Association of S(+) ketamine, dexmedetomidine and butorphanol for chemical restraint in scarlet macaws (Ara macao)




Anesthesia, Bird, Dissociative, Opioid, α-2 agonist


The present study aimed at assessing the effects of combining 20 mg/kg S(+) ketamine with 25 μg/kg dexmedetomidine and 0.4 mg/kg butorphanol on the physiological parameters and anesthetic recovery time and score of eight captive scarlet macaw (Ara macao) specimens. These specimens were captured at the Marabá Zoobotanic Foundation (Fundação Zoobotânica de Marabá), Pará, using butterfly and mist nets, and subsequently subjected to the proposed protocol. The following physiological parameters were evaluated: heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2), body temperature (BT), and non-invasive blood pressure 5 min after drug administration (M0) and every 10 min thereafter (M1‒M5), with a total of 55 min of analysis of anesthetic effects. Glycemia was measured 5 min after drug administration and every 30 min thereafter. Anesthetic induction and recovery times were also determined. Among the parameters evaluated in this study, both HR and BT significantly decreased throughout the anesthetic period, with the lowest levels at 55 min after drug administration (M5). In contrast, RR did not significantly differ, and all animals remained stable, maintaining an RR close to a mean of 20 ± 8 cpm. Throughout the anesthetic period, SpO2 was 92 ± 5%, with no significant difference. The birds remained under spontaneous ventilation and without oxygen supplementation. Systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures remained stable, with no significant differences in any of these measurements. At M0 and M3, the glycemia decreased slightly, albeit with no significant difference justifying an adverse effect or even hypoglycemia. The anesthetic induction time, from M0 to decubitus, was 2.4 ± 0.7 min. The anesthetic recovery time, from M0 to effortless bipedal position and adequate phalangeal flexion, was 99.3 ± 32.4 min. The sedation was assessed as intense, and the anesthetic recovery was rated excellent in 62.5% and good in 37.5% of the animals.


Download data is not yet available.


Altman RB. Avian anesthesia. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. 1980;2:38-43.

Alves TCA, Braz JRC, Vianna PTG. a2-Agonistas em anestesiologia: aspectos clínicos e farmacológicos. Rev Bras Anestesiol. 2000;50(5):396-404.

Atalan G, Uzun M, Demirkan I, Yildiz S, Cenesiz M. Effect of medetomidine-butorphanol-ketamine anaesthesia and atipamezole on heart and respiratory rate and cloacal temperature of domestic pigeons. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A. 2002;49(6):281-5. PMid:12227468.

Bagatini A, Gomes CR, Masella MZ, Rezer G. Dexmedetomidina: farmacologia e uso clínico. Rev Bras Anestesiol. 2002;52(5):606-17. PMid:19475232.

Baumgartner C, Bollerhey M, Ebner J, Laacke-Singer L, Schuster T, Erhardt W. Effects of ketamine-xylazine intravenous bolus injection on cardiovascular function in rabbits. Can J Vet Res. 2010;74(3):200-8. PMid:20885844.

Benarrós MSC. Um novo protocolo: cetamina, midazolam e dexmedetomidina e seus efeitos sob a fisiologia, sedação e recuperação anestésica com atipamezole em macaco-prego (Sapajus apella) de cativeiro. [thesis]. Araguaína: Universidade Federal do Tocantins; 2022.

Benez SM. Aves - criação - clínica - teoria - prática. 3rd ed. São Paulo: Robe Editorial; 2001. 522 p.

Cruz FAF, Falcão LFR, Amaral JLG, Silva HCA. Evaluation of dexmedetomidine anesthesia-related temperature changes: preliminary retrospective observational study. Braz J Anesthesiol. 2022;72(2):232-40. PMid:34214520.

Donaldson LL, Dunlop GS, Holland MS, Burton BA. The recovery of horses from inhalant anesthesia: a comparison of halothane and isoflurane. Vet Surg. 2000;29(1):92-101. PMid:10653499.

Fantoni DT, Cortopassi SRG. Anestesia em cães e gatos. São Paulo: Roca; 2002. 389 p.

Ferraro MA, Molina CV, Catão-Dias JL, Kierulff MCM, Pissinatti A, Bueno MG, Cortopassi SRG. Evaluation of three chemical immobilization protocols in golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) undergoing vasectomy surgery. J Med Primatol. 2018;47(2):101-9. PMid:29114906.

Franchetti DR, Klide AM. Restraint and anesthesia. In: Fowler ME, editor. Zoo and wild animal medicine. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1978. p. 359-64.

Guimarães LD, Moraes AN. Anestesia em aves: agentes anestésicos. Cienc Rural. 2000;30(6):1073-81.

Gunkel C, Lafortune M. Current techniques in avian anesthesia. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine. 2005;14(4):263-76.

Henrique FV, Pereira SARS, Medeiros LKG, Batista LF, Silva JDA, Oliveira LVDSX, Dias DCDA, Souza AP, Nóbrega Neto PI. Continuous intravenous anesthesia by dextroketamine and detomidine in bitches subjected to ovariohysterectomy and premedicated with midazolam and morphine. Acta Sci Vet. 2019;47(1)

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources – IUCN. The IUCN red list of threatened species: ara macao. Gland: IUCN; 2016. (Vol. 2010).

Kaya M, Nisbet HO, Cenesiz M. Comparative evaluation of clinical efficiency of intramuscular diazepam-ketamine, medetomidine-ketamine, and xylazine-ketamine anaesthesia in Ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Iran J Vet Res. 2019;20(1):13-8. PMid:31191694.

Klaphake E, Schumacher J, Greenacre C, Jones MP, Zagaya N. Comparative anesthetic and cardiopulmonary effects of pre- versus postoperative butorphanol administration in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis) anesthetized with sevoflurane. J Avian Med Surg. 2006;20(1):2-7.[2:CAACEO]2.0.CO;2.

Leppänen MK, McKusick BC, Granholm MM, Westerholm FC, Tulamo R, Short CE. Clinical efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine and buprenorphine, butorphanol or diazepam for canine hip radiography. J Small Anim Pract. 2006;47(11):663-9. PMid:17076790.

Ludders JW. Anestesia e analgesia comparada de aves. In: Grimm KA, Lamont LA, Tranquilli WJ, Greene AS, Robertson SA, editors. Lumb & Jones: anestesiologia e analgesia em veterinária. 5th ed. Rio de Janeiro: Roca; 2017.

Lumeij JT, Deenik JW. Medetomidine-ketamine and diazepam-ketamine anesthesia in racing pigeons (Columba livia domestica): a comparative study. J Avian Med Surg. 2003;17(4):191-6.

McCormick JG, Ridgway SH. History of the development of anesthesia for the dolphin: a quest to study a brain as large as man’s. Anesthesiology. 2018;129(1):11-21. PMid:29664886.

Mendonça C C. Avaliação da dexmedetomidina associada à cetamina e butorfanol nos parâmetros fisiológicos, sedação e recuperação anestésica de jaguatiricas (Leopardus pardalis) [thesis]. Araguaína: Universidade Federal do Tocantins; 2019.

Miller RE, Fowler M. Fowler’s zoo and wild animal medicine current therapy. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders; 2012.

Monteiro SL S. Efeitos do atipamezol e ioimbina na recuperação da anestesia com dexmedetomidina e cetamina, em papagaios verdadeiros (Amazona aestiva) [thesis]. Botucatu: Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”; 2012.

Muir III WW, Hubbell JAE, Bednarski RM, Lerche P. Handbook of veterinary anaesthesia. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier; 2013. 613 p.

Nascimento NA, Souza PGA, Aidar ESA, Silva MPB, Nogueira AFS, Diniz RRF, Scofield A, Gering AP. Use of different anesthetic protocols in the chemical restraint of coatis, Nasua nasua (Linnaeus, 1766) under physiological parameters and anesthetic recovery. Brazilian Journal of Development. 2021;7(7):74587-97.

Paul-Murphy J. Analgesia in birds - part 2: opioids and locals. In: Proceedings of the NAVC Conference: Small animal & exotics proceedings; 2013 Jan 19-23; Orlando, USA. Orlando (USA): North American Veterinary Community; 2013. p. 48-50.

Saha JK, Xia J, Grondin JM, Engle SK, Jakubowski JA. Acute hyperglycemia induced by ketamine/xylazine anesthesia in rats: mechanisms and implications for preclinical models. Exp Biol Med. 2005;230(10):777-84. PMid:16246906.

Santangelo B, Ferrari D, di Martino I, Belli A, Cordella C, Ricco A, Troisi S, Vesce G. Dexmedetomidine chemical restraint of two raptor species undergoing inhalation anaesthesia. Vet Res Commun. 2009;33(Suppl 1):209-11. PMid:19597954.

Schmitt PM, Göbel T, Trautvetter E. Evaluation of pulse oximetry as a monitoring method in avian anesthesia. J Avian Med Surg. 1998;12(2).

Sick H. Ornitologia Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira; 1997. 862 p.

Smith CK, Seddighi R, Zhu X, Tepe AJ, Ramsay EC, Cushing AC. Use of plethysmographic variability index and perfusion index to evaluate changes in arterial blood pressure in anesthetized tigers (Panthera tigris). Am J Vet Res. 2018;79(8):845-51. PMid:30058850.

Soares-Filho BS, Nepstad DC, Curran LM, Cerqueira GC, Garcia RA, Ramos CA, Voll E, McDonald A, Lefebvre P, Schlesinger P. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature. 2006;440(7083):520-3. PMid:16554817.

Souza AP, Nunes N, Santos PSP, Nishimori CT, Paula DP, Silva RMN. Efeitos cardiovasculares e neuroendócrinos do butorfanol e da buprenorfina em cães anestesiados pelo desfluorano. Arq Bras Med Vet Zootec. 2007;59(2):321-8.

Thomas J, Lerche P. Anesthesia and analgesia for veterinary technicians. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier; 2017. 458 p.

Trevisan GA, Silva EL, Carvalho AL, Luiz RM. Efeitos anestésicos da administração intranasal ou intramuscular da associação de midazolam e cetamina racêmica ou s+ em periquito australiano (Melopsittacus undulatus). Cienc Anim Bras. 2016;17(1):126-32.

Trim CM. Cardiopulmonary effects of butorphanol tartrate in dogs. Am J Vet Res. 1983;44(2):329-31. PMid:6830022.

Villela NR, Nascimento Júnior P. Uso de dexmedetomidina em anestesiologia. Rev Bras Anestesiol. 2003;53(1):97-113. PMid:19475263.




How to Cite

Caldas, S. M. da S., Gering, A. P., Santos, M. R. T., Mendonça, C. C., Carreira, A. G., Armani, D. J. C., Benarrós, M. S. C., & Diniz, R. R. F. (2023). Association of S(+) ketamine, dexmedetomidine and butorphanol for chemical restraint in scarlet macaws (Ara macao). Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science, 60, e207618.