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4 April 2018 THE USE OF KETAMINE-XYLAZINE OR BUTORPHANOL-AZAPERONE-MEDETOMIDINE TO IMMOBILIZE AMERICAN BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS)
Ryan H. Williamson, Lisa I. Muller, Coy D. Blair
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Abstract

Wildlife anesthetic protocols must offer rapid inductions and recoveries, be physiologically safe, and be minimally regulated. With this in mind, we evaluated differences in induction and recovery times and physiological parameters in 33 American black bears (Ursus americanus) anesthetized with ketamine-xylazine (KX) or immobilized with a commercial drug combination of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine (BAM). Dose was based on mass estimated from field observations. Bears were housed at Appalachian Bear Rescue, Townsend, Tennessee, US, or free-ranging within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina, US) and chemically immobilized for management purposes. From 11 April to 29 June 2016, we immobilized bears with injection via pole syringe or disposable dart projected from an air-powered dart rifle. Once immobilized, we measured each bear's temperature, respiration (breaths/min), heart rate (beats/min), hemoglobin oxygen saturation (via pulse oximetry), arterial blood gases, and mass (kg). We found no differences in the induction parameters, partial pressures of CO2, and rectal temperatures. The BAM-treated bears had lower heart and respiratory rates that led to lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation levels (from blood gas analysis, SaO2). The SaO2 after treatment with BAM (91.1±0.8%) was lower than with KX (93.4±0.9%). After handling, we reversed KX-treated bears with a =0.2±0.02 mg/kg yohimbine and BAM-treated bears with =1.5±0.1 mg/kg atipamezole and 0.8±0.1 mg/kg naltrexone. We found no differences in the recovery times to increased respiration and to the bear assuming a head-up position. The BAM-treated bears stood and recovered quicker than did KX-treated animals. Based on our observations, BAM appears to offer safe, predictable immobilizations with fewer drawbacks and faster recovery times than KX-treated bears.

© Wildlife Disease Association 2018
Ryan H. Williamson, Lisa I. Muller, and Coy D. Blair "THE USE OF KETAMINE-XYLAZINE OR BUTORPHANOL-AZAPERONE-MEDETOMIDINE TO IMMOBILIZE AMERICAN BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS)," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 54(3), 503-510, (4 April 2018). https://doi.org/10.7589/2017-10-255
Received: 19 October 2017; Accepted: 22 December 2017; Published: 4 April 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Arterial blood gases
BAM
black bear
chemical immobilization
pulse oximetry
Ursus americanus
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