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1 March 2012 Standing Sedation in Captive Zebra (Equus grevyi and Equus burchellii)
Mark Hoyer, Sara de Jong, Frank Verstappen, Marno Wolters
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Nine Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi) and three Burchell's zebras (Equus burchellii) were immobilized in a standing position a total of 70 times for minor, nonpainful procedures over a 9-yr period. Standing sedation was successfully obtained with a combination of detomidine and butorphanol on 47 occasions (67.1%). Detomidine i.m. (median 0.10 mg/kg; range: 0.07–0.21) was administered by dart, followed 10 min later by butorphanol i.m. (median 0.13 mg/kg; range 0.04–0.24). The dosages were varied depending on the initial demeanor of the animal. On 23 occasions (32.9%), small amounts of etorphine (median 2.5 μg/kg; range 1.1–12.3 μg/kg) plus acepromazine (median 10 μg/kg; range 4.4–50 μg/kg) (as in Large Animal–Immobilon) had to be administered i.m. to gain sufficient sedation. In these latter cases, the animals were either excited or known for their aggressive character. The zebras were sufficiently immobilized for the length of most procedures (<45 min) without supplementation. At the end of the procedure, the animals were given atipamezole (2 mg per 1 mg detomidine used) and naltrexone (0.1 mg/kg) to reverse the sedative effects, irrespective of whether etorphine was used or not. Standing sedation, using the combination of the α-2 agonist detomidine and the partial agonist–antagonist opioid butorphanol (in some cases supplemented with etorphine acepromazine), proved to be a very efficacious and safe method to be used in zebras under zoo conditions for short-lasting, nonpainful procedures.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Mark Hoyer, Sara de Jong, Frank Verstappen, and Marno Wolters "Standing Sedation in Captive Zebra (Equus grevyi and Equus burchellii)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 43(1), 10-14, (1 March 2012).
Received: 19 June 2010; Published: 1 March 2012

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