The efficacy of orally dosed ketamine and ketamine/medetomidine compared with intramuscular ketamine in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and the effects of dosing route on haematological stress markers

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Abstract

Background

This study compared the efficacy of two orally-dosed (PO) anaesthetic regimens for chemical immobilization in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), versus the standard protocol of intramuscular (TM) ketamine. In addition, the effects of dosing route on haematological stress markers were evaluated.

Methods

Testing was conducted on 18 chronically housed animals. Animals were trained to accept oral dosing and then randomly assigned to one of three drug regimens: (1) ketamine IM, (2) ketamine PO, (3) Ketamine/medetomidine PO. Sedation levels for each regimen were evaluated.

Results

Oral dosing alone was not sufficient to achieve a plane of sedation that allowed for safe handling. Serum cortisol and glucose levels were unchanged across groups, although differences were observed in the leukogram profiles.

Conclusion

The oral dosages used in this study fell short in providing adequate sedation for safe handling for routine veterinary procedures. Leukogram profiles indicated that orally dosed animals experienced a higher level of stress.

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