U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 39(2), 2003, pp. 387–392


Copyright Wildlife Disease Association 2003


We compared the hemodynamic and respiratory effects, recovery time, and cost of two gas inhalants (isoflurane and sevoflurane) for anesthetic induction and maintenance of beaver (Castor canadensis) during surgery to implant radio transmitters in the peritoneal cavity. Heart rate, respiratory rate, relative hemoglobin saturation with oxygen (SpO2), and body temperature were measured every 5 min for the first 45 min, and arterial blood gas was measured once, 25 min into the anesthetic procedure. Induction for either agent was smooth and rapid. Heart rate and respiratory rate both decreased during the procedure though neither was lower than baseline values reported in the literature for beaver. Relative hemoglobin saturation with oxygen, body temperature, and blood gas variables did not differ between each anesthetic regime. Both inhalants caused slight respiratory acidosis. Recovery time from anesthesia was highly variable (1–178 min) but did not differ statistically between drugs. Sevoflurane costs ($22.30/60 min) were much higher than isoflurane costs ($3.50/60 min). We recommend isoflurane or sevoflurane for anesthetic induction and maintenance of beaver because of the lack of physiologic differences.