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Compared to etorphine–azaperone, the ketamine–butorphanol–medetomidine combination is also effective at immobilizing zebra (Equus zebra)

Stemmet, Gideon P., Meyer, Leith CR., Bruns, Angela, Buss, Peter, Zimmerman, David, Koeppel, Katja, Zeiler, Gareth E.
Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia 2019 v.46 no.4 pp. 466-475
Equus zebra, adults, antagonists, blood gases, blood pressure, butorphanol, etorphine, females, hypertension, males, medetomidine, oxygen, standard deviation, statistical models, zebras
To compare immobilization efficacy of a nonpotent opioid drug combination, ketamine–butorphanol–medetomidine (KBM) to the preferred etorphine–azaperone (EA) combination in zebras.Randomized crossover trial.A group of ten adult zebra (six females and four male).KBM and EA were administered once to the zebras in random order by dart, 3 weeks apart. Once a zebra was recumbent and instrumented, physiological parameters were measured and recorded at 5-minute intervals until 20 minutes. Antagonist drugs were administered at 25 minutes. KBM was antagonised using atipamezole (7.5 mg mg−1 medetomidine dose) and naltrexone (2 mg mg−1 butorphanol dose). EA was antagonized using naltrexone (20 mg mg−1 etorphine dose). Induction and recovery (following antagonist administration) times were recorded. Physiological parameters, including invasive blood pressure and blood gas analysis, were compared between combinations using a general linear mixed model. Data are reported as mean ± standard deviation or median (interquartile range).The doses of KBM and EA administered were 3.30 ± 0.18, 0.40 ± 0.02 and 0.16 ± 0.01 mg kg−1; and 0.02 ± 0.001 and 0.20 ± 0.01 mg kg−1, respectively. KBM and EA induction times were 420 (282–564) and 240 (204–294) seconds, respectively (p = 0.03). Zebras remained recumbent throughout the study procedures. Systolic blood pressure (226 ± 42 and 167 ± 42 mmHg) and oxygen partial pressure (64 ± 12 and 47 ± 13 mmHg) were higher for KBM compared to EA (p < 0.01). Recovery time, after administering antagonists, was 92 (34–1337) and 26 (22–32) seconds for KBM and EA, respectively (p = 0.03).Compared to EA, KBM also immobilized zebras effectively. Systemic hypertension and moderate hypoxaemia are clinical concerns of KBM and severe hypoxaemia is a concern of EA. This occurrence of hypoxaemia highlights the importance of oxygen administration during immobilization.