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Immobilizing muskox (ovibos moschatus) under high arctic conditions
- Grøndahl, Carsten, Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie U., Mosbacher, Jesper B., Stelvig, Mikkel, Hansen, Lars H., Schmidt, Niels M.
- Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine 2018 v.49 no.4 pp. 856-862
- Ovibos moschatus, anesthesia, animals, carbon dioxide, environmental factors, etorphine, females, heart rate, ketamine, medetomidine, monitoring, nose, oxygen, pathophysiology, respiratory rate, temperature, xylazine, Arctic region, Greenland
- Immobilizing and handling large, free-ranging animals without proper facilities in harsh environmental conditions poses significant challenges. During two field expeditions, a total of 29 female muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) were immobilized in Northeast Greenland (74°N, 20°E). Fixed doses of immobilizing drugs were used regardless of animal size: 2 mg etorphine, 30 mg xylazine, 0.3 mg medetomidine, and 40 mg ketamine. Physiologic and behavioral monitoring was performed during the second expedition on 15 female muskoxen. The observed heart rates were 35–58 beats/min and respiratory rates were 25–30 breaths/min. Mean arterial pressures measured using oscillometry ranged between 117–142 mmHg. Pulse oximeter readings ranged from 91–98% with oxygen supplementation, nasal end-tidal carbon dioxide values were 24–42 mmHg, and rectal temperature ranged from 38.9–39.6°C. Induction time was 6–8 min, recovery time 2–6 min after reversal, and duration of anesthesia was 50–100 min. This anesthetic regime thus provided reliable immobilization with minimal pathophysiologic alterations.