Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are kept in zoological collections, owned as pets, and used in laboratory studies.1,2 General anesthesia is frequently required for examination and diagnostic testing, with inhalant anesthetic agents commonly used.3 Isoflurane is a volatile anesthetic commonly used for many rodent procedures and has generally been recommended for use in prairie dogs.3–5 However, a 2008 study6 evaluating perioperative mortality rates in small animals found that rabbits and rodents had a much higher risk of perianesthetic death when compared with dogs and cats. Potential risk factors for perianesthetic death include preexisting diseases involving the respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems; fluid balance disorders; stress during handling and transportation; technical difficulty in achieving peripheral venous access; technical difficulty in achieving endotracheal intubation due to small size and anatomy; and hypothermia.4,6 These risk factors have been previously reported in prairie dogs and other rodent species.4,5
Measurement of venous blood gas analytes may be important when evaluating the overall health status of an animal.7 Assessment of these analytes can help to detect an unidentified illness or to eliminate differential diagnoses.7 In particular, measurement of venous blood gas analytes is an effective means of detecting both metabolic and respiratory acid-base problems.8–10 Venous blood gas values are used as an indirect indicator of tissue oxygenation.8–10 The purpose of the study reported here was to describe physiologic changes in venous blood gas analytes during isoflurane anesthesia in black-tailed prairie dogs.
IsoFlo, Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, Ill.
Parks Doppler System, model 811-B, Parks Medical Electronics Inc, Aloha, Ore.
Nellcor Handheld Pulse Oximeter N20PA, Covidien, Dublin, Ireland.
Kendall Monoject tuberculin syringe, Tyco Healthcare Group, Mansfield, Mass.
Hypodermic needle, Exel International, Los Angeles, Calif.
BD Microtainer, Becton, Dickinson & Co, Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Critical Care Xpress, Serial No. Y02804130. Nova Biomedical Corp, Waltham, Mass.
Proc GLIMMIX, SAS, version 9.2, SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC.
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