A combination of 0.05 mg/kg medetomidine and 1.5 mg/kg ketamine was used to immobilize nine adult free-ranging hog deer (Axis porcinus) captured in drive nets in the Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal, 22–23 February 2000. The drugs were administered intramuscularly from separate syringes and the mean time (±SD) to complete immobilization was 4.6±1.0 min. Muscle relaxation was good and no major clinical side effects were seen. Mean values for physiologic parameters, recorded at 10–12 and 18–20 min after drug administration, were 40.6±0.5 and 41.1 ±0.6 C, 87±5 and 84±4%, 107±16 and 113±16 beats/min, and 46±9 and 40±8 breaths/min for rectal temperature, SpO2, pulse rate, and respiratory rate, respectively. All animals received 0.25 mg/ kg atipamezole intramuscularly 20–22 min after administration of medetomidine-ketamine and the mean time to coordinated running was 4.8±0.8 min. All animals survived for at least 5 mo post-capture. To reduce stress and to facilitate handling, medetomidine–ketamine and atipamezole are recommended for reversible immobilization of free-ranging hog deer captured in drive nets.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2