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1 January 2019 EVALUATION OF CHEMICAL IMMOBILIZATION IN CAPTIVE BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS) RECEIVING A COMBINATION OF NALBUPHINE, MEDETOMIDINE, AND AZAPERONE
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Abstract

To assess potential seasonal differences in responses to immobilization, we sedated eight orphaned yearling black bears (Ursus americanus) being held for rehabilitation at a wildlife facility in Colorado, US, using a premixed combination of nalbuphine (40 mg/mL), azaperone (10 mg/mL), and medetomidine (10 mg/mL; NalMed-A) in October (autumn) prior to hibernation and again after emergence in May (spring) prior to their release. We dosed all bears at 1 mL NalMed-A per estimated 45 kg body mass (1 mL NalMed-A/45 kg), delivered by intramuscular injection using a pole syringe, to facilitate routine examination and ear tagging. Arterial blood gases were measured to assess oxygenation and acid-base status of bears both pre and post oxygen supplementation. The mean (SE) dose calculated post hoc was 0.9 (0.04) mg nalbuphine/kg, 0.2 (0.01) mg azaperone/kg, and 0.2 (0.01) mg medetomidine/kg. The mean induction time was 8 (1) min for six of the bears in October and 6 (1) min for eight bears in May. The NalMed-A combination provided good sedation in captive yearling black bears in autumn and spring and was effectively antagonized with a combination of naltrexone and atipamezole. Mild hypoxemia (PaO2: 53.5–54.4 mmHg) was the most significant side effect and was corrected (PaO2: 68.4–150.1 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen administered at 2–5 L/min for 5 min (point of sampling).

© Wildlife Disease Association 2019
Lisa L. Wolfe, Mary E. Wood, Mark C. Fisher, and Michael A. Sirochman "EVALUATION OF CHEMICAL IMMOBILIZATION IN CAPTIVE BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS) RECEIVING A COMBINATION OF NALBUPHINE, MEDETOMIDINE, AND AZAPERONE," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 55(1), 84-90, (1 January 2019). https://doi.org/10.7589/2018-03-079
Received: 19 March 2018; Accepted: 18 May 2018; Published: 1 January 2019
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