Effects of medetomidine and atipamezole on serum glucose and cortisol levels in captive reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus)
Serum concentrations of glucose and Cortisol were measured in five adult captive reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) at 24 h and 10 min before, and at 0.5, 1,2,4, 8, 12 and 24 h after, treatment with 60 p.g/kg of medetomidine i.v. followed by 300 jig/kg of atipamezole i.v. 60 min later. The experiments were performed in January and repeated in July-August. The animals were used as their own controls and treated with saline in July-August. The wash-out period between experiments in summer was 2 weeks or more. No obvious seasonal differences were observed. Mederomidine induced a 2.5-fold increase in glucose (mean ± standard error of the mean being 15.4 ± 0.6 mmol/1 at 1 h) and a 3.5-fold increase Cortisol (349 ± 28 nmol/1 at 0.5 h). Serum glucose reached control levels within 12 h, and Cortisol declined to baseline levels within 4 h after injection og medetomidine. The use of blood concentrations of glucose and Cortisol to assess nutritonal status, body condition and stress may be significantly biased in animals chemically immobilized with medetomidine or other alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists.
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