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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Pulmonary gas exchange and acid-base status during immobilisation of black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) in Zimbabwe

Fahlman, Asa;Edner, Anna;Wenger, Sandra;Foggin, Chris;Nyman, Gorel;

Abstract

When immobilising wildlife, adverse side effects can include hypoxaemia, acidosis and hypertension. Pulmonary gas exchange and acid-base status were evaluated during immobilisation of 25 free-ranging and one boma-held black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in Zimbabwe. The effect of different body positions on arterial oxygenation was evaluated. A combination of the following drugs was used: an opioid (etorphine or thiafentanil), azaperone and an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist (detomidine or xylazine). Respiratory and heart rates, rectal temperature and pulse oximetry-derived haemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded. Serial arterial blood samples were analysed immediately in the field. Marked hypoxaemia and hypercapnia were recorded in immobilised free-ranging black rhinoceroses. Arterial oxygenation was higher during sternal compared to lateral recumbency. Most rhinoceroses developed acidaemia of respiratory and metabolic origin. Initially high lactate concentrations in free-ranging rhinoceroses decreased during immobilisation. Pulse oximetry was unreliable in the detection of hypoxaemia. Positioning in sternal recumbency and routine use of oxygen supplementation are recommended in the management of immobilised rhinoceroses as measures to improve arterial oxygenation.

Published in

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association / Tydkrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Veterinere

2016, volume: 87, number: 1, article number: a1328
Publisher: AOSIS

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Edner, Anna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Wenger, Sandra
University of Zürich
Foggin, Chris
Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science
Fish and Wildlife Management

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v87i1.1328

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/82630