To compare anesthetic effects of alfaxalone-ketamine-dexmedetomidine (AKD) and alfaxalone-butorphanol-midazolam (ABM) in naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber).
20 naked mole-rats.
Naked mole-rats received AKD (alfaxalone, 2 mg/kg; ketamine, 20 mg/kg; and dexmedetomidine, 0.02 mg/kg; n = 10) or ABM (alfaxalone, 2 mg/kg; butorphanol, 2 mg/kg; and midazolam, 1 mg/kg; 9) IM; 1 animal was removed from the study. Atipamezole (I mg/kg) and flumazenil (0.1 mg/kg) were administered 40 minutes after anesthetic induction (defined as loss of the righting reflex) with AKD and ABM, respectively. Heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and reflexes were recorded every 5 minutes.
The ABM group had significantly longer median times for induction and recovery than the AKD group. Administration of ABM resulted in significantly lower respiratory rates than administration of AKD from time of anesthetic induction to 10 minutes after induction. Respiratory rate significantly decreased in the AKD group from I0 minutes after induction through the end of the anesthetic period but did not change over time in the ABM group. Males had higher respiratory rates in both groups. Loss of the righting reflex was still evident 40 minutes after induction in both groups. In the AKD group, all tested reflexes were absent from I0 to 40 minutes after induction; the ABM group had variable reflexes that recovered within individual animals over time.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Both AKD and ABM provided effective immobilization in naked mole-rats, but AKD appeared to provide more consistent and deeper anesthesia, compared with administration of ABM.