Ovariectomy of a Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 1997
M. Andrew Stamper1,2, DVM; Terry Norton1,3, DVM
1Environmental Medicine Consortium, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; 2Department of Companion Animal and Special Species Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; 3Hanes Veterinary Medical Center, North Carolina Zoological Park, Asheboro, NC, USA


A 1.7 kg mature female brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, was diagnosed with egg retention. Anesthesia was induced with 150 mg/ml of tricaine (Finquel®, Argent Chemical Labs, Redmond, WA) and the fish maintained at 75–95 mg/ml with a flow rate of 2 L/minute using a recirculating machine.1,2 The fish was placed in dorsal recumbency in a custom water-permeable, open-cell, foam-rubber trough and the incision site covered by a fenestrated transparent surgical drape. A midline incision was made approximately 1 cm cranial to the pelvic girdle. Ovariectomy was performed by retracting each ovary individually to expose their respective dorsal mesovarium which was carefully dissected from the caudal pole of the ovary. The ovarian artery and vein were clamped with two mosquito forceps approximately 2 mm apart prior to placement of a transfixation ligature using 4-0 polyglycolic acid (Dexon, Davis and Geck Inc., Manati, PR) around the ovarian artery and vein between the two clamps. The vasculature was incised between the ligature and distal forceps. The body wall and coelomic musculature were sutured with a two-layer closure using 4-0 polyglycolic acid in a simple-continuous patterns. The skin was sutured using 4-0 polyglycolic acid in a simple interrupted pattern. The trout recovered from anesthesia within 20 minutes, but residual air in the coelomic cavity following closure created a transient positive buoyancy which resolved within an hour. No other complications were noted, and the fish resumed eating within two days. Sutures were removed 21 days later. Ovariectomy in fish is a viable option for display aquarium female fish with ovarian disease.

Literature Cited

1.  Harms C, Bakal RS. Techniques in fish anesthesia. J Sm Exotic Anim Med. 1995;3:19–25.

2.  Lewbart GA, Stone EA, Love NE. Pneumocystectomy in a midas cichlid. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1995;207:319–321.


Speaker Information
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M. Andrew Stamper, DVM
Environmental Medicine Consortium
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC, USA

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