Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, DACVECC

Dr. Marla Lichtenberger was a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Dr. Lichtenberger completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and a residency at the Animal Emergency Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marla was a frequent international speaker on emergency and critical care for small animals and exotics, as well as a published researcher. She was formerly the owner of Milwaukee Animal Emergency Center for Animals, a critical care facility offering 24-hour care to not only dogs and cats but also reptiles, small mammals, birds and other exotic animals.

Fluid Therapy in the Avian Patient

Crystalloids, also called replacement fluids, are the mainstay of rehydration and maintenance fluid therapy, and they can be used together with colloids during resuscitation. Crystalloids are fluids containing sodium chloride and other solutes that are capable of distributing to all body fluid compartments. Replacement fluids have electrolyte concentrations that resemble extracellular fluid, whereas maintenance fluids contain less sodium (40-60 mEq/L) and more potassium (15-30 mEq/L). The most commonly used replacement fluids are 0.9% saline, lactated Ringer’s solution, Normosol-R, or…

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Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Exotic Animals

There is little empirical information available on cardiopulmonary resuscitation in most exotic animals. Fortunately, the basic principles of CPR are the same for all species, however there are important species-specific considerations. This review article explores techniques for establishing airway control, ventilation and cardiac compression recommendations as well as considerations for emergency drug selection.

Article  Video  Webinar 

Understanding Shock in Exotic Animals Webinar

It is important to recognize shock in the exotic animal because this is a life threatening condition. The participant will learn about types of shock and definitions. We will detail treatment protocols for shock resuscitation as the different fluid therapies used to expand the circulating volume. The participant will learn the difference between colloids and crystalloids and how and why to use them. We will also teach us of supplemental heat and why steroids are not used. Monitoring techniques as blood pressure and clinical markers will be discussed fully.

Article  Video 

Catheters in Reptiles

Fluid therapy is an important part of supportive care, and there are several routes available for fluid support in the reptile. Subcutaneous and/or oral fluids are appropriate for mild to moderate dehydration, while intracoelomic, intravenous, or intraosseous fluids are administered to critically ill reptiles or to patients with moderate to severe dehydration.

Article  Video 

Intravenous Catheter Placement in Small Mammals

Intravenous catheters are commonly placed in ferrets and rabbits to administer fluids and medications, induce anesthesia, and for delivery of analgesic drugs during and after surgery. Intravenous catheters are also placed with growing frequency in chinchillas, guinea pigs and other small exotic companion mammals. Use this video clip or text with still images to review patient selection, potential complications, equipment needed and step-by-step instructions for this technique, as well as daily fluid requirements, catheter maintenance, and patient monitoring.

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Cardiopulmonary-Cerebral Resuscitation in Birds

The basic principles of cardiopulmonary-cerebral resuscitation may be applied to birds. The prognosis for respiratory arrest, especially when caused by isoflurane anesthesia overdose, is good. Cardiac arrest in birds carries a poor prognosis, because direct compression of the heart is not possible due to the overlying sternum. Also, because birds lack a diaphragm, closed-chest compressions cannot utilize the thoracic pump mechanism to increase overall negative intrathoracic pressure. Therefore early recognition of cardiovascular instability is particularly important in avian species.

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Measuring Avian Blood Pressure

Arterial blood pressure measurement is an important tool in the management of the critically ill bird. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted against the blood vessel wall during contraction of the heart. Although direct arterial pressure measurement is ideal, it is not commonly used because of the need for specific technical skill, invasive nature of the procedure, and cost of equipment.