Otters (Lutra lutra)

Table of doses for otters

Drug Dose Comments
Gaseous anaesthesia can be used in all species and in most it is the preferred method
Ketamine + diazepam
  • Ketamine (18 mg/kg) + diazepam (0.5 mg/kg) i.m.
  • Good relaxation
  • Risk of hyperthermia with ketamine
Ketamine + medetomidine
  • Ketamine (5 mg/kg) + medetomidine (0.05 mg/kg) i.m.
  • Rapid induction
  • Good relaxation
  • Can be reversed with atipamezole
  • Risk of hyperthermia with ketamine
  • Risk of bradycardia and respiratory depression with medetomidine
Ketamine + midazolam
  • Ketamine (10—12 mg/kg) + midazolam (0.25-0.5 mg/kg) i.m.
  • Rapid induction
  • 20-30 minutes anaesthesia
  • Smooth recovery
  • Risk of hyperthermia with ketamine
  • 0.2 mg/kg i.m (i.e. 5x dose (mg/kg) medetomidine used)
  • Reversal of medetomidine: 5 times the medetomidine dose (i.e. equal volume of the 5 mg/ml atipamezole solution)
  • In common with most species, a delay in reversal of medetomidine of at least 20 minutes after the administration of combinations with ketamine is recommended
  • 0.02 mg/kg i.v., i.m., s.c. q6h
  • Control of mild to moderate pain
  • 0.2-0.55 mg/kg i.v., i.m., s.c. q4h
  • Generally used as part of pre-anaesthetic medication
  • 2-4 mg/kg i.v., s.c., p.o. q24h
  • Effective NSAID. The usual considerations for the careful use of NSAIDs in dehydrated, hypovolaemic or hypertensive animals, as well as those with underlying gastrointestinal disease, should be observed
  • 0.2 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q24h (initial dose)
  • 0.1 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q24h (maintenance dose)
  • 0.5 mg/kg i.v., i.m. q2-4h
  • Control of moderate to severe pain

Antibiotic use (both appropriate and inappropriate) imposes a powerful selection pressure on bacteria and is the primary driver of antibiotic resistance. Eliminating unnecessary use in people and animals is, therefore, essential to safeguard this invaluable resource. The reader is referred to the Guidelines for responsible antibiotic use for further information
Amoxicillin/clavulanate (co-amoxiclav)
  • 8.75 mg/kg i.m., s.c. q24h
  • 12.5-25 mg/kg p.o. q12h
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotic
  • Useful for the treatment of bite wounds
  • Duration according to response (minimum of 5-7 days)
  • 5.5 mg/kg p.o. q12h
  • 11 mg/kg p.o. q24h
  • For the treatment of bite wounds and oral infections
  • Duration according to response (minimum of 5-7 days)
  • 5 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q24h
  • Fluroquinolones should ideally be reserved for infections where culture and sensitivity testing predict a clinical response and use of first- and second- line antimicrobials would not be considered effective
  • Duration according to response (minimum of 5-7 days)
  • Not to be used in growing animals
  • 2 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q24h
  • 50 mg/kg p.o. q24h for 3 days
  • For the treatment of nematodes and cestodes
  • 3-6 ml/kg of 0.25% w/v spray topically
  • Rarely indicated
  • For the treatment of ticks
  • 0.2 mg/kg s.c., p.o.
  • Rarely indicated
  • 5 mg/kg p.o.
  • For the treatment of trematodes
  • 6 mg/kg topically
  • Rarely indicated

NSAID(s) = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug(s)

Kuiken T (1988) Anaesthesia in the European otter. , 59.

Spelman LH (1999) Otter anaesthesia. , ed. ME Fowler and RE Miller. WB Saunders, Philadelphia.

Fernandez-Moran J, Molina L, Flamme G, Saavedra D and Manteca-Vilanova X (2001b) Hematological and biochemical reference intervals for wild caught Eurasian otter from Spain. , 159-163.

Simpson V and Couper D (2016) Otters. , 2nd edition, ed. E Mullineaux and E Keeble, pp. 228-241. BSAVA Publications, Gloucester.



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