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Immobilization of captive Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) using medetomidine–ketamine or medetomidine–midazolam

Avni-Magen, Nili, Zafrir, Barak, King, Roni, Bdolah-Abram, Tali, Shilo-Benjamini, Yael
Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia 2019 v.46 no.5 pp. 662-666
Dama mesopotamica, fallow, hemoglobin, ketamine, medetomidine, mortality, oxygen, respiratory rate, standard deviation, t-test
To establish and compare the effectiveness of two medetomidine-based immobilization protocols in Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica).Prospective, randomized, blinded clinical study.A group of 31 captive Persian fallow deer.Deer scheduled for translocation were immobilized with a combination of medetomidine (76 ± 11 μg kg−1) and ketamine (1.0 ± 0.2 mg kg−1) (MK; n = 15) or medetomidine (77 ± 11 μg kg−1) and midazolam (0.10 ± 0.01 mg kg−1) (MM; n = 16) administered intramuscularly. An observer unaware of group assignments recorded times to immobilization and recovery, monitored physiologic variables and scored the quality of induction, immobilization and recovery (scale 1–5: 1, poor; 5, excellent). Atipamezole was administered for reversal. Data analysis was performed using the t test, the Mann–Whitney U test, the chi-square test and the Fisher's exact test. Significance was set at p < 0.05.Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation or median (range). Time to induce immobilization was 9 ± 4 and 10 ± 4 minutes in the MK and MM groups, respectively. Immobilization quality score was 5 (1–5) following both combinations. Hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) was significantly lower in the MK (80 ± 8%) than in the MM group (87 ± 8%) although respiratory frequency did not differ between MK and MM (11 ± 5 and 10 ± 2 breaths minute−1, respectively). Recovery times were 13 ± 6 (MK) and 14 ± 7 minutes (MM) and did not differ between groups. No morbidities or mortalities were recorded during 1 month after immobilization.The MK and MM combinations produced sufficient immobilization in captive Persian fallow deer for short nonpainful procedures. Based on the SpO2 values, the MM combination may be associated with less respiratory depression; nevertheless, both combinations may result in a decrease in SpO2.