White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were immobilized with either 4.0 mg etorphine hydrochloride (ETOR) or 3.5 mg ETOR and 50.0 mg xylazine (XYL). Deer immobilized with ETOR only were given 4.0 mg nalmefene hydrochloride (NAL), a new opioid antagonist, 20 min after induction. Deer immobilized with ETOR and XYL received 3.5 mg NAL and 0.125 mg/kg yohimbine hydrochloride (YOH). The dose of 4.0 mg ETOR did not provide acceptable immobilization and was discontinued. A NAL:ETOR ratio of 1:1 was insufficient for complete and sustained antagonism of ETOR. Subsequently, deer were immobilized with ETOR and XYL as before which was then antagonized with 35.0 mg NAL and 0.125 mg/kg YOH. The 10:1 ratio of NAL:ETOR appeared to provide complete antagonism with no evidence of renarcotization. Although more study is required, NAL could become a useful antagonist for opioid-induced immobilizations.
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Vol. 23 • No. 4