Observations A 26-year-old male white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), weighing approximately 2000 kg was anesthetized for an exploratory celiotomy. Sedation was achieved with intramuscular butorphanol (0.04 mg kg−1) and detomidine (0.025 mg kg−1) and induction of anesthesia with intravenous glyceryl guaiacolate (50 g) and three intravenous boluses of ketamine (200 mg, each); the trachea was then intubated and anesthesia maintained with isoflurane in oxygen using a circle breathing system. Positioning in dorsal recumbency for the surgery and later in sternal recumbency for the recovery represented challenges that added to the prolonged anesthesia time and surgical approach to partially correct an impaction. The rhinoceros recovered uneventfully after 10.4 hours of recumbency.
Conclusions Anesthetic management for an exploratory celiotomy with a midline approach is possible in rhinoceroses, although planning and extensive staff support is necessary to adequately position the patient.