The objective of this study was to determine if the potent α2 agonist, medetomidine, and its specific antagonist, atipamezole, could be effectively used to immobilize polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Specifically, our goal was to develop a drug combination containing medetomidine that addressed some of the problems such as prolonged recovery time, non-reversibility, and poor analgesia that have been identified with the currently preferred drug combination, zolazepam-tiletamine (Telazol® or Zoletil®). During 1995 and 1996, 51 free-ranging polar bears along the western coast of Hudson Bay, Canada, were immobilized with a combination of medetomidine, zolazepam, and tiletamine (MZT). Immobilization with MZT was characterized by a short induction time, low volume, reliable and predictable immobilization and reversibility, adequate analgesia, and relative safety in handling for field personnel. Few adverse physiological effects were observed in any target animals with the exception of a single bear which convulsed and died shortly after it was reversed from anesthesia with atipamezole. We conclude that MZT is an effective drug combination for immobilizing polar bears. However, because of an unexplained mortality, further investigation of the physiological effects of MZT and atipamezole is warranted.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 33 • No. 3