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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether the sedative effects of a combination of dexmedetomidine and ketamine differed when it was administered IM in a hind limb versus a forelimb of leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius).

DESIGN Randomized crossover study.

ANIMALS 9 healthy adult leopard geckos.

PROCEDURES Each gecko received a combination of dexmedetomidine (0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb]) and ketamine (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]; DK), IM, in a forelimb and hind limb in a randomized order and with a 7-day interval between treatments. All geckos received atipamezole (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], SC) 45 minutes after DK administration. Palpebral and righting reflexes, jaw tone, and superficial pain and escape responses were each assessed on a 3-point scale, and the scores for those variables were summed to calculate a sedation score. Those variables and heart and respiratory rates were evaluated at predetermined times before and for 1 hour after DK administration.

RESULTS For the forelimb treatment, mean sedation score was higher and mean heart rate was lower than the corresponding values for the hind limb treatment at most time points after DK administration. The righting reflex remained intact for all 9 geckos following the hind limb treatment but became absent in 7 geckos following the forelimb treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the extent of DK-induced sedation was greater when the combination was injected IM in a forelimb versus a hind limb of leopard geckos, likely owing to a hepatic first-pass effect following hind limb injection. In reptiles, IM hind limb administration of drugs that undergo hepatic metabolism and excretion is not recommended.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the dose- and time-dependent changes in analgesia and respiration caused by tramadol administration in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta).

Design—Crossover study.

Animals—30 adult male and female red-eared slider turtles.

Procedures—11 turtles received tramadol at various doses (1, 5, 10, or 25 mg/kg [0.45, 2.27, 4.54, or 11.36 mg/lb], PO; 10 or 25 mg/kg, SC) or a control treatment administered similarly. Degree of analgesia was assessed through measurement of hind limb thermal withdrawal latencies (TWDLs) at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after tramadol administration. Nineteen other freely swimming turtles received tramadol PO (5, 10, or 25 mg/kg), and ventilation (VE), breath frequency, tidal volume (VT), and expiratory breath duration were measured.

Results—The highest tramadol doses (10 and 25 mg/kg, PO) yielded greater mean TWDLs 6 to 96 hours after administration than the control treatment did, whereas tramadol administered at 5 mg/kg, PO, yielded greater mean TWDLs at 12 and 24 hours. The lowest tramadol dose (1 mg/kg, PO) failed to result in analgesia. Tramadol administered SC resulted in lower TWDLs, slower onset, and shorter duration of action, compared with PO administration. Tramadol at 10 and 25 mg/kg, PO, reduced the VE at 12 hours by 51% and 67%, respectively, and at 24 through 72 hours by 55% to 62% and 61 % to 70%, respectively. However, tramadol at 5 mg/kg, PO, had no effect on the VE.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tramadol administered PO at 5 to 10 mg/kg provided thermal analgesia with less respiratory depression than that reported for morphine in red-eared slider turtles.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the antinociceptive efficacy of IM morphine sulfate or butorphanol tartrate administration in tegus (Salvator merianae).

ANIMALS 6 healthy juvenile (12- to 24-month-old) tegus (mean ± SD body weight, 1,484 ± 473 g).

PROCEDURES In a crossover study design, tegus were randomly assigned to treatment order, with a minimum washout period of 15 days between treatments. Each of 5 treatments was administered IM in a forelimb: saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.5 mL), morphine sulfate (5 or 10 mg/kg), or butorphanol tartrate (5 or 10 mg/kg). A withdrawal latency test was used to evaluate antinociception, with a noxious thermal stimulus applied to the plantar surface of the hind limb before (0 hours; baseline) and 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, and 24 hours after each treatment. Observers were unaware of treatment received.

RESULTS With saline solution, mean hind limb withdrawal latencies (interval to limb withdrawal from the thermal stimulus) remained constant, except at 12 hours. Tegus had higher than baseline mean withdrawal latencies between 0.5 and 1 hour and at 12 hours with morphine at 5 mg/kg and between 1 and 12 hours with morphine at 10 mg/kg. With butorphanol at 5 and 10 mg/kg, tegus maintained withdrawal responses similar to baseline at all assessment points.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that morphine, but not butorphanol, provided antinociception at 5 and 10 mg/kg in tegus as measured by thermal noxious stimulus testing. These data supported the hypothesis that μ-opioid (but not κ-opioid) receptor agonists provide antinociception in reptiles.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare the anesthetic efficacy and physiologic changes associated with exposure to tricaine methanesulfonate and clove oil (100% eugenol).

Animals—15 adult cultured red pacu (Piaractus brachypomus).

Procedure—Fish were exposed to each of 6 anesthetic concentrations in a within-subjects complete crossover design. Stages of anesthesia and recovery were measured, and physiologic data were collected before and during anesthesia.

Results—Interval to induction was more rapid and recovery more prolonged in fish exposed to eugenol, compared with those exposed to tricaine methanesulfonate. The margin of safety for eugenol was narrow, because at the highest concentration, most fish required resuscitation. Mixed venous-arterial PO2 consistently decreased with anesthesia, while PCO2 consistently increased with anesthesia in all fish regardless of anesthetic agent. The increase in PCO2 was accompanied by a decrease in pH, presumably secondary to respiratory acidosis. Anesthesia was associated with increased blood glucose, potassium, and sodium concentrations as well as Hct and hemoglobin. Fish anesthetized with eugenol were more likely to react to a hypodermic needle puncture than fish anesthetized with tricaine methanesulfonate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Anesthesia induced with tricaine methanesulfonate or eugenol contributes to hypoxemia, hypercapnia, respiratory acidosis, and hyperglycemia in red pacu. Similar to tricaine methanesulfonate, eugenol appears to be an effective immobilization compound, but eugenol is characterized by more rapid induction, prolonged recovery, and a narrow margin of safety. Care must be taken when using high concentrations of eugenol for induction, because ventilatory failure may occur rapidly. In addition, analgesic properties of eugenol are unknown. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:337–342)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam in parrots with experimentally induced arthritis, with extent of weight bearing and rotational perch walking used as outcome measures.

Animals—15 adult Hispaniolan parrots (Amazona ventralis).

Procedures—Arthritis was experimentally induced via intra-articular injection of microcrystalline sodium urate suspension (MSU) into 1 intertarsal joint. Parrots were treated in a crossover design. Five treatments were compared as follows: meloxicam (4 dosages) at 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg (IM, q 12 h, 3 times) and 0.03 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (IM, q 12 h, 3 times). The first treatment was given 6 hours following MSU administration. Lameness was assessed by use of a biomechanical perch to record weight-bearing load and a rotational perch to determine dexterity. Feces were collected to assay for occult blood.

Results—Parrots treated with meloxicam at 1.0 mg/kg had significantly better return to normal (baseline) weight bearing on the arthritic pelvic limb, compared with control parrots or parrots treated with meloxicam at 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/kg. All fecal samples collected from parrots following induction of arthritis and treatment with meloxicam had negative results for occult blood.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Meloxicam administered at 1.0 mg/kg, IM, every 12 hours effectively relieved arthritic pain in parrots.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare serum concentrations of liposome-encapsulated butorphanol tartrate (LEBT) and standard butorphanol tartrate (STDBT) following SC and IM administration, respectively, and to evaluate analgesic effects of LEBT and STDBT after parenteral administration to Hispaniolan parrots.

Animals—11 adult Hispaniolan parrots.

Procedure—The ability of LEBT to prolong the duration of analgesia in an avian species was tested. Blood samples were collected at serial time points after SC administration of LEBT (10 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg) or IM administration of STDBT (5 mg/kg). Serum concentrations of butorphanol tartrate were determined by use of a commercial immunoassay that measured parent drug and metabolites. Analgesic efficacy was evaluated in parrots exposed to electrical and thermal stimuli. Foot withdrawal thresholds were recorded at baseline and at serial time points after LEBT (15 mg/kg), liposome vehicle, STDBT (2 mg/kg), or physiologic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution administration.

Results—LEBT had a prolonged in vivo release for up to 5 days. Negligible serum butorphanol and butorphanol metabolite concentrations were obtained at 24 hours after IM administration of STDBT. Analgesic efficacy of LEBT as measured by foot withdrawal threshold to noxious thermal and electrical stimuli persisted for 3 to 5 days following SC administration of LEBT.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—SC administration of LEBT provided analgesia and detectable serum butorphanol concentrations in Hispaniolan parrots for up to 5 days. The use of LEBT may allow for substantial improvement in long-term pain relief without subjecting birds to the stress of handling and multiple daily injections.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the cardiopulmonary effects of immobilizing doses of xylazine-ketamine (XK), medetomidine-ketamine (MK), medetomidine-ketamine- acepromazine (MKA), and medetomidine-butorphanol- ketamine (MBK) in captive red wolves.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—32 adult captive red wolves.

Procedure—Wolves were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: XK, MK, MKA, or MBK. Physiologic variables measured included heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, tidal volume, oxygen-hemoglobin saturation (SpO2), end-tidal CO2, arterial blood gases, and rectal temperature. Induction time, muscle relaxation, and quality of recovery were assessed.

Results—Heart rates were lower in wolves in the MBK group than for the other groups. All 4 drug combinations induced considerable hypertension, with diastolic pressures exceeding 116 mm Hg. Blood pressure was lowest in wolves receiving the MBK combination. Respiratory rate was significantly higher in wolves receiving XK, MK, and MKA. Tidal volumes were similar for all groups. Wolves receiving XK, MK, and MKA were well-oxygenated throughout the procedure (SpO2 > 93%), whereas those receiving MBK were moderately hypoxemic (87% < SpO2 < 93%) during the first 20 minutes of the procedure. Hyperthermia was detected initially following induction in all groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The α2- adrenoceptor agonist-ketamine combinations provide rapid reversible anesthesia for red wolves but cause severe sustained hypertension. Such an adverse effect puts animals at risk for development of cerebral encephalopathy, retinal hemorrhage, pulmonary edema, and myocardial failure. Although the MBK combination offers some advantages over the others, it is advised that further protocol refinements be made to minimize risks associated with acute hypertension. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1366–1371)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test the hypothesis that butorphanol or morphine induces antinociception with minimal respiratory depression in conscious red-eared slider turtles.

Design—Prospective crossover study.

Animals—37 adult male and female red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta).

Procedures—Antinociception (n = 27 turtles) and respiratory (10 turtles) experiments were performed. Infrared heat stimuli were applied to the plantar surface of turtle limbs. Thermal withdrawal latencies were measured before and at intervals after SC administration of physiologic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, butorphanol tartrate (2.8 or 28 mg/kg [1.27 or 12.7 mg/lb]), or morphine sulfate (1.5 or 6.5 mg/kg [0.68 or 2.95 mg/lb]). Ventilation was assessed in freely swimming turtles before and after SC administration of saline solution, butorphanol (28 mg/kg), or morphine (1.5 mg/kg).

Results—For as long as 24 hours after injection of saline solution or either dose of butorphanol, thermal withdrawal latencies among turtles did not differ. Low- and high-dose morphine injections increased latencies significantly by 8 hours. Ventilation was not altered by saline solution administration, was temporarily depressed by 56% to 60% for 1 to 2 hours by butorphanol (28 mg/kg) administration, and was significantly depressed by a maximum of 83 ± 9% at 3 hours after morphine (1.5 mg/kg) injection. Butorphanol and morphine depressed ventilation by decreasing breathing frequency.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although widely used in reptile species, butorphanol may not provide adequate antinociception for invasive procedures and caused short-term respiratory depression in red-eared slider turtles. In contrast, morphine apparently provided antinociception but caused long-lasting respiratory depression.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 5-year-old sexually intact female guinea pig was evaluated because of mild dysuria and a subcutaneous mass located cranioventral to the urogenital openings.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Non–contrast-enhanced CT and surgical exploration of the distal aspect of the urethra revealed a urethral diverticulum with an intraluminal urolith. Analysis revealed that the urolith was composed of calcium carbonate and struvite.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME The urolith was surgically removed and ablation of the urethral diverticulum was attempted. Approximately 3 months later, the guinea pig was reevaluated for masses in the perineal region, and positive-contrast urethrocystography revealed 2 uroliths present in the same diverticulum. Uroliths were manually expressed with the patient under general anesthesia. Approximately 2 weeks later, urethroplasty was performed to create an enlarged stoma with the diverticulum, thereby preventing urine from pooling in the diverticulum and potentially reducing the risk of future urolith formation. The urethroplasty site healed well with no reported complications or evidence of urolith recurrence 6 months after surgery.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Urolithiasis is common in guinea pigs, and urethral diverticulum and intraluminal urolith formation should be considered as a potential differential diagnosis for a subcutaneous mass along the distal aspect of the urethra. Creation of a urethral stoma from a urethral diverticulum via urethroplasty achieved a successful outcome in this patient.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate SC administration of alfaxalone-midazolam and dexmedetomidine-midazolam for sedation of ball pythons (Python regius).

ANIMALS

12 healthy juvenile ball pythons.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized crossover study, each snake was administered a combination of alfaxalone (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb]) and midazolam (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb]) and a combination of dexmedetomidine (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb]) and midazolam (0.5 mg/kg), SC, with a washout period of at least 7 days between protocols. Respiratory and heart rates and various reflexes and behaviors were assessed and compared between protocols. Forty-five minutes after protocol administration, sedation was reversed by SC administration of flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg) alone or in combination with atipamezole (0.5 mg/kg; dexmedetomidine-midazolam protocol only). Because of difficulties with visual assessment of respiratory effort after sedative administration, the experiment was repeated for a subset of 3 ball pythons, with plethysmography used to assess respiration.

RESULTS

Both protocols induced a similar level of moderate sedation with no adverse effects aside from transient apnea. Cardiopulmonary depression was more profound, but time to recovery after reversal was significantly shorter, for the dexmedetomidine-midazolam protocol than for the alfaxalone-midazolam protocol. Plethysmographic findings were consistent with visual observations and suggested that snakes compensated for a decrease in respiratory rate by increasing tidal volume amplitude.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that both protocols induced clinically relevant sedation in ball pythons and should be useful for minor procedures such as venipuncture and diagnostic imaging. However, caution should be used when sedating snakes with compromised cardiopulmonary function. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2020;256:573-579

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association