Improvement of arterial oxygenation in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) immobilized with etorphine-acepromazine-xylazine

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Abstract

Background: The effect of intranasal oxygen and/or early reversal of xylazine with atipamezole on arterial oxygenation in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) immobilized with etorphine-acepromazine-xylazine with a cross-sectional clinical study on 33 adult moose was evaluated. Moose were darted from a helicopter with 3.37 mg etorphine, 15 mg acepromazine and 75 mg xylazine. Intranasal oxygen at a flow rate of 4 L/min and/or early reversal of xylazine with 7.5 mg atipamezole to improve oxygenation was evaluated, using four treatment regimens; intranasal oxygen (n = 10), atipamezole intramuscularly (n = 6), atipamezole intravenously (n = 10), or a combination of atipamezole intravenously and intranasal oxygen (n = 7). Arterial blood was collected 7-30 minutes (min) after darting, and again 15 min after institution of treatment and immediately analyzed using an i-STAT®1 Portable Clinical Analyzer. Results: Before treatment the mean ± SD (range) partial pressure of arterial oxygen (P aO2) was 62 ± 17 (26-99) mmHg. Twenty-six animals had a P aO2 < 80 mmHg. Ten had a P aO2 of 40-60 mmHg and three animals had a P aO2 < 40 mmHg. Intranasal oxygen and intravenous administration of atipamezole significantly increased the mean P aO2 , as did the combination of the two. In contrast, atipamezole administered intramuscularly at the evaluated dose had no significant effect on arterial oxygenation. Conclusions: This study shows that intranasal oxygen effectively improved arterial oxygenation in immobilized moose, and that early intravenous reversal of the sedative component, in this case xylazine, in an opioid-based immobilization drug-protocol significantly improves arterial oxygenation.

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Lian, M., Evans, A. L., Bertelsen, M. F., Fahlman, Å., Haga, H. A., Ericsson, G., & Arnemo, J. M. (2014). Improvement of arterial oxygenation in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) immobilized with etorphine-acepromazine-xylazine. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 56, 51. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13028-014-0051-5

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