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2022 Aug 11

J Wildl Dis

Field Evaluation of Tiletamine-Zolazepam-Medetomidine for Immobilization of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis).


The effectiveness of tiletamine-zolazepam (1.7 mg/kg) plus medetomidine (0.07 mg/kg; TZM) as an immobilizing combination in raccoons (Procyon lotor; n=43) and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis; n=7) was evaluated during October 2019. Mean induction time for raccoons was 15.0±6.6 min. First signs of recovery (head up) occurred 12.9±6.0 min after receiving atipamezole reversal (0.35 mg/kg) and animals were standing in 30.3±16.1 min. Mean induction time for skunks was 11.7±5.8 min. Following reversal, skunks first raised their heads in 6.7±4.3 min and stood in 17.1±12.9 min. Recovery in skunks and female raccoons was not related to length of time immobilized, but male raccoons that were immobilized for longer periods of time stood faster after reversal. Raccoon heart rate (HR) remained steady during immobilization, but respiration rate (RR) and rectal temperature (RT) declined. The HR and RR were similar among males and females, but RT of male raccoons were, on average, 0.5 C higher than those of females, and rate of temperature decline was slower for males. The HR, RR, and RT of skunks declined during immobilization. Although induction times for both raccoons and skunks were longer than expected, induction and recovery were smooth, side effects were few, analgesia was adequate for nonsurgical procedures, and reversal reduced time in captivity.