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Chemical immobilization of adult female Weddell seals with tiletamine and zolazepam: effects of age, condition and stage of lactation

Wheatley, Kathryn E., Bradshaw, Corey J. A., Harcourt, Robert G., Davis, Lloyd S and Hindell, Mark A. 2006, Chemical immobilization of adult female Weddell seals with tiletamine and zolazepam: effects of age, condition and stage of lactation, BMC veterinary research, vol. 2, no. 8, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-2-8.

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Title Chemical immobilization of adult female Weddell seals with tiletamine and zolazepam: effects of age, condition and stage of lactation
Author(s) Wheatley, Kathryn E.
Bradshaw, Corey J. A.
Harcourt, Robert G.
Davis, Lloyd S
Hindell, Mark A.
Journal name BMC veterinary research
Volume number 2
Issue number 8
Start page 1
End page 8
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2006
ISSN 1746-6148
Summary Background

Chemical immobilization of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) has previously been, for the most part, problematic and this has been mainly attributed to the type of immobilizing agent used. In addition to individual sensitivity, physiological status may play an important role. We investigated the use of the intravenous administration of a 1:1 mixture of tiletamine and zolazepam (Telazol®) to immobilize adult females at different points during a physiologically demanding 5–6 week lactation period. We also compared performance between IV and IM injection of the same mixture.
Results

The tiletamine:zolazepam mixture administered intravenously was an effective method for immobilization with no fatalities or pronounced apnoeas in 106 procedures; however, there was a 25 % (one animal in four) mortality rate with intramuscular administration. Induction time was slightly longer for females at the end of lactation (54.9 ± 2.3 seconds) than at post-parturition (48.2 ± 2.9 seconds). In addition, the number of previous captures had a positive effect on induction time. There was no evidence for effects due to age, condition (total body lipid), stage of lactation or number of captures on recovery time.
Conclusion

We suggest that intravenous administration of tiletamine and zolazepam is an effective and safe immobilizing agent for female Weddell seals. Although individual traits could not explain variation in recovery time, we suggest careful monitoring of recovery times during longitudinal studies (> 2 captures). We show that physiological pressures do not substantially affect response to chemical immobilization with this mixture; however, consideration must be taken for differences that may exist for immobilization of adult males and juveniles. Nevertheless, we recommend a mass-specific dose of 0.50 – 0.65 mg/kg for future procedures with adult female Weddell seals and a starting dose of 0.50 mg/kg for other age classes and other phocid seals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1746-6148-2-8
Field of Research 060601 Animal Physiology - Biophysics
070701 Veterinary Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care
Socio Economic Objective 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30039828

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.