DEER ELK MOOSE BISON
Make sure you have read the information on ruminant immobilization in the General Considerations page.
WHITE-TAILED AND MULE DEER:I have had very good results in immobilizing white-tailed deer with telazol. Fawns should get 2 mg/lb given IM or 1mg/lb IV. Yearlings should be darted with 500mg and adult deer should be given 1000 mg by dart. These are highly fractious animals and under dosing can be the cause of serious injury. The moment you step into the pen, white-tailed deer will begin to go crazy. If you have to dart several animals, you may need to use 1250 or even 1500 mgs on some if they are highly aggitated. When you work with deer, ALWAYS tell the owner that there is a good chance that one or more animals may die, and that it is possible that if they break a fence, the entire herd may escape. I have seen both things happen. Telazol has a long recovery time so plan plenty of time to monitor the recovery.
If you want a reversible combination, I suggest you use Xylazine at a concentraton of 300mg/mL. Take 5 mL of this concentrated Xylazine and add it to a 500mg vial of Telazol powder. I use 1 to 1.5 mL of this solution per adult white-tailed deer. It can be reversed with yohimbine at 0.15 mg/kg given IV. These animals will have a "telazol hangover" but will be able to control their airway and be up and about in a few minutes.
Carfentanil can also be used at 0.01 mg/Kg. It has the advantage of being able to be reversed with Naltrexone at 0.25 mg/kg IV and 0.75mg/kg SQ. I would use carfentanil on elk, moose or in situations where a reversing agent was needed to prevent injury to the animal. It has not worked predicatably for me on White-tailed deer even when mixed with Xylazine or Telazol.
FIRST CHOICE Telazol at the above doses.
SECOND CHOICEXylazine Telazol at the above doses.
THIRD CHOICE Carfentanil at the above doses.
FALLOW DEER: These animals need significantly higher dosages than other species. It will be quite expensive to immobilize them. The males have a nasty disposition and can be very dangerous to work with. The brow tine of the antler points straight forward and can easily kill you or another deer in the pen. Work with them when the antlers are off. They are nasty. I have used Telazol at 30 mg/Kg. The dart is so big it looks like you are heaving a pool cue at them. And expensive. Not the whole herd method of choice. I have had best results running them into chutes but it is a real rodeo. If you have enough big strong people, you can herd them into the chutes or tackle them and drag them into the chute. If the bucks have their antlers, I have had people use half sheets of plywood with handles on the backs. Several people with these sheets will work an animal into a chute or into a corner, and then grab the antlers and tackle them. This is not the best method by any means.
The narcotics are a good choice here too. Carfentanil should work well, but it will be expensive as well. If you have just one animal that needs medical attention and needs to anesthetized, I would use carfentanil and reverse it with Naltrexone. For routine TB testing or dehorning, use the chute.
A colleague in Germany has added 5 mL of Xylazine to 10 mL of ketamine and gives 3.5 mL per adult animal. He has beenvery happy with the results. I have not found out if he uses anything to reverse the xylazine portion of the cocktail and how much of a ketamine hangover they have.
FIRST CHOICE Add 2.5 mL of Carfentainl (7.5 mg) to a vial of Telazol. Also add 2.5 ml of sterile water to the vial, Use 0.7 to 1.0 mL for adult Fallow deer. Reverse with Naltrexone at 0.25 mg/kg IV and 0.75mg/kg SQ.
Second Choice Telazol at 30 mg/kg.
Third Choice NO DRUGS, run them through a chute.
ELK, MOOSE, BISON: I have seen elk worked through cattle chutes with great success. They are much more docile than deer. Make sure the corral has an 8 foot high fence and that the fence is COMPLETELY covered with black plastic or plywood to provide a visual barrier. If they can't see through it, they will not run into or over it. But if they see even a small opening, they will run into it to test it.
The sheer size of these animals dictates the use of a revesible agent. The bigger the animal, the more problems that can develop during anesthesia, especially in ruminants.
FIRST CHOICE: Carfentanil, 0.01 mg/kg. Reverse with Naltrexone 0.25 mg/kg IV and 0.75mg/kg SQ.
I have used Telazol at 5 mg/Kg on bison with very good results. It has a long recovery time so plan on being with the animal for several hours. Roll the animal from side to side every 5 - 10 minutes to prevent compression of the lungs. I kept their heads slightly downhill to keep oral secretions out of the airway. Once they are coming around a bit, I prop them in sternal recumbancy using bales to keep them from tipping back onto their side. I have even parked a tractor on either side of them to keep them from rolling. Once they are able to keep themselves on their sternum and lick their nose, I feel comfortable going home.
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