We chemically restrained free-ranging coyotes (Canis latrans), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), and raccoons (Procyon lotor) using medetomidine antagonized by atipamezole. All coyotes and 80% of red foxes were sedated with mean ± standard deviation doses of 0.12 ± 0.02 mg/kg and 0.14 ± 0.02 mg/kg medetomidine, respectively. Seventy-seven percent of raccoons were sedated with 0.21 ± 0.05 mg/kg medetomidine. In all species we observed occasional movement, muscle rigidity, and partial-arousal during sedation. Animals were alert within 4.3–8.6 ± 3.5–8.4 min following atipamezole at 0.4 mg/kg. Medetomidine and atipamezole provided safe handling in most animals and rapid recovery without use of a controlled substance. At these doses, biologists in the field should be prepared to administer a supplementary dose of medetomidine to some animals depending on ambient conditions and the objectives of the restraint event.
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Vol. 72 • No. 5