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J Zoo Wildl Med. 2005 Dec;36(4):642-7.

Acid-base, blood gas, and physiologic parameters during laparoscopy in the head-down position in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


The objective of this project was to evaluate the acid-base, blood gas, and physiologic parameters of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during laparoscopy in the head-down position. Eleven white-tailed does were captured and then immobilized with xylazine (6 mg/kg i.m.) and ketamine (7 mg/kg i.m.). The deer were intubated orotracheally and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. The deer were positioned in dorsal recumbency and positive pressure ventilated. Heart rate (HR), arterial blood pressure, end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration (FE/CO2), and CO2 insufflation pressure were recorded every 5 min. Respiratory parameters, plasma electrolytes, and peak inspiratory pressure were measured immediately before tilting deer in the head-down position (45-55 degrees), 5 min after tilting, and immediately before the end of the procedure (while tilted). Butorphanol (0.05 mg/kg i.m.) was administered at the end of the procedure and yohimbine (0.2 mg/kg i.v.) administered before release. The deer weighed 52 kg (28-70 kg) [median (minimum-maximum)]. The peak inspiratory pressure in dorsal recumbency while still horizontal was 25 cm H2O (16-28 cm H2O), which increased to 29 cm H2O (18-46 cm H2O) after tilting (P = 0.02). PaO2, PaCO2, FE/CO2, and pH did not change after tilting in the head-down position or after insufflation. HR did not change during the anesthetic period. Mean arterial pressure did not change after tilting or abdominal insufflation, but decreased by the end of the anesthetic period (approximately 1 hr). Time from intubation to extubation was 117 min (72-170 min) (n = 5) and surgery time was 31 min (17-60 min; n = 10). We conclude that captured white-tailed deer have minimal derangements to acid-base, blood gas, or physiologic parameters during laparoscopy in the head-down position with abdominal insufflation, and thus this procedure may be performed safely in ventilated white-tailed deer.

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