Elephant Formulary

© 2003-17 Susan K. Mikota DVM and Donald C. Plumb, Pharm.D. Published by
Elephant Care International

Disclaimer: the information on this page is used entirely at the reader's discretion, and is made available on the express condition that no liability, expressed or implied, is accepted by the authors or publisher for the accuracy, content, or use thereof.



Elephant specific information, if available, is in blue.

CAUTION!  Sedative and anesthetic drug dosages for African elephants often vary from those for Asian elephants.  Do not assume that the recommendations for one species can be applied to the other.  Significant variation may also occur between individual elephants.  Higher doses may be needed in wild or excited animals. Unless otherwise specified, doses refer to captive elephants.  The information provided here should be used as a guideline only.  Consultation with experienced colleagues is advised.



               a) An Asian elephant (approx. 3750 kg) in dystocia was given 480 mg zuclopenthixol per os. An additional 400 mg was given 5 hours later and a vaginal vestibulotomy was performed under local anesthesia (Schaftenaar, 1996).


Elephant References:

a) Schaftenaar,W.  1996. Vaginal vestibulotomy in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Proceedings American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Pages: 434-439 Abstract: Due to its dimensions, dystocia in elephants presents a difficult problem.  This paper describes the delivery of a dead calf by surgical intervention.  A vestibulotomy was performed under local anesthesia.  Complications in wound healing resulted in a permanent fistula of the vestibulum.  The difficulties in decision making and the interpretation of clinical signs are discussed.

b) See also:

Kreeger,T.J., Arnemo,J.M., and Raath,J.P., 2002. Handbook of wildlife chemical immobilization. Wildlife Pharmaceuticals Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A., 1-412 pp.
Web/URL: www.wildpharm.com   (Author’s (Mikota) note: elephant doses not specified).

Ebedes,H.  1995. The use of long term neuroleptics in the confinement and transport of wild animals. Joint Conf AAZV/WDA/AAWV. Pages: 173-176  Author’s (Mikota) note: elephant doses not specified.