Surgical Approach to Artificial Insemination in Elephants
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2001
Dennis L. Schmitt1, DVM, PhD; Rebecca Krywko1; Timothy A. Reichard2, DVM; Wynona Shellabarger2, DVM; Karen Bailey1; Johnna Short1
1Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA; 2Toledo Zoo, Toledo, OH, USA


Artificial insemination is a recent development for assisted reproduction in elephants. Non-surgical insemination requires a cooperative elephant, well-habituated to the various procedures. In addition, a well-trained and equipped insemination team is needed to successfully complete the procedure. A surgical approach for artificial insemination in elephants reduces both the technology needed for success and the level of cooperation needed from the elephant to be inseminated. The first successful, surgical, artificial insemination was accomplished by making a 3-cm incision into the urogenital canal just below the anus. This vestibulotomy incision was guided by placement of an 8-cm PVC tube with a 3-cm opening at the upper end, up through the vulva to a level just below the anus. The opening in the PVC tube was used as a guide by palpating the opening through the skin. The incision was made following injection of a local anesthetic above the proposed incision site. The PVC guide prevents incision into the opposite wall of the urogenital tract. After the incision is complete a sterile disposable vaginal speculum is introduced into the urogenital canal. The intact hymen or cervix can be visualized directly with a flashlight or, for documentation of the procedure, a short endoscope can be utilized. Placement of semen into the vagina can be accomplished with little difficulty using sterile disposable horse insemination pipettes. Multiple inseminations are possible through the incision for the 2 to 3 days of estrus. Following the last insemination, a local anesthetic is administered and the edges of the incision are freshened and four to six simple interrupted sutures are placed to close the incision. Healing of the incision requires 4 to 6 weeks with good aftercare.


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

Dennis L. Schmitt, DVM, PhD
Southwest Missouri State University
Springfield, MO, USA

MAIN : 2001 : Surgical Approach to AI in Elephants
Powered By VIN