Case Description- Five lions (one female and 4 male) were presented for diagnostic and surgical treatment (wound management, castration and radiography). Immobilization or anesthesia was necessary to complete the procedure.
Treatment and Outcome - Immobilization was induced using intramuscular injection of various drug combinations (xylazine, diazepam or midazolam in combination with ketamine). Inhalation anesthesia (halothane) was used to maintain anesthesia in an adult lion suffering from upper lip laceration. Castration was performed under field anesthesia. Opioid analgesic (morphine) was used to provide postoperative analgesia in surgical cases.No adverse effects or complications were observed during anesthesia and recovery period.
Clinical Relevance- Chemical immobilization has been accepted as a routine procedure for non-domestic animals. Intramuscular agents are used for immobilization and anesthesia for short procedures. Following immobilization, inhalation anesthetics are used to maintain anesthesia in most species with excellent results. As with domestic animals, monitoring and supportive care should be provided during general anesthesia in wild animals.