Previously published studies indicated that combinations of medetomidine and ketamine were effective for both Svalbard (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) and wild Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). Both previous studies indicated that reindeer were hypoxemic on the basis of pulse oximetry. We conducted a physiologic evaluation of these two protocols using arterial blood gases. Medetomidine (10 mg) and ketamine (200 mg) were administered by dart from the ground in Svalbard reindeer (October 2010) and from a helicopter for wild reindeer (March 2012). Of tested animals, all seven wild reindeer and five of seven Svalbard reindeer were hypoxemic before oxygen administration. Nasal oxygen insufflation (1 L/min for five Svalbard reindeer and one wild reindeer and 2 L/min for four wild reindeer) corrected hypoxemia in all cases evaluated. For reversal, all animals received 5 mg atipamezole per mg medetomidine intramuscularly.
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Vol. 49 • No. 4