Evaluation of the sedative and physiological effects of intramuscular lidocaine in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) sedated with alfaxalone.


Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To evaluate if intramuscular (IM) lidocaine potentiates the sedative effects of alfaxalone and results in cardiopulmonary changes in sedated bearded dragons.
METHODS : Prospective experimental crossover study.
METHODS : A group of eight adult bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) weighing 334 ± 46 g.
METHODS : Animals were administered alfaxalone (10 mg kg-1 subcutaneously) and 15 minutes later either lidocaine 2% (4 mg kg-1) or 0.9% sodium chloride (0.2 mL kg-1) was administered IM in the thoracic limb. The treatments were randomized and separated by 7 days. Sedation was scored based on body position, eye closure, jaw tone, swallowing, pick up response, righting reflex and pelvic limb withdrawal reflex. Heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (fR) were recorded every 5 minutes until recovery from sedation.
RESULTS : Lidocaine had no significant effect on duration or depth of alfaxalone sedation. HR increased significantly for <10 minutes following lidocaine administration by a median (interquartile range) of 33% (28-37%; p = 0.024). No clinically significant effects on fR occurred following lidocaine injection.
CONCLUSIONS : Administration of lidocaine 2% (4 mg kg-1) IM did not potentiate alfaxalone sedation but resulted in a transient clinically relevant increase in HR.


chemical restraint,lizard,local anesthetic,reptile,sedation,