Electrocardiographic and Blood Pressure Measurements in Captive African Lions (Panthera leo) Immobilized with Xylazine-Ketamine Combination

T O Omóbòwálé, P I Otuh, O A Adejumobi, J O Abiola, T Adebiyi, B N Ogunro, A O Adeogun


Electrocardiographic and blood pressure measurements are extremely valuable diagnostic tools in the evaluation
of the cardiovascular system of living animals. In this study, 6-lead electrocardiograms were recorded from five male captive
African lions (Panthera leo). Also, blood pressure measurements were recorded and compared from three different sites;
fore limb, hind limb and the tail, were recorded. Immobilization was done with a combination of Ketamine Hydrochloride
(10mg/kg) and Xylazine (3mg/kg). Measurements were recorded as mean ± standard deviation. ECG readings were analysed
using descriptive statistics while blood pressure readings were compared using ANOVA at a 5% level of significance. Heart
rate was 66±11.6 beats per minute. The heart rhythm was sinus in all the animals. Mean Electrical Axis (MEA) was between
+810 and +930 degrees (Mean +89±5). Three animals had their MEA between +810 and +890 while two had MEA between
+910 and +930. Fore limb measurements for Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), Diastolic Blood Pressure (DAP) and Mean
Arterial Pressure (MAP) were 177.6±6.8 mmHg, 157.2±5.9 mmHg and 168.6±5.2 mmHg respectively. Hind limb
measurements for the SBP, DBP and MAP were 135.4±9.5 mmHg, 120.6±5.9 mmHg and 123.0±6.8 mmHg respectively
while the tail measurements for the SBP, DBP and MAP were 149.6±8.3 mmHg, 132.8±5.9 mmHg and 137.2±5.8 mmHg
respectively. There was weak correlation between forelimb vs hindlimb and forelimb vs tail comparisons of SBP, DBP and
MAP. However, a strong positive correlation was found between hindlimb and tail comparisons of those parameters. Results
from this study should serve as a guide in the cardiovascular monitoring of captive African Lions immobilized with a
xylazine-ketamine combination.

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