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Mammals (other)
Orchiectomy of a Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)
  1. Vicki Baldrey
  1. Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vicki Baldrey; vicki_baldrey{at}


A Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) was presented for surgical castration to prevent inbreeding within the family group. A literature review found limited information on relevant anatomy and surgical approach, with a single report describing the need for CT to locate the testes. Anaesthesia was induced by hand injection of a combination of 0.03 mg/kg medetomidine and 4 mg/kg ketamine. Analgesia was provided with buprenorphine, meloxicam and local infiltration of lidocaine. The surgical approach was similar to other hystricomorph rodents, with testes located subcutaneously, lateral to the prepuce; however, in contrast to other rodents, the skin was notably fragile and prone to tearing when handled. Recovery and wound healing were uneventful. The surgical technique and minor complications are discussed.

  • castration
  • contraception
  • hystrix africaeaustralis
  • orchiectomy
  • porcupine
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  • Contributors I am the sole contributor to this case report.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no additional data available for this paper.

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