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Anaesthesia of wild carnivores and primates

physiological effects and reversibility of medetomidine and dissociative anaesthetics

Fahlman, Åsa (2005). Anaesthesia of wild carnivores and primates. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv.
ISBN 91-576-6859-0
[Licentiate thesis]

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Anaesthesia of wild animals is often carried out under difficult conditions. Rapid induction and recovery can minimise stress and the risk of injury to the animals. Assessment and improvement of anaesthesia are important parts of wildlife conservation and animal welfare since physiological disturbances influence the well-being of the animals. The aim of this thesis was to develop and evaluate reversible anaesthetic protocols for wild carnivores and primates. The physiological effects of medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine, and reversal with atipamezole, were evaluated in free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) and in four species of South-East Asian primates: Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus), Bornean gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) and pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina). The physiological effects of capture and medetomidine-ketamine anaesthesia were evaluated in free-ranging wolverines (Gulo gulo). Cardiorespiratory parameters and body temperature were monitored in all animals. Arterial blood samples were analysed for blood gases, acid-base status and selected haematological and plasma parameters in lions and wolverines. For primates and lions the developed anaesthetic protocols, including low doses of medetomidine and zolazepam-tiletamine, were effective for anaesthesia with a rapid and smooth induction. During anaesthesia, respiratory and heart rates were stable whereas rectal temperature decreased in primates and increased in lions. Analysis of arterial blood samples from lions revealed no obvious alterations. Reversal of the effects of medetomidine with atipamezole resulted in a smooth and calm recovery. In wolverines, capture and medetomidine-ketamine anaesthesia affected several physiological, haematological and plasma parameters. Hyperthermia, metabolic acidosis and impaired arterial oxygenation were evident. Significant differences in several parameters were found between adult and juveniles, which could be due to capture method, drug dose and age. The alterations in rectal temperature measured in all species emphasize the importance of physiological monitoring throughout anaesthesia to be able to detect, prevent or treat disturbances. In addition, the possibility of analysing arterial blood samples during field studies provides detailed data needed to ensure stable physiology and refine anaesthesia. In conclusion, this thesis contributes new knowledge to the field of wildlife anaesthesia by the development of new anaesthetic protocols for use in four species of primates and in lions. Further, it is the first study to provide detailed physiological data in anaesthetised wolverines.

Authors/Creators:Fahlman, Åsa
Title:Anaesthesia of wild carnivores and primates
Subtitle:physiological effects and reversibility of medetomidine and dissociative anaesthetics
Year of publishing :October 2005
Number of Pages:36
ALLI. Fahlman, Å., Bosi, E.J. and Nyman, G. 2005. Reversible anaesthesia of South-East Asian primates with medetomidine, zolazepam, and tiletamine. (Submitted for publication) II. Fahlman, Å., Loveridge, A., Wenham, C., Foggin, C., Arnemo, J.M. and Nyman, G. 2005. Reversible anaesthesia of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) in Zimbabwe. (Submitted for publication) III. Fahlman, Å., Arnemo, J.M., Persson, J., Segerström, P. and Nyman, G. 2005. Physiological effects of capture and medetomidine-ketamine anaesthesia in free-ranging wolverines Gulo gulo. (Manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6859-0
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L70 Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:carnivora, mustelidae, lions, primates, wild animals, animal physiology, blood sampling, blood gases, anaesthesia, analgesics, ketamine, south east asia, zimbabwe
Keywords:anaesthesia, immobilisation, physiology, arterial blood gases, acid-base status, medetomidine, ketamine, tiletamine, zolazepam, atipamezole
Permanent URL:
ID Code:948
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
Deposited By: Åsa Fahlman
Deposited On:05 Oct 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:08

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