The efficacy, safety, and reliability of two ketamine–medetomidine–butorphanol anesthetic combinations were evaluated in 34 adult binturongs (Arctictis binturong). The animals were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. On the basis of estimated body weights, group high ketamine (HK) received ketamine (8 mg/kg, i.m.), medetomidine (0.02 mg/kg, i.m.), and butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg, i.m.) combined in a single injection, and group low ketamine (LK) received ketamine (2 mg/kg, i.m), medetomidine (0.04 mg/kg, i.m.), and butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg, i.m.). Cardiopulmonary parameters were measured for approximately 45 min; the animals were then administered atipamezole (5 mg/mg medetomidine, i.m.). Individual responses varied greatly to the anesthetic combinations, but similar numbers of animals in each group needed supplemental anesthetic agents (seven in group HK and six in group LK). Mean heart rates were higher in the LK group throughout anesthesia. Animals in both groups were mildly to moderately hypoxemic, but oxygenation improved in both groups following supplemental oxygen administration. Respiratory rates, arterial blood pressures, body temperatures, and end-tidal CO2 values were similar in both groups. Both protocols were effective; however, the LK combination is preferable because the mean recovery time was shorter.
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Vol. 34 • No. 4