Bressan, T. F., Sobreira, T., Carregaro, A. B. 2019. Use of rodent sedation tests to evaluate midazolam and flumazenil in green iguanas (Iguana iguana). JAALAS 58(6), 810–816.

This study aimed to evaluate the applicability of rodent behavioral tests to assess the effects of midazolam and flumazenil in green iguanas. Four tests commonly used to assess sedation in rodents—the open field test, forced swim test, behavioral scale, and traction test—were conducted in 10 juveniles iguanas. The animals received midazolam (2 mg/kg IM) or 0.9% NaCl (0.4 mL/kg IM), and the tests were conducted between 0 and 300 min thereafter. To verify the effects of midazolam and flumazenil, the most informative tests from the evaluation stage and the limb withdrawal latency time (LWLT) were used. All 10 iguanas were tested under 4 conditions, as follows: MS, midazolam (2 mg/kg IM), followed 30 min later by 0.9% NaCl (0.4 mL/kg IM); FS, flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg IM), followed by 0.9% NaCl (0.4 mL/kg IM) 30 min later; MF, midazolam (2 mg/kg IM), followed by flumazenil (0.05 mg/kg IM) 30 min later; and CON, 0.9% NaCl (0.4 mL/kg IM). The behavioral scale and the forced swim test showed the best detection of the onset, peak effect, and the differences between the sedated and control iguanas, with testing done between 15 and 240 min after drug administration. The sedative effect of midazolam began at 15 min and persisted through 180 min when assessed on the behavioral scale and 240 min when assessed by the forced swim test; flumazenil administration reversed the sedative effect. An increase in the LWLT was observed in the midazolam treatment groups between 15 and 30 min after drug administration. Flumazenil decreased LWLT between 15 and 180 min in the FS and at 60 min in the MF. In conclusion, the best methods to assess sedation in iguanas were the behavioral scale and the forced swim test. A dose of 2 mg/kg of midazolam was effective at inducing sedation in these juvenile iguanas, and this effect could be reversed by flumazenil.

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