Objective: To determine anesthetic effects of ketamine and medetomidine in bonitos and mackerels and whether anesthesia could be reversed with atipamezole.
Design: Clinical trial.
Animals: 43 bonitos (Sarda chiliensis) and 47 Pacific mackerels (Scomber japonica).
Procedure: 28 bonitos were given doses of ketamine ranging from 1 to 8 mg/kg (0.5 to 3.6 mg/lb), i.m., and doses of medetomidine ranging from 0.2 to 1.6 mg/kg (0.1 to 0.7 mg/lb), i.m. (ratio of ketamine to medetomidine, 2.5:1 to 20:1). Doses of atipamezole equal to 1 or 5 times the dose of medetomidine were used. The remaining 15 bonitos were used to determine the anesthetic effects of ketamine at a dose of 4 mg/kg (1.8 mg/lb) and medetomidine at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg (0.2 mg/lb). The mackerels were given ketamine at doses ranging from 11 to 533 mg/kg (5 to 242 mg/lb) and medetomidine at doses ranging from 0.3 to 9.1 mg/kg (0.1 to 4.1 mg/lb; ratio of ketamine to medetomidine, 3:1 to 800:1). Doses of atipamezole equal to 5 times the dose of medetomidine were used.
Results: I.m. administration of ketamine at a dose of 4 mg/kg and medetomidine at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg in bonitos and ketamine at a dose of 53 to 228 mg/kg (24 to 104 mg/lb) and medetomidine at a dose of 0.6 to 4.2 mg/kg (0.3 to 1.9 mg/lb) in mackerels was safe and effective. For both species, administration of atipamezole at a dose 5 times the dose of medetomidine reversed the anesthetic effects.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggest that a combination of ketamine and medetomidine can safely be used for anesthesia of bonitos and mackerels and that anesthetic effects can be reversed with atipamezole.