Reversible immobilization of asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) with detomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam and atipamezole

Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine : Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Pietro LaricchiutaOlimpia R Lai


Chemical immobilization of free-ranging and captive wildlife is often required in many clinical situations. In this trial, tiletamine-zolazepam was combined with the alpha2-agonist, detomidine, in order to use the least amount of anesthetic drug possible to achieve a rapid immobilization; to ensure safety for animals and operators; and to be easily reversible with specific antagonists for a fast recovery. Twelve captive Asiatic black bears were anesthetized for clinical procedures, including clinical examination and blood sample collection, and for electrocardiographic and echocardiographic procedures. The combination detomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam, at the dosages of 0.03 mg/kg for detomidine and 1.5 mg/kg for tiletamine-zolazepam, proved to be reliable and effective in immobilizing Asiatic black bears for a 1-hr handling period for routine clinical procedures. Minimal or no respiratory and/or cardiopulmonary adverse side effects were observed, even with dosages calculated on the basis of an estimated body weight. The respiratory rate, pulse rate, and hemoglobin-oxygen saturation remained stable for the entire duration of anesthesia. Cardiac rhythm was always sinusal in all animals. Small injection volumes and darts for blowpi...Continue Reading


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