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Morkel, P., 1994. Chemical immobilization of the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis): pp. 128-135

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: World
Subject: Physiology
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Respiratory rate and depth is the most important function to be monitored in the immobilized rhino. Respiration is best monitored by watching the chest movement or, in the case of an immobilized rhino being transported on a sledge where it is difficult to watch chest movement, a hand close to the nostrils can sense the warm exhaled air. Breathing must be deep and regular. Monitor respiration for at least 30 seconds to get an accurate picture as an immobilized rhino often gives two or three quick breaths and then holds its breath for a short time. Respiratory rate is about 10-15 breaths/minute on induction, going down to 4-8 breaths/minute about 1 0 minutes post induction (may increase again slightly). Nalorphine given intravenously at 10-1 5 mg results in a marked and sustained improvement in the quality of respiration. 5-10 mi doxapram (Dopram') IV will also give an improvement in respiratory rate and depth but it only lasts for 10-1 5 minutes and may result in some muscle tremor. A healthy pink colour of the mucus membranes is an indicator of good blood oxygenation.

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