To catch a buffalo: field immobilisation of Asian swamp buffalo using etorphine and xylazine

C. R. Mcmahon, C. J. A. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To demonstrate the efficacy of a mixture of etorphine and xylazine to safely immobilise wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) in the field. Methods: Body mass was estimated (to calculate mass-specific dosages) by deriving a predictive relationship between morphometric measurements (body length, height) and mass based on a dataset collected in Vietnam, because the study animals could not be weighed in the field. Results: Mass-specific dosages varied between 0.02 and 0.03 mg/kg for etorphine and between 0.14 and 0.22 mg/kg for xyalazine; induction times varied between 10 and 33 min, mean recumbency time was 68 min, and the mean time to standing was 10 min (range: 10-17 min). Conclusions: The mixture of ethorphine and xylazine was effective for immobilisation of this species and appeared to have a relatively large safety margin, based on the mass-specific dosages used. The allometric relationships described here should prove useful for those working with wild swamp buffalo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Allometry
  • Bubalus bubalis
  • Collars
  • Diprenorphine
  • Disease spread
  • Epidemiology
  • Etorphine
  • Global positioning system
  • Home range


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