Two New Combinations for Fallow Deer Anesthesia: Thiafentanil, Telazol and Xylazine or Thiafentanil, Ketamine and Xylazine
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Tessa Lohe1, prakt. TA; Modesto McClean1, DVM; Jason Bennett1, DVM; Sabine Tacke2, HDoz. Dr
1Wildlife Safari, Winston, OR, USA; ²Clinic for Small Animals, Surgery, Anesthesia, Pain Therapy and Peri-operative Intensive Care, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany


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

Literature Cited

1.  Haefele, H.H., J.R. Zuba, E.E. Hammond, and R.W. Radcliffe. 2005. Immobilization of captive free-ranging fallow deer (Dama dama) with a carfentanil, xylazine and butorphanol combination. Proc. Joint Meet. Am. Assoc. Zoo Vet., and Am. Assoc. Wildl. Vet. Omaha, Nebraska. Pp. 261–262.

2.  Haigh, J.C. 1977. Fallow deer immobilization with fentanyl and a neuroleptic. Vet. Rec. 100:386–387.

3.  Haigh, J.C. 1990. Opioids in zoological medicine. J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 21:391–413.

4.  Kreeger, T. J., J. M. Arnemo and P. J. Raath. 2002. Handbook of Wildlife Chemical Immobilisation. International Edition, Wildlife Pharmaceuticals Inc., ISBN: 0965465209 9780965465205

5.  Low, R.J. 1973. Immobilon in deer. Vet. Rec. 93:86–87.

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.


Speaker Information
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Tessa Lohe, prakt. TA
Wildlife Safari
Winston, OR, USA

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