This study evaluated the use of the injectable anesthetic, alphaxalone, as a single agent and in combination with ketamine, xylazine, and morphine in the Chilean rose tarantula, Grammostola rosea. Between two and four animals were evaluated for each anesthetic protocol, and two unanesthetized animals were evaluated for comparative purposes. Anesthetic duration, depth, and quality were assessed by scoring responses to tactile and trichobothria stimulation, muscle tone, purposeful movement, righting response, and heart rate throughout each anesthetic event. Alphaxalone administered into the dorsal opisthosoma in the location of the heart at 200 mg/kg produced moderate anesthetic effect with a median duration of 28 min (n = 3; range 25–50). A combination of 200 mg/kg of alphaxalone and 20 mg/kg of ketamine induced a deep anesthetic state with a median anesthetic duration of 27 min (n = 4; range 16–42). The combination of 200 mg/kg of alphaxalone and 20 mg/kg of xylazine produced deep anesthesia with a median duration of 70 min (n = 4; range 37–207). Morphine administered at 5 mg/kg 30 min prior to injection with 200 mg/kg alphaxalone had anesthetic durations of 9 and 30 min (n = 2). Heartbeats could not be detected for periods of 7–27 min following anesthetic induction for the majority of animals receiving the alphaxalone/ketamine and alphaxalone/xylazine anesthetic combinations. No mortality was associated with any of the anesthetic protocols used; however, ambient temperature and ecdysis were identified as important factors that may alter response to anesthetics in these animals.
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