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Reindeer are becoming popular animals within petting farms. Few case reports describe the sedation of domesticated reindeer, but none describe the use of ocular local anesthetic blocks in this species. A 9-year-old, female, Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) presenting for removal of a squamous cell carcinoma involving the third eyelid. Standing sedation was performed using initial boluses of medetomidine and butorphanol via intramuscular injection before catheter placement and maintenance with a variable rate infusion of medetomidine. Supraorbital, auriculopalpebral, infratrochlear blocks and local infiltration of the base of the third eyelid were performed using mepivacaine. Following the surgical removal of the third eyelid, atipamazole was administered intramuscularly to antagonize the effects of medetomidine. The patient recovered without complications. Medetomidine-butorphanol in combination with local anesthetic blocks provided a sufficient plane of sedation and analgesia for extra ocular surgery in a domesticated reindeer.


Sara J Lawrence-Mills, Maria-Christine Fischer, Sophie Talbot, Jenny Reed, Carolina Palacios Jimenez. Standing sedation management of a domesticated reindeer for third eyelid removal. Open veterinary journal. 2023 Aug;13(8):1037-1043

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PMID: 37701662

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