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vol.92 issue1Pathological findings in African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) in South AfricaMuscle tremors observed in white rhinoceroses immobilised with either etorphine-azaperone or etorphine-midazolam: An initial study author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


GAUDIO, Eugenio et al. Evaluation of two different etorphine doses combined with azaperone in blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) immobilisation. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2021, vol.92, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2224-9435.

Chemical immobilisation is essential for veterinarians to perform medical procedures in wild African ungulates. Potent opioids combined with neuroleptic drugs are most often used for this purpose. The present study aimed at comparing the quality of immobilisation and effects on physiological variables between a high (high etorphine-azaperone [HE]: 0.09 mg kg-1) and low etorphine dose (low etorphine-azaperone [LE]: 0.05 mg kg-1), both combined with azaperone (0.35 mg kg-1), in 12 adult female boma-acclimatised blesbok. It was hypothesised that a reduction in etorphine's dose in combination with azaperone would result in less cardiorespiratory impairment but likely worsen the quality of immobilisation. Both treatments resulted in rapid induction and recovery times. Overall inter-treatment differences occurred in pulse rate (HE and LE: 52 ± 15 and 44 ± 11 beats minute-1, p < 0.0001), respiratory rate (HE and LE: 15 ± 4 and 17 ± 4 breaths minute-1, p < 0.006), partial pressure of exhaled carbon dioxide (HE and LE: 62.0 ± 5.0 and 60.0 ± 5.6 millimetre of mercury [mmHg], p < 0.028) and arterial carbon dioxide (HE and LE: 58.0 ± 4.5 and 55.0 ± 3.9 mmHg, p < 0.002). Both HE and LE led to bradycardia, hypertension and marked hypoxia to a similar extent. Furthermore, quality of induction, immobilisation and recovery were similar in both treatments. The role of azaperone in the development of cardiorespiratory compromise and gas exchange impairment that occurred when these combinations were used is still unclear. Further studies are recommended to elucidate drug- and dose-specific physiological effects in immobilised antelope.

Keywords : anaesthesia; antelope; azaperone; chemical immobilisation; etorphine; wildlife.

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