Two New Combinations for Fallow Deer Anesthesia: Thiafentanil, Telazol and Xylazine or Thiafentanil, Ketamine and Xylazine
Captive free ranging white fallow deer (Dama dama; n=33) were anesthetized, of which 20 experienced standardized circumstances in a comparative study.
Group A (n=10) was administered 0.02 mg/kg thiafentanil (A3080, 10 mg/ml, ZooPharm Fort Collins, Colorado, USA), 1 mg/kg xylazine (AnaSed, 100 mg/ml, Lloyd Laboratories, Shenandoah, Iowa, USA) and 1 mg/kg tiletamine/zolazepam (Telazol, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA) via remote dart. Group B (n=10) received 0.02 mg/kg thiafentanil, 1 mg/kg xylazine, and 2 mg/kg ketamine (Ketamine 200 mg/kg, ZooPharm), respectively via remote dart. All dosages were based on an approximated body weight of 60 kg.
Both combinations provided fast and smooth induction and suitable anesthesia. Initial mild respiratory depression was the most common side effect, but most animals improved unassisted within the first minutes after approach. Otherwise doxapram (Dopram-V 20 mg/ml, Fort Dodge) was administered in three cases in Group A and one animal in Group B (0.33–0.66 mg/kg IV or 2 mg/kg in 1000 ml LRS IV). Subjectively, muscle relaxation was slightly superior and of longer duration in Group A. Propofol (PropoFlo, 10 mg/ml IV, Abbott Animal Health, N. Chicago, Illinois, USA, 0.5–1 mg/kg repeatedly) was given to maintain or deepen anesthesia in three animals in Group A and two animals in Group B. Anesthesia was reversed using 1 mg/kg naltrexone (Naltrexone 50 mg/ml ZooPharm, ¼ IV and ¾ IM) and 0.1 mg/kg atipamezole (Antisedan, Pfizer Inc. New York, New York, USA, ½ IV and ½ IM). Recovery was quick and uneventful in all animals. Animals in both groups regained full consciousness in less than 3 min. These combinations provided predictable, stable and safe anesthesia for fallow deer, which has proven difficult in the past.1-7
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2. Haigh, J.C. 1977. Fallow deer immobilization with fentanyl and a neuroleptic. Vet. Rec. 100:386–387.
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6. Pearce, P.C., and R.A. Kock. 1989. Physiological effects of etorphine, acepromazine and xylazine on black fallow deer (Dama dama). Res. Vet. Sci. 46:380–386.
7. Caulkett, N., and J.C. Haight. 2007. Deer. In: West, G., D. Heard, and N. Caulkett (eds.). Zoo Animal and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa. Pp. 2007. Zoo and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia, Chapter 53 Deer Blackwell Publishing, ISBN: 9780813825663.