Twenty free-ranging spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri; 10 male, 10 female), 11 free-ranging king eiders (Somateria spectabilis; 6 male, 5 female), and 20 female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) were anesthetized with propofol, bupivacaine, and ketoprofen for the surgical implantation of satellite transmitters. Propofol was given to induce and maintain anesthesia (mean total dose, 26.2-45.6 mg/kg IV), bupivacaine (2-10 mg/kg SC) was infused into the incision site for local analgesia, and ketoprofen (2-5 mg/kg IM) was given at the time of surgery for postoperative analgesia. Four of 10 male spectacled eiders and 5 of 6 male king eiders died within 1-4 days after surgery. None of the female spectacled or common eiders and only 1 of the 5 female king eiders died during the same postoperative period. Histopathologic findings in 2 dead male king eiders were severe renal tubular necrosis, acute rhabdomyolysis, and mild visceral gout. Necropsy findings in 3 other dead male king eiders were consistent with visceral gout. We suspect that the perioperative use of ketoprofen caused lethal renal damage in the male eiders. Male eiders may be more susceptible to renal damage than females because of behavioral differences during their short stay on land in mating season. The combination of propofol, bupivacaine, and ketoprofen should not be used to anesthetize free-ranging male eiders, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should not be used perioperatively in any bird that may be predisposed to renal insufficiency.
Additional publication details
Differential Mortality of Male Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) and King Eiders (Somateria spectabilis) Subsequent to Anesthesia with Propofol, Bupivacaine, and Ketoprofen