Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were immobilized with 0.5 mg/kg xylazine plus 7.5 μg/kg of either sufentanil (n =8), etorphine (n = 8), or carfentanil (n = 2). Drug doses used in this study were selected to provide consistency for comparison and are not recommended doses for effective immobilization of wolves. Induction times were similar among groups (11.9 ± 1.0 min). Thirty min after induction, wolves were given either 0.5 mg/kg naloxone hydrochloride plus 0.15 mg/kg yohimbine hydrochloride or saline only intravenously. Arousal times for wolves given naloxone and yohimbine (1.2 ± 0.1 min) were shorter than wolves given saline (35.5 ± 6.4 min). Respiratory rates were similar among the three drug groups (6.9 ± 1.0 breaths/min). One animal given sufentanil then saline was found dead 108 min after induction. Presumptive diagnosis was renarcotization and hypothermia. Results indicated that sufentanil is an effective opioid immobilizing agent for gray wolves.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4