Evaluation of Propofol and Medetomidine/Ketamine for Short-Term Immobilization of Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus de soti)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2002
Gregory J. Fleming1, BBA, DVM; Darryl J. Heard1, BSc, BVMS, PhD, DACZM; Ruth Francis-Floyd2, DVM, DACZM; Alan Riggs2, DVM
1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Zoological Medicine Service, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA


Parenteral anesthetic protocols for short-term immobilization of the threatened Gulf of Mexico sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus de soti) were evaluated. An initial dose response trial determined the efficacy of either propofol (3.5–7.5 mg/kg IV) or combinations of medetomidine/ketamine (0.03–0.07 mg/kg IM, 3–7 mg/kg IM). A subsequent experiment evaluated the physiologic effects of both propofol (6.5 mg/kg IV) and a medetomidine/ketamine combination (6 mg/kg IM, 0.06 mg/kg IM) that were determined in the previous trial to be effective. The medetomidine was reversed at 30 min with atipamezole (0.30 mg/kg). Both drug protocols provided adequate short-term immobilization for minor diagnostic procedures. Sturgeon administered propofol reached light anesthesia within 5 min, while only 70% of the medetomidine/ketamine group reached light anesthesia in the same time period. Both propofol and medetomidine/ketamine produce mild bradycardia and apparent respiratory depression, with propofol producing more profound effects. In conclusion, both propofol and a medetomidine/ketamine combination produce adequate depth and length of sedation with propofol having a faster induction time.


Speaker Information
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Gregory J. Fleming, BBA, DVM
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Zoological Medicine Service
College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

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