Use of Computed Tomography as an Imaging Guide for Castration in the Crested Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2012

Brittany Rizzo1, DVM; Michael J. Adkesson2, DVM, DACZM

1College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, USA; 2Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL, USA


There is little published information describing the male reproductive anatomy of the African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis).1-3 Traditional radiographic and ultrasonographic imaging modalities generally fail to provide adequate anatomic information due to interference from the quills. A three-year-old, 16.6 kg, male porcupine was presented for castration. After inconclusive palpation on pre-surgical examination, computed tomography (CT) was used to determine relevant reproductive anatomy and develop a surgical approach for castration. CT imaging confirmed that the testes were located immediately lateral to the prepuce beneath subcutaneous adipose tissue. Testes measured 5 cm in length with a diameter of 1.6 cm. Based on CT imaging, a precise pre-scrotal surgical approach was used for castration. Without CT imaging, a wider and more invasive surgical approach would have been necessary, resulting in unnecessary tissue damage and longer healing time. Technologic advancements and decreases in cost are making CT technology more widely available for use with non-domestic species. By providing greater visualization and knowledge of anatomic structures, CT imaging and 3D reconstruction can be of great benefit for surgical procedures, particularly in species where extensive anatomic data does not currently exist.


The authors thank the staff at VIZUATM for their assistance in image rendering for this and other cases.

Literature Cited

1.  Tohme G, Tohme H. Quelques donnees anatomiques sur le porc-epic Hystrix indica Kerr, 1792 (Rodentia). Mammalia. 1981;45:363–371.

2.  van Aarde RJ, Skinner JD. Reproductive biology of the male cape porcupine, Hystrix africaeaustralis. J Reprod Fert. 1986;76(2):545–552.

3.  Weir BJ. Aspects of Reproduction in Some Hystricomorph Rodents [Ph.D. thesis]. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge; 1967.


Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Brittany Rizzo, DVM
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN, USA

MAIN : AAZV Conference : CT-Guided Castration in the Crested Porcupine
Powered By VIN