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Immobilization of American Beaver (Castor canadensis) with Nalbuphine, Medetomidine, and Azaperone

Roug, Annette, Lance, William, Vroom, Tiana, Gardner, Russel, DeBloois, Darren, Talley, Heather
Journal of wildlife diseases 2019 v.55 no.3 pp. 699-703
Castor canadensis, anal glands, anesthesia, animals, azaperone, blood, cages, hypoxia, isoflurane, medetomidine, oxygen, sedation, sex determination, tail
Thirty-two American beavers (Castor canadensis) were immobilized with a mixture of nalbuphine, medetomidine, and azaperone (NalMedA) for tail transmitter placement and health assessments prior to translocation. Inductions and reversals were very smooth, but regardless of the dose administered, which ranged from 0.02 to 0.06 mL/kg, many beavers reacted to mild stimuli such as being lifted out of the cage, drawing blood from the tail, expressing anal glands for sex determination, and turning on isoflurane to deepen anesthesia before placement of tail transmitters. On a scale from 1 to 5, a sedation score of 4 was achieved in 8/32 beavers and a sedation score of 5 in 1/32 of beavers given a mean (SD) dosage of 0.04 (0.01) mL/kg NalMedA, which equated to a mean of 1.09 (0.21) mg/kg nalbuphine, 0.43 (0.09) mg/kg medetomidine, and 0.36 (0.07) mg/kg azaperone. All other animals achieved lower sedation scores. Supplementary isoflurane was needed to deepen anesthesia before tail transmitter placement. Although Nal-MedA appeared to be safe for use in American beavers, the level of sedation achieved was quite variable. Supplementary oxygen is recommended to reduce hypoxemia.