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Wildlife Pharmaceuticals Support Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

The Use Of Potent Opioids In Wildlife Veterinary Medicine: A Brief History

A talk by Dr Cobus Raath

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The webinar will be hosted by Dr Cobus Raath and will cover the history of the use of potent opioids for the immobilization of wildlife. The use of potent opioids for the immobilization of free-ranging wild herbivores dates back to the early 1960’s. Thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Toni Harthoorn and game warden, Ian Player and their colleagues in South Africa, potent opioids quickly became the most effective medicines for the safe immobilization of wildlife species. Their work led to the evolution of synthetic potent opioids in wildlife veterinary medicine and their administration via projectile darts. These opioids work quickly, are fully reversible and can be used in a wide variety of wildlife species, particularly the larger herbivore species like rhino and elephant that were previously very difficult to successfully translocate. The webinar will cover this initial work as well as the subsequent developments that led to the use of a variety of potent opioids in wildlife veterinary medicine today.

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