Anesthetic Procedures and Techniques in Camelids

Anesthetic Procedures and Techniques in Camelids


Camelids (llamas, alpacas, camels) are often tractable, thus physical restraint and local anesthetic techniques are frequently used to provide immobility and analgesia. General anesthesia techniques are similar to those for ruminants and horses. Regurgitation of compartment one (C1) of the stomach contents, similar to ruminants, and postoperative nasal congestion and associated respiratory distress postextubation are potential hazards associated with anesthesia. Close observation and monitoring of palpebral and ocular reflexes, eyeball position, and pupil size can be used to monitor the depth of anesthesia. Recovery from anesthesia is generally quiet and uneventful.

General Considerations

Preparation of camelids for anesthesia and surgery

Decrease the size and pressure in C1 before anesthesia

Stomach tubes should be placed in the esophagus when appropriate to relieve gas pressure and avoid bloat and aspiration of C1 contents

Positioning is important to reduce regurgitation

Place a jugular catheter

Obtain an accurate weight; estimating the animal’s weight should be avoided when possible

Care of the head and neck is important following sedation and induction of general anesthesia

II Some surgical techniques in camelids can be performed with local or regional anesthesia (see Chapter 5) in combination with sedation

III General anesthesia is required if local or regional anesthetic techniques are inadequate; light stages of anesthesia may predispose the animal to stress, which may result in tachycardia and hypertension

Preanesthetic Medication

Preanesthetic drugs are administered to calm or sedate camelids or to decrease the dose of a more potent intravenous (IV) or inhalant anesthetic drugs

II Tranquilizers are not approved for use in food animals; drug residues in meat products are problematic

III Popular preanesthetic medications include the following drugs:


1. 0.1 to 0.9 mg/kg of body weight IV or intramuscularly (IM) for large camelids, 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg for llamas

2. Use low-concentration of xylazine (20 mg/mL)

3. Side effects

4. Antagonists

Sep 6, 2016 | Posted by in SUGERY, ORTHOPEDICS & ANESTHESIA | Comments Off on Anesthetic Procedures and Techniques in Camelids

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