Forty wild sika deer (Cervus nippon) were immobilized with medetomidine and ketamine and reversed by atipamezole in summer and fall captures from September 1994 to October 1995. For large yearling and older deer, mean ± SD doses of 57.0 ± 15.6 μg/kg medetomidine and 1.64 ± 0.49 mg/kg (male) or 4.02 ± 1.16 mg/kg (female) of ketamine were administered by intramuscular injection. For calves and small yearlings, 69.3 ± 7.0 μg/kg medetomidine and 2.69 ± 0.44 mg/kg ketamine were administered. While immobilized, deer were easy to handle, and muscles were well relaxed. After intramuscular administration of atipamezole (about 5 times the dose of medetomidine), deer recovered rapidly and smoothly.
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