Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Gaseous anesthesia

Synonym(s): Inhalational anesthesia

Contributor(s): David Perpinan, Sarah Pellett

Introduction

  • Inhalational/gaseous anesthesia refers to the delivery of anesthetic drugs through inhalation.
  • Isoflurane Isoflurane and sevoflurane Sevoflurane are the two gases most commonly used in veterinary medicine.

Uses

  • Most anesthetic regimens in reptiles are based on the administration of inhalational agents, either alone or in combination.
  • Most commonly used for maintenance after induction with injectable anesthetics, but it can also be used for induction in some species such as terrestrial snakes and lizards.

Advantages

  • No need to accurately calculate the dose.
  • Minimal depressant effects on cardiopulmonary function.

Disadvantages

  • Environmental pollution: this affects people working in a veterinary hospital environment, but anesthetic gases also contribute to global warming.
  • Equipment to deliver gaseous anesthetics is expensive and cumbersome, and therefore working in the field becomes complicated.

Technical problems

  • Knowledge is required for the proper functioning of the vaporizer and the anesthetic circuit.

Alternative techniques

  • Injectable anesthesia.

Time required

Preparation

  • Two minutes to check functioning of vaporizer and circuit:
    • Check that there are sufficient amounts of liquid gas in the vaporizer.
    • Check that the circuit is ready to be used: tube is not cracked or damaged, balloon is attached, valves are in proper position, there are no leaks.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jakobsen S L, Williams C J A & Wang T (2017) The influence of mechanical ventilation on physiological parameters in ball pythons (Python regius). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 207, 30-35 PubMed.
  • Sladky K K & Mans C (2012) Clinical anesthesia in reptiles. J Exotic Pet Med 21 (1), 17-31 VetMedResource.
  • Brosnan R J, Pypendop B H, Barter L S et al (2006) Pharmacokinetics of inhaled anesthetics in green iguanas (Iguana iguana). Am J Vet Res 67 (10), 1670-1674 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Bertelsen M F (2014) Squamates (Snakes and Lizards). In: Zoo Animals and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. 2nd edn. Eds: West G, Heard D &, Caulkett N. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 351-363.
  • Schumacher J & Yelen T (2006) Anesthesia and Analgesia. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Mader D R. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 442-452.


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