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Vet Anaesth Analg. 2016 May;43(3):333-7. doi: 10.1111/vaa.12301. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Immobilization of wild giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) with dexmedetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam.

Author information

1
The Clinical Department, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.
2
Shaanxi Foping National Reserve, Shaanxi, China.
3
Beijing Zoo, Beijing, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects and utility of dexmedetomidine combined with tiletamine and zolazepam (dexMTZ) to immobilize the wild giant panda.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective clinical study.

ANIMALS:

Seven giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), five males and two females, aged 7-20 years and weighing 69.2-132.9 kg.

METHODS:

Once an animal was located, prior data on the individual was reviewed and the panda's previously estimated body weight was used to calculate the volumes of drugs to administer: dexmedetomidine (dexM; 8 μg kg(-1) ; 0.5 mg mL(-1) ) and tiletamine-zolazepam (TZ; 2 mg kg(-1) ; 50 mg mL(-1) ). The mixture was injected intramuscularly (IM) using the Dan-Inject pistol system. When the panda was immobilized, it was weighed, a physical examination was performed and a blood sample collected. Every 5 minutes, the heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (fR ), rectal temperature (T), noninvasive systolic arterial pressure (SAP), capillary refill time (CRT), mucous membrane color and pulse quality were recorded. After all procedures had been completed, atipamezole (40 μg kg(-1) ) was injected IM.

RESULTS:

A single injection of dexMTZ resulted in the immobilization of all seven giant pandas. The median (range) of anesthetic agents administered was dexM 8.4 μg kg(-1) (7.3-10.5 μg kg(-1) ) and TZ 2.0 mg kg(-1) (1.8-2.5 mg kg(-1) ). The palpebral reflex was lost 8 (7-12) minutes after the injection. Most of the physiological variables remained in the acceptable range. All procedures were completed in approximately 1 hour. Six out of the seven (85.7%) giant pandas recovered smoothly; one panda had a rough recovery.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

DexMTZ produced a satisfactory immobilization and a smooth recovery for wild giant pandas while allowing approximately 55 minutes for planned noninvasive procedures.

KEYWORDS:

chemical immobilization; dexmedetomidine; giant panda; tiletamine; zolazepam

PMID:
26332691
DOI:
10.1111/vaa.12301
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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