Five free-ranging male (subadults, n = 3; adults, n = 2) plains zebras (Equus quagga) were immobilized using a combination of etorphine (0.017 mg/kg), medetomidine (0.017 mg/kg), and azaperone (0.24 mg/kg) by means of a blank cartridge-fired projector. Time to recumbency was recorded and a descriptive score used to assess the quality of immobilization, manipulation, maintenance, and recovery. Physiological parameters were recorded at 5-min intervals for 20 min. At the end of the procedure, naltrexone (0.23 mg/kg) was administered intramuscularly and time to standing documented. The combination evaluated in this study allowed for successful immobilization and safe recovery of all animals, including during the subsequent 15 days. Despite the good outcome in this pilot study, as a result of the periodic apneic events and hypercapnia documented in the zebras, the authors suggest that physiological parameters be thoroughly monitored when using this protocol. Further studies are needed to improve upon chemical immobilization protocols in free-ranging plains zebras.
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9 January 2020
EVALUATION OF THE QUALITY OF IMMOBILIZATION AND CARDIORESPIRATORY EFFECTS OF ETORPHINE-MEDETOMIDINE-AZAPERONE COMBINATION IN PLAINS ZEBRAS (EQUUS QUAGGA): A PILOT STUDY
Louwrens C. Hoffman,
George A. Schabort,
Craig A. Shepstone,
Giulia Maria De Benedictis