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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Butorphanol and azaperone as a safe alternative for repeated chemical restraint in captive white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum).

Anesthesia in the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) has routinely involved potent narcotic anesthetic agents such as etorphine or carfentanil with their associated adverse side effects. In captive rhinoceroses conditioned to routine handling, a combination of butorphanol and azaperone at mean (+/- SD) doses of 69.3 +/- 18.0 mg and 103.1 +/- 20.9 mg, respectively, was used to produce levels of neuroleptanalgesia ranging from light "standing" sedation to deeper planes of anesthesia producing sternal and lateral recumbency. This combination was used for repeated (minimum repeat frequency of 3 days between events) anesthetic episodes (n = 26) in two animals, with the remaining episode performed in a white rhinoceros with chronic renal disease. The action of butorphanol was satisfactorily reversed with naltrexone (125 mg i.v. and 125 mg i.m.). Results (mean +/- SD) include sternal recumbency achieved in 14.1 +/- 8.1 min after i.m. dosing, standing and ambulation occurred in 1.7 +/- 0.6 min after reversal, heart rate was 62.0 +/- 10.1 beats/min, respiratory rate was 14.7 +/- 5.6 breaths/min, and percentage of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (Spo2) was 89.2 +/- 3.0%. Without supplementation, the total elapsed time ranged from 44.9 min to 103.0 min, whereas elapsed times up to 214.3 min were achieved with supplementation (mean time to supplementation was 28.0 +/- 13.9 min after initial dosing). Butorphanol and azaperone produced adequate muscle relaxation and apparently adequate analgesia for minor surgical interferences, including abdominal laparoscopy. Respiratory rates and Spo2 measurements were improved compared with reports of using more potent opioids in this species.[1]


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