Guinea pigs present certain challenges and require special considerations when undergoing survival surgery. Through firsthand experience and recommendations of colleagues, DSI makes the following suggestions when performing survival surgery on guinea pigs.
On the day of surgery, the weight range should be 340-400 grams. If the animal is smaller than 350 grams, it will not tolerate the surgery. If the animal is larger than 400 grams, then it is very difficult to manage the intestines.
Anesthesia and Analgesia
- Fast the animal first thing the morning of surgery, removing any remaining food from the cage.
- For pre-anesthetics, administer atropine SQ at5 mg/kg, carprofen SQ at 3mg/kg and enrofloxacin (1:10 dilution) SQ at 10 mg/kg.
- Continue with enrofloxacin and carprofen SQ for 3 days post-operatively given every 12
- Provide Vitamin C in their drinking water at 1 gram of Vitamin C per 1 liter of water for seven days prior to Give one injection of Vitamin C SQ at 30 mg/kg immediately after surgery and continue the oral Vitamin C at 1 gram/liter of water for fourteen days after surgery.
- Isoflurane is the preferred choice of anesthesia; however, they can exhibit excessive salivation while Administration of atropine reduces secretions.
- If isoflurane is not available for use, injectable anesthetics can be used.
- Once the animal is anesthetized, flush out the cheeks to remove any remaining food.
- Aortic catheter placement is most common and appears to have a greater success rate than other Please refer to the HD-S Device Surgical Manual for a detailed surgical procedure.
- If the catheter is placed in the aorta, the device should be placed in the abdominal The size of the animal is critical for this to be successful.
- The femoral artery can be used, however, it’s small size may make cannulation difficult.
- If ECG leads are to be used, they should be placed in a Modified Lead II position.
- Close the skin in a subcuticular pattern so there are no visible sutures and use a flexible tissue adhesive such as Gluture to aid in sealing the skin. Ensure any subcutaneous layers that may be present have been closed.
Device Selection and Placement
- Use an HD-X11 with a 7 cm long catheter with no suture rib and place the device The blood pressure catheter will be inserted into the femoral artery and the ECG leads will be placed in a Modified Lead II position. This is a mouse-sized device so some drop out may occur due to the size of the cage and the transmission distance of the device.
- Use an HD-S11 with a 10 cm long catheter with a suture rib and place the device The blood pressure catheter will be inserted into the abdominal aorta and the ECG leads will be placed in a Modified Lead II position.
- The animal’s weight may decrease for two to three days after surgery but should then start to increase.
- Animals should be singly housed for at least one week after the surgery to recover.