Wild Tiger Health Project
Created by Dr John C M Lewis

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Endotracheal wash

An endotracheal wash can be used to obtain a sample from the airways for cytology and culture.

The tiger should be intubated (avoiding oral contamination)with a sterile endotracheal tube. A long urinary catheter (likely a male dog catheter 4-6 Fr. The length of the catheter should be checked against the endotracheal tube before the procedure and the packaging of the catheter marked at the point where the catheter will extend 2-3mm beyond the end of the endotracheal tube). The catheter should then be down the ET tube to the pre-marked length. To avoid contamination the catheter should be inserted by feeding it through the sterile packaging. A 3 way tap should then be fitted to the catheter. 0.25ml/kg warmed sterile saline should then be injected into the catheter via the 3 way tap. The saline should then immediately be aspirated back. The injection of saline and aspiration should be repeated 2-3 times as required.

Some of the harvested fluid should be placed in a sterile plain tube for culture and some also placed in an EDTA tube for cytology.