Original Research

Cardiopulmonary effects of medetomidine or midazolam in combination with ketamine or tiletamine / zolazepam for the immobilisation of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

G.F. Stegmann, M. Jago
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 77, No 4 | a378 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v77i4.378 | © 2006 G.F. Stegmann, M. Jago | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2006 | Published: 11 June 2006

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G.F. Stegmann,
M. Jago,

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Captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) scheduled for either general health examination or dental surgery were immobilised with combinations of medetomidine-ketamine (K/DET, n = 19), midazolam-ketamine (K/MID, n = 4) or medetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam (Z/DET, n=5). Induction time and arterial blood pressure was not statistically significantly (P > 0.05) different between treatment groups. Transient seizures were observed in the K/DET treated animals during induction. Hypertension was present in all groups during anaesthesia with mean(+SD) systolic pressure of 30.7+5.0 kPa for the K/DET group, 27.7+ 2.7 kPa for the K/MID group, and 33.1+4.6 kPa for the Z/DET group. Heart rate was statistically significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the K/DET group (69 + 13.2 beats/min) compared to the K/MID group (97 + 22.6 beats/min), and ventilation rate was statistically significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the K/MID group (15 + 0.0 breaths/min) compared with the K/DET group (21+4.6). A metabolic acidosis and hypoxia were observed during anaesthesia when breathing air. Oxygen (O2) administration resulted in a statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in the arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (hypercapnoea), arterial partial pressure of O2, and % oxyhaemoglobin saturation.


Acinonyx Jubatus; Anaesthesia; Cheetah; Hypertension; Hypoxia; Immobilisation; Ketamine; Midazolam; Medetomidine; Seizures; Tiletamine; Zolazepam


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