Multiple anesthetic events in a reticulated giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis)

A 1-mo-old reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) received repeated immobilizations for treatment of a fractured left metatarsus. Etorphine and xylazine or etorphine and iso-flurane adjunct anesthesia were used for immobilization. During immobilizations, pulse oximetry and end tidal CO₂ measurement were made and correlated with arterial blood gas values. Results of observations made during sequential immobilizations suggest that young giraffe tend to hypoventilate during anesthesia, resulting in significant respiratory acidosis. By monitoring pulse oximetry and end tidal CO₂, periods of hypoventilation and subsequent respiratory acidosis in this case were detected and overcome. Pulse oximetry and end tidal CO₂ measurements are recommended as adjunct monitoring techniques for routine chemical restraint in the giraffe. In addition, reversing or avoiding hypoventilation and respiratory acidosis in young giraffe can be best accomplished through routine tracheal intubation and assisted ventilation.

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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