Ferret Formulary

DRUG NAME DOSE (mg/kg) & ROUTE FREQUENCY NOTES
Anticholinergics – Prevents bradycardia and cardiac arrhythmias
Atropine 0.05 IM or SC Once at induction
  • Recommended: Glycopyrrolate
0.01 IM or SC Once at induction
Inhalation anesthetics – Must use precision vaporizer. Survival surgery requires concurrent pre-emptive analgesia.
  • Recommended:
    Isoflurane or Sevoflurane
1-3% inhalant to effect (up to 5% for induction). Up to 8% for sevoflurane Whenever general anesthesia is required Survival surgery requires concurrent pre-emptive analgesia.
Ketamine combinations – May sting upon IM injections. May be used for pre-anesthesia prior to intubation and induction of isoflurane anesthesia and for short procedures.
Ketamine
Acepromazine
20 – 35
+0.2-0.35 IM or SC
in same syringe)
For restraint prior to induction of anesthesia as needed May be useful for minor procedures such as placing IV catheter, physical exam or blood collection
Ketamine
Xylazine
20 – 40
+2 – 4 IM
(in same syringe)
Re-dose as needed with ¼ dose of both
Ketamine-Medetomidine 4 – 8
+ 0.08 – 0.1 IM or SC
(in same syringe)
May be useful for short painful procedures May not produce surgical-plane anesthesia for major procedures.
Reversal agents for alpha 2 agonists – Atipamezole is more specific for medetomidine than for xylazine (as a general rule, Atipamezole is dosed at the same volume as Medetomidine, though they are manufactured at different concentrations).
Atipamezole 0.4 IM Once.
Repeat if needed.
To reverse medetomidine or xylazine
Yohimbine 0.5 IM Once.
Repeat if needed.
To reverse xylazine.
Other injectable anesthetics and tranquilizers
Sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal) 30 – 40 IV to effect and maintained with
intermittent bolus as needed
or
2-20 mg/kg/hr IV continuous infusion after induction
As needed. Recommended for terminal/acute procedures only. Occasionally used on survival basis when cortical evoked responses are being measured. Preemptive analgesia strongly recommended. Consider supplemental analgesia (opioid or NSAID) for invasive procedures.
Propofol 5 – 8 to effect IV As induction agent, prior to general anesthesia with pentobarbital or inhalant Respiratory depression upon induction is possible.
Very short acting
Acepromazine 0.2 – 0.5 IM or SC Tranquilizer.
May be used by itself or whenever ketamine combinations are used
Usually used in conjunction with anesthetics such as ketamine. Acepromazine confers no analgesia.
Opioid analgesia –
Buprenorphine 0.01 – 0.03 SC, IM, IV Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 6-12 hour For major procedures, require more frequent dosing than 12 hour intervals. Consider multi-modal analgesia with a NSAID
Butorphanol 0.05 – 0.1 IM, SC, IV Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 4-6 hour Consider multi-modal analgesia with a NSAID
Reversal agents for opioids
Naloxone 0.04 – 1.0 IV, IM, SC Once as needed to reverse respiratory depression Note that reversal will also remove the analgesic effect of the opioid
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) analgesia – Note that prolonged use may cause renal, gastrointestinal, or other problems
Carprofen 1.0 PO Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12 – 24 hour for up to 4 days. Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Meloxicam TBD
SC, IM, PO
Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 24 hour for up to 4 days. Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Ketoprofen 1.0
IM, PO, SC
Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 24 hour for up to 4 days Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Ketorolac IM Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia Do not use more than 2-3 times per animal during any post-surgical period.
Aspirin 0.5 – 22 PO Every 8 – 24 hours
Local anesthetic/analgesics (lidocaine and bupivacaine may be combined in one syringe for rapid onset and long duration analgesia)
Lidocaine hydrochloride May dilute to 0.5 -1% (=10mg/ml). May be mixed in same syringe with bupivacaine.
SC or intra-incisional
Use locally before making surgical incision to provide pre-emptive analgesia Faster onset than bupivacaine but short (<1 hour) duration of action
Bupivacaine May dilute to 0.25 – 0.5%, May be mixed in same syringe with lidocaine.
SC or intra-incisional
Use locally before making surgical incision to provide pre-emptive analgesia Slower onset than lidocaine but longer (~ 4-8 hour) duration of action
BU IACUC Approved October 2008