Effects of Combining Nitroprusside with Medetomidine-Azaperone-Alfaxalone in Captive White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2017
Kelsey Chapman1, BSc; Nigel Caulkett1, DVM, MVetSc, DACVA; Søren Boysen1, DVM, DACVECC; Rob Stevens2; Murray Woodbury2, DVM, MSc
1Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Large Animal Clinical Science, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada


Wildlife immobilization has experienced much refinement, but there is still room for improvement in induction time. Medetomidine causes profound vasoconstriction; this may limit its absorption locally and have an impact on induction time. This study aimed to determine if adding the vasodilator nitroprusside to medetomidine-azaperone-alfaxalone combination anesthesia resulted in a more rapid induction of anesthesia. In a crossover study, nine captive female white-tailed deer were hand-injected intramuscularly with either control (0.15 mg/kg medetomidine, 0.2 mg/kg azaperone, and 0.5 mg/kg alfaxalone) or treatment (0.07 mg/kg nitroprusside added) and released into an enclosure for observation. Once recumbent, monitoring equipment was placed; arterial blood gas (ABG) was analyzed at 15 min post injection (PI); heart and respiratory rate, SpO2, rectal temperature, and direct systolic, mean, and diastolic arterial blood pressures were recorded every 5 min; and after 60 min PI, deer were reversed with intramuscular atipamezole (0.75 mg/kg). Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA and descriptive statistics with a significance level of p<0.05. Induction with nitroprusside (time to lateral recumbency 5.5±3.0 sec) was not significantly different from control (7.1±3.3 sec). Direct systolic, mean, and diastolic blood pressures were significantly lower with nitroprusside treatment. Interestingly, a significant improvement in oxygenation was observed with the nitroprusside treatment, as evidenced by an increased PaO2 (52.8±3.1 mm Hg for control; 61.4±2.5 mm Hg for treatment) in ABG samples. Although nitroprusside induced no significant reduction in induction time, the significant increase in oxygenation is worthy of further investigation.


Speaker Information
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Kelsey Chapman, BSc
Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB, Canada

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