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Mammals (other)
Acute hyperkalaemia in a captive Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) immobilised with a ketamine-medetomidine combination
  1. Sabina Diez Bernal1,
  2. Stefan Hoby2 and
  3. Olivier Louis Raymond Levionnois1
  1. 1 Veterinary Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2 Berne Animal Park, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sabina Diez Bernal; sabina.diez{at}


A 12-year-old captive male Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) required general anaesthesia for examination and treatment of a recurrent oral fistula. Medetomidine (0.065 mg/kg) and ketamine (3.6 mg/kg) administered intramuscularly by blowpipe darting effectively immobilised the animal that was maintained under general anaesthesia with inhaled isoflurane. In absence of clinical signs, acute hyperkalaemia (7.26 mmol/l) was incidentally recognised by the end of anaesthesia. Factors that might have played a role in hyperkalaemia development, such as the use of α2-adrenoceptor agonists, stress response, acidosis or dopamine administration, are discussed. Hyperkalaemia should be considered as a potential complication while anaesthetising large non-domestic felids.

  • anaesthesia
  • clinical practice
  • wild animals
  • zoo animals
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  • Contributors SDB: case management, writing and review of the manuscript. SH and OLRL: case management and review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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