Five red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) were anesthetized at weekly intervals with intravenous ketamine hydrochloride (KET, 4.4 mg/kg) and xylazine hydrochloride (XYL, 2.2 mg/kg). Twenty min after anesthesia, yohimbine hydrochloride (YOH, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20 and 0.40 mg/kg) or a control was administered. All doses of YOH significantly reduced the head-up times (F = 20.84, df = 1,24, P < 0.0001) and the standing times (F = 12.30, df = 1.24, P < 0.0001), compared to the control group. The heart and respiratory rates following YOH (all doses) were significantly greater (P < 0.01) than the anesthetized rates, but were comparable to the rates observed in restrained, unanesthetized hawks. Yohimbine did not appear to have any significant effect on body temperature. Based upon administration of 4.4 mg/kg KET and 2.2 mg/kg XYL, a dose of 0.10 mg/kg YOH was recommended to achieve antagonism without causing profound cardiovascular or respiratory changes.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2