Tracheostomy in the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

J Zoo Wildl Med. 2008 Dec;39(4):655-8. doi: 10.1638/2007-0124.1.


Anesthesia in the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) may be complicated by apnea. Although emergent orotracheal intubation may be possible in other species, the particular anatomy of the anteater prevents a smooth intubation. A technique, developed on a cadaver model, is described for a surgical approach to the trachea of the giant anteater that may be used to secure an airway in an anesthetized animal under emergent conditions. The approach is complicated by the presence of the large paired submaxillary salivary gland and the relatively deep and caudal position of the larynx relative to the ramus of the mandible. This procedure, however, appears to be a feasible method to achieve endotracheal intubation in the anteater.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Species Specificity
  • Trachea / anatomy & histology*
  • Trachea / surgery
  • Tracheostomy / instrumentation
  • Tracheostomy / methods
  • Tracheostomy / veterinary*
  • Xenarthra* / anatomy & histology
  • Xenarthra* / physiology
  • Xenarthra* / surgery