Fifteen male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were administered xylazine hydrochloride (1 mg/kg BW i.m.), xylazine hydrochloride (1 mg/kg i.m.) followed by caffeine sodium benzoate (10 mg/kg i.m.), xylazine hydrochloride (0.5 mg/kg i.m.) and ketamine hydrochloride (4.5 mg/kg i.m.), and xylazine hydrochloride (1 mg/kg i.m.) followed by yohimbine hydrochloride (0.125 mg/kg i.m.), in a Latin Square design. Mean dry matter intake (DMI) for 4 days pre-treatment was compared to each of 4 days post-treatment. A significant (P < 0.01) decrease in DMI was found only on the first day following treatment for each of the four drug combinations. The percent decreases in DMI on the first 24-hr period after immobilization were: xylazine hydrochloride 47%, xylazine hydrochloride/caffeine sodium benzoate 36%, xylazine hydrochloride/yohimbine hydrochloride 36%, and xylazine hydrochloride/ketamine hydrochloride 31%. The xylazine hydrochloride/ketamine hydrochloride combination was found to be insufficient to adequately sedate the deer. The use of caffeine or yohimbine hydrochloride is recommended to reduce recumbency time, but offers no improvement in xylazine hydrochloride-induced anorexia.
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