The third utilizes human hand prosthesis technology in the design and construction of a myoelectric tool (myoelectric hand) which was designed and manufactured by RGP Prosthetic Research Center in San Diego, CA.

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SFC William I. Applegate
U.S. Army Element, San Diego CA, USA

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