Evaluation of an anaesthesia protocol following translocation of feral horses outside the letea forest.
This study was performed in order to evaluate an anaesthetic protocol used for remote chemical immobilization of ten free ranging feral horses (Equus ferus caballus) for the following purposes: translocation, health assessment and/or contraceptive immunization. Horses were immobilized using a Ketamine/Medetomidine combination delivered remotely with a 6 mL dart syringe from a dart gun. A mean (X̄) induction time of 7 minutes (SD = 2.82) with a X̄ = 83.3 minutes of recumbency was recorded using X̄ = 2.37 mg/kg Ketamine (1.89-2.81 mg/kg) and X̄ = 0.09 mg/kg Medetomidine (0.08-0.1 mg/kg). Heart rate (X̄ = 38.43), respiratory rate (X̄ = 26.14), rectal temperature (X̄ = 35.12), relative arterial oxygen hemoglobin saturation (X̄ = 83.11) and capillary refill time (1-1.5 s) were monitored during anaesthesia, every 10 minutes after induction until recovery. This protocol was suitable for the chemical immobilization of the feral horses from the Danube Delta - Romania providing a good anaesthesia depth and muscular relaxation. Nevertheless, supplementation of Oxygen is recommended for the resulting hypoxia.