Comparison of Three Different Anesthetic Protocols in the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2014
Brian Stockinger1, DVM; Jennifer Waldoch2, DVM; Cheryl Morris3, MS, PhD; Julia E. Napier2, DVM; Douglas L. Armstrong2, DVM; Sara Plesuk2
1Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City, MO, USA; 2Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, NE, USA; 3Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA


Nine captive, clinically healthy, juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were anesthetized, once with each of three protocols, for 45 minutes. Protocols included inhalant sevofluranea via facemask at an 8% flow rate and 1 L/min oxygen (S) initially, intravenous propofolb at a 5 mg/kg bolus (Pr) initially, and intramuscular ketaminec (10 mg/kg) and medetomidined (0.1 mg/kg) (KM). Sevoflurane and propofol were administered as needed to maintain anesthesia. No animals required supplemental ketamine. KM anesthesia was reversed with intramuscular atipamezolee at 5 mg per 1 mg medetomidine. Surgical anesthesia was reached and maintained in all events, and routine vital signs were monitored. Intermittent positive-pressure ventilation was provided in all three protocols via endotracheal tube until extubation. Extubation occurred when spontaneous respirations were observed.

Each protocol provided safe, reliable, and repeatable anesthesia. There was no difference (p<0.05) in time to intubation. Mean time to extubation was longer (p<0.05) following Pr (75.3 minutes) events than KM (11.7 minutes) and S (22.1 minutes) events. Mean heart rate was higher (p<0.05) during Pr events (37.8 beats per minute [bpm]) than KM (27 bpm) and S (29.5 bpm) events. Mean temperature was higher (p<0.05) during Pr events (81.2°F) than KM (77.6°F) and S (78.2°F) events. Mean end-tidal carbon dioxide was higher (p<0.05) during Pr events (18.1 mm Hg) than KM (14.1 mm Hg) and S (11.6 mm Hg) events.


a. SevoFlo, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA
b. PropoFlo 10 mg/ml, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA
c. KetaVed 100 mg/ml, Vedco Inc., Saint Joseph, MO, USA
d. Domitor 1 mg/ml (discontinued), Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY, USA
e. Antisedan, Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY, USA


The authors would like to thank all those who supported this study, particularly the animal hospital staff, veterinary technicians (Nicole Linafelter-Whisney; Mandie Mohn, LVT; and Joan Swinford, LVT) and the reptile management (Jessi Krebs) and keeper staff at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.


Speaker Information
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Brian Stockinger, DVM
Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City, MO, USA

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