West African Dwarf (WAD) goats are important source of animal protein, ubiquitous in rural Nigerian households and undergo necessary surgical procedures. Induction of general anaesthesia in goats is associated with resultant severe systemic side effects due to position-induced stress. This study investigated cardiopulmonary and stress responses of WAD goats to three sedatives in different body positioning. Six adult WAD bucks, weighing 11±2.0 kg were randomly selected for three separate experiments using intramuscular (IM) injection of xylazine (0.05mg/kg), acepromazine (0.2 mg/kg) or midazolam (0.3 mg/kg) in five clinical trials lasting five days each. Goats were restrained in standing (control), Right Lateral (RL), Left Lateral (LL), supine and prone positions. Venous blood (5 ml) via jugular venipuncture was collected before and after each sedation to determine selected stress biomarkers [blood glucose (mg/dL), plasma cortisol (mmol/L) and lactate dehydrogenase LDH (U/L)]. Heart Rate-HR (beats/minute), Respiratory Rate-RR (breaths/minute), Mean Arterial Pressure-MAP (mmHg), Oxygen-haemoglobin Saturation-SpO2 (%) and Rectal Temperature -RT (°C) were measured at intervals of 10 minutes for one hour. Bucks were rested for 14 days in between clinical trials. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at p<0,05. In LL, supine and prone body positions, peak blood glucose levels and plasma cortisol, respectively were significantly increased with xylazine, acepromazine and midazolam compared to control. Plasma levels of LDH were significantly decreased compared to control for the RL, LL, supine and prone positions with xylazine and acepromazine sedation. acepromazine and midazolam had highest HR with supine position. Xylazine sedation resulted in severe hypotension and hyperglycaemia with LL and supine body positions whereas acepromazine and midazolam sedation resulted in mild hypotension and increased heart rate with LL and prone body positions. The LL and prone positioning should be used cautiously in caprine sedation. Acepromazine and midazolam were found to be safer alternatives to xylazine.
Keywords: Body positioning, cardiopulmonary stress responses, sedation, West African Dwarf goats