A Comparison of Intramuscular Anesthetics in Teleosts and Elasmobranchs
IAAAM 1988
Thomas D. Williams; John Christiansen; Scott Nygren
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA

Chemical immobilization of teliosts and elasmobranche allows manipulation of fishes when physical restraint is not possible or advisable. In large exhibit tanks intramuscular anesthesia is advantageous to reduce trauma, capture and transportation stress in fast moving fish and large specimens.

The species of temperate water fish administered intramuscular anesthesia included: stripped bass (Moron saxattilis), rockfish (Sebastes sp.), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonica), white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), rainbow trout (Salmo qairdnerii) gairdnerii), giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas), sheephead (Semicos syphus pulcher),leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) and spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias).

In this study ketamine hydrochloride is compared to azaperone, carfentanyl, diazepam, fentanyl, flaxedil (gallamine triethiodide), metomidate, MS-222, saffan (alphaxalone-alphadolone), succinyl choline, telazol (tiletamine-zolazepam), xylazine, as an anesthetic agent for fish.

Ketamine hydrochloride in doses of 30 to 40 mg/lb was found to be a safe, short acting, easily administered, intramuscular immobilizing agent for fish. In over 50 trials, fish anesthetized with the recommended dose exhibited no serious side effects. No deleterious effects occurred except at dosages above 98 mg/lb.

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Thomas D. Williams, DVM
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, CA

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