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Midazolam sedates Passeriformes for field sampling but affects multiple venous blood analytes

Authors Heatley JJ, Cary J, Kingsley L, Beaufrere H, Russell KE, Voelker G

Received 19 July 2014

Accepted for publication 16 September 2014

Published 16 January 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 61—69


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Takashi Agui

J Jill Heatley,1 Jennifer Cary,2,3 Lyndsey Kingsley,1 Hughes Beaufrere,4 Karen E Russell,5 Gary Voelker2,3

1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, 3Texas A&M Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA; 4Health Sciences Centre, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada; 5Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX, USA

Abstract: Feasibility and effect of midazolam administration on blood analytes and for sedation of Passeriformes being collected in a larger study of genetic biodiversity was assessed. Midazolam (5.6±2.7 mg/kg) was administered intranasally prior to sampling, euthanasia, and specimen preparation of 104 passerine birds. Each bird was assessed for sedation score and then multiple analytes were determined from jugular blood samples using the i-STAT® point of care analyzer at “bird side”. Most birds were acceptably sedated, sedation became more pronounced as midazolam dose increased, and only a single bird died. Electrolyte concentrations and venous blood gas analytes were affected by midazolam administration while blood pH, packed cell volume, hemoglobin, and calculated hematocrit were not. Intranasal midazolam gives adequate sedation and is safe for short-term use in free-living Passeriformes. Based on venous blood analyte data, sedation of Passeriformes prior to handling appears to reduce stress but also produces venous blood gas differences consistent with hypoventilation relative to birds which were not given midazolam. Further study is recommended to investigate midazolam's continued use in free-living avian species. Studies should include safety, reversal and recovery, effect upon additional endogenous analytes, and compatibility with studies of ecology and toxicology associated with pollution or other environmental degradation in Passeriformes.

Keywords: Avian, benzodiazepine, biochemistry, blood gas, electrolyte, clinical pathology

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