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Sedation of snakes: does injection site matter?

T. J. Yaw, C. Mans, S. M. Johnson and others

Journal of Small Animal Practice (2018) 59, 747–751

doi: 10.1111/jsap.12918

• What did the research find?

Administration of alfaxalone at a cranial injection site resulted in significantly deeper and longer sedation in snakes compared with administration at a caudal injection site. In addition, heart rate and respiratory rate were significantly lower following administration of alfaxalone cranially compared with caudally.

• How was it conducted?

A dose of 10 mg/ml alfaxalone was administered to eight ball pythons subcutaneously at 5 mg/kg, at either a cranial or a caudal site. The cranial injection site was located dorsally, overlying the epaxial muscles, at the level of the heart. The caudal injection site was located dorsally, and equivalent to 10 ventral scales cranial to the cloaca. Sedative and cardiorespiratory parameters were recorded before drug administration and every five minutes for the following …

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