Immobilon

Apache

Well-Known Member
Is the antidote flumazenil?
No. That reverses benzodiazapines (like diazepam = valium). The specific reversal agent in animals is Revivon. In people they use Nalaxone as the drug is an opioid - same drug they would give you if you overdosed on heroin. I said you'd die, I didn't say it would be a bad way to go............. If you had no Nalaxone available then you would use the Revivon in a person.

Thanks for your honesty. As I said I do understand but on welfare grounds I feel a responsibility to look into it. I currently have a stag who has a lovelly pair of slippers on and there are two options. One is to shoot him and the other is to put him to sleep while I cut his toe nails. Not keen on one. Or is doing nothing an option?
Wild or park? I feel the welfare is different since one is and one isn't a wild animal. Poor foot conformation can lead to toe overgrowth as can conditions that limit exercise such as arthritis. If it's wild I'd say shoot it as however pretty it is you may not want those genes passing on. You also open all sorts of cans of worms regarding meddling with nature. There has to be an underlying cause. If it's a park deer then it's your animal and you do what you see fit.
 

chopper

Well-Known Member
Could prevention possibly have been better than cure? I can't say yes or no due to not knowing your circumstances but do you have hard surfaces for them to walk on? Is the park wet all the time? Can you not concrete around drinkers or feed areas so animals have to walk on rough ,hard ground.
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Could prevention possibly have been better than cure? I can't say yes or no due to not knowing your circumstances but do you have hard surfaces for them to walk on? Is the park wet all the time? Can you not concrete around drinkers or feed areas so animals have to walk on rough ,hard ground.
Everything is hard and dry around here at the moment even the stream beds. Normally it would be soft which I guess could be a contributory factor. Have been thinking about the surface since I spotted the problem but I cant see a solution in the short term.
 
Last edited:

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
Hi Howa,
It's always interesting to hear others views on use of Immobilon and the various arguments for and against. There is no doubting that provided you can actually get it into a (preferably quiet and not stressed up ) deer then it serves a purpose. However given the problems of acquiring and using the drug and the inevitable expense involved you can see why it has become used less in recent years. As you know I design and sell deer handling systems so you need to consider my comments as biased but over the years I reckon that the cumulative cost for many people in paying to have stags darted for de-antlering, hinds for difficult calvings and other deer darted just to move them would have gone a long way to paying for a permanent facility that could then be used at a moments notice any day of the year.

I am glad that these discussions are taking place here and that interested folk are being made aware of the problems. A useful public service I reckon.
 

old man

Well-Known Member
A most interesting thread.
Shouldn't any animals treated with these drugs have fitted a red ear tag to alert others that the meat should not go into the food chain?
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Hi Howa,
It's always interesting to hear others views on use of Immobilon and the various arguments for and against. There is no doubting that provided you can actually get it into a (preferably quiet and not stressed up ) deer then it serves a purpose. However given the problems of acquiring and using the drug and the inevitable expense involved you can see why it has become used less in recent years. As you know I design and sell deer handling systems so you need to consider my comments as biased but over the years I reckon that the cumulative cost for many people in paying to have stags darted for de-antlering, hinds for difficult calvings and other deer darted just to move them would have gone a long way to paying for a permanent facility that could then be used at a moments notice any day of the year.

I am glad that these discussions are taking place here and that interested folk are being made aware of the problems. A useful public service I reckon.
Your absolutely correct of course cyber but as you know the presence of handling facilities has significant implications.
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
Not sure which implications you are referring to but yes there are lots of grey areas. I am not aware that the existence of handling facilities automatically drops you into any particular category that would be either advantageous or disadvantageous. I have supplied handling systems to many deer parks that still operate just as parks and there are deer farms that operate under full red meat regs that have absolutely no handling facilities.

This will have been discussed before but despite the problems that some deer parks would have there can surely only be two categories of deer; wild or enclosed. Whatever rules and regs get applied to either category will probably never make perfect sense and will depend on the vested interests involved and the amount of time and money that can be thrown at lobbying. All you can do is try to be aware of the existing legislation and try to operate in a way that you are happy with but still makes you a living. Personally I try to make sure that my existence doesn't also provide jobs and income for hangers-on and gov. officials.
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Not sure which implications you are referring to but yes there are lots of grey areas. I am not aware that the existence of handling facilities automatically drops you into any particular category that would be either advantageous or disadvantageous. I have supplied handling systems to many deer parks that still operate just as parks and there are deer farms that operate under full red meat regs that have absolutely no handling facilities.
If the ability to handle the animals does not mark the difference between park and farm, what does?
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
Could well be wrong but you can choose which set of regs you want to operate under. Go full red meat route and you will be classed as a farm and will be able to slaughter all year round. Go park and you will have to stick to the legal season for selling game. As far as I can see both routes have advantages and disadvantages.
We have got off the subject of Immobilon but I was trying to point out that there are alternatives to using drugs. Deer can be caught up relatively easily in other ways. I used darting a reasonable amount in the early days but I think I can honestly say that in most cases that I was asked to dart a deer it would probably have been a better solution to shoot it. I know there are people out there who dart large numbers of deer and probably make plenty of money at it. I suppose each person has to decide how much they are prepared to spend to (hopefully) resolve each situation that arises.
 

Dama

Well-Known Member
There is a lot of hype about immobilon, as a drug for use for game capture it is brilliant because it is cheap, low in volume and instantly reversible. It is no longer licenced in the UK and Apache has quite correctly explained why the unlicenced product is not handed out readily by vets. It is however occasionally given out to animals under care to bona fide operators who are properly trained and where a proper register of use is kept. This is often for the managers of zoological collections or larger parks where the vet regularly attends but may not be able to do so quickly in an emergency situation. All the operator risks that Apache mentioned are real, but there are several other safer (for the handler)drug combinations that could be discussed by the deer park owner and his veterinary surgeon. It is a case of building up trust and a relationship between the two. Cold calling a few vet practices looking for a sedative/anaesthetic combination was never really likely to yield anything.

The reason the drug is not licenced is purely a commercial one. It was regularly used in cattle when I was younger, and those animals later safely entered the food chain. When I started darting deer there was no problems selling deer carcases after darting. There was no withholding period on the bottle so the default period of 30 days was generally used.

As better cattle drugs were developed and handling facilities improved, vets started using other drugs to anaesthetise cattle. They natually also required a drug with better operator safety. Younger vets arriving in a practice would often refuse to use immobilon. When the EU insisted on better drug licencing and registration the company making it at the time decided that the costs involved in licencing the product could not be recouped from sales and so the product lost its licence. It is because it has no licence that animals into which it has been injected can't enter the food chain, not because the drug remains in a 'toxic' state in the meat. In fact I understand that drug residues can't be detected more than 24 hours after injection. It is the big selling drug in the game industry in South Africa, with buckets of the stuff used daily..... with not a single animal ever tagged!
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
Regarding the comment equating the risk of immobilon with that of a firearm. In my opinion they are completely different, the trouble is that the risks with immobilon are so subtle but yet so significant, like apache said all it takes is a needle to blow off whilst injecting or a drop on your skin then transferred to your mouth and it could be game over.

FYI the following is from Wikipedia regarding revivon (trade name for diprenorphine)

Diprenorphine (diprenorfin, Revivon, M5050)[1] is an opioid antagonist[2] used to reverse the effects of the super-potent opioid analgesics such as etorphine and carfentanil that are used for tranquilizing large animals in veterinary medicine.
Diprenorphine is the strongest opiate antagonist that is commercially available (some 100 times more potent as an antagonist than nalorphine),[3] and is used for reversing the effects of very strong opioids for which the binding affinity is so high that naloxone does not effectively or reliably reverse the narcotic effects.[4] These super-potent opioids are not used in humans because the dose for a human is so small that it would be difficult to measure properly, so there is an excessive risk of overdose leading to fatal respiratory depression. However conventional opioid derivatives are not strong enough to rapidly tranquilize large animals such as elephants and rhinos, so drugs such as etorphine or carfentanil are available for this purpose.
Diprenorphine is considered the specific antagonist for etorphine and carfentanil,[5] and is normally used to remobilise animals once veterinary procedures have been completed,[6]. Because diprenorphine also has some agonistic properties of its own, it should not be used on humans in the event that they are accidentally exposed to etorphine or carfentanil. Naloxone or naltrexone are the preferred human antagonists[7].
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Regarding the comment equating the risk of immobilon with that of a firearm. In my opinion they are completely different, the trouble is that the risks with immobilon are so subtle but yet so significant, like apache said all it takes is a needle to blow off whilst injecting or a drop on your skin then transferred to your mouth and it could be game over.
.
It was a stupid comment on my behalf. I was merely pointing out that shooting something with a rifle tends to be fatal and with no antidote. The risk seems to be more for the user/operator than anyone else and as I would be that person I would like to think I should be the one to take the decision as to whether the risk is worth it or not. Worth pointing out that I would be some way away when the drug was being injected.

Thanks to all of those that have contributed. Its clearly a tricky area. I assume that for those who can get supplies of this drug and who are also able to get the equipment to deliver it, may have a marketable service. On the other hand, the fact that none of the vets that I have approached use this drug or darting equipment seems to indicate that ending up with an animal that cannot go into the food chain is not what anybody wants.
 

N.F.W.M

Well-Known Member
As previously stated Immobilon is a very useful drug for knocking large animals down, and then getting them up on their feet again (Revivon) in relatively short order. I manage wildlife parks and would not be without it.

To underestimate the risk to human health whilst using Immobilon would be, at best, foolhardy. A good friend of mine who has been using the drug for many years and was pivotal in my learning of using Immobilon once splashed a small amount onto his hand whilst in the field. He promptly wiped the drug off his hand but could not get to water to wash his hands for several minutes. After washing his hands he finished the darting job and drove home, arriving home about 3 hours after the incident he felt a tad knackered so sat down on his front door step. He woke 9 hours later feeling utterly hungover.

As to the legality of non vets possessing the drug I think it is a very grey area. The loophole seems to be around the wording of being able to use the drug under the instruction of a vet (ie able to contact by phone) rather than being supervised by a vet (in visual contact).

Would I use the drug without a vet present....... Preferably not. The vets that I have contact with have a far better ability to accurately guess the weight of animal being immobilised and can work out doses (Immobilon is regularly used in conjunction with other drugs) quicker than I can. Most importantly if things go tits up I want someone with me who is very calm under pressure and can easily raise a vein on me and administer the Naloxone, and continue to do so until the emergency services arrive.

I have also witnessed a vet making the biggest balls up using Immobilon. The vet in question turned up at my park (prior to me having my darting kit) to dart a whopping red stag who had had a falling out with a ****ed off male wild boar. The result of this meeting was a 18 inch gash on the haunch of the stag. The vet in question had not done his homework with his darting kit and at one point there were 7 still loaded (not discharged) darts spread around the enclosure or hanging from my stags arse. There was enough drug to kill the deer and to wipe out most of the human population of Hampshire (bit of poetic license there !) Having watched many procedures like this before I suggested to the vet that he let me load the dart then fire the dart..... He was more that happy and 10 mins later the stag was on the floor.

My reason for telling this is to counteract the argument that only vets should administer Immobilon. In my opinion people who are competent with firearms and have the facility and time to practice practice practice with the handling of Immobilon, the safe loading of darts, then the accurate remote administering of these darts should be able to have access to the drug. The best combination is a vet who regularly uses darting equipment, outside the zoo vet world these are, in my opinion hard to come by.

As already stated many vets simply wont use Immobilon, my good lady wife was one of these. We went through a process of trying 5 different drugs/drug combinations (not including Immobilon) on deer, never quite getting the desired anaesthetic and recovery. After seeing how effective immobilon can be she is now a cautious convert.

The most important aspect of using Immobilon is the rapid reversal. Example.... a herd of Wisent (European Bison) the bulls of this species are well known for being grumpy with very short fuses. One needs knocking down for a small procedure but if is out on the floor for too long the younger males in the herd will take advantage and give it a good horning. Intra veinous injection of Revivon after the procedure can have the animal back up on its feet within 30 seconds and grazing in 2 mins !!

Regards

Sticks
 

Nightwalker

Well-Known Member
No, flumazenil? reverses some of the effects of benzodiazepines. Imobilon is a very potent synthetic opiod and not a benzo. There is a specific antidote sold as Revivon and naloxone/naltrexone will also reverse it.
 

Top