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  • Author or Editor: Dustin M. Fink x
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OBJECTIVE To compare sedation in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) after intranasal administration of midazolam and midazolam-butorphanol.

ANIMALS 9 healthy adult cockatiels.

PROCEDURES A randomized, controlled, blinded, complete crossover study was conducted. Birds were assigned to 3 treatment groups. Midazolam (3 mg/kg), midazolam-butorphanol (3 mg/kg for each drug), or sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control treatment) was administered intranasally. Sedation quality was assessed at 3 time points by use of eye and body position; response to visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation; and response during manual restraint on the basis of eye position and struggling intensity. To evaluate attenuation of the manual restraint–induced stress response, heart rate, respiratory rate, and cloacal temperature were measured over a 15-minute period. Treatments were repeated after a minimum washout period of 7 days.

RESULTS Median onset of first sedation effects was 85 seconds (range, 60 to 120 seconds) for midazolam and 90 seconds (range, 45 to 180 seconds) for midazolam-butorphanol. Midazolam-butorphanol resulted in significantly less vigorous struggling during restraint than did midazolam or the control treatment. Heart rate did not differ significantly among treatments. The stress-induced increase in respiratory rate was significantly attenuated by midazolam and midazolam-butorphanol, whereas the increase in cloacal temperature was not attenuated by midazolam or midazolam-butorphanol.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Intranasal administration of midazolam and midazolam-butorphanol resulted in a rapid onset of sedation in cockatiels. Midazolam-butorphanol resulted in deeper sedation in both restrained and unrestrained birds than did midazolam alone. Midazolam and midazolam-butorphanol both provided safe and effective sedation in cockatiels.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To assess the antinociceptive efficacy and safety of neuraxial morphine in inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).


10 healthy adult bearded dragons.


Animals were sedated with alfaxalone (15 mg/kg) SC prior to neuraxial injections. In a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover design, animals received preservative-free morphine (0.5 mg/kg) combined with lidocaine (2 mg/kg) or lidocaine (2 mg/kg) only (control treatment). For both treatments, saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was used for dilution to a total volume of 0.3 mL/kg. If the initial injection did not result in motor block of the pelvic limbs or cloaca relaxation within 10 minutes, a second injection was performed. Measurements consisted of bilateral mechanical stimulation of the limbs and at 25%, 50%, and 75% of the trunk’s length as well as cloacal tone to assess spread and duration of motor block. Pelvic limb withdrawal latencies in response to a thermal noxious stimulus were measured over a 48-hour period to assess antinociception.


Success rate following the first injection was 90% (18/20 injections) and increased to 100% following a second injection. Motor block occurred within 5 minutes with both treatments. Pelvic limb withdrawal latencies were significantly prolonged following neuraxial morphine versus control treatment for at least 12 hours after injection. By 24 hours, no effect of morphine on pelvic limb latencies was detectable.


These results demonstrated that neuraxial administration of morphine results in regional antinociceptive effects for at least 12 hours and has no clinically relevant adverse effects in healthy bearded dragons. This technique has potential for providing regional analgesia in this species.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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