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Serum biochemical values of adult ostriches (Struthio camelus) anesthetized with xylazine, ketamine, and isoflurane.

Abstract: Because of the size, speed, and powerful kicking ability of adult ostriches (Struthio camelus), chemical immobilization and general anesthesia are commonly used in these animals to provide veterinary care. To determine the serum biochemical values in ostriches anesthetized with xylazine and ketamine and isoflurane, 7 healthy adult ostriches (weighing 100 to 130 kg) were fasted for 12 hours. Each bird received an intramuscular injection of xylazine (4 mg/kg), followed 20 minutes later by an intravenous injection of ketamine (8 mg/kg), and were then intubated and maintained under anesthesia with isoflurane gas. Jugular blood samples were collected from each bird immediately before, and 20 minutes after, administration of xylazine; 10 and 20 minutes after the administration of ketamine; 10, 30, and 50 minutes after the delivery of isoflurane; and 20 and 50 minutes after discontinuing isoflurane. Concentrations of potassium and glucose increased significantly after the administration of ketamine, and that increase was maintained until the end of the study period. During recovery, levels of creatinine and amylase increased significantly. We conclude that administration of xylazine and ketamine and isoflurane anesthesia may affect the concentration of some serum biochemical values. These results should be taken into account when blood samples are evaluated in chemically immobilized or anesthetized ostriches.

Key words: xylazine, ketamine, isoflurane, anesthesia, serum biochemistry, avian, ostrich, Struthio camelus

Introduction

The ostrich (Struthio camelux) is a unique bird that has been successfully domesticated because of a productive demand for its healthy, low-fat, and high-quality meat, (1) as well as its durable leather. (2) Ostrich farming is expanding worldwide, and the past 2 decades have witnessed the introduction of ostrich farming in many countries. Most producers today (with the exception of those in South Africa) are breeding ostrich, emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), and rhea (Rhea americana and Rhea pennata) for their meat, with the hides, feathers, fat, egg shells, and other parts of the birds marketed as by-products.

Handling adult ostriches is very difficult and dangerous because of their size, speed, and powerful kicking ability. To provide veterinary care, ostriches must be physically restrained initially; however, chemical immobilization or general anesthesia is often necessary to allow the veterinarian to conduct a safe examination and provide appropriate therapeutic intervention.

The combination of xylazine and ketamine (XK) is widely used to produce short-acting general anesthesia in domestic and wild animals, including ostriches. (3,4) Isoflurane is an inhalation anesthetic agent that has been used successfully to maintain anesthesia in ostriches. (5-7) The effects of XK and isoflurane on physiologic and hematologic parameters have been measured in adult ostriches. (5) However, the effects of these drugs on the serum biochemical values of adult ostriches have not been fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to determine the serum biochemical values in healthy adult ostriches anesthetized with XK and isoflurane.

Materials and Methods

This experiment was approved under the authority of Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. Seven healthy adult ostriches (weighing 100 to 130 kg) were used. Food was withheld for 12 hours before induction of anesthesia. After covering the eyes with a hood, each ostrich was transferred from its pen to the anesthetic room by using a locally designed, movable cart. Each bird received an intramuscular injection of xylazine (4 mg/kg), followed 20 minutes later by an intravenous injection of ketamine (8 mg/kg). Once the bird was in lateral recumbency, the glottis was visualized, and a cuffed endotracheal tube (size, 14 mm) was passed between the arytenoid cartilages into the trachea. The anesthetized bird was connected through the endotracheal tube to an anesthetic machine by a semiclosed circle rebreathing system (SurgiVet Foal Circuit Set, Smiths Medical, Dublin, OH, USA). The ostrich was then supplied with oxygen (3 L/min) only. Immediately after the appearance of initial signs of recovery (moving the head and trying to extubate the endotracheal tube), the vaporizer of isoflurane was turned on. In the first 10 minutes, isoflurane was administered at a concentration of 4% and was then maintained at a concentration of 2.5% for 50 minutes.

Blood samples were collected from each bird into plain vacutainer tubes (Venoject, Leuven, Belgium) by venipuncture of the jugular vein immediately before, and 20 minutes after, the injection of xylazine; 10 and 20 minutes after the administration of ketamine; 10, 30, and 50 minutes after the delivery of isoflurane; and 20 and 50 minutes after discontinuing isoflurane gas.

Concentrations of serum sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, total protein, albumin, cholesterol, triglyceride, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, [gamma]-glutamyltransferase, and amylase were determined with a Hitachi 911 analyzer (Hitachi Ltd, Tokyo, Japan).

Data were analyzed by a commercial statistics package (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA). A repeated measures analysis of variance was used as the statistical model to evaluate differences over time in the dependent variables, including the parameters of biochemical functions. A Duncan test was used to calculate multiple comparisons. A significance level of P < .05 was used in the analysis.

Results

Values of measured biochemical variables are shown in Table 1. Significant increases in the concentrations of glucose and potassium were observed after the administration of ketamine, and those increases were maintained until the end of the study. During the recovery period, levels of creatinine and amylase also increased significantly.

Discussion

In this study, we measured the serum biochemical values in adult ostriches after the administration of ketamine, xylazine, and isoflurane and after discontinuation of anesthesia. Although most measured biochemical values did not differ significantly from baseline, we found significant changes in the concentrations of glucose, potassium, creatinine, and amylase.

In these ostriches, the concentration of glucose increased significantly after the administration of ketamine. This possibly was a result of the initial administration of xylazine. The hyperglycemic effects of [[alpha].sub.2]-adrenoceptoragonists, such as xylazine, are well known. (8) Hyperglycemia is thought to result from a decrease in plasma insulin produced by the effect of xylazine on the pancreas, inhibiting insulin secretion without affecting glucagon secretion. The increase in the glucagon : insulin ratio, by stimulating glucose production in the liver, may have been responsible for the hyperglycemia in these ostriches. (9) The concentration of potassium also increased significantly after the administration of ketamine. This increase in potassium levels may have resulted from acidosis that developed in these birds during the anesthetic episode.

During recovery, the levels of creatinine and amylase increased significantly. The increase in creatinine concentration may have resulted from the temporary inhibitory effect of XK and isoflurane on renal blood flow. (8) Although creatinine is not a reliable indicator of avian renal function, (10) the significant increase in both the levels of creatinine and potassium in the present study might suggest impaired renal function. The increase in amylase levels during recovery may have been associated with salivary trauma resulting from anesthetic intubation.

Although the number of birds in this study was small, our results suggest that XK and isoflurane anesthesia may affect the concentration of some serum biochemical parameters in adult ostriches. These results should be taken into account when blood samples are evaluated in anesthetized or chemically immobilized ostriches.

Acknowledgments: We thank the Arabian Integral Ministration Company (AIMCO) for the donation of the ostriches in this study.

References

(1.) Cooper RG. Ostrich meat, an important product of the ostrich industry: a southern African perspective. Worlds Poult Sci J. 1999;55(4):389-402.

(2.) Cooper RG. Ostrich (Struthio camelus var. domesticus) skin and leather: a review focused on southern Africa. Worlds Poult Sci J. 2001;57(2):157-178.

(3.) Gandini GC, Keffen RH, Burroughs RE, Ebedes H. An anesthetic combination of ketamine, xylazine, and alphaxalone-alphadolone in ostriches (Struthio camelus). Vet Rec. 1986;118(26):729-730.

(4.) Cornick JL, Jensen J. Anesthetic management of ostriches. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1992;200(11): 1661-1666.

(5.) Al-Sobayil FA, Ahmed AF, Al-Wabel NA, et al. The use of xylazine, ketamine and isoflurane for induction and maintenance of anesthesia in ostriches (Struthio camelus). J Avian Med Surg. 2009; 23(2): 101-107.

(6.) Lin HC, Ko JCH. Anesthetic management of ratites. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. 1997; 19(suppl 4):S127-S132.

(7.) Lin HC, Todhunter PG, Powe TA, Ruffin DC. Use of xylazine, butorphanol, tiletamine-zolazepare, and isoflurane for induction and maintenance of anesthesia in ratites. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1997; 210(2):244-248.

(8.) Kilic N. Cardiopulmonary, biochemical, and haematological changes after detomidine-midazolam-ketamine anaesthesia in calves. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy. 2008;52(3):453-456.

(9.) Feldberg W, Symonds HW. Hyperglycaemic effect of xylazine. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 1980;3(4):197-202.

(10.) Fudge AM. Avian clinical pathology--hematology and chemistry. In: Altman RB, Clubb SL, Dorrestein GM, Quesenberry K, eds. Avian Medicine and Surgery. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 1997: 142-157.

Fahd A. Al-Sobayil, PhD, and Osarna H. Omer, PhD

From the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah 51452, PO Box 6622, Saudi Arabia.
Table 1. Mean ([+ or -] SD) concentrations of biochemical parameters
in ostriches (n = 7) at varying time intervals after administration
of xylazine, ketamine, and isoflurane and after discontinuation of
anesthesia.

                          Time after administration, min

                                    Xylazine

Parameter                     0                    20

Alanine                4.0 [+ or -] 1.9     3.8 [+ or -] 1.9
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Albumin
  g/L                 15.2 [+ or -] 1.6    14.2 [+ or -] 1.6
  g/dL                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.2     1.4 [+ or -] 0.2
Alkaline                75 [+ or -] 20       69 [+ or -] 4
  phosphatase,
  IU/L
Amylase, IU/L           69 [+ or -] 27       47 [+ or -] 23
Aspartate              436 [+ or -] 125     482 [+ or -] 63
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Bilirubin (direct)
  [micro]mol/L        0.32 [+ or -] 0.11   0.38 [+ or -] 0.16
  mg/dL               0.02 [+ or -] 0.01   0.02 [+ or -] 0.01
Bilirubin (total)
  [micro]mol/L         1.4 [+ or -] 0.2     1.4 [+ or -] 0.2
  mg/dL               0.08 [+ or -] 0.01   0.10 [+ or -] 0.01
Calcium
  [micro]mol/L         1.3 [+ or -] 0.6     1.2 [+ or -] 0.4
  mg/dL                5.2 [+ or -] 2.4     4.6 [+ or -] 1.4
Chloride
  mmot/L/mEq/L          95 [+ or -] 11       97 [+ or -] 7
Cholesterol
  mmol/L               1.1 [+ or -] 0.3     1.1 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                 40 [+ or -] 12       41 [+ or -] 13
Creatinine
  [micro]mol/L        20.6 [+ or -] 6.4    22.0 [+ or -] 5.7
  mg/dL               0.25 [+ or -] 0.08   0.26 [+ or -] 0.07
Globulin (total)
  mmol/L              0.84 [+ or -] 0.29   0.78 [+ or -] 0.15
  mg/dL                1.3 [+ or -] 0.5     1.3 [+ or -] 0.2
Glucose
  mmol/L               9.3 [+ or -] 0.9     9.3 [+ or -] 0.7
  mg/dL                167 [+ or -] 14      167 [+ or -] 12
[gamma]-Glutamyl-      5.6 [+ or -] 1.1     5.8 [+ or -] 0.8
  transferase,
  IU/L
Phosphorous
  mmol/L               0.6 [+ or -] 0.2     0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  mg/dL                1.9 [+ or -] 0.5     1.9 [+ or -] 0.2
Potassium
  mmol/L/mEq/L         2.3 [+ or -] 0.2     2.6 [+ or -] 0.3
Protein, total
  g/L                 38.6 [+ or -] 7.4    37.4 [+ or -] 4.7
  g/dL                 3.9 [+ or -] 0.7     3.7 [+ or -] 0.5
Urea
  mmol/L               0.7 [+ or -] 0.3     0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  mg/dL                2.0 [+ or -] 0.8     2.0 [+ or -] 0.7
Uric acid
  [micro]mol/L         252 [+ or -] 114     212 [+ or -] 17
  mg/dL                4.2 [+ or -] 1.9     3.6 [+ or -] 0.3

                          Time after administration, min

                                      Ketamine

Parameter                     10                   20

Alanine                2.8 [+ or -] 1.1      3.6 [+ or -] 3.1
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Albumin
  g/L                 14.6 [+ or -] 2.1     15.4 [+ or -] 1.1
  g/dL                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.2      1.5 [+ or -] 0.1
Alkaline                72 [+ or -] 8         74 [+ or -] 11
  phosphatase,
  IU/L
Amylase, IU/L           53 [+ or -] 32        62 [+ or -] 36
Aspartate              489 [+ or -] 75       516 [+ or -] 74
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Bilirubin (direct)
  [micro]mol/L        0.48 [+ or -] 0.08    0.54 [+ or -] 0.11
  mg/dL               0.03 [+ or -] 0.01    0.03 [+ or -] 0.01
Bilirubin (total)
  [micro]mol/L         1.6 [+ or -] 0.5      1.8 [+ or -] 0.5
  mg/dL               0.09 [+ or -] 0.03    0.10 [+ or -] 0.03
Calcium
  [micro]mol/L         1.0 [+ or -] 0.4      1.3 [+ or -] 0.5
  mg/dL                4.1 [+ or -] 1.6      5.0 [+ or -] 2.1
Chloride
  mmot/L/mEq/L          98 [+ or -] 4        101 [+ or -] 4
Cholesterol
  mmol/L               1.1 [+ or -] 0.3      1.2 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                 43 [+ or -] 12        46 [+ or -] 12
Creatinine
  [micro]mol/L        22.0 [+ or -] 4.9     24.0 [+ or -] 4.7
  mg/dL               0.26 [+ or -] 0.06    0.29 [+ or -] 0.06
Globulin (total)
  mmol/L              0.83 [+ or -] 0.24    0.84 [+ or -] 0.19
  mg/dL                1.3 [+ or -] 0.4      1.4 [+ or -] 0.3
Glucose
  mmol/L               9.8 [+ or -] 0.6     10.5 [+ or -] 0.7 *
  mg/dL                177 [+ or -] 11       189 [+ or -] 12 *
[gamma]-Glutamyl-      5.4 [+ or -] 1.5      4.8 [+ or -] 1.3
  transferase,
  IU/L
Phosphorous
  mmol/L               0.7 [+ or -] 0.2      0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  mg/dL                2.1 [+ or -] 0.6      2.3 [+ or -] 0.6
Potassium
  mmol/L/mEq/L        3.0 [+ or -] 0.3 *     3.1 [+ or -] 0.4 *
Protein, total
  g/L                 39.6 [+ or -] 4.2     41.6 [+ or -] 3.9
  g/dL                 4.0 [+ or -] 0.4      4.2 [+ or -] 0.4
Urea
  mmol/L               0.7 [+ or -] 0.2      0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                2.0 [+ or -] 0.7      2.2 [+ or -] 0.8
Uric acid
  [micro]mol/L         244 [+ or -] 58       234 [+ or -] 66
  mg/dL                4.1 [+ or -] 1.0      3.9 [+ or -] 1.1

                          Time after administration, min

                                      Isoflurane

Parameter                     10                    30

Alanine                3.4 [+ or -] 12.6       3 [+ or -] 2.5
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Albumin
  g/L                 15.4 [+ or -] 1.1     14.8 [+ or -] 1.8
  g/dL                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.1      1.5 [+ or -] 0.2
Alkaline                76 [+ or -] 11        72 [+ or -] 10
  phosphatase,
  IU/L
Amylase, IU/L           58 [+ or -] 47        70 [+ or -] 38
Aspartate              525 [+ or -] 62       511 [+ or -] 50
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Bilirubin (direct)
  [micro]mol/L        0.58 [+ or -] 0.18    0.44 [+ or -] 0.11
  mg/dL               0.03 [+ or -] 0.01    0.03 [+ or -] 0.01
Bilirubin (total)
  [micro]mol/L         1.8 [+ or -] 0.6      2.0 [+ or -] 0.7
  mg/dL               0.11 [+ or -] 0.04    0.12 [+ or -] 0.04
Calcium
  [micro]mol/L         0.9 [+ or -] 0.3      0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
  mg/dL                3.6 [+ or -] 1.1      3.3 [+ or -] 0.8
Chloride
  mmot/L/mEq/L          99 [+ or -] 4         98 [+ or -] 5
Cholesterol
  mmol/L               1.2 [+ or -] 0.3      1.2 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                 46 [+ or -] 12        44 [+ or -] 12
Creatinine
  [micro]mol/L        23.2 [+ or -] 0.2     24.6 [+ or -] 3.8
  mg/dL               0.28 [+ or -] 0.0     0.30 [+ or -] 0.06
Globulin (total)
  mmol/L              0.80 [+ or -] 0.26    0.76 [+ or -] 0.27
  mg/dL                1.3 [+ or -] 0.4      1.2 [+ or -] 0.4
Glucose
  mmol/L              10.4 [+ or -] 0.4 *   10.8 [+ or -] 0.8 *
  mg/dL                187 [+ or -] 7 *      194 [+ or -] 14
[gamma]-Glutamyl-      4.4 [+ or -] 1.8      4.8 [+ or -] 0.5
  transferase,
  IU/L
Phosphorous
  mmol/L               0.6 [+ or -] 0.1      0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  mg/dL                2.0 [+ or -] 0.3      1.8 [+ or -] 0.3
Potassium
  mmol/L/mEq/L         3.1 [+ or -] 0.2 *    3.0 [+ or -] 0.4 *
Protein, total
  g/L                 41.8 [+ or -] 3.8     39.6 [+ or -] 3.9
  g/dL                 4.2 [+ or -] 0.4      4.0 [+ or -] 0.4
Urea
  mmol/L               0.8 [+ or -] 0.3      0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
  mg/dL                2.2 [+ or -] 0.8      2.3 [+ or -] 0.6
Uric acid
  [micro]mol/L         219 [+ or -] 50       199 [+ or -] 41
  mg/dL                3.7 [+ or -] 0.8      3.6 [+ or -] 0.7

                          Time after administration, min

                          Isoflurane          Discontinuation

Parameter                     50                     20

Alanine                3.2 [+ or -] 2.2      3.4 [+ or -] 2.1
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Albumin
  g/L                 15.2 [+ or -] 1.3     15.6 [+ or -] 0.9
  g/dL                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.1      1.6 [+ or -] 0.1
Alkaline                74 [+ or -] 14        75 [+ or -] 16
  phosphatase,
  IU/L
Amylase, IU/L          108 [+ or -] 56        90 [+ or -] 45
Aspartate              513 [+ or -] 51       505 [+ or -] 51
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Bilirubin (direct)
  [micro]mol/L        0.44 [+ or -] 0.04    0.48 [+ or -] 0.15
  mg/dL               0.03 [+ or -] 0.00    0.03 [+ or -] 0.01
Bilirubin (total)
  [micro]mol/L         1.6 [+ or -] 0.6      1.6 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL               0.09 [+ or -] 0.04    0.09 [+ or -] 0.02
Calcium
  [micro]mol/L         0.8 [+ or -] 0.2      1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                3.4 [+ or -] 0.8      4.2 [+ or -] 1.4
Chloride
  mmot/L/mEq/L         101 [+ or -] 3        105 [+ or -] 3
Cholesterol
  mmol/L               1.2 [+ or -] 0.3      1.3 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                 46 [+ or -] 11        49 [+ or -] 13
Creatinine
  [micro]mol/L        25.6 [+ or -] 3.1     28.6 [+ or -] 3.1 *
  mg/dL               0.31 [+ or -] 0.04    0.34 [+ or -] 0.04 *
Globulin (total)
  mmol/L              0.82 [+ or -] 0.17    0.80 [+ or -] 0.15
  mg/dL                1.3 [+ or -] 0.3      1.3 [+ or -] 0.2
Glucose
  mmol/L              11.4 [+ or -] 1.2 *   11.0 [+ or -] 1.1 *
  mg/dL                205 [+ or -] 21       198 [+ or -] 20 *
[gamma]-Glutamyl-      4.8 [+ or -] 1.3      5.0 [+ or -] 1.6
  transferase,
  IU/L
Phosphorous
  mmol/L               0.6 [+ or -] 0.1      0.7 [+ or -] 0.1
  mg/dL                2.0 [+ or -] 0.4      2.1 [+ or -] 0.3
Potassium
  mmol/L/mEq/L         3.0 [+ or -] 0.5 *    3.0 [+ or -] 0.5 *
Protein, total
  g/L                 41.8 [+ or -] 4.6       44 [+ or -] 1.5
  g/dL                 4.2 [+ or -] 0.5      4.4 [+ or -] 0.2
Urea
  mmol/L               0.9 [+ or -] 0.3      0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                2.5 [+ or -] 0.7      2.4 [+ or -] 0.8
Uric acid
  [micro]mol/L         175 [+ or -] 30       207 [+ or -] 23
  mg/dL                2.9 [+ or -] 0.5      3.5 [+ or -] 0.4

                       Time after administration,
                                  min

                         Discontinuation

Parameter                      50

Alanine                 4.2 [+ or -] 2.2
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Albumin
  g/L                  15.6 [+ or -] 1.1
  g/dL                  1.6 [+ or -] 0.1
Alkaline                 74 [+ or -] 14
  phosphatase,
  IU/L
Amylase, IU/L          579 [+ or -] 86 *
Aspartate               495 [+ or -] 59
  aminotransferase,
  IU/L
Bilirubin (direct)
  [micro]mol/L         0.54 [+ or -] 0.11
  mg/dL                0.03 [+ or -] 0.01
Bilirubin (total)
  [micro]mol/L          1.5 [+ or -] 0.3
  mg/dL                0.09 [+ or -] 0.02
Calcium
  [micro]mol/L          1.4 [+ or -] 0.7
  mg/dL                 5.6 [+ or -] 2.9
Chloride
  mmot/L/mEq/L           106 [+ or -] 5
Cholesterol
  mmol/L                1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
  mg/dL                  50 [+ or -] 14
Creatinine
  [micro]mol/L             30.8 4.2 *
  mg/dL               0.37 [+ or -] 0.05 *
Globulin (total)
  mmol/L               0.92 [+ or -] 0.31
  mg/dL                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.5
Glucose
  mmol/L              10.5 [+ or -] 1.1 *
  mg/dL                189 [+ or -] 20 *
[gamma]-Glutamyl-       5.4 [+ or -] 2.0
  transferase,
  IU/L
Phosphorous
  mmol/L                0.7 [+ or -] 0.1
  mg/dL                 2.3 [+ or -] 0.4
Potassium
  mmol/L/mEq/L         3.1 [+ or -] 0.3 *
Protein, total
  g/L                  43.4 [+ or -] 3.2
  g/dL                  4.3 [+ or -] 0.3
Urea
  mmol/L                0.9 [+ or -] 0.4
  mg/dL                 2.6 [+ or -] 1.2
Uric acid
  [micro]mol/L          227 [+ or -] 29
  mg/dL                 3.8 [+ or -] 0.5

* Value is significantly different from the 0-minute value
(base value) at P < .05.
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Author:Al-Sobayil, Fahd A.; Omer, Osama H.
Publication:Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Jun 1, 2011
Words:3326
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