Mauthe von Degerfeld, M., Serpieri, M., Bonaffini, G. et al. 2023. Intranasal atomization of ketamine, medetomidine and butorphanol in pet rabbits using a mucosal atomization device. Animals 13(13), 2076.

A non-invasive method of drug delivery, intranasal atomization, has shown positive results in human medicine and in some animal species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intranasal atomization, compared to intramuscular administration, of a mix of anesthetic drugs in pet rabbits. In total, 104 mixed-breed pet rabbits, undergoing various types of surgery, received a combination of ketamine, medetomidine, and butorphanol (20, 0.4, and 0.2 mg/kg) by intranasal atomization using a Mucosal Atomization Device (Group MAD) or intramuscular administration (Group IM). When required, isoflurane was dispensed through a face mask. At the end of the procedures, atipamezole was administered using the same routes in the respective Groups. There were no differences in time to loss of righting reflex between the groups, while differences were found for the need for isoflurane (higher in Group MAD) and recovery time, occurring earlier in Group MAD. The results suggest that intranasal atomization of a combination of ketamine, medetomidine, and butorphanol produces a lighter depth of anesthesia in pet rabbits, compared to intramuscular administration. Intranasal atomization can be performed to administer sedative and anesthetic drugs, avoiding the algic stimulus related to the intramuscular inoculation of drugs.

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