Evaluation of Medetomidine/Ketamine for Short-term Immobilization of Variable Flying Foxes (Pteropus hypomelanus)

  • Heard D
  • Towles J
  • LeBlanc D
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Four medetomidine/ketamine (M/K) doses (30 microg/kg/3 mg/kg; 40/4; 50/5; 60/6), administered by intramuscular injection, were evaluated for short-term immobilization of adult male variable flying foxes (Pteropus hypomelanus). The highest dose (60 microg/kg/6 mg/kg) produced a significantly faster induction (31 +/- 46 sec) than the lowest dose (30/3) (125 +/- 62 sec). The highest dose levels (50/5, 60/6) produced significantly longer immobilization times (52.5 +/- 25.7 min and 60.6 +/- 20.8 min, respectively) than did the lower doses (30/3, 40/4) (18.8 +/- 8.7 min and 31.0 +/- 14.3 min, respectively). The dose at which 50% of the bats were immobilized for > or = 30 min (ED(50)) was approximately 40 microg/kg/4 mg/kg. This dose produced a mean immobilization time of 31 +/- 14 min, bradypnea and bradycardia. In conclusion, a M/K dose of 50 microg/kg/5 mg/kg is recommended for greater than 30 min of relaxed immobilization in free-living variable flying foxes and is sufficient for safe collection of samples.

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  • Darryl Heard

  • Jennifer Towles

  • Dana LeBlanc

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