Inhalants are commonly used to anesthetize reptiles, but volatile anesthetics have been associated with prolonged recovery times. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of intramuscular (IM) epinephrine on anesthetic recovery times following isoflurane anesthesia in a population of subadult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). In this prospective randomized crossover study, five clinically healthy alligators were anesthetized for 90 min with the use of isoflurane. Alligators were randomly assigned into one of two treatment groups: Group E received IM epinephrine (0.1 mg/kg), and Group S received an equal volume of 0.9% saline administered after isoflurane was discontinued. Time from the end of inhalant administration to return of spontaneous ventilation, return of the palpebral reflex, movement in response to a standardized toe pinch, and spontaneous movement was recorded. The time of extubation was noted and occurred following the return of spontaneous ventilation and movement. Pulse rate, surface body temperature, and airway gases including expiratory and inspiratory isoflurane concentrations and end-tidal carbon dioxide were measured every 5 min throughout the study. The time from the end of anesthesia to extubation was significantly faster in Group E (51.2 ± 16.7 min) compared to Group S (107.4 ± 43.7 min). Pulse rate was significantly higher within the first 15 min following epinephrine injection compared to the saline group at these time points. Therefore, IM epinephrine administered at the end of general anesthesia can significantly hasten anesthetic recovery from isoflurane in alligators.
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