Comparative evaluation of clinical efficiency of intramuscular diazepam-ketamine, medetomidine-ketamine, and xylazine-ketamine anaesthesia in Ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus)

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139, Samsun, Turkey

2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, 55139, Samsun, Turkey


Background: Several injectable anaesthetics and sedatives are used in various avian species for general anaesthesia. Birds are very sensitive animals and any mismanagement in a crisis can lead to immediate shock and death. Therefore, careful selection of the safest possible anaesthetic agent and dose is very important. Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the clinical efficiency of diazepam-ketamine (DK), medetomidine-ketamine (MK), and xylazine-ketamine (XK) combinations anaesthetic regimens in pheasants. Methods: Twenty-four pheasants were divided into three equal groups and received one of three anaesthetic combinations by intramuscular injections: 9.0 mg/kg diazepam and 150.0 mg/kg ketamine, 0.20 mg/kg medetomidine and 80.0 mg/kg ketamine, and 3.0 mg/kg xylazine and 80.0 mg/kg ketamine. Each pheasant was pre-medicated with sedative drugs and 5 min later, anaesthesia was induced with ketamine injection. Results: The weak time (2.50 ± 1.07 min; mean±SD) and down time (6.13 ± 1.25 min) were shortest in group XK. The sleep time was longest (73 ± 20.24 min) while the recovery time (157 ± 13.61 min) was shortest in group MK. Muscle relaxation was excellent during the anaesthesia in all groups. The recovery phase of the birds was uneventful. Heart rate (HR) in DK group was statistically higher than MK and XK groups. Body temperature (BT) decreased in all groups compared to baseline values and those of MK group were lower than DK and XK groups. Respiratory rate (RR) in XK group was significantly lower than DK and MK groups. Conclusion: In conclusion, the MK combination shows better anaesthetic outcome compared to DK or XK combinations in pheasants.


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