71 (3) 195-201

ANESTHESIA IN REPTILES. Part 2. Inhalation Anesthesia
T. Bouts, F. Gasthuys

The first part of the article provided a review of injection anesthesia in reptiles. In the second part, inhalation anesthesia in these species is highlighted. Specific attention is given to the anatomy and physiology of the respiration system in reptiles and the pre-anesthetic preparation. Practical details of the equipment, endotracheal intubation and monitoring are provided. Problems such as breath-holding can occur in reptiles. Another problem is the enormous variability in species and size. In snakes it is common practice to intubate the animal awake and “gas” it down. This technique is neither justified nor possible in venomous snakes. Induction of anesthesia in these animals can be done using different injection techniques (see Part 1) or the box induction. Intubation can be done once the animal is asleep. Lizards have an easily accessible tail vein, while the jugular vein can be used for injection in cooperative chelonians. Propofol is the product of choice for anesthetic induction in these species (see Part 1). However, as in non-venomous snakes, “conscious” intubation is becoming more and more popular in lizards and chelonians. Isoflurane is the most widely used volatile anesthetic in reptiles, although satisfactory results have been reported using sevoflurane in exotic practices in the UK and USA over the last two years.

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