The effectiveness of tiletamine plus zolazepam (Telazol) and xylazine was evaluated as an immobilizing combination for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Fifteen raccoons were injected intramuscularly with a 3:2 mixture of Telazol (3.2±0.6 mg/kg [mean±SD]) and xylazine (2.1±0.4 mg/kg) at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, USA, during May–October, 2001–03. Mean induction time was 4.8±3.8 min; mean recovery time was 128.5±48.4 min. No linear relationships were found between the amount (mg/kg) of Telazolxylazine injected and induction (r2=0.06, P=0.40) or recovery times (r2=0.01, P=0.78). Mean heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature declined through 20 min after induction (P<0.05). No mortality occurred and no short-term adverse effects were observed in recaptured individuals. I conclude that a 3:2 mixture of Telazol-xylazine is a safe and effective immobilizing agent for raccoons when conducting nonsurgical field procedures. Immobilizing raccoons with Telazol at 3 mg/kg and xylazine at 2 mg/kg should provide up to 60 min of handling time and usually allow full recovery in about 120 min.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4