The cardiorespiratory effects, effectiveness, and reversibility of two injectable anesthetic combinations were compared in captive patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas). Seven patas monkeys were hand-injected with medetomidine (40 μg/kg, i.m.), butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg, i.m.), and ketamine (3.0 mg/kg, i.m.), and seven were injected with the same dosages of medetomidine and butorphanol plus midazolam (0.3 mg/kg, i.m.). Heart rates decreased in monkeys in both treatment groups and were lower than those previously recorded in patas monkeys anesthetized with either ketamine or ketamine and isoflurane. Mean arterial pressures were highest in ketamine-treated monkeys but remained within normal limits for both groups. End tidal CO2 values increased gradually over time in both groups and were above physiologic norms after 20 min. Respiratory rates were similar between groups and remained constant throughout the procedures. Despite adequate ventilation parameters, initial low percent oxygen-hemoglobin saturation (SpO2) values were suggestive of severe hypoxemia. It was not clear whether these were accurate readings or an artifact of medetomidine-induced peripheral vasoconstriction. Oxygen supplementation restored SpO2 values to normal (>94%) in both groups. Both combinations effectively produced a state of light anesthesia, although spontaneous recoveries occurred after 30 min in three ketamine-treated monkeys. All monkeys were given i.m. atipamezole (0.2 mg/kg) and naloxone (0.02 mg/kg), whereas midazolam-treated monkeys also received flumazenil (0.02 mg/kg, i.v.), which resulted in faster (median recovery time = 5 min) and more complete recoveries in this group. Both combinations are safe to use when supplemented with oxygen, although the midazolam combination provided a longer anesthetic period and was more fully reversible.
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