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1 March 2016 RESULTS OF THE MEGAVERTEBRATE ANALGESIA SURVEY: ELEPHANTS AND RHINO
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Abstract

An online survey utilizing Survey Monkey linked through the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians listserve examined current practices in megavertebrate analgesia. Data collected included drugs administered, dosing regimens, ease of administration, efficacy, and adverse events. Fifty-nine facilities (38 housing elephants, 33 housing rhinoceroses) responded. All facilities administered nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with phenylbutazone (0.25–10 mg/kg) and flunixin meglumine (0.2–4 mg/kg) being most common. Efficacy was reported as “good” to “excellent” for these medications. Opioids were administered to elephants (11 of 38) and rhinoceroses (7 of 33), with tramadol (0.5–3.0 mg/kg) and butorphanol (0.05–1.0 mg/kg) being most common. Tramadol efficacy scores were highly variable in both elephants and rhinoceroses. While drug choices were similar among institutions, substantial variability in dosing regimens and reported efficacy between and within facilities indicates the need for pharmacokinetic studies and standardized methods of analyzing response to treatment to establish dosing regimens and clinical trials to establish efficacy and safety.

Copyright 2016 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Jack Kottwitz, Matthew Boothe, Roy Harmon, Scott B. Citino, Jeffery R. Zuba, and Dawn M. Boothe "RESULTS OF THE MEGAVERTEBRATE ANALGESIA SURVEY: ELEPHANTS AND RHINO," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 47(1), 301-310, (1 March 2016). https://doi.org/10.1638/2015-0195.1
Received: 28 August 2015; Published: 1 March 2016
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