TECHNIQUE

Ketamine/Medetomidine Anaesthesia in Waterfowl (Disease Investigation & Control - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Treatment & Care / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords See also:
Description N.B. Information given in this page is to be used in conjunction with the relevant sections on Anaesthesia and Chemical Restraint within "Treatment and/or Control".

Before using any anaesthetic agent or combination of agents the manufacturer's data sheet on the agent or agents concerned should be consulted, taking particular note of any contra-indications and operator warnings.

  • Intramuscular: ketamine 10mg/kg plus medetomidine 200 micrograms/kg
  • Induction in approximately two to three minutes.
  • Maintenance with isoflurane (preferred) or very low dose halothane (0.5-1.0%).

(B14)

(see: Intramuscular Injection of Birds)

Appropriate Use (?)
  • Wide margin of safety.
  • "particularly useful in swans and other waterfowl" (B14).
Notes
  • May be reversed with atipamezole, given at same dose as medetomidine (B14).
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Reversal too early (e.g. within 10-15 minutes) may result in violent wing flapping due to continued effect of ketamine (B14).
  • Atipamezole is metabolised more rapidly than medetomidine: re-sedation may occur unless higher dose of atipamezole is given (B14).
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers Ketamine: e.g. Ketaset (Fort Dodge Animal Health), Vetalar V (Pharmacia & Upjohn Limited). Both are colourless solutions containing 100mg/ml ketamine as ketamine hydrochloride, with benzethonium chloride 0.01% as a preservative (B90).

Medetomidine: e.g. Domitor (Pfizer Limited). Aqueous solution for injection, containing 1.0mg/ml medetomidine hydrochloride (B90).

Expertise level / Ease of Use Procedure should only be undertaken by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical experience; this would usually be a veterinarian or someone with advanced veterinary technician training.

N.B. Whenever an anaesthetic is undertaken, the anaesthetist must be familiar with emergency protocols. Consideration must be given as to the availability of equipment required to monitor the anaesthetic plane of the animal being anaesthetized and any equipment/drugs required for revival. It is advisable to calculate the doses of any revival agents which may be required in an emergency BEFORE COMMENCING the anaesthetic (V.w6).

Cost/ Availability
Legal and Ethical Considerations In some countries there may be legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery."(see: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).).

Use of Drugs (Medication):

  • Many drugs are not registered for use in particular bird species and care should be taken in their use, with proper regard for possible toxic effects. Consideration should be give to relevant legislation regarding the use of drugs.
  • In the UK, guidelines regarding the use of drugs are set out in the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Guide to Professional Conduct 2000: (see: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Choice of Medicinal Products).

Before using any anaesthetic agent or combination of agents the manufacturer's data sheet on the agent or agents concerned should be consulted, taking particular note of any contra-indications and operator warnings.

Author Debra Bourne
Referee
References B14, B90, V.w6

Return to Top of Page