Preliminary comparison of four anaesthetic techniques in badgers (Meles meles).
Thornton PD., Newman C., Johnson PJ., Buesching CD., Baker SE., Slater D., Johnson DD., Macdonald DW.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the use of four ketamine-based anaesthetic combinations in wild badgers. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, clinical trial. ANIMALS: Twenty-four adult badgers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Animals were divided into four groups of six and were anaesthetized using either intramuscular (IM) ketamine alone (20 mg kg(-1)), ketamine (15 mg kg(-1) IM) and midazolam (0.4 mg kg(-1) IM), ketamine (10 mg kg(-1) IM) and midazolam (1 mg kg(-1) IM) or ketamine (5 mg kg(-1) IM) and medetomidine (80 microg kg(-1) IM) antagonized with atipamezole (0.8 mg kg(-1); IM). Features of each technique, i.e. quality of induction, maintenance and recovery, and the need for additional doses, were assessed using a simple descriptive scale. Physiological variables, i.e. rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure, were also recorded. RESULTS: Combinations of ketamine and midazolam did not produce adequate anaesthesia. The combination of medetomidine and ketamine had few advantages over ketamine alone. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: These data will contribute to a wider study attempting to refine anaesthetic techniques in badgers.