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  • Author or Editor: M. Andrew Stamper x
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Objective—To determine safety and efficacy of an anesthetic protocol incorporating medetomidine, ketamine, and sevoflurane for anesthesia of injured loggerhead sea turtles.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—13 loggerhead sea turtles.

Procedure—Anesthesia was induced with medetomidine (50 µg/kg [22.7 µg/lb], IV) and ketamine (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], IV) and maintained with sevoflurane (0.5 to 2.5%) in oxygen. Sevoflurane was delivered with a pressure-limited intermittent-flow ventilator. Heart rate and rhythm, end-tidal partial pressure of CO2, and cloacal temperature were monitored continuously; venous blood gas analyses were performed intermittently. Administration of sevoflurane was discontinued 30 to 60 minutes prior to the end of the surgical procedure. Atipamezole (0.25 mg/kg [0.11 mg/lb], IV) was administered at the end of surgery.

Results—Median induction time was 11 minutes (range, 2 to 40 minutes; n = 11). Median delivered sevoflurane concentrations 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes after intubation were 2.5 (n = 12), 1.5 (12), 1.25 (12), and 0.5% (8), respectively. Heart rate decreased during surgery to a median value of 15 beats/min (n = 11). End-tidal partial pressure of CO2 ranged from 2 to 16 mm Hg (n = 8); median blood gas values were within reference limits. Median time from atipamezole administration to extubation was 14 minutes (range, 2 to 84 minutes; n = 7).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a combination of medetomidine and ketamine for induction and sevoflurane for maintenance provides safe, effective, controllable anesthesia in injured loggerhead sea turtles. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1019–1025)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To develop a dosage correlated with shoulder height (SH) in centimeters for effective immobilization of free-ranging giraffes, using a combination of medetomidine (MED) and ketamine (KET) and reversal with atipamezole (ATP)

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—23 free-ranging giraffes.

Procedure—The drug combination (MED and KET) was administered by use of a projectile dart. Quality of induction, quality of immobilization, and time to recovery following injection of ATP were evaluated. Physiologic variables measured during immobilization included PaO2, PaCO2, oxygen saturation, end-tidal CO2, blood pH, indirect arterial blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates, and rectal temperature.

Results—Sixteen giraffes became recumbent with a dosage (mean ± SD) of 143 ± 29 µg of MED and 2.7 ± 0.6 mg of KET/cm of SH. Initially, giraffes were atactic and progressed to lateral recumbency. Three giraffes required casting with ropes for data collection, with dosages of 166 ± 5 µg of MED and 3.2 ± 0.6 mg of KET/cm of SH. Four giraffes required administration of etorphine (n = 2) or were cast with ropes (2) for capture but remained dangerous to personnel once recumbent, precluding data collection. In giraffes successfully immobilized, physiologic monitoring revealed hypoxia and increased respiratory rates. Values for PaCO2, end-tidal CO2, and heart rate remained within reference ranges. All giraffes were hypertensive and had a slight increase in rectal temperature. Atipamezole was administered at 340 ± 20 µg/cm of SH, resulting in rapid and smooth recoveries.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Medetomidine and KET was an effective immobilizing combination for free-ranging giraffes; however, at the dosages used, it does not induce adequate analgesia for major manipulative procedures. Quality of induction and immobilization were enhanced if the giraffe was calm. Reversal was rapid and complete following injection of ATP. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;218:245–249)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association