Surgical Treatment of Osteomyelitis in Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiopus aduncus)
IAAAM 2016
Makio Yanagisawa1*; Kazuto Yamashita2; Jun Tamura2; Yusuke Endo2; Hiroshi Koie3; Yasuharu Izumisawa4; Keiichi Ueda1
1Okinawa Churashima Foundation, Okinawa, Japan; 2Rakuno Gakuen University, Hokkaido, Japan; 3Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan; 4Hokkaido Animal-locomo Hospital, Hokkaido, Japan


The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (female, 14-years-old, 159 kg) was diagnosed with osteomyelitis with Staphylococcus aureus on the 4, 5 caudal vertebral processus transversus.

The left side of the trunk had swollen already in January 2010. However, X-ray examination was not performed. The swelling had disappeared by the administration of antibiotics. However, in December 2012, the swelling was enlarged again, we performed a biopsy, X-rays and computed tomography. The results of the inspection, she had been diagnosed with osteomyelitis by S. aureus. Brucellosis was negative by serologic test. We continued antibiotic treatment for 18 months, but the animal did not recover completely. Therefore, on June 26 and December 19. 2014, we performed sequestrum and subcutaneous abscess resection.

On the first surgical procedure, total anesthesia duration time was 157 minutes (include surgery duration 102 minutes). And total dose of propofol were 1.4 mg/kg.

End-tidal concentration of sevoflurane (ETSEV) ranged from 2.2–2.8% during surgery. End-tidal carbon dioxide ETCO2 and percutaneous oxygen saturation SpO2 ranged from 36–51 mm Hg and 77–87%.

On the second surgical procedure, total anesthesia duration time was 224 minutes (include surgery duration 159 minutes). And total dose of propofol were 3.7 mg/kg and ETSEV was 1.5–2.3%. ETCO2 and SpO2 were ranged from 35–60 mm Hg and 87–99%.

During procedure, because of hypotension was observed, we treated with dobutamine infusion (10 μg/kg/minute). On the first surgery, we removed the mass (12 x 8 x 6 cm, 265 g). It was composed of abscess and fibrosis.

On the second surgical procedure, we removed a mass including the sequestrum (373 g). Furthermore, we performed necrotomy of the diapophysis. We used nylon suture for skin and PDS II 2-0 for muscle tissue. One year after the surgery, the postoperative course is fine.

Osteomyelitis is a relatively common diagnosis in cetaceans.1 There are some treatment reports with antibiotics. On the other hand, there is also lethal report caused by Staphylococcus aureus.1-3 This is the first report for mass removal by surgery. We think that the surgery is one of the effective treatments for animals as there is no effect in the long-term administration of antibiotics.

* Presenting author

References Cited

1.  Goertz CEC, Frasca S Jr, Bohach GA, Cowan DF, Buck JD, French RA, De Guise S, Maratea J, Hinckley L, Ewalt D, Schlievert PM, Karst SM, Deobald CF, St. Aubin DJ, Dunn JL. Brucella sp. vertebral osteomyelitis with intercurrent fatal Staphylococcus aureus toxigenic enteritis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). J Vet Diagn Invest. 2011;23(4):845–851.

2.  Alexander JW, Solangi MA. Vertebral and intradiskal osteomyelitis in an Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). In: Proceedings from the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine Annual Conference; 1987; Monterey, CA.

3.  Goertz CEC, Dunn JL, Manning MC, Randolph TW, Katayama D, Biggs D, Cole R, Brockman A, Cardinnes J, St Aubin DJ. Vertebral osteomyelitis in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): a novel treatment using sustained release, antibiotic impregnated, biodegradable microspheres. In: Proceedings from the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine Annual Conference; 2000; New Orleans, LA.


Speaker Information
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Makio Yanagisawa, DVM
Okinawa Churashima Foundation
Okinawa, Japan

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