Blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates tinctorius azureus) are commonly maintained in zoological institutions and are becoming popular in the pet trade industry. Sedation or light anesthesia is required for safe and effective handling of this species. In this study, the sedative effects of subcutaneously administered alfaxalone–midazolam–dexmedetomidine (AMD) (20, 40, 5 mg/kg, respectively) and ketamine–midazolam–dexmedetomidine (KMD) (100, 40, 5 mg/kg, respectively) were compared in a prospective, randomized, blinded, crossover study in juvenile blue poison dart frogs (n = 10). Both protocols were partially reversed 45 min after administration of either protocol with subcutaneously administered flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg) and atipamezole (50 mg/kg). Heart rate, pulmonic respiratory rate, various reflexes, and behavioral parameters were monitored after drug administration. Both protocols resulted in rapid loss of righting reflex [median (range): AMD, 5 min (5–5 min); KMD, 5 min (5–10 min)]. Time to complete recovery was similar with both protocols (mean ± SD: AMD, 97.5 ± 11.4 min; KMD, 96.5 ± 25.4 min). The AMD protocol resulted in pulmonic respiratory depression, whereas no significant difference in heart rate was found between the two protocols. All frogs were observed eating within 24 hr of chemical restraint. Gastric prolapses occurred in four frogs (AMD 3, KMD 1) that were easily reduced with a cotton-tip application. No other adverse reactions were observed. The results of this study provide two different subcutaneous chemical restraint protocols in juvenile blue poison dart frogs.
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9 January 2020
COMPARISON OF SUBCUTANEOUS ADMINISTRATION OF ALFAXALONE–MIDAZOLAM–DEXMEDETOMIDINE WITH KETAMINE–MIDAZOLAM–DEXMEDETOMIDINE FOR CHEMICAL RESTRAINT IN JUVENILE BLUE POISON DART FROGS (DENDROBATES TINCTORIUS AZUREUS)
Taylor J. Yaw,
Kurt K. Sladky
blue poison dart frog
Dendrobates tinctorius azureus