The effectiveness of tiletamine plus zolazepam (Telazol) and xylazine as an immobilizing combination for fishers (Martes pennanti) was evaluated. Ten fishers were intramuscularly injected using a 5:3 mixture of Telazol (2.9±0.6 mg/kg [mean±SD]) and xylazine (2.1±0.4 mg/kg) at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan (USA) during May to October, 2001–05. Mean induction time was 4.7±4.4 min; mean recovery time was 94.6±46.0 min. There was no relationship between the amount (mg/kg) of Telazol-xylazine injected and time to first effect of immobilants, dosage and time to induction, or between dosage and time to recovery. Mean heart rate remained constant through 20 min postinduction. Respiratory rate and body temperature declined through 10 and 20 min postinduction, respectively. No mortality occurred and no adverse effects were observed in individuals up to 19 mo later. It was concluded that a 5:3 mixture of Telazol-xylazine is a safe and effective immobilizing agent for fishers when conducting nonsurgical field procedures. Immobilizing fishers with 6–7 mg/kg of the combination (3.8–4.4 mg/kg Telazol and 2.3–2.6 mg/kg xylazine) should provide ≥30 min of handling time and allow full recovery in <90 min.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2