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Comparison of four anaesthetic techniques in badgers



Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Volume 32,Number 1, January 2005, pp. 40-47(8) - Blackwell Publishing


Peter D Thornton; Christopher Newman; Paul J Johnson; Christine D Buesching; Sandra E Baker; David Slater; Dominic DP Johnson; David W Macdonald from the Oxford University Veterinary Services and the WildCRU at the University of Oxford.



To investigate the use of four ketamine-based anaesthetic combinations in wild badgers.

This was a prospective, randomized, clinical trial trial involving the use of twenty-four adult badgers.

Materials and methods

Animals were divided into four groups of six and were anaesthetized using either intramuscular (IM) ketamine alone (20 mg kg-1), ketamine (15 mg kg-1 IM) and midazolam (0.4 mg kg-1 IM), ketamine (10 mg kg-1 IM) and midazolam (1 mg kg-1 IM) or ketamine (5 mg kg-1 IM) and medetomidine (80 g kg-1 IM) antagonized with atipamezole (0.8 mg kg-1; IM).

Features of each technique, i.e. quality of induction, maintenance and recovery, and the need for additional doses, were assessed using a simple descriptive scale.

Physiological variables, i.e. rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure, were also recorded.


Combinations of ketamine and midazolam did not produce adequate anaesthesia.

The combination of medetomidine and ketamine had few advantages over ketamine alone.

Conclusions and clinical relevance

These data will contribute to a wider study attempting to refine anaesthetic techniques in badgers.


anaesthesia; badgers; ketamine; medetomidine; midazolam

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